Forever Flawless, Napoleon Perdis

| 14 May , 2010 | 2 Replies

Tammerly Holmes, Pink Diva Beauty

To Australian beauty mavens, make-up artist, Napoleon Perdis is the ‘king of makeup’. The talented Australian makeup artist has done wonders to the makeup industry, launching Napoleon Perdis Cosmetics in 1995 (sold in concept stores and David Jones nationally as well as internationally) and launching Makeup Academy in the same year. More recently Napoleon launched NP Set cosmetics and has built a name for himself in the US.

Now, just when you think think he can’t stretch himself any further, Napoleon Perdis’ empire is about to get bigger with the launch of his first beauty book, Forever Flawless, released on March 29, 2010. The book contains real women – that’s right, no schkinny manniny’s with perfect facial structures. Forever Flawless is all about educating women of all ages and races to embrace their natural beauty, and enhancing it with a few easy-to-follow steps.

What I love most about this makeup book is Perdis’ unique approach of using both models and ‘everyday’ women to show readers that looks are achievable, and to show us that we are not the only ones who suffer issues like wrinkles, jowls, and pigmentation. I believe this is so important for readers because it gives them the confidence and assurance that not only can twenty-somethings wear colour, but so too can a woman in her fifties (and can I just say, all women in this book look stunning). I especially love page 178 as it shows an attractive lady with obvious pigmentation transformed in to a gorgeous glowing beauty, and it is obvious to see how much more confident she is.

It is interesting to learn about Perdis’ views on makeup application because he is certainly unique in his ways, such as applying mascara first, and lining the lips after applying lipstick. He also appears to be a firm believer in false eyelashes, as most of his models are wearing them. I am amazed with Perdis’ ability to contour and blend to perfection – the model on pages 190-191 looks totally transformed through sculpting (contouring and highlighting certain parts of the face to create a new face shape and to enhance facial features). If you purchase Forever Flawless just to learn more about sculpting, it will be worth it.

Being a fan of cosmetics and beauty products, I am a sucker for images of Napoleon Perdis’ cosmetics and skincare ranges which are splashed across the pages in the first half. My guess is that Perdis loves his best selling Auto Pilot Primer as much as his consumers because there are plenty of references to the product, and I learned of its many uses. The easy to follow how-to tutorials are accompanied by images and described in detail step-by-step. The beautiful images make the tutorials easy to understand and master, and create inspiration for the reader.

From a makeup artist’s perspective I enjoy studying images and comparing it to my own work. One of my favourite images is on page 69 – the colours are just divine! However, upon closer look, I can see shimmery fall-out under the left eye which is only me being critical as I am like this with my own work. On another image, I noticed a red lip is just a touch out of shape which again only I would notice. However, it is refreshing though to see that Napoleon Perdis is only human, and makes me appreciate his work all the more.

Napoleon Perdis
seems to like a ‘thicker’ or ‘fuller’ coverage than say makeup legends like Bobbi Brown or Kevyn Aucoin, and some images showcase makeovers that appear too bright, and unflattering to the model’s features and I don’t find it to be as realistic as it claims to be (such as the look of one model in the Forties chapter). I have always disliked Mosaic Bronzing Powder because the pigment is very strong, and appears an unflattering muddy-orange on the skin. Therefore I find the bronzer seen on most models in the book looks too harsh and not as natural as some would prefer – but it really boils down to personal preference.

While I enjoyed the section on makeup tools and how to use them, I feel this chapter needs more images of brushes so readers can identify the actual brush they are reading about, otherwise this section seems slightly confusing and a little overwhelming. Perdis could have better marketed pages 90 to 91, which does not display the products (it only talks about them), and being a visual book this does not help to effectively sell the products to readers.

I love how Forever Flawless breaks down different ages in decades such as twenties, thirties, forties, and so on but found instructions were a little hard to understand in the thirties chapter and I had to re-read to understand. I found the ’10 makeup must-have products for the fast-paced contradicts itself because the article contains 15 products and pretty much outline the whole makeup range which in my opinion is time consuming for the fast-paced.

Always a little stuck on finding the perfect red, I was keen to read Perdis’ thoughts but his tips were simply ‘words on the page’ to me. I cannot visualise examples of red for each group without images, so it made the read confusing and a little daunting. The section on foundations left me wondering if Minimal Makeup and Light Diffusing foundations will be discontinued as there is no reference to them, and for some looks Perdis suggests using ‘a light diffusing foundation’ without directly referring to his own, which is a shame because I love Light Diffusing Foundation.

Overall: There are plenty of handy pages full of beauty tips and trade secrets to keep reader’s skin and makeup looking their best. While there are a few looks that I found outlandish and would not personally create, most looks are really beautiful and easy to achieve. As a fellow makeup artist, I have certainly learnt a lot from reading Forever Flawless, such as Perdis’ tips and methods for application when using different formulas or products, and this has become my beauty bible.

I hope Napoleon Perdis launches another makeup book aimed to stimulate the minds and create inspiration for budding makeup artists because I love more challenging looks with bright lips and outlandish eye makeup for the fashion shoots I do. Perhaps he will – the sky is Napoleon ‘Auto-Pilot’ Perdis’ oyster!

My favourite tip: Apply concealer or a highlighter to the cupid’s bow of the lip to brighten the area, and make the lips appear fuller. I am still yet to try it but I certainly will do.

Available now Allen & Unwin RRP$39.99.

Look out for our interview with Napoleon very soon.


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Comments (2)

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  1. Kevin Aucoin was a genius with makeup.

    I’ve often found with Napoleon – with their ads/ campaigns promos – they don’t seem to put enough attention into their end product.  There are often grammatical or spelling errors too. 

  2. Great review. I’ve often thought the same thing about Napoleon’s approach to makeup. I mean the man himself wears a mask. I much prefer Kevin Aucoin’s Making Faces.

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