Napoleon Perdis’ Makeup Rules to Live By

Napoleon Perdis is drafting his own Code Napoleon, a chain of essential makeup maxims to live by. The rules, which cover everything from the importance of priming to when to apply mascara, follow the cosmetic king’s beauty philosophy.

Napoleon, whose celebrity fans include Jessica Szohr, AnnaLynne McCord, Lindsay Lohan, Leighton Meester, Debra Messing, Amanda Bynes and more, not only lives by these rules but shares them with every woman he comes in contact with, whether she’s a model, celebrity or civilian. “My code is practical and easy to subscribe to,” he says. “I’ve been using these tips for many years but I saw the need to reiterate them again for my customers.”

1. Not to prime is a crime—for now and evermore

When Perdis launched his cult Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Primer over seven years ago, he had an inkling it would resonate with women everywhere. “It was a period when primers were not as readily available as they are now,” he says. “But ours has lasted the test of time.” The Auto Pilot version is the ultimate canvas for makeup application. It’s like a second skin that smoothes the complexion, mattifies the T-zone and ensures makeup lasts all-day long. Additionally, the primer is loaded with skin-rejuvenating ingredients including Chamomile, Yarrow Extract and Vitamin E.

2. This nation needs to rally around foundation

No woman should go without a stellar base, which is why we offer seven different formulations. No matter whether you prefer liquid, powder or aerosol, we have you covered in an array of flattering shades and finishes. “China Doll offers a velvety matte finish, Boudoir Mist creates a luminous glow, and Stick Foundation is the ultimate coverage,” says Perdis, listing three of the leading varieties. “Foundation is the one thing women should never skimp on. It’s a makeup must-have. Why? It obscures imperfections, counters discolouration and create a dazzling flawless look. Case closed.”

3. Mascara is black gold. Apply it first and last.

“Blame it on Sophia Loren, but I’m obsessed with long, luscious lashes, and I can’t imagine creating a look without mascara,” says Perdis. “That’s why we have 10 different wands to choose from. Whether it’s volumising, lengthening, priming or coloring you seek, I have the wand for you.” Kick off every look with mascara—it’s the perfect launch pad and influences the rest of your makeup. Finish with a second coat for an injection of Loren-worthy glamour. Black gold indeed.

4. Line your lips after applying lipstick—not before

It’s a common misconception that you should line the lips before you apply the colour—not in the world according to Napoleon. Apply your lipstick and then use a pencil to line around the edges. The liner will glide on smoother than it does on a bare mouth, leaving a more natural outline but still preventing the lip colour from bleeding. High precision liner seals your lips for long-lasting results. “Use my ‘outside in’ liner technique,” says Perdis. “Begin at the outside corner of your mouth and use a feathering motion to draw the line to the middle of the lips. Repeat on the other side.”

5. Refresh your makeup each season with vibrant new colours

Why not mix things up a little? Changing up a few colours in your makeup kit can boost the spirit and dramatically alter your look. If you veer towards neutrals on the eyes, try a bolt of electric blue or purple. If red is your go-to shade for lips, step out of your comfort zone and sample an orange lipstick like DéVine Goddess in Hara. Add colour or trade colours for sultry, statement eyes. “Try a metallic smokey, with brilliant shades infused with silver, bronze or gold,” says Perdis.

6. Never forget to bring out the celebrity in you

“Every woman has the right to experience the thrill of red carpet-inspired glamour,” says Perdis, who approaches each client as if she were a Hollywood starlet. The rise of social media has meant that daily life has become a photo opportunity—and who doesn’t want to put their best face forward on Facebook? What’s more, looking good invariably translates as feeling good. “I like to try and empower my clients with the most flattering looks in my book of tricks.” Discover your own knockout style, be confident and treat every day like you’re stepping on to a red carpet.

Napoleon Perdis prestige products are available at Napoleon Perdis Concept Stores, David Jones and over 650 pharmacies and salons throughout Australia, 1800 814 572,

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Love the staff, love their attention and their one to one contact. The fact I am a mature aged client does not phase them. The staff at Southland - Garth and his assist are remarkable. E.A.Leppin