François Nars is a skilled genius with an addictive line of product, so it was no surprise that NARS loyalists flocked to Barneys Madison Avenue flagship on Saturday to pick up a copy of his new book “Makeup Your Mind, Express Yourself.” Also on hand? His amazing new lacquer makeup box, Kuroko Kabuki Lip Coffret, inspired by Japanese Kabuki. Here he offers a few tricks of the trade for the holidays.

Bonjour François! The holidays are a great time to reinvent your maquillage and try something new. Suggestions?
Be bold, don’t be afraid and go for it! Use shimmery, gold shades and don’t forget to have fun. Try bold colors like a red lip (go with rich formulas as they are more dramatic). And use false eyelashes—it makes makeup more extreme. And if you don’t like it, take it off and try something else—makeup is not a commitment!

The best gift is a new lipstick. Rip it open and apply it straight away on Christmas morning! Voila! Give me a couple of great new lipstick suggestions.
A red lip is always classic, and Joyous Red is the perfect amber red color that will update any look. I also love Mascate Pure Matte Lipstick. This true red lipstick is both mysterious and dramatic. However, when it comes to choosing a red lipstick, there are no rules. Just go for what you are most attracted to.

Between the yule logs burning and the blazing tree lights (and that extra glass of Sherry), a gal can get quite flushed in the cheeks. Is this a good look?
Yes, in fact blush is one of my favorite products. I prefer blushes and creams that give skin a subtle flush or warm glow, which feels more festive and sexy right now. If you are feeling extra daring, play with textures that have shimmer. Blush that contains shimmer will catch the light.

You always have such great application tips. Give me one for the holidays.
If you need to go straight from work to night during the holidays, always start your day with less makeup—especially when it comes to products like liquid and powder foundation. You can then build your statement look for evening by adding a strong red lip and some mascara. And add a little powder to polish off the look. Just be light-handed when re-applying. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality and how you apply it.

Have you been to Gaga’s Workshop yet? Any maquillage tips for Gaga?
I love Lady Gaga. She is the most influential person right now. She is fun and extravagant. I actually created a limited-edition NARS Larger Than Life Lip Gloss called Born This Way.

- Simon Doonan

Go ahead, makeup your mind: Shop the entire NARS collection at Barneys New York.