Francois Nars: The Man behind the Famous Orgasm
by Andrea Claire
The beauty brand may be new to Singapore, but Nars is no stranger to the world. Their Nars Orgasm blush has been so popular that it has been topping beauty charts year after year, and has now expanded to a lip gloss, The Multiple stick (an all-over shimmer stick), Illuminator (cream) and the Super Orgasm blush. Sure it’s an obvious joke about wearing an Orgasm if you aren’t getting one at home, but that’s the least of my problems.
Born in the South of France, François Nars fondly remembers flipping through the pages of his mother’s ‘French Vogue’ inspired by the makeup from page to page. Knowing that his birthplace was not a fashion mecca he eventually moved to Paris. At the time Paris was a tight-knit group of fashion houses and editors but Francois’ thirst for beauty meant he wouldn’t take no for an answer.
In 1984 Francois moved to New York City, where he launched a small collection of 12 lipsticks at Barneys. Gradually he garnered with a cult following, which eventually spilled over to the mainstream. Nars is now requested by celebrities and swooned over by beauty editors. It is safe to say every makeup artist has at least one Orgasm— I have four and that is not an exaggeration.
In a world of beauty do you see any ugliness?
Ugliness is not about appearance. Ugliness is war.
All Nars campaigns have been shot by you. How did this come about?
I absolutely love photography; it’s a huge passion of mine. And having spent time with incredible photographers like Steven Meisel and Richard Avedon, I felt I had learned from the best. So I thought I would give photography a shot and shot the [first] campaign myself. To this day I continue to shoot all of the campaigns for Nars.
Where do you draw the line on retouching?
I try very hard to use Photoshop as little as possible; I really don’t like the idea of over-retouching. I think that women are very smart and I don’t want to show them an image that is unrealistic—so for me and for Nars, we try our best to limit the amount of retouching we do and keep the face as natural and pure as possible.
What advice do you have for up-and-coming artists?
Ignore the negativity that attempts to steer you into a roadblock. Stay focused. Let passion be your guide.
What’s the quickest way to look glamorous?
Lipstick. In this day of hurried lifestyles some days your best face forward is simply your lipstick.
What makes a woman beautiful according to Nars?
Love. Being in love and if you aren’t in love with someone, be in love with Nars.