Francois Nars, the creative genius behind Nars Cosmetics, took some time out of his busy New York Fashion Week schedule to chat with us about his inspiration for the makeup at the Marc Jacobs runway show and how to get the look. He even shared what it’s like working with the famous fashion designer while planning the show.
It's the moment Nars obsessives have been waiting for: the makeup brand is finally opening its flagship boutique. If you're anywhere near 413 Bleeker Street tomorrow, you should definitely go by. The New York store is big — 525 square feet, actually — and is going to have every single Nars product. They're also going to have store-exclusive cosmetics, like a new and bigger version of the coveted Bento Box and a new shade of the Pure Matte Lipstick appropriately named 413 Bleeker.
The only thing lacking is Marcel, adorable dog-child of Francois Nars, who will not be there for the grand opening; instead, according to his people, he is currently "putting his paws up in Tahiti." Check out the gallery below to see Mr. Nars himself, the new store exclusive makeup, and proof of Marcel's adorableness.
Backstage at Marc Jacobs, we caught up with beauty dream team François Nars, Guido Palau and Jan Arnold. The NARS founder explained the intense makeup look, while Redken creative consultant Guido talked about the Vogue editor who inspired a hairstyle. CND co-founder Jan also chimed in with the scoop on nails. Watch now!
To find Marc Jacobs' beauty muse for spring, set the wayback machine to the Me Decade. "We were inspired by Angelica Huston in the '70s," lead makeup artist François Nars explained. To create the bold matte lip, he applied his own Pure Matte lipstick in Volga, along with African Queen lip liner and eyeliner pencil in Mambo. The glossy dark green eye was created with Night Porter and Nouveau Monde eye shadows; Celebrate soft touch shadow pencil; and Larger Than Life mascara. On cheeks, models wore Nars' cult-fave blush Orgasm. Notably absent: eyebrows, which were bleached before the show.
Pedicures were done with CND's Bloodline polish — which, we hear, Marc chose as soon as he saw it. For hands, manicurist Elisa Ferri created a natural-looking nail with CND Perfectly Bare nail polish (with a few drops of Super Matte mixed in). Hair, by Guido Palau for Redken, was inspired in part by Vogue editor Grace Coddington. Check back soon for our backstage video report on Marc's beauty look.
Old mascara never dies, it just goes on to the big runway in the sky. At least it did at Marc Jacobs' show, where François Nars layered coat after coat of old mascara for a purposely clumpy look. The slightly spidery lashes and Black Moon eyeliner pencil popped against pale blue and heathered lavender shadows. Tying the look together: a pale coral lip thanks to Barbarella lipstick. "These girls are sexy and cool," Nars said. "Their makeup looks dirty and worn out as if it has been on all night but still translates beautifully on the runway."
Models' hair was trimmed into layers that rested just below the collarbone. To create texture, Palau and his team sprayed Redken Fabricate. The end result was hair and makeup that feels easy, modern — in other words, very Marc.
Daphne Guinness and Marc Jacobs hosted a party at Industria Superstudios in New York last night to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Nars cosmetics and the publication of Fraçois Nars' portrait book "15X15". The photographs (taken by Nars himself) were inspired by iconic images and cult Nars products and feature Jacobs, Guinness, and 13 other personalities—including Olivier Theyskens, Naomi Campbell, Amber Valletta, Shalom Harlow, Natasha Poly, and Amanda Lepore.
Although the fashion crowd was looking fabulous as ever, Daphne Guinness was the undisputed belle of the ball—fighting gravity in a nude pair of spring 2010 Alexander McQueen alien shoes. Check out the gallery below for photos from the event.
New York 11/12/09 Getty
When couples celebrate their 15-year anniversary, the traditional gift they might give their mate is crystal. But when François Nars celebrates his company's 15th anniversary, he makes a book, with all proceeds going straight to charities. And as you might expect, it's not your ordinary coffee-table publication. To commemorate the company's quindecennial anniversary, Nars plans to release 15x15 ($80) in mid-November, with only 1,500 copies hitting the presses.
The book, which will be available for 30 days at 15x15project.com, will feature photos of 15 celebrities, from Marc Jacobs to Amber Valletta to Naomi Campbell. "Basically, I wanted people who reflected my taste, friends, and people I admired for their look and talent," Nars told WWD. Inside the book, you'll find two inspirations behind each photo, along with a featured makeup product. Nars promises, "You don’t get bored." And after looking through some of the photos below, I couldn't agree more.
To see more images from 15x15, just keep reading.
Life is good for François Nars. As one of the most famous makeup artists in the world, he's created a luxe beauty brand (and earned enough to buy a small island in the process). Aside from heading up the Fall 2009 Marc Jacobs show, he's kept a relatively low makeup-artist profile lately, opting to pursue another of his passions, photography. His latest published work is in the new issue of Vogue Japan, in which he's captured models Iekeliene Stange, Julia Dunstall, and Daul Kim. I find it a bit disappointing that none of the models are Japanese — though this isn't the first time Vogue has been called less than culturally sensitive — but the photography itself proves that Mr. Nars's talents go beyond the (blush) brush and into other art forms as well.
Yesterday, my best friend and I were headed out for the night. Sick of this bronzer-mascara combo we've both been rocking all summer, I opened Make Up Your Mind by Francois Nars to a random page and followed the directions (with whatever similar products I had). This classic tome is broken into eight sections that begin with general tips and end with step-by-step instructions for each look. And the middle? Amazing big images of faces with inventive makeup, each proceeded by a clear plastic page diagramming what shades are used where. Kind of like a junior high school anatomy book, but infinitely more stylish. To see how our eye look evolved and read how to get it, read more
It's pretty rare to see an interview with François Nars, and even in this one, he's not exactly what you'd call a blabbermouth. But what he does say reveals a lot about his brand philosophy. And he's certainly had great success with his line of cosmetics—making enough money to purchase a small island in the South Pacific.
On starting his own company: "I never thought make-up was like brain surgery. I just wanted a line that made sense, using my 25 years of experience. I was never saying there was a whole message behind it. You can always romanticise these things and invent stuff – and some people do that well – but I'm very down-to-earth."
To find out why François thinks modern culture is vulgar, and why he digs girls with freckles, read more