Frisky Q&A: Nick Verreos From “Project Runway Under The Gun” Wants Your Boyfriend To Wear Makeup

Once upon a time long ago in a land far away … well, okay, it was 2005 on Bravo … there was the world’s most friendly and energetic designer, Nick Verreos. Although he was eliminated on episode 10 (boo), his involvement on the show shot his line,  Nikolaki, co-designed with his partner David Paul, to stardom and now Katy Perry, Eva Longoria and Beyoncé  are all fans. It also made him a regular presence on fashion red carpets and a regular guest on the TV Guide Network’s “Fashion Wrap.”

Verreos hasn’t strayed far from “Project Runway,” though: this year, he joined the cast of  “Under The Gunn,” a “Project Runway” off-shoot hosted by the one and only Tim Gunn. The show brought Verreos, and other alums Mondo Guerra and Anya Ayoung-Chee, to mentor and coach teams comprised of 15 designers. Not surprisingly, Verreos was the winning mentor.

Part of the “Under The Gunn” final prize was to work with Benefit Cosmetics to create new uniforms for their in-store staff members. On Monday, Verreos and winner Oscar Garcia-Lopez hit up a Benefit store in SoHo to show off the brand’s adorable new apron (Sophie and I are wearing them above with Nick and Oscar!), kvell about his love for their products, and give his endorsement for the makeup-for-men trend.

Our chat, after the jump:

The Frisky: So tell me about how “Under The Gunn” got involved with Benefit Cosmetics?

Nick Verreos: We’re here to unveil the apron that Oscar Garcia-Lopez who won “Project Runway: Under The Gunn” — he designed an apron that Benefit cosmetic counter girls and boys will be wearing. As the winning mentor of “Under The Gunn,” I’m so excited to be here with Benefit and be part of the brand. As you can see, with my pink bow-tie, I’m very comfortable with that and I love the apron as well. But because of “Under The Gunn” I’ve also come out of the closet with my love of Benefit because you know, we had such downtime during “Under The Gunn” and we had a little Benefit vanity table filled with products and I started going in there just like a little kid and I’m like, “Wait a minute!” I tried the Gimme Brow and I was like “Ooh girl, this is good!”

What are your favorites?

POREfessional is my favorite, Hello Flawless — I love that powder as well, and then Gimme Brow. Love that. For my eyebrows, especially, to sort of fill them in. The POREfessional is something that can work for both men and women and evening out skin, I brought it home to my partner and he was like “Oh my God, wow!” I use a lot of it, I need a big, big tube for sure! I love Hoola, the bronzer. Even though I’m half Greek and half Latino so I’m kind of perpetually all bronze, but I like to get some help.

It’s not obvious you’re wearing bronzer? I would think a lot of men might feel self-conscious about wearing makeup. 

No, no not at all. I don’t even think it’s obvious at all. … [E]ither girlfriends or wives can introduce [makeup] to the guys. I think Benefit is not just a beauty line for just women. And their products — again, the POREfessional — that can really just easily blend in that can be used for men. Because especially, if men don’t want to wear makeup this is something that’s like “okay at least put this on,” you know? It will sort of just even you out. You don’t have to put on make-up after that, but this is good, and I think that’s a safe transition to maybe then opening Pandora’s box.

“Under The Gunn” was your second foray into reality TV?

Yeah, exactly. I did “Project Runway” season two, I always say, back in 1884. I’m always surprised when people say “Oh yeah I watched your season.” I was like “were you six!?” … I held out, I really worked at my career and I’ve done a lot of red carpet things — done the Oscars and a lot of TV stuff as well as done a lot of collections, so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go back to that environment of reality TV show. But it wasn’t until Tim Gunn called and said “We’re gonna do something different and I want you to be a mentor.” Out of almost 200 designers that have gone through “Project Runway,” he picked three and I was one of them.

Well, I can see why. You’re totally fun.

Oh, stop it! Thank you! I was honored. It was nice to not go back into the environment that Oscar went to where you’re sewing until midnight. For me, it was like “okay, I’ve been there, done that.” But you know, it was nicer to be a mentor and to guide him through the process.

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