MakeupMole 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!
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