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NARS Cosmetics Guy Bourdin Collection

Author: Jesse Hill

The practice of licensing artists, movies, and characters to inspire makeup sets has been an ongoing trend seen widely in the beauty industry for the past several years. Recently, NARS cosmetics has taken this idea one step further with a limited edition Holiday collection inspired by edgy French fashion photographer Guy Bourdin. The images he created in the 60s-80s were edgy, colorful and sexually provocative. His work often explored the visual narratives of glamour, titilation and death. Contemporary photographers such as Mert and Marcus, Jean Baptiste Mondino, Nick Knight and David LaChapelle have admitted to being great admirers of his work. Bourdin was said to have inspired Francois Nars to become a makeup artist. 

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His visual color palette was vibrant and dynamic and appears to be a source of influence for many of the makeup shades utilized in the NARS cosmetics line. This makeup line follows in the tradition of artist collaborations with fashion icons by other companies including Mac Cosmetics’ Viva Glam collaborations with artists including Lady Gaga and Nicky Minaj. This particular collection is unique in that it is a departure from the traditional artist-inspired palette with the focus being on the artist behind the lens. The makeup palettes themselves incorporate Bourdin’s colorful vernacular in their shades.
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A recent example of Bourdin’s influence on contemporary photography. Terry Richardson 2012 ad for Aldo Shoes (Right). Guy Bourdin Shoe Story from 1979 (Left). Images via fashionista.com.