Napoleon Perdis: 3 Makeup Tips You Need To Know

When it comes to looking younger, who doesn’t want instant gratification? Makeup artist Napoleon Perdis gives his easy secrets to having sculpted cheekbones, wider eyes, and fuller lips in minutes.

Sculpt sky-high cheekbones

First, apply foundation as you normally would to create an even, matte finish all over. “It’s very important that you don’t contour naked skin so that you don’t see any harsh lines,” says Perdis. While just the word contouring sounds complicated, Perdis says that it’s really just a two-step process: “First, with a sharply angled brush, create a channel highlight around the eye area—from the top of the eye socket up and out toward the hairline—using the bronzer-like shade,” he says. “Next, with the big fluffy brush, take a little of the white powder and just go around that area.” By contrasting the dark with the light, depth and highlight create an optical lifted illusion. “So, highlight, highlight, contour, contour. It’s quite simple,” says Perdis.

If you want even more definition, Perdis recommends this extra step. “Window-wipe a soft fluffy eye brush back and forth right in the crease of the eye socket to help deepen the socket,” he says. And be sure to look straight ahead into the mirror, keeping eyes lifted: “When you’re doing it yourself, don’t look down because you may apply it to far up or down,” says Perdis. Next, take a pinky beige shade to go right along the lash line. “Because the skin here naturally has some red in it, it’s actually a flesh color and it also helps to deepen your eyes.”

What is the method to all this dark, light, dark? “This becomes the little Suez Canal. When you think of it like that, it’s amazing!” says Perdis.

Create naturally fuller lips

First, apply a light, high gloss lip color then use a flesh colored lip pencil to lightly line the outer rim of the cupid’s bow. (Yes, you read that right: gloss first, liner last.) “The skin-colored pencil acts like a Photoshop stick,” he says. “It brings out your natural lip line without using color to create a line—it’s an illusion of contour, like a halo around your mouth.” Plus, you still get the long-wear benefits of classic colored lip liner—the waxy texture prevents gloss from running into lines, crucial when wearing an on-trend oxblood or Bordeaux.

Make lashes look unbelievably long

Unlike huge wands that pick up a ton of mascara every time you put in the tube, Perdis says that if you love the look of a clean, long, highly-defined lash, that a comb brush is essential.

“It’s modeled on 1950s and ‘60s mascara: the old brushes, the cake,” he says. “Women then would spit in the cake to build it up, and apply it.” And apply it straight from root to tip—no wiggling. “You want length, thickness —wiggling is for volume—all I’m going to do is just brush it out all the way to the ends. It’s like your building your own faux lash on.”

Fake flawless skin

“Never apply foundation on the forehead—it’s aging and it drips,” says Perdis, who suggests using a smoothing primer with optical diffusers such as his Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Radiance Boosting Primer.

And use a super lightweight foundation that you can use all over you face, not have to spot treat. His favorite: his barely tinted Napoleon Perdis Boudoir Mist Spray Foundation.

“It’s just a tint but in spray form—not a foundation,” he says. “That’s why it’s okay to have a little get on the forehead—applying a ton of foundation? Forget about all that.”

Next, before you do anything else, apply two coats of mascara. “It’s the road map to the face,” he says. “Once you do that, you don’t need to do a lip or eyes you can just keep it really simple—if you don’t do the mascara right away you might think, ‘I bet I can add a bit more. I bet I can do this’ but once you got your lash on, it’s like your lingerie—you can just put the simplest dress on.”

Read more: How to Apply Makeup Like a Pro – Napoleon Perdis Makeup Tips – Harper’s BAZAAR Magazine
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