When talking about modern cosmetic brands, it is inevitable that we hold one brand in high-esteem; NARS. The French brand is a reasonably recent cosmetics and skincare company, launched in 1994. Currently headquartered in France, NARS started its business in New York City and has since expanded to several countries around the globe.
Francois Nars, the founder of NARS, is regarded as one of the most influential beauty artists in the world. The French makeup artist and photographer has recently become an iconic figure in the beauty industry for young aesthetic enthusiasts. With Nars’ innovative thinking and his high-style, unique approaches towards the world of fashion, NARS continues to gather a fan base of awestruck followers.
Part of its reputation owes to the fact that for nearly two decades, NARS has been a subsidiary of the multinational Japanese cosmetic brand Shiseido. Shiseido is one of the oldest and most well-known companies in the beauty industry, excelling in every personal care category from skincare to fragrances. NARS’ association with Shiseido has given it both a positive reputation and a loyal customer base.
Nars’ Ever-Growing Ambition
Francois Nars claims himself a natural beauty enthusiast. Born in Tarbes, a southwestern commune in France, 1959, Nars’ mother was a lover of designer clothes and had a whole collection of them. Her artistic views prompted Nars’ interest, and his talents surfaced when he was still a kid.
Nars would later describe himself as being obsessed with capturing beautiful imagery onto paper. His favorite magazine from his childhood was the French Vogue, wherein he would witness and admire the latest trends in fashion. He was so fascinated by the enticing aspects of art that he would regularly sketch the faces of personalities and models that he had seen.
As a teenager, Nars’s greatest inspirations were the 1970s beauty representatives, ranging from hairstylists and makeup artists to supermodels and TV stars. Nars grew up in an era when the art of beauty and its many implications on an average individual were still being explored. There was a select group of individuals who were regarded by most of the world as the fashion leaders of their time.
Giving a New Look to Fashion
Yves Saint Laurent, a brilliant visionary and French fashion designer, was one of the many personalities of the 20th century who motivated and imbued Nars with the drive to pursue a similar career for himself. His career began as he joined the Carita Makeup School, located in Paris. There, Nars got the first-hand experience of living in a world he had always craved for – surrounded by people with similar goals and ambitions as his.
Nars’s mother, Claudette, helped him during his first steps in his professional career, guiding him and assisting him in landing his first job as an assistant to some of the top makeup artists in Paris. Nars’ unique talent caught the eye of the editor American Vogue, under whose supervision he decided to move to New York in 1984.
Nars was soon considered a star in his own right, responsible for conjuring up innovative and modern looks for some of the top designers of the decade, including Alberta Ferretti, Marc Jacobs, Bill Blass, and Anna Sui. As a makeup artist, he frequently advertised campaigns for respected clients such as Versace, Calvin Klein, Valentino, and Ralph Lauren. As a photographer, he regularly collaborated with legends like Patrick Demarchelier, Helmut Newton, and Steven Meisel.
An Eponymous Label
It was evident from an early time that Nars’ approach to makeup was original and absolute. He used to believe and still does that cosmetics should not be treated as masks applied by women to conceal their identity. Instead, they provide a way for individuals to express their pure elegance in a way that they deem befitting.
Like many before him, NARS came to realize that to promote an idea as original as his, he couldn’t rely on marketing and cultural tools available to him. That is when, in 1994, he took the biggest and most rewarding leap in his career and launched his own brand, NARS. Like his childhood ideal, Yves Saint Laurent, Nars also chose to base his brand’s title after his own name.
Having always been fascinated by lipsticks, Nars allowed himself only 12 lipsticks as his first products, called The Original 12. For the first time, he had a full say as to what goes into the formula and what does not. In 1996, the company launched an international advertising campaign during which Nars also proved his photo shooting skills to the world for the first time and was instantly hired to shoot for both the German and French Vogue.
Following its initial marketing success, NARS released its first global hit, Orgasm Blush, which is still considered a classic. Nowadays, the range consists of ten products, including a nail color and a Multiple stick. Since its acquisition by Shiseido, Nars continues to work as the artistic director, photographer, and copywriter of the company.
Below we list some of the top products offered by NARS.
NARS’ Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer is an incredibly lightweight formula, available in 12 distinct shades. Its Sun Protection Factor of 30 makes sure that the skin stays protected from harmful UV rays, keeping you comfortable in the daylight. The oil-free solution covers the skin in a delightfully translucent veil of color and is compatible with all skin types.
The formula is enriched with lush botanicals and dermatologically-tested ingredients that provide several skincare benefits. In just four weeks, the skin will visibly lose the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Targeting dry skins, the formula instantaneously nourishes the face with moisture, and owing to its mineral-rich seawater and Kopara, it re-mineralizes and revives the skin. The moisturizer provides a matte finish to the skin and gives it a texture that is soft and smooth.
Bronzing Powder by NARS is an award-winning release that is impregnated with a characteristic golden shimmer. The powder is truly one-of-a-kind, creating a highly delicate layer of coating on the skin that blends perfectly with your natural skin tone, highlighting your personal charms. The formula is available in four shades, each of which glows a warm, golden glimmer: San Juan (diffused light bronze); Laguna (diffused brown); Casino (diffused deep brown); and Punta Cana (diffused rich mahogany brown).
The formula wears for an extended period and is compatible with all skin tones. To use, apply on warm skin. Starting from the temple, sweep it over the face in the shape of a #3, reaching down to the cheek and ending at the jawline. To conceal any visible demarcation lines, lightly blend the powder into your neck.
Brighten, Correct, and Perfect. NARS’ Radiant Creamy Concealer is a multi-purpose product. With its medium-to-buildable coverage, it successfully hides any skin flaws situated on the surface, evens out the tone of the skin, and allows you to customize the density by applying additional thin layers without the cream getting caked or feeling too thick. The formula conveniently lasts for 16 hours, offering a full day application.
The concealer is enriched with hydrating, skincare benefits that keep the skin from getting thirsty and, thanks to its light-diffusing technology, obscure skin imperfections and get rid of fine lines. The concealer is also well-suited to be used for contouring and highlighting various aspects of the face. The texture is luxuriously creamy and gives a radiant finish.
Having a buildable formula that allows for a calculated, intense look, Climax Mascara Explicitly Black is the ideal mascara for your favorite occasion. The texture feels almost weightless, giving you an exotic appearance while making you feel natural and comfortable at the same time. The texture is remarkably inviting, filled with a whipped, creamy formula that leaves your lashes feeling soft and sharp.
The product’s full-bodied brush can capture and coat each individual lash with fierce, blackened pigments through a single, featherweight touch. The formula’s Lash Moisture Complex doesn’t leave any part uncovered, easily able to reach through to the roots. The application gives your lashes a distinct look without any sign clumping, smudging, or flaking.
NARS’ Afterglow Lip Balm keeps your lips in the best shape with its wide-ranging array of skincare benefits. Enriched with cocoa butter, the formula provides the lips with all the hydration they require, making sure that they never go dry and become cracked. Its jojoba seed oil traps the moisture from the air and helps promote the natural healing cycle of the lips.
The lip balm is available in six striking shades, each of which gives the lips an inviting shine and a subtle tint. Its Monoi Hydrating Complex keeps the texture of your lips smooth and soft, and its blend of antioxidants protects and conditions them. A single swipe of the hand is all it takes to entertain yourself with this high-shine color. Providing sheer-coverage, the formula is fragrance-free and alcohol-free.
Blush in Orgasm by NARS offers the most iconic shades available in the industry to blend in your cheeks. Available in a diverse collection of 32 shades, the product is guaranteed to be a fitting match for your skin. The texture is as good as weightless, giving your cheeks a soothing touch as well as rushing them with a natural-looking color, either in a matte, satin, or shimmering finish.
This bestselling product is packed with a superfine powder that ensures a flawlessly soft and smooth application. Its buildable formula allows for a sheer to bold coverage such that even the highest-intensity tones deliver a natural-looking flush. To use, apply directly to the apples of the cheeks. Any excess Blush can be swept towards the hairline, chin, and bridge of the nose.