His make-up prod­ucts are loved by women all over the world, but who are the women he loves? The make-up artist, pho­tog­ra­pher and founder of Nars talks us through his per­sonal icons

ELLE (UK) - - Contents -

On the women he loves

THE WOMAN WHO CHANGED MY LIFE: I’m in­cred­i­bly in­flu­enced by my mother (be­low). She woke me up to a sense of beauty in a woman; she is a nat­u­ral beauty who looks good bare-faced, then with make-up she looks even more beau­ti­ful. Re­ally, she was my...

THE MOST IN­VALU­ABLE PIECE OF AD­VICE I CAN SHARE: Use make-up as a weapon, rather than al­low your­self to be­come a pris­oner of it. It’s a fun ac­ces­sory; so don’t let it be a case of, ‘I can’t leave the house with­out make-up on.’

HOW I FEEL ABOUT MAKE-UP: I love it. But I also love the idea that a woman is strong enough to face the world some­times with no make-up. It’s about show­ing strength. I’m def­i­nitely a modern fem­i­nist; I’m all for equal­ity be­tween men and women.

THE WOMAN WHO PUSHES BOUND­ARIES: [Founder of Comme des Garçons] Rei Kawakubo. She’s not in my life at all, but I re­spect what she’s do­ing. Her clothes are to­tally un­wear­able and she is still in the mar­ket, which is quite amaz­ing. I love shoot­ing them.

ON THE IM­POR­TANCE OF MAKE-UP: It’s ob­vi­ous, but it’s to make you look and feel good. You can face the world with strength and con­fi­dence. Un­less it’s bad make-up!

ON WHAT AGE MEANS FOR BEAUTY: I love work­ing with older peo­ple who have learned from life and have some­thing to say, but I also like work­ing with cool young kids, too. When you cre­ate make-up, you cre­ate it for ev­ery­body.

THE WOMAN WHO MAKES ME FEEL BRAVE: My grand­moth­ers, be­cause they loved me so much and took such good care of me. They were al­ways telling me to go for­ward and do what I wanted. They were re­ally en­thu­si­as­tic about my ca­reer.

THE WOMAN WHO CHANGED MY CA­REER: Stylist and fash­ion ed­i­tor Polly Allen Mellen, who first en­cour­aged me to move to the US.

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