Meet the Aussie Artist
Napoleon Perdis’ one man mission to “demystify and democratize makeup” began at the tender age of eight, when he helped his mother get gorgeous before an event. Perdis has come a long way, from Australia to Hollywood, California where he makes his home. Today, he is known as a makeup specialist for bridal and other major events, as well as the creator of Napoleon Perdis and NP Set Cosmetics. His girl-power brand NP Set is on the shelves of Targets nationwide and in Australia, where his trademark strong, fresh, fashion-inspired colors and makeup tips are now available en masse at an affordable price point. With the goal of education in mind, he founded The Napoleon Perdis Makeup Academy, which currently has eight campuses across Australia and New Zealand and one on Hollywood Boulevard in California.
What is your makeup story?
The tastemaker Diana Vreeland once said that “Elegance is refusal” and the same sentiment can be applied to makeup. Looking chic is about making the right choices. The other philosophy I espouse is that makeup completes the story you’re looking to tell. It’s the key to transformation, to a brand new you.
How does your Australian background influence your beauty practices?
For Australian women, foundation is about showing health – healthy skin, mind and mental attitude. In America, foundation represents a coverup. I’m really about allowing American women to uncover themselves and use this for empowerment and strength.
What has branching out into mass market via Target done for your brand?
Well mostly it’s increased our visibility, as being in over 1,700 Target stores around the country would. There is a connection between the two brands: sometimes when we’re developing a product for the prestige line we realize it might work better for NP Set and vice versa.
What makes the NP client a stand-out personality?
She loves makeup, she loves to experiment with different formulations and she’s not afraid to wear exuberant colors.
Was it personally important to you to have a 98% paraben-free line with organic benefits?
Parabens to me represent something a customer doesn’t want to see. It was easy for me to say, “We don’t really need this, can we change it?” The preservatives that I use are things that allow the makeup to be supported without the black cloud of parabens.
What are your go-to products?
NP Set Memory Foundation, NP Set Lip Stain and Plumper and Napoleon Perdis Whipped Dream Tan Enhancer.
Any beauty secrets to share?
I always say apply mascara first, it opens up the face and creates a map for your makeup. And never leave the house without primer on. It ensures your makeup lasts.
Who are your favorite celebrities to make-up?
I love working with young Hollywood starlets like Jessica Szohr and AnnaLynne McCord and Shenae Grimes from 90210. They’re fun, and up for anything.