Only the contrasts are consistent: the combination of glamorously made-up faces juxtaposed against the models’ own t-shirts and robes, the pictures snapped in those final moments before they’ve changed into their high-fashion, photo-shoot wardrobe and their transformations from regular gals to glamazons are made complete. Perfectly set hair and powdered skin seem strangely out of place on coffee and smoke breaks, but in the raw light of the Polaroid lens it’s a refreshing counterbalance to the glossy finished images we’re so used to seeing. The photos form an extraordinary illustration of the immensely transformative power of makeup.
Francois Nars is another iconic makeup artist who’s carved out an unexpected place for himself behind the camera. In 1994 he founded NARS Cosmetics, and immediately began shooting the brand’s campaigns himself. He’s since published four photography books and remains the artistic director and photographer for his brand ~ all while managing to produce some of the best beauty products in the world. His latest campaign stars iconic British actress Charlotte Rampling and celebrates NARS’ special-edition Audacious lipstick collection, which was created in honor of their 20th anniversary and comprises 40 color-rich shades, each named after legendary women.
Inspired, we spent a day in the studio with makeup artist Christine Cherbonnier (one of New York’s most promising young beauty talents), hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons (appropriately using products by Oribe, the hairstylist with whom Francois Nars began his career collaborating), and photographer Bon Duke (another exciting up-and-comer, who at 26 has already shot for Prabal Gurung and Proenza Schouler), playing around with a few of our favorite Audacious shades. We did the glossy, flossy photos of course (and those are coming to you soon) ~ but first, a few candid, backstage Polaroids in honor of the legends we look up to and love.