How the cult make-up brand has spent 20 years at the top
Over time, beauty trends swirl around. Star products have their moment (currently, Boots No7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum and Chanel Rouge Noir), then the beam moves on. However, certain perennials are an unchanging part of the make-up artist’s armoury: a MAC Strobe highlighter here, Shu Uemura eyelash curlers there, and a handful of items from the cult brand Nars.
You’ve probably encountered the ultimate hero, the Nars Multiple — a three-in-one highlighter stick that is wonderful on lips, eyes and cheeks. Almost certainly you’ll have used some of its descendants. If you haven’t tried the Nars Blush in Orgasm (two products in the Orgasm shade are sold globally every minute), the Illuminator cream in Copacabana (the perfect accessory for a tan), or the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl (for the best, lasting matte red lip), then you have some treats in store.
But what of the man behind the brand? Born in the South of France in 1959, François Nars graduated from the Carita make-up school in Paris and moved to New York. Teaming up with photographer Steven Meisel, in the 1980s he worked closely with all the supers from Naomi to Linda to Cindy to Christy, helping cement their status. Disappointed by the products on offer, in 1994 he launched a line of 12 lipsticks. As well as his gently flattering products to contour the face, such as the blush, he is particularly famous for richly pigmented colour.
François Nars with Linda Evangelista in 2013
Above Nail Polish in Gold Viper. Above left Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl. Top Illuminator in Copacabana. Right Semi Matte Lipstick in Schiap