Beauty francophiles, this is what you came for.

She is one of the most well-known names Parisienne fashion and beauty – and now, also the latest name to join the exclusive and illustrious group that have worked with NARS Cosmetics on a limited-run cosmetics collection. Get excited.

Charlotte Gainsbourg, French-British artist/actress/singer – now 45 would you believe – is also the first to admit that she’s never worn that much makeup. Not even in her 20s. “It was as if I didn’t know my face at that time,” she reflects. Adding:

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She describes her beauty aesthetic as keeping it natural, but “enough to conceal things and enhance other things here and there,” which is as French as it is Australian in its approach to beauty and exactly why you’ll love every piece bearing her name.

Her collection has just dropped into local beauty nirvana MECCA, but before you proceed into stores here’s what Gainsbourg wants to you to know about her makeup debut, her top picks from the collection for Aussie women, the beauty tips she got from her mama (who is, but the way, industry great and timeless beauty Jane Birkin) and her thoughts on ageing naturally.


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GRITTY PRETTY: Congratulations on your collaboration with NARS. What can we expect from the products?

CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG: It’s a collaboration that fits with my beauty philosophy of keeping it natural; enough to conceal things and enhance things here and there through touches of colour but have it all be translucent enough to still have your features shine through. All of my references in this collection had to do with personal memories of mine and emotions. It’s all products that I would wear.

GP: What are you first memories of using NARS?

CG: I’ve always loved the brand. The packaging is always so elegant and unusual. My sister Kate introduced me and as a photographer, she was enthusiastic about the products. Then, thanks to makeup artists I tried more and more products and loved them all. One of my favourites is the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dolce Vita.

GP: What/who was your main inspiration for the collection? And, what market research did you do (if any) on the woman who was going to wear your products?

CG: This was a very personal collection for me. It was first a question of evaluating what I wished for and what François [Nars, the eponymous founder of NARS Cosmetics] was expecting. He made me feel so comfortable; I could do anything I wanted as long as it came from me – something personal. So that’s what I did, created this collection around my exact beauty needs.


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GP: What are your top picks from the collection for Australian women?

CG: I can’t possibly choose for specific people but I will say my favourites are the Hydrating Glow Tint and The Multiples.

GP: Outside of makeup, can you name some of your favourite hair and skincare products?

CG: I wear Smith’s lip balm for every day. It’s something I don’t leave the house without. I also like Biologique Recherche, it’s a French skin care brand. I come back to it each time I wander off and try out new things.

GP: Tell us about working with the incredible François Nars. Did you learn anything new about him that might surprise people?

It was so great being able to work with him. François was so generous and really emphasised to me to be authentic and think about products I wanted for myself. Through that process I was able to see the inner workings of a makeup company. I had no idea how things were being made and all the research that went on, so to be a part of it and to be able to see him work, that was a great experience.


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