Fem­i­nine, lyri­cal, and nos­tal­gic. Nars’s most ethe­real make-up col­lec­tion to date is a prod­uct of col­lab­o­ra­tion with French photographer Sarah Moon. Moon, along­side François Nars, speaks to Li Ying Lim about the ex­tra­or­di­nary process.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Beauty -

n the ’70s, I was re­ally ob­sessed with pho­tog­ra­phy, fash­ion, and make-up,” François Nars re­calls. “Sarah [Moon] used to shoot those cam­paigns for Cacharel and Carita. I felt like, ‘Oh my God. Those are some of the most beau­ti­ful pic­tures I have ever seen.’ They were like paint­ings.” Born in the south of France in 1959, the beauty mae­stro cul­ti­vated a dis­cern­ing eye for fash­ion at a very young age. Heav­ily in­flu­enced by high fash­ion mag­a­zines his mother would col­lect, Nars used to sketch the faces of the mod­els he saw in the edi­to­rial im­ages, cap­tured by renowned pho­tog­ra­phers such as Hel­mut New­ton, Guy Bour­din, and of course, Sarah Moon.

Hav­ing cut his teeth at Carita’s make-up school in Paris, Nars was noted as a star tal­ent at the nascence of his ca­reer in cos­met­ics. He worked back­stage at Saint Lau­rent, shot with prom­i­nent photographer Paolo Roversi, and was courted by then-BAZAAR edi­tor Polly Mellen, who urged him to move to New York. This led to his de­ci­sion to el­e­vate his make-up tra­jec­tory. While con­tin­u­ing to rise to the top—of­ten times work­ing with Steven Meisel and the ’90s su­per­model squad—he founded cult in­ter­na­tional make-up brand Nars with a col­lec­tion of lip­sticks in 1994. To­day, the brand is owned by Shi­seido Com­pany, but its founder still man­ages the brand’s creative en­deav­ours very closely.

Hav­ing brought many of his in­spi­ra­tions and favourite art and pho­tog­ra­phy to var­i­ous col­lab­o­ra­tive col­lec­tions over the years—such as those with Bour­din, Steven Klein and Andy Warhol—Nars de­cided to turn to Moon this year. He says, “When I think of Sarah, she’s al­ways there with me in a way, in the back of my mind. Even when we [have never] seen each other [be­fore]. I never ac­tu­ally met her un­til we de­cided to work to­gether.”

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