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Artistry Q&A With Lena Koro

March 2nd, 2021

March 2nd, 2021

To celebrate the launch of the NARS Claudette Collection, inspired by Francois Nars’ mother and muse Claudette, NARS’s Global Artistic Director Lena Koro talks though the first time she met Francois Nars’s mother and the moment she remembers doing her makeup.  She also talks us through some technique and specific product questions.

Lena Koro

When was the first time you met Claudette?

The first time I met Claudette was when I was assisting Mr Nars backstage at a Versace Fashion Show in Milan in the early ’90s.  He invited his parents to see the show and I was so nervous, but excited to meet them.  When I met Claudette, I was speechless.  She is so stunning and beautiful from head to toe.

Claudette Nars

When was the first time you did Claudette’s makeup? What was the occasion?

I can’t recall exactly when I did Claudette’s makeup for the first time, but it was one of my favourite experiences.  After watching how Mr Nars does her makeup for some time, he finally asked if I wanted to do her makeup.  Claudette is everything to Mr Nars, so it was a huge moment for me and I felt very honoured.  Any time we spent the holidays together, with his parents, we would get to treat every day with Claudette like a photoshoot.  It’s been around seven to ten years since I’ve started regularly doing her makeup and I still love it to this day; it’s one of my favourite things to do.

How was working on this particular campaign with Claudette?

A dream come true – it made the collection even more special to me!  She is such an elegant, beautiful and intelligent person and she has a wonderful sense of humour.  At first, she was nervous to be a model, but became super confident towards the end.  She’s a natural and really knows how to turn it on for the camera.

Did you collaborate with Mr Nars to create this makeup look?

Yes, it was a close collaboration with Mr Nars on the makeup look.

What is your favourite product in the collection?

I love the shades and textures of the Claudette and Ginette Audacious Lipsticks, but my favourite product from the Claudette collection is the St. Germain des Prés Eyeshadow Palette.  I can use this palette every day and the packaging is everything.  It’s such a beautiful collection.

What do you like most about the collection?  What is your favourite pattern featured on the packaging?

The patterns on the packaging are what I like most about the collection, especially the heart pattern.  It gives me 1970’s vibes, the era in fashion I love the most.  The textures, colours and finishes can work on anyone and across all age ranges.  The textures are very pigmented yet light and the eyeshadows have a more powdery, light texture, so you can go for sheer coverage or build on it.

What do you love most about the eyeshadow palette?  What are your favourite colours in it?

I love how versatile and universally flattering the eyeshadow palette is for everyday and everyone, especially the brown shades.  It’s a great, basic palette for day and night.  You can pair this palette with deep shades for a smokey eyeshadow look or mix with eyeliner pencils to create a night-time look.  My favourite shade for everyday wear is L’éphémère and my favourite shade for smokey eyes is Libération.

What is the best way to apply the eyeshadows?

You can use either your fingers or a brush, whatever you feel most comfortable with.  If you want a lightweight finish, use a big brush and apply lightly.  Using your fingers is helpful when you want more control and thicker pigmentation.  I recommend using your finger for shades with shimmer finishes like Envie, Joie and Rue de Tournon, so you get more pigment and higher impact with just one stroke.  For mature skin, I recommend targeting specific parts of your eyes to add shimmer instead of all-over.  As Mr Nars says, “there are no rules in makeup,” so do whatever makes you feel confident!

How do you recommend creating a daytime look/night-time look with this collection?

For a night-time look, I recommend a red lip like the Claudette Audacious Lipstick and a smokey eyeshadow look using darker shades from the St. Germain des Prés Eyeshadow Palette such as Libération. For a pop of shimmer, use the shade Envie to highlight right below the eyebrows, in the middle of your eyelid, or the inner corner of your eye. Finish it off by using the Claudette Cheek Duo and applying to your cheeks using a finger or brush.

Audacious Sheer Matte Lipstick in Anaïs

What do you like about the new Audacious Lipstick Sheer Matte formula? Which shade is your favourite and why?

I love the powder finish of the new Audacious Sheer Matte Lipsticks because they’re creamy, not heavy.  You can blend them on your cheeks and tap your fingers to make the coverage more sheer.  My favourite Audacious Sheer Matte Lipstick shade is Anaïs.  It’s a great light beige-nude for everyday use.  For going out, my favourites are the Audacious Lipsticks in Claudette or Ginette.  Ginette and Léa are great shades for blush and a tiny bit goes a long way.  I recommend applying the lipstick on your palm and diluting the shade using your fingers first before applying to the apples of your cheeks.

What makes the Blush Duo in this collection so special?

The one product Claudette will never leave the house without is blush and Ninotchka was the original blush shade that Mr Nars created around 25 years ago when he first started NARS.  Ninotchka is a chic shade that can be used for blush or contouring while the matte and peachy tones of Croisette can be used as a blush and help brighten the face for a fresh look.

The Claudette Collection is available from narscosmetics, NARS stockists and e-tailers.

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By Sarah Dann

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