NARS is one of those brands that I am increasingly falling in love with. Previously, I have only reviewed one of their products, the Dogon Eye Duo, but I am hoping to explore the brand a lot more because what I have tried, I love. I think their newest release, a make-up manual to end all make-up manuals, will give me the push I need to embrace this brand the way it deserves to be.

Makeup Your Mind: Express Yourself is the second release in the Makeup Your Mind book series by François Nars. It is safe to say that this one has been long awaited after this first book, Makeup Your Mind, was released back in 2001.

The hardcover book comes in a plastic sleeve for storage

About The Book

This book/manual is fascinating to a beauty lover such as I. The few facts I have been privy to just made me want to give the man a standing ovation, if I had actually met him. Here are just a few things you need to know about this book:

  • Every one of the women and men (YES, men!) featured in this book are real-life people, not models or actors or people used to having their photo taken.
  • François Nars, the talented man that he is, shot the entire book himself. Every photo you see, he took it.
  • Each look was created by François Nars simply staring at the face of each ‘model’ and applying something that completely complimented them. Nothing was pre-determined. There were no set ideas, i.e.. the book must have 4 smokey-eye looks, etc.
  • The book is divided into three primary categories: Play, Perfect and Polish. Each section is designed for the different stages we as humans move through in life and provides looks to compliment that.

Uniquely, this book doesn’t just sprout instructions at you and expect you to imagine what he means. It actually features clear overlays for EVERY look, and shows you exactly what products he used and where they were placed. Each section is then finished off with a complete, step-by-step rundown for each look so you can follow and recreate it.

One of the real-life ‘models’ became the cover shot

What I Say ….

If you couldn’t tell from my above explanation, I adore this book. I know how useless I am at applying my own make-up and this book really holds my hand. At the same time, there are so many looks I can work towards when I get a bit better at application. It is a book that beginners and pro alike can use.

I usually hate introductions at the beginning of books because they never seem to give any useful information. The beginning pages of this book is full of useful advice on skincare, prepping for makeup and some great beauty quotes.

Each page has a clear overlay to show how the look is created

What NARS Say ….

Makeup Your Mind: Express Yourself, unites Nars’ two passions, makeup and photography, to spectacular effect. Taking the before-and-after concept to the next level, he turns the lens on real women and men to reveal the powerful role of beauty in personal transformation. Insightful techniques combine with vivid portraits and acetate diagrams of François’ instructional sketches, making this volume today’s definitive modern makeup manual.


A sneak peak at some of the looks in the book

Source: NARS

The Limited Edition Makeup Sets

To coincide with the release of this epic manual, NARS have released three very special limited edition sets. Unfortunately these sets do not include the book, which when I first looked at the below images I thought they did. So buyer beware, the below prices are just for the makeup but they are awesome value. In some cases it is almost up to 50% what it would cost for the individual items.


AU $115 / US $65 / UK £47

Cult classic hues and a mix of modern textures and formulas. There are no boundaries, only the most sumptuous color imaginable. Features Roman Holiday Lipstick, Bangkok Pure Matte Lipstick, Dolce Vita Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, and Orgasm Lip Gloss.


AU $125 / US $75 / UK £55

Turn a new cheek to a shimmering highlights and pops of color. Go beautifully bronzed one day and try a flush of blush the next. Features Limited Edition Orgasm / Angelika Blush Duo, Copacabana Multiple and Laguna Bronzing Powder.


AU $150 / US $85 / UK £65

All the essentials for subtle, smoked, or shimmering effects to ensure all eyes are on you. Features an exclusive Makeup Your Mind eyeshadow palette (shades: Abyssinia, Silk Road II, Strada, Galapagos, Fuji, Brumes II), medium sized Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, medium sized Eye Makeup Remover, and Larger Than Life Volumizing Mascara.


NARS Makeup Your Mind: Express Yourself book is now on sale. There is also a dedicated website where you can show off your looks, enter competitions and get even more insight into the manual.

AU $59.95 from Mecca Cosmetica

US $45 from NARS Cosmetics

UK £65 from NARS Cosmetics UK

What is your take on makeup manuals and books? Do you have any? Does this one from NARS peak your interest? Let me know by commenting below!


All images are the property of The Plastic Diaries, excluding press release images. Use of these images without written consent is prohibited. If you wish to use them please contact me to request permission. Images are taken in natural light and remain unedited, unless otherwise stated.

This product was provided for consideration, in accordance with our Disclosure Policy. All opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are my own and remain 100% uninfluenced.


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