Beauty / Favourites

On orgasms and building a career with NARS Global Artistry Director Uzo

NARS Orgasm blush

On names that make you blush. And look perfectly flushed. The Global Artistry Director of NARS, Uzo has been with the brand for close to 22 years. She saw the development of the now famous and cult status product - the NARS Orgasm blush, has witnessed the industry change and has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry. Including Francoise Nars himself. 

Here, she shares how she got started in the industry and her advice on those who wish to follow in her steps. Her favourite beauty products to get her through the day and how she manages stress in a high pressure job.

How has makeup artistry changed since you began in the industry?

Social media has tremendously changed the makeup industry by introducing a completely new dimension to how we communicate with each other and conduct business. From the rise of the beauty influencer to introducing a new generation of self-trained artists to platforms such as Instagram that is a new destination where agencies, celebrities, fashion designers, and brands go when looking for new talent. The industry has totally changed for the better even though it is definitely more competitive. I think it is amazing that artists can connect with one another freely, control their narrative, curate their own aesthetic, and are more prolific creating beautiful work and content, compared to when I first started.

What do you find most difficult about the industry?

Recent statistics have shown that for the next few years there will continue to be a rise in the number of makeup artists that are being trained (or self-trained) seeking work- which is phenomenal, as that indicates individuals are pursuing makeup artistry as a bona-fide career choice. The other side of this is that there are now more makeup artists in the industry vying for the same jobs. It is now harder to get that dream job with a cosmetics retailer or makeup artist agency without knowing someone or having several years of experience, or being booked for a shoot due to fewer opportunities because the jobs are already filled.

The NARS Orgasm blush now comes in many iterations. Do you have any uses for this product aside from blush?

  • To lift and brighten the eye area, I love applying the blush higher up on the face, starting at the brow bone and sweeping the colour around the eye, toward the high points of the cheek bone
  • To create dramatic contouring effects for lighter skin tones instead of using a traditional bronzing shade
  • As a highlighter for deeper complexions
  • Also, as an eyeshadow
  • Or for a shimmer highlighter for lipstick

Why do you think the NARS Orgasm blush is so endlessly popular?

NARS Orgasm Blush is that one blush that everyone knows about because of its name but deservedly earned its iconic status due to its universal appeal. The blush’s pinky-peach hybrid shade is truly flattering on all skin tones because of the unique balance of warm and cool undertones. While the subtle golden shimmer subtly enhances the skin leaving it looking polished and luminous.

Getting started in the industry is so different today to when you started. What advice would you give someone who wants to become a makeup artist?

Find a mentor. It could be a makeup artist you know personally, a department store makeup artist, or a professional makeup artist you admire. Seek out a makeup artist who is in the position to give you invaluable career advice based on their experiences and know-how. Or actually introduce you to the right people. With the added influence of social media, makeup artists we admire are actually within reach, and following them on Instagram keeps you up-to-date not only on the latest beauty trends but keeps you informed of what is currently going on in the beauty industry.

What is your favourite part of being a makeup artist?

Collaborating with fashion designers or photographers who may provide an abstract idea, specific concept or reference for a beauty look for a fashion show or shoot. And being able to capture their vision and bring it to life is the ultimate form of flexing creative muscle.

What is your personal morning beauty routine?

I’m an early-riser. And usually get up between 6-7 am, check all email that are coming through from NY (NARS headquarters is in New York City but I’m based in Los Angeles).  Then try to squeeze in an early-morning treadmill run or Pilates session to get me energised. My day officially starts at 9 am. And when I can, I’ll prepare for myself a freshly blended vegetable juice, plain omelette and fruit.

My actual beauty routine varies according to the state of my skin. If I have any breakout, I go into detox mode, and start my routine with a quick mask (Fresh Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask or Beneath Your Mask Illuminate Clarifying Mask) that will deep clean and decongest, and a toner (NARS Multi-Action Hydrating Toner) that clarifies. My signature look is a dark smokey eye (NARS Duo shadow in Pandora) and a nude lip (NARS Sexual Healing Sheer Lipstick) which I usually pare down to a more natural look when I’m onset doing makeup for an editorial or getting a celeb ready for the red carpet.

Recently, the focus has shifted to keeping the makeup to a minimal and switching out my nude lip for a tinted NARS lip balm (Afterglow Lip Balm in Fast Lane) that keeps me looking pulled together for all my video conference meetings.

In what ways do you manage stress in your job?

A balanced work life that incorporates a regular work-out schedule, eating healthy and getting enough sleep. [This] really does wonders to keep the stress down to a minimum but this is not always the case. When there are days where I can’t go to a Spin or Pilates class because I have a very early call-time, go to bed late after extended hours on set for an editorial shoot, or on a long international flight, etc. scheduling in decadent massages at a local spa in Los Angeles every few weeks. To de-stress and ease tight muscles in my neck and shoulders have always been my go-to form of self-help.


The NARS Orgasm X collection is available exclusively in Mecca stores and