Bora loves these… because an artisan can't create beauty without perfect tools. The brushes in the Artisan range from NARS are handmade, cut and finished in Japan and have unique shapes which will make you reconsider your application technique for the better. There are four brushes in the range which are inspired by the tools and brushes used by Kabuki actors who traditionally did their own faces before a performance. The Yachiyo is a true multi-purpose face brush with a small tapered head. Good for blush, highlight, delicate powdering, contouring and blending, it does each job just as well. The Ita and Ita Kabuki are both for cheek colour but rather than the dense, round, fluffy blusher brushes which we've become accustomed to, the Ita and Ita Kabuki have flat slim heads. They pick up a smaller amount of product so you can stroke and sweep on cheek colour in a precise controlled way for a delicate wash of blush or bronzer. The enormous Botan brush is the Godzilla amongst brushes which is used as a final touch to your look, smoothing, buffing and blurring lines and edges for a seamless finish.
NARS has been around for a long time but its beautiful products still generate buzz, hype and desire. The line blends the energy, colour, and vibrancy of the namesake founding make-up maestro Francois Nars, who works, lives, and plays in the fashion capitals of Paris and New York (as well as his own island in the South Pacific). Unlike other make-up artist brands which dictate product use and set down rules and guidelines to dictate a rigid instructional recipe to make-up, NARS lets the products speak. Although Francois Nars' presence is felt in the line, it's lacking the ego, make-up clichés, and tired one-liners of other make-up artist brands. The inspirations for his colour collections are visible in the campaigns (check out Amber Valetta as Belle de Jour for spring 2010) or the shade names: Barbarella, Dolce Vita, Shanghai Express. Then there are the infamous dirty smutty names: if you want a Multiple Orgasm or the intense flush and glow in your cheeks which comes from Deep Throat then you can get it at NARS.
Whilst you might be able to get away with using your fingers to swipe on natural cream products, if you want a perfect, sculpted "Is she or isn't she?" make-up look you must invest in brushes. Like all true luxury items, there's something reassuring about handling a superior make-up brush; soft on the skin, perfectly shaped for its purpose, fitting just right in the hand, whilst always giving beautiful results despite being washed again and again. Add to that the artisan touch (master of his craft, honing practice, skill and instinct with a feel for his materials and tools so he is totally in control of his creation) and we should all aim to look as pretty as a picture. £37
Accentuate your features with broad bands of colour or buff in a powder blush for a more subtle skin tint with a velvet soft finish. Work Korres' Zea Mays Powder Blush, made with luminous corn starch powder, high into your cheek bones for an aetherial flush.