The Interview – Serge Lutens

Serge-LutensMakeupMole has been incredibly fortunate to have been granted a rare interview from world-famous perfumer and makeup artist, Serge Lutens. After more than forty years in the beauty business he has some rare insights to offer. I am very grateful to Mr Lutens for taking the time to answer my questions.

1) Aside from Serge Lutens Beaute, what are you working on at the moment?

To tell you the truth, to me it doesn’t even feel like working! Let’s just say things happened along the way. It’s not a job as such but the identity of a moment.

2) What was your favourite makeup job ever?

I would say that for me, makeup was not a choice, but it presented itself to me, and it transformed my imagination in that instant. Makeup is the medium that permitted me to create these images that represent an expression. The makeup is the passage from what is real to what is imagined, the passage of the white fixed by the powder…when the skin is transformed into stone. After this step, the rest is a continuation of the story and the way it is inscribed on the skin.

3) What was your worst makeup job ever?

The moment I was mistaken for a makeup artist!

4) Top 5 products you would recommend?

Who am I to recommend something? Makeup for me is not central. It is one of the things of which I construct my artistic vision. The product could be coal, flour or even a mask (Japanese Noh theatre remains one of the most beautiful in the world!) What interests me in the end is the ritual and what it means. The expression is more important than the instrument that creates it: the paint doesn’t make the painting or the pretty pen a writer!Serge-Lutens-makeup

5) If you could tell women to do one thing differently with their makeup, then what would it be?

If it is makeup for makeup’s sake then it is of no interest to me. If the makeup represents something one wants to express in that instant, it becomes an instrument and this is interesting, but not to be made up is also makeup in itself!

6) How is it different to when you started?

That’s a long time ago. By chance I was working in a hair salon, and two years later on a busy day, I cut a strand of hair that was for me, a rupture with what was surrounding me, and “I cut short” my hair career. This was an awakening!

7) Which work are you most proud of?
It has never been about work for me. I have made things and said things and written things – all have been instruments but none have been central.

8) What do you love doing in your spare time?

Free time at home is used doing the same things – I am always searching for something! I am permanently active. I don’t read books or watch films to distract myself because I am always searching for something.

Serge Lutens Beaute is available in the UK at Harvey Nichols London and in the US at Barneys New York.

Check out my review of Serge Lutens’s fabulous  lipstick here

In My Makeup Kit: Serge Lutens Lipstick No1

Serge Lutins Lipstick No1There’s a new diva in town, and she’s one classy broad. She’s the deepest, most perfect, devilish red, she’s like Louboutins for your lips – pop her on, and the night is yours for the taking. You can’t help but be a femme fatale in this gorgeous, Rita Hayworth 1940’s power pin-up shade – honestly I could go on all day about my new favourite lipstick – Serge Lutens No. 1.

Densely pigmented and yet really creamy, this is no ordinary lipstick – it feels like a Rolls Royce with its heavy black lacquer packaging, yet it’s small size bullet is tiny enough to go in the smallest evening clutch. And I love that its sharply beveled edges make drawing the perfect lip line a total cinch – no lip liner required. It’s official – this new(ish) range of makeup is my new obsession.

For the uninitiated Serge Lutens is an icon amongst makeup artists, and this perfect jewel of a makeup line really is the culmination of years of obsessive perfection to detail. He’s distilled the essential makeup items into one tiny yet mighty collection, and from what I’ve tried so far I’m in love. It is definitely an über-prestige line though, so if you’re looking for a quick cheap fix this is going to be right out of your league. However if you’re looking for an amazing piece of makeup that will make your heart sing – well she’s only a Harvey Nichols away.

Serge Lutens Beaute is available in the UK exclusively from Harvey Nichols London, and in the US can be found at Barneys.