Listing Nick Barose's celebrity clients would probably take a whole page and wouldn't even serve to describe his success. The Bangkok-born make-up artist has made a name for himself at a young age, and his work has been featured in leading magazines, as well as ad campaigns for big companies like Sephora and Michael Kors.
Self-portrait by Nick Barose.
His passion for beauty and fashion has been there ever as long as he can remember. Growing up with two sisters and girl cousins, he would help them dress up their dolls and plan their outfits.
"My love for women and fashion came early on. My mother is also my inspiration and muse growing up - she always has great style with fashion and make-up. She's really good at understated, simple make-up that's not too much. Our relatives always asked my mother to do their make-up for big events like weddings, so I know I was definitely influenced by her," said Barose.
Now based in New York, he comes home to Thailand on holiday a few times a year, with no other reason than wanting to recharge and to get inspiration from what he calls "my part of the world".
Barose studied Environmental Design at Parsons the School of Design, and while he realised his parents had spent a lot of money for his education, he felt strongly attracted to the world of make-up and decided that it was something he wanted to do for a living.
"At first I had to lie about doing make-up for work, but one day my sister saw my name in Allure magazine. My mum asked me about it, but by that time, I was already working a lot and able to support myself financially, they finally approved," Barose recalled.
His mother is a fan of old Hollywood stars, so he grew up familiar with the images of beauty icons like Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn. He also thinks Greta Garbo is fascinating with those defined creases in the eyes, super long lashes and beautiful lips. Other beauty muses for Barose include Gong Li, Joan Chen, Isabella Rossellini and Ava Gardner.
What keeps Barose intrigued is how powerful make-up can be. The simplest thing like a good mascara and lipstick can transform a woman's appearance and therefore give her more confidence. "And then everything goes up from there. Confidence is key and sometimes all you need to make you feel good about yourself is the right lipstick," said Barose, adding that sometimes a person might look beautiful but not feel beautiful. His philosophy is to show the world how beautiful a woman looks, not just her make-up.
Simplicity never fails to amaze him, even now that he has come a long way from the days in college when he worked with his first make-up kit - some plastic art supplies box filled with pharmacy make-up or something he took from his mother. Today, he still refuses to believe that the more expensive items are better.
Another form beauty that inspires him is, as any of his Facebook friends can see from the pictures he posts, flowers. Flower photography is a hobby and the ultimate inspiration for his work. He is currently working on a photo series titled "Flowers after the Rain".
"It's a different point of view I'm trying to take with flowers. It's not colourful or bright but more muted and dark. Every time it rains, I love running out with a camera and capturing flowers that got beaten down by the rain and storms. It has more character and is more interesting to me than perfect, fresh flowers from the fancy florist. Everybody can buy that with money, I'm more interested in things you can't buy.
"Looking at the colour and texture of flowers inspires my make-up work as well. I can always find something interesting and unique nature has to offer and it'd be different from the latest runway looks which everyone can see on the internet now."
His photo series titled ‘Flowers after the Rain’.
Nick Barose’s mother.
Nick Barose’s fantastic five
Pressed powder, Chanel Les Beiges ‘‘It leaves a nice velvety finish to the skin that’s not too matte and gives natural-looking coverage, perfect for Thailand’s warm climate.’’
Eyelash Curler, Shiseido’s The Lash Curler ‘‘Curling your lashes changes the shape of your eyes and when lashes are curled you won’t need as much mascara to make the eyes pop. Most Asian lashes grow straight, too, so curling them really helps!’’
Foundation Brush, Mac #190 ‘‘Never put your foundation on with fingers—it’ll look streaky and blotchy. Invest in a good synthetic foundation brush and concealer brush. They last a long time and will save time in the morning, not to mention that your foundation and concealer will look much better than using fingers to blend.’’
Concealer Palette, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Palette ‘‘This has two colours so you can mix and match for a perfect concealing job. One concealer is never enough because on your face there are different tones in each area and if your match is not perfect it’ll look obvious.’’
Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer, Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint ‘‘This is my go-to for perfect, flawless looking skin in every light. It looks so natural and undetectable. Your skin looks great and never overdone.’’
About the author
- Writer: Napamon Roongwitoo
Position: Life Reporter