Make-up stylist Jane Richardson speaks about her artistry, her obsessions and the brand she loves most.
YOU don’t have to be conventionally beautiful to be beautiful, said Jane Richardson, international lead make-up stylist for NARS. “I prefer to work on faces that are different, that have a stronger element in them.”
While she has come across her fair share of drop dead gorgeous women like Diane Kruger, Mena Suvari and British model Holly Willoughby throughout her illustrious career, it was Tilda Swinton’s adrogynous features that captivated her the most.
“She has the most incredibly interesting face and she’s just so graceful,” gushed Richardson, referring to the time she worked on Swinton for a critically acclaimed one-woman-runway show called The Impossible Wardrobe at Au Palais de Tokyo in Paris in 2012. An unorthodox beauty herself, with flaming burgundy hair and an icy cerulean stare, the London-based Richardson was handpicked by NARS founder Francois Nars as they share the same philosophy.
“A lot of women are so busy trying to conform to the images they see and put on make-up like everyone else. Don’t try and make (what you have) different. Be who you are,” said Richardson, 40, who was in Kuala Lumpur recently.
This paint-pot magician wasted no time wowing her beauty industry peers with her ubiquitous presence in fashion publications like Elle, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and behind the scenes at runway shows. As an international lead make-up stylist, Richardson works by Nars’ personal ethos of “Don’t be so serious, it’s only make-up”.
Unique to NARS, “wardrobing” is a technique used to help women understand make-up. The concept was explained by Richardson: “You need your ‘Wardrobe Basics’ – the things that you really can’t do without. Then you need your ‘Modern Classics’, which are all about the things that suit you – those that bring out your eyes, your hair, your skin tone, or that simply work with your bone structure. Then, there are the ‘Fashion Accessories’ which will ensure that you are not going to wear the same look for the next 20 years.”
She believes the key to improving oneself is to break a few rules once in a while. “When we’re learning to do make-up, you’re breaking it down into stages and steps. But at some point, you have to relax and not take it so seriously. If not, you won’t be playful, you’ll be wearing the same thing over and over.”
Richardson is never spotted without bright lips (“It’s the DNA of the company”) but, true to her words, her obsession with colours and textures runs the gamut with each passing season.
“I’ve worn a lot of reds, but now, I’m into pink,” she said mischievously. “I’m now obsessed with 413 Bleaker; I think I need therapy! But today, I’ve mixed it with Tim and Fire – the new mandarin red – for a Spring touch,” she said.
According to Nars himself, the palette “mimics an island getaway: rich, glistening, and saturated from the sun”. Inspired by Helmut Newton’s photography from Monte Carlo, the collection features a range of shades and finishes “from shimmering sheer to bold washes of colour”.
The resulting look, which can be spotted on model Toni Garrn in the spring 2014 ad campaign, is “very relaxed yet glamorous”.
To recreate Garrn’s look, Richardson said on should start at the base, with NARS’ complexion products. “The lovely thing about these is that they are designed to manipulate how light falls onto the skin. It’s like having your own lighting crew follow you around.”
Richardson, who uses NARS’ Multi-protector primer SPF 30 herself, said it’s the one thing she cannot live without. “I wish I used SPF earlier in my life. I burn very easily, so I use it every day even if I don’t wear any make-up. It gives you a pearlescent sheen.”
Meanwhile, NARS will be celebrating its 20th anniversary next year and Richardson – who recently got a sneak peek of what’s in store – cannot contain her excitement.
“It doesn’t matter how long I’ve worked for them, I still get excited when I see the new collection. You still want it. You know it’s going to get bigger,” she concluded.