For starters, get inspired

“One thing that always drives my work forward is the narrative. I love designing something that is almost cinematic… (My inspiration for this collection) was this idea of a strange flower, and I wanted to create a range of makeup that has an ethereal and slightly surreal beauty to it. There’s an amazing photograph of Molly Ringwald taken by Sheila Metzner for Vanity Fair in 1984, where she’s surrounded by exotic flowers, that was the starting point for the inspiration.”

Do not overlook the blotting paper

“Blotting paper (launched for the first time by Nars under Strange Flowers)was something that my sister and all of her friends used in high school. It was something that was particularly useful in the summer. And actually, in places like Singapore, I think blotting paper is such a practical thing. The idea of providing a matte base without any kind of makeup is really beautiful. It leaves you a lot of space to play with, such as creating a beautiful focus on the lip or eyes. I love the idea of how you can just keep it in your handbag and apply it whenever. It’s a really chic way of touching up your face without the idea of piling on any makeup.”

Never underestimate the power of the right lipstick shade

“(I always remember how) my mother never really wore any makeup on her face, but she did wear very bright red lipstick… Specifically, I always remember her brightest, reddest lipstick, which is the inspiration for two of my lipstick colours Blood Flower (a bright cherry) and Carnal Carnation (a sheer raspberry)… I think having a really good shade of lipstick to call your own is great. No matter what the colour is, just that one shade can completely change your face. I think it’s a really wonderful thing.”

Play with unexpected colour contrasts

“The idea of contrast runs through all of my work – the aspect of the feminine juxtaposed with something slightly dark, which is an extension of my aesthetic. The colour palette (of Strange Flowers) combines delicate colours, which may be more associated with the feminine, such as lilacs and blush (seen in the lipsticks and slightly pearlescent blusher), but contrasts them with more unexpected hues like yellow or deep burgundies (find more of these in the eyeshadow palettes, which are highly pigmented with a velvety-matte finish).”

Let your mood detect your look

“I think my woman is a lot of different women, and she’s got a lot of different characters. I’ve worked with Nars for so many years (on my runway shows), and sometimes the makeup looks are very clean and fresh, and sometimes they are bold. It just depends on the mood of the collection.”

Strange Flowers covers six lipsticks, two blushes, two eyeshadow palettes, a lipstick palette, highlighting pencil and blotting paper, with all the colours in a mix of finishes and intensities for daring yet sophisticated experimentation.

The Poison Rose Lip Powder Palette ($80) boasts a primer and four shades of pinks and reds, with a matte or metallic finish, that can be layered for different effects.
This Multi-use Highlighting Pencil ($45) can be used on both eyes and cheeks.
The Loves Me Not Blush ($50) features a silky-soft pearlescent finish with a luxurious velvety formula.
The sheer raspberry-tinted Carnal Carnation lipstick ($40)
The Aqua Glow Cushion Compact case ($18) sports the same dreamy florals seen on the packaging of the entire line.
One of six lipsticks in a range of finishes, Bloodflower ($40) is a bright cherry inspired by the one the designer’s mother wore.
The vivid hues in the Night Garden Eyeshadow Palette ($80) include a satin forest green, matte brown and shimmering pale gold.

This story first appeared in Female’s April 2018 issue. 

Like this? Check out this new Japanese beauty bran in town that you need to know about, the new beauty products you need to try this month and everything you need to know before you go for a laser treatment