|Above: Napoleon Perdis and the Beauty Professor.
Napoleon Perdis is a beauty legend in Australia. From famed makeup artist to creator of his eponymous line of cosmetics, his influence on the beauty industry, however, isn’t restricted to the Land Down Under. For well over a decade, his beauty line has been sold by major US retailers like Sephora, Ulta, Target (specifically, his SET collection) and most recently, luxury establishments including Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus.
I had the marvelous privilege of interviewing the incredibtly dynamic Napoleon during his visit to Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills and, during our time together, gleaned a clearer understanding of his inspiration, motivation and aesthetic.
|Above: In the midst of the interview.
Q and A:
Beauty Professor: Who would you describe as your greatest beauty influence?
Napoleon Perdis: Sophia Loren (especially in Boy on a Dolphin) and my mom.
BP: What do you want people to know about the Napoleon line?
NP: Education is everything; I would like to think of my line as the “Harvard of makeup.”
BP: What is the earliest or first product you remember being intrigued by?
NP: I remember being fascinated by Vaseline when I was 14…I would sleep with it on, use a toothbrush on my lips to exfoliate them and then apply the Vaseline for smooth and plump lips in the morning.
BP: What inspired you to start the line?
NP: Growing up in Australia, my mom and sisters couldn’t get the right colors (especially in foundation) for their skin tone. The range of availability was so limited that I was inspired to create a line that embraced texture and color for all skin tones.
BP: What essential Napoleon products would you recommend to a makeup beginner?
NP: (1)**Auto Pilot BBB (Beauty Boosting Balm) Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (acts as a tinted moisturizer and primer all in one), (2) Magnifeyes Mascara, and, (3) Auto Pilot Lip Service lip balm. The combination will create a full face in three products!
**Note from the Beauty Professor…I’ve been using the BBB while on vacation and it is simply brilliant! Full review soon.
BP: Who is the target Napoleon consumer?
NP: One who believes in the glamour principle…they are trans-generational (age means nothing) and want to learn more. The Napoleon line serves as a makeup translation house for these consumers!
BP: Outside of your line (of course), what are some products that you love and use regularly?
NP: 1. Shiseido serums…the entire skin care line is innovative and scientifically advanced. 2. Ella Bache eye cream with lanolin 3. Gel for eyebrows…I am currently working on developing this for my own line…release to be announced!
BP: What places are your favorite to travel to and what do like to do in your free time?
NP: In terms of travel, I love Monemvasia, which is the Gibraltar of Greece. I also enjoy Palm Springs because of its unique, mid-century modern vibe. In my free time, I like watching documentaries and a few I watched recently include The Island President and In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye which is about the inner-workings of Vogue magazine.
BP: Where do you hope to see the line in 5 years?
NP: I hope to continue to have my line sold in luxurious, high-end retailers…places where people who can afford the innovation of effective ingredients go to shop.
BP: What is your favorite beauty technique?
NP: Mascara first. It provides the road map for the face and will likely keep you from applying unnecessary cosmetics!
BP: What designers are your favorite right now?
NP: I really like Clover Canyon, which is LA based…the line does amazing things with patterns. Also, Dion Lee, who is destined to be a future Chanel or Celine. Finally, Alex Perry (an Australia-based designer).
BP: What is one beauty trend you wish you women would avoid?
NP: Over-injection. I am not saying that Botox or fillers are bad, however. I just thing that people who do go that route should have limits and be timely in their approach (avoid “too much, too soon!)
BP: What is your favorite food?
NP: (Smiling) I haven’t been asked that question before! I love a real Greek salad…this includes fresh feta, tomato, red onion, olive oil, lemon and Kalamata olives…so many restaurants add lettuce but a real Greek salad doesn’t contain any!
BP: What is your favorite TV show?
NP: Magic City.
BP: What do you want people to think of when they hear the word Napoleon?
NP: Effortless…the line should make embracing beauty easy for women.
Interviewing Napoleon Perdis was an utterly enjoyable moment in my blogging career…his warm personality, genuine likability and love for what he does emanated through every answer! Upon noting that we share a mutual affinity for our iPhones, he generously shared a new app he’s been loving called BeFunky…we both agreed, it’s like Photoshop on steroids ; )
|Above: iPhone bonding.
All in all, Napoleon’s desire to beautify the world in a classic, effortless manner resonates with my personal aesthetic and I look forward to continuing to follow his prolific global career.
|Above: A glimpse of the bountiful Napoleon Perdis cosmetics line.
I also had the chance to experience some of the latest releases from the Napoleon line, including his Auto Pilot BBB Cream and products from the runway-friendly Nude Bar Phase II Collection (a collection with the word “nude” in it? I’m smitten, indeed). Full details will be live on the blog this week!
I extend an open thanks to Napoleon for being such a marvelous interviewee…it was a joy.
–The Beauty Professor