Interview with Napoleon Perdis-Target Beauty Designer

by Amelia Old
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Australian makeup artist Napoleon Perdis launched a small makeup studio in 1992. In three short years, he created his own cosmetic line and quickly made a name for himself selling the cosmetics in 4,500 locations. Perdis was a special guest on Australia's Next Top Model and even had his own reality show called Get Your Face On. In 2007, Perdis partnered with Target and is now one of their top beauty designers. He took time with us to share his inspiration, his love of beauty and even a few  tips along the way. 


What inspired you to create your cosmetic line? It started with my mum. I distinctly remember being absolutely mesmerized by her beautification regime in the morning. When I was about 13, I started helping her get ready for evenings out with my father. It took some practice, but eventually I got the hang of it and soon enough I was doing makeup for all my family and friends.

Then my wife and I did makeup for brides while we were at university in Australia. I studied political science and business and I was on track to becoming an attorney, but I decided it wasn’t for me. My true passion was (and still is!) makeup. Makeup tells a story and empowers women to play with color, and that was what inspired me to become a makeup artist and start my own brand.


Share with us your experience on Australia's Top Model. I loved doing Australia’s Next Top Model! It was a lot of fun working with the girls and I ended up using a couple in some of my campaigns. I remain close friends with many of the judges like fashion designer Alex Perry.


How do you balance a growing brand and home life? Time, patience and creativity have helped me balance the two as has having an incredibly supportive wife and family.


What was the process to become a Target beauty designer? Who approached who and how excited were you to have your own line in a store that's quite a household name? Target approached me to become their first male makeup artist line in 2007, and we launched in 2008. I was initially attracted to Target because of their hugely successful design collaborations. We all witnessed the Missoni for Target debut — no one can resist a well-designed bargain!

With NP Set, it’s always been about high-speed glamour on the go. From day one, the collection has been about multi-purpose products, on-trend colors and plenty of skin-nourishing ingredients (and free of parabens).


What was your inspiration for your collection for Target? I was very much inspired by the desert resort town Palm Springs, California and that Cali-cool vibe. The So Cal girl likes chic yet effortless beauty so I emulated that lifestyle with no-fuss, easy-to-use products. You’ll also find that the packaging is decorated with stars and palm trees of Palm Springs. 


You spend your life helping others feel beautiful, how do you take care of yourself? I take care of myself by spending time with my loved ones and relaxing. I’ll spend time at my Palm Springs home with my wife and four daughters. We’ll relax by the pool or go shopping at the local antique shops (I’m a serious antique shopper). I also love a good massage!


How do you define beauty? I think beauty comes from a woman being comfortable in her own skin. Sophia Loren said it best: “Beauty is how you feel inside and it reflect and your eyes. It is not something physical.”


Any exciting projects you are working on? I’m finalizing product development for 2012 with my team. Lots of fabulous products in store for the coming year!


Any final words? Always use primer! Not enough women do. The perks of primer are amazing: skin appears instantly smoother, foundation lasts the distance and hydrates your complexion.

Primer is a real NP Set specialty and we’ve got every skin concerned covered from redness and dull skin to prominent pores. I’ve just added two more to the lineup: Calming Pre-Foundation Primer to minimize redness and Brightening Pre-Foundation Primer to brighten up dull skin. The after-effects are truly amazing. 


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