Fabulous for 15 minutes: Make-up collections celebrate Andy Warhol and Marilyn Monroe
Two new make-up collections celebrate Andy Warhol and Marilyn Monroe. Get ready for your close-up, says Rebecca Gonsalves
Given our seemingly never-ending obsession with instant celebrity and fleeting fame, it is somewhat satisfying that the artist who so accurately predicted this turn of events remains so influential a force even after his death.
Andy Warhol, the man who in 1968 predicted that "in the future, everybody will be world-famous for 15 minutes", is the inspiration for a new make-up collection from Nars. Warhol's pop-art, pop-culture body of work, rife with colour, glamour and of course commerce, is referenced both overtly in packaging and even palettes, as well as more discreetly in sub-collections such as "Edie", named for his muse Edie Sedgwick.
"I've been a fan of Andy's work since… forever, it feels like!" says François Nars, the brand's founder. "His artistic point of view has been so informative in my work – as a make-up artist, then a photographer and as someone who's built a brand around an art form.
"[Warhol's] silk screens are, of course, totally iconic, their influence is everywhere. We were even able to match several shades to colours from his paintings. But we captured so much more than what he put on a canvas – his spirit is everywhere in the collection."
Of Warhol's screen-prints, perhaps the most recognisable is that of Marilyn Monroe – taken from a publicity photograph of the 1953 film Niagara – completed in 1962 after the actress' death. Of course, Monroe's legacy withstands the 50 years since her death arguably because of the glamorous persona she projected rather than her body of work as an actress.
Marilyn Monroe by MAC Cosmetics celebrates the blonde's "timeless, vintage beauty", says Terry Barber, director of make-up artistry for the brand. "But [the collection is] also incredibly fitting for a modern woman's beauty wardrobe. Marilyn, the ultimate statement in glamour, is as relevant today as she ever was." Images from the 1956 black and white photographic series "The Black Sitting" by Milton George are used on packaging, while highly pigmented red lipsticks are given a matte texture and eyeshadows are "lingerie" toned.
The use of colour is primary to the Warhol collection too. "Colour is so important," adds Nars. "I like colours that are honest – I think that the shade you see in the pan or the tube is how the colour should appear on your face, I'm always pushing our chemists to add more pigment. That's why I love the saturated colours Andy used in his work – reds, blues, yellows. He was unafraid to be bold."
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