Artist Connor Tingley Lends His Creative Eye for Nars‘ Makeup Collection

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Los Angeles-based artist Connor Tingley is the latest addition to the Nars cosmetics family as the this year’s collaborator for their annual artist collection. Nars‘ adoration for avant-garde artistry in all forms has allowed the brand to partner with some of the most influential visual artists in history, including Andy Warhol, Man Ray, and now Tingley, transcending their creative flair to a new medium: makeup.

„When I’m watching a makeup artist, I see they’re accentuating parts of the face and chiseling things away, creating something different, larger, better. In a certain way, that’s what happens when you’re making a painting, you’re just reacting,“ Tingley tells CR.

The 25-year-old artist-on-the-rise creates works for a running list of star-studded clients like A$AP Rocky and Cindy Crawford when he’s not overseeing his self-run design company, Cool LLC, in his spare time.

„I’d started drawing from a very young age, three or four years old,“ he says. „That was my original course into art.“ Tingley recalls a particular fixation with Disney’s animated Pixar films around that time, fascinated by the characters he saw on the screen because „those characters didn’t exist in real life.“

Continuing his pursuit of artistry, Tingley credits his mentor, Disney animator and professor Sheldon Borenstein, who he practiced under for eight years while studying a variation of technical artists methods. „What was held at a high regard under [Borenstein’s] standards was being a good illustrator, and never really accepting anything less trying to be the best illustrator you can be,“ he says.“I slowly started to understand that the tools I had learned were a lot more expansive, and I became more attracted to what it means to be an artist.“

He stressed that complete creative control was non-negotiable for him on this project with Nars, conceiving everything from the logo to the shades (and the shade names) to the packaging.

„François [Nars] said, ‚Connor, you can do anything you want. This is an artist collaboration—this is where we get to stretch our wing,’” he laughed, referring to his desire to create a lipstick shade in bright green.

The capsule includes four exclusive lip shades—all part of the cosmetics giant’s creamy Audacious line. „This is my fun color,“ Tingley says, grabbing a deep, berry-colored shade called Madura. He added that the hue has become a surprising favorite among people in his life who he admires, including Marilyn Manson and Rick Owens’ wife Michéle Lamy, who alternatively used the shade around her eyes.

Nars’ classic velvet matte lip pencils are also featured in the collection as a set of four warm pinks and reds, each of which is enclosed in a mirrored, cigarette-style case. The shimmery eyeshadow palette (Tingley’s favorite of the collection) offers six neutral shades perfect for recreating the perfect sultry smokey eye inspired by this season’s runway looks.

In terms of the packaging, Tingley was able to incorporate his logo into the lineup, imaged via India ink and a calligraphy brush. „I didn’t approach this like I wanted to just put art on packaging,“ he says. The sleek, silver-mirrored packaging is contrasted by illustrations of faces that appear as if they were pulled straight from a sketchbook. The idea, Tingley says, was to juxtapose the aesthetic of the packaging with the colorful shades. „You open it up and realize everything is so wearable in there, but the outside is so bizarre,“ he says.

The collection launches today at Nars stores and online.

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