Australian makeup artist Napoleon Perdis stopped by NorthPark on Friday for a personal appearance at Neiman Marcus, to celebrate the arrival of his cosmetics line. Five Neimans locations in the U.S. will now carry an exclusive range of Napoleon Perdis products, and lucky for us, NorthPark is one of them. I had the opportunity to sit down with him and talk about spring beauty trends, his favorite products, and why he wants to move to Dallas. –Jessica Mitzner
Me: How do you see Dallas women, and how do you think they fit your brand?
Perdis: First of all, I have to say that there is a philosophy that there’s been a Texas-ization of the USA. So unlike many brands that go and set up in New York, I didn’t. I set up in Southern California, and then expanded my base with the South, because Texas is a pivotal center. The Dallas woman is actually my muse, and she drives me. She’s really polite. She’s really well put-together. She’s all about health and cleanliness, but yet she’s upwardly mobile and ambitious. She hasn’t lost the American dream. She still feels that America is pure and available to her.
Me: Is there anything you’ve seen that you think Dallas women are doing wrong in their beauty routine?
Perdis: All the myths are wrong. I go out, and I do not see big hair and big makeup. I actually see really sophisticated layering of new design and established design. I see a really sophisticated dining scene. I see a really sophisticated evening scene in Uptown. You see really beautiful people. Sophisticated, intelligent, chic–you don’t see that sometimes with the angry New Yorker, or the Californian. I don’t have any of those myths. [The Dallas woman] has been really cool to me. She’s been really adaptive to me, and it’s just been amazing.
Me: Do you have a favorite product in your line?
Perdis: That’s like asking me if I love one of my kids more. My Auto Pilot primer is like, legendary. Wherever we go in our distribution, that becomes one of the top five products. That’s my favorite. My second favorite is the foundation I use most on women, the Sheer Genius. I love the fact that it’s a medium coverage. You can blend it out. It’s really very easy to use. My third, of course, is the Mesmer-Eyes mascara. You could be lost in the wild, but if you put mascara on, you can still look fabulous. The eyes are so important.
Me: Are there any products that you think women don’t really know how to use well, or they should be using more?
Perdis: Yes. The most obvious and the most basic–they don’t know how to use lipstick well. They’re afraid to use lipstick. Audrey Hepburn used to say, “A girl can’t read that sort of thing without her lipstick,” [ed note: said by Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's] and Elizabeth Taylor wanted no one other than her having red lipstick on set, because it marks your territory–on a glass, on a cup, on a color, on a man. And women these days are so afraid of it. It looks so fabulous. You do a little mascara and a red lip, and you own the place. Put it on for twelve minutes, and let it stay. Start to own it, and walk around. You’ve got to give someone a chance. It’s the same thing.
Me: Are there any trends that you’re excited about for spring?
Perdis: First of all, I love the nicely defined brow. I love the lashes and faux-lashes that are back in a big way. Emerald green is a big color this year. Lips are in red, oxblood, or orange, still, or versions of that, which is quite beautiful. Contours are really big, blush is coming in a big way, and matte skin. So there are things on the runway that I like a lot, and we’ll use them on women. But I’m not going to say to a woman, “You should do this look.”
Are there any beauty looks that you think are “out” for the moment?
Perdis: I think multicolored eyes are out. I think these looks that were happening for a season, where you go one color to another, are really out. Garish, over-the-top–and if I see more glitter, I think I’m going to slap someone.
Me: Anything else you want to add?
Perdis: I’m trying to get my wife to move to Dallas. Seriously. I really like the pace here. I like that it’s a few hours between each coast. There are direct flights to Europe, which is really important to us. It’s a right-to-work state. It’s a business state. There are some really good things here.
Jessica Mitzner is a ShopTalk intern.