Photo by Olivia Locher.

Although Marc Jacobs' Spring 2017 show started promptly at 2 p.m., Francois Nars was awake much earlier. “I had to be here at 7, and I am so not a morning person," the makeup artist said backstage at the designer's show. “Fortunately, I have a great team.”

With the swaths of dreadlocks permeating the dressing room, the makeup guru was upfront about stating the obvious (“The whole show is more about the hair”), but that didn’t mean he could sit back and leisurely sip his matcha. Nars and his team complimented the rainbows of dreadlocks with beautiful pops of pastel shadows, like lavender, blue and burgundy, coating the eyelids. “Marc always wants a bit of reality in the girls’ makeup,” said Nars, who greased up the shadow to make them appear a bit more lived in. Fake lashes in brown completed the eye look on both upper and lower lids, and all else went minimal (foundation and gloss) or skipped altogether (blush). We asked Nars about how he came to these color choices, as well as other choices.

What did you think for the makeup when you saw the dreads?
It’s very rare. I never get confused, but when I saw racks of hair as far as the eye could see, I thought, ‘What am I going to do??? That kind of threw me off a little bit. If I do no makeup, it’ll look like nothing, but I don’t want it to look cheap. How do we make a statement?’ Then of course, as soon as Marc dresses them, and they put on those boots and those little shorts, then you start getting into it. You say, ‘Ok, I can see the fabrics now.’ And you build up a look. It’s a good balance. It doesn’t overtake the hair, and at the same time, it looks correct.

Do you have a show-day ritual?
I try to go to bed early the night before, which is a nightmare for me because I’m not a morning person. I hate mornings! So the fact that Marc’s show was switched to 2pm [from its usual evening time] completely threw off my rhythm. I totally hated it!

Do you have a morning ritual the day of?
I have my breakfast of oatmeal and matcha tea, either from Japan or there’s a place in L.A. that I love called the Matcha Box. They make a great organic matcha tea. I have like 100 boxes of it. I have two matcha teas a day. Then I take my shower and start waking up.

Do you have a worst backstage memory?
There was one Marc show a few years ago where some girls were not ready. I mean, they were close to not being ready, but it was probably only something I noticed. The makeup wasn’t as perfect as I wanted it to be and Marc still wanted to start the show on time. I guess the worst nightmare is when the girls aren’t ready.

What is your backstage uniform?
Black, no matter what.

Francois Nars backstage at Marc Jacobs Fall 2016.

Photo by Getty Images

Music or no music?
I like music, yeah. I like Marc’s music. He has all the right people who choose the right music.

Do you get stressed out backstage?
Maybe back when I did 20 shows and also doing Milan and Paris, sure. But now that I just do Marc, I’m a bit more laid back. We always know it will be fine. We always find a way. Guido [Palau, the hairstylist] was actually nervous because five or ten girls were still at Marc doing fittings and Guido needs a lot of time to do this hair. But it all worked out, as you saw.

Shower gel of choice?
Hermes Mandarine Ambree, and I like all the Annick Goutal ones.

What fragrance do you wear?
Oh my god, if you came to my house, you wouldn’t believe it. I have probably 60 bottles, and I change all the time.

What determines which one you pick each day?
My mood of the day, usually. What I feel like wearing. I’m always asked, in general, “What are you wearing?” So I think I have a pretty good instinct with fragrance.

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