Los Angeles-based artist Connor Tingley is very good at collaborating. He’s been on set with A$AP Rocky, created album artwork for Kid Ink, and gone on tour with Kanye West (North’s dad). François Nars is very good at collaborating too, especially with artists, so NARS’s new collab with Tingley, NARS x Connor Tingley, makes perfect sense.
“I first met François in 2016 after he saw a Russian Vogue cover shoot that I worked on,” Tingley told the Cut. “He contacted me and was very open to collaborating. I’m not some ‘known’ artist on Instagram with a bunch of followers or anything like that, so for him to approach me and say, I really want to work you, was heartwarming. It all felt very organic.”
The limited-edition collection, which just launched today, is made up of four Audacious Lipsticks, a six-shade eye shadow palette, and a set of four Velvet Matte Lip Pencils. Nars gave Tingley full creative control — Tingley designed every shade, named each one, and created the abstract drawings on the sleek, timeless packaging the products are housed in.
“I knew I wanted to talk about the torture of beauty,” Tingley said, referring to the the abstract faces in particular. “I was inspired by the struggle of striving for beauty, especially now, when things are always changing so rapidly.” You can also literally see yourself in the reflective packaging where the faces live, which Tingley explains was intentional. “The faces are torturous, but they’re still very human. The collection is very much about wabi-sabi, imperfection, and reflecting on that.” Interactive introspection aside, the collection is infused with some of Tingley, too.
The debris his sketches picked up from around his studio made it into the final design, and the shade names shout-out his home base of Los Angeles and its Spanish-speaking population (Amontillado, a shortening of his favorite Edgar Allan Poe story; Canoga, based on where his studio is based.) Now having designed beauty products, Tingley has one he identifies with most. “I would be a very, very sheer lipstick, because they still show who you are underneath. They polish things up, but still shows the creases and the cracks and who you are as a person.”
Marilyn Manson (an early fan of the collection), on the other hand, would probably be the purple Madura lipstick. Tingley passed him the shade prelaunch and Manson loved it so much he wore it on a shoot and asked to keep it forever. If that doesn’t inspire you to start drawing on your face with some limited-edition newness, perhaps this video of Tingley at work will.
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