We're jumping back on the We Heart Australia bandwagon today, and the makeup maestro himself Napoleon Perdis is in the hot seat. Napoleon's makeup career started early on at the age of 13. After opening his first flagship store on Sydney's Oxford Street in 1995, the brand has grown in leaps and bounds, with now over 65 concept stores, PLUS the store on Hollywood Boulevard. Wowza. Here he tells us about celebrity texts, his life as a wedding makeup artist and the hunt for a Napoleon Perdis ambassadress . . .
When did you know that you wanted to become a makeup artist? I always had a passion for makeup. It’s creative, artistic and empowering. As a kid I was entranced by my mother’s relationship to makeup—she was and is an extremely glamorous woman. She would let me do her makeup before heading out to soirées. One night she'd channelled Elizabeth Taylor; the next Sophia Loren. I’ve been hooked since.
Keep reading . . .What drew you to the trade? One of my earliest jobs was doing makeup for brides with my wife Soula-Marie. That really drew me in, since it’s one of the most intimate jobs you can possibly take on. You’re with women on the most important day of their life and I loved being a crucial part of that transformation. When it came time to launch my own collection, I wanted everyone using my makeup to feel as special as a bride floating down the aisle.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far? Opening up my USA flagship store on Hollywood Boulevard was huge. Hollywood Boulevard is such a go-to location globally, and it gave me an entry into a global marketplace.
Who is your favourite person that you’ve worked with so far? I like working with the new generation of starlets like Rachel Bilson, Jessica Szohr, AnnaLynne McCord and Shenae Grimes from 90210. At New York Fashion Week in September, I worked with tennis ace Serena Williams—she walked in the LaQuan Smith show and we bonded. She texts me now.
When did you think “I’ve made it”? When I did the makeup backstage at the Primetime Emmy Awards.
What’s the biggest makeup mistake that women make? Wearing the wrong shade of foundation.
What would you like to see women do more of in terms of makeup? Experiment more with colour on the eyelids or the lips, which are huge beauty trends at the moment.
What’s next for Napoleon Perdis—the man and the brand? I’m gearing up to direct the makeup for a whole slew of fabulous designers during New York Fashion Week in February. Also, we're searching for a celebrity spokesperson for the brand.
Any regrets? None what so ever.