Industry Insight


NARS Cosmetics is a French cosmetics and skincare company founded by makeup artist and photographer François Nars in 1994. It began with twelvo lipsticks sold exclusively at Barneys in New York. Nars shot the brands first advertising campaign in 1996, an experience that would lead him to embark on a secondary career as a photographer.

From a young age François would practice applying his mother’s makeup. He says that she’s his lifelong muse and considers himself lucky to have grown up with such a beautiful and glamorous woman. Although it was his grandmother that he credits for his love of makeup. She was an artist; his mother shaped his vision of women and of beauty.

"Play and try to be a little bit daring - break the rules"
-François Nars

NARS Products

So what are the must haves with this brand? That blusher, “I’d like an ‘Orgasm’ please” is the cheeky phrase Nars had in mind when he named his iconic enhancer; a signature, flattering blend of pink, peach and light-scattering gold that’s designed to mimic that climactic rose glow. Unsurprisingly, it’s the UK’s best loved blusher. The NARS “Orgasm Collection” which includes powder blush, liquid blush, loose powder, lip gloss, lip stick, lip balm, multiple use cream sticks, illuminators, full vinyl lip lacquer, and nail polish. The name alone makes shoppers intrigued to try them.

NARS cosmetics have a signature velveteen effect, to prevent your makeup from falling flat, they are all about the glow – as the “Orgasm Collection” suggests. François Nars promotes the philosophy of celebrating the skin you live in, looking radiant and not artificial.

"When I created NARS, I was either going to name them with numbers or give them intelligent names. I wanted to give the products a character and identity. The names make you dream and transport you to another place. It gives the colours a fun twist."
-François Nars​

The Bad News

NARS is no longer a cruelty free brand. In 2017 NARS announced that, despite being against animal testing, it was a requirement for selling products in the Chinese market. In a public statement, the company said: “We have decided to make NARS available in China because we feel it is important to bring our vision of beauty and artistry to fans in the region. NARS does not test on animals or ask others to do so on our behalf, except where required by law”. Heartbreaking but I can understand why they wouldn’t want to ignore one of the fastest growing marketplaces in the world.

My NARS Experience

I’ll happily admit, I have tried the Orgasm blusher. I couldn’t resist. The name alone roped me in. Not to mention the glow it was creating on the women I saw using it. It is a beautiful product, the name is cheeky and I like that the brand is playful. However, it is 2019 and I just can’t get past animal testing. It’s truly a shame that NARS is no longer a cruelty-free brand. If NARS went back to being cruelty-free I would live in their products and they would likely dominate my pro kit. The luxurious packaging alone is a customer experience. It’s all fun and quirky and I adore everything I read about the man, François Nars. His quotes alone are very inspiring and lively, it’s very clear he adores women and makeup.

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Kirsty Wyn x

I have not been paid to to share the product recommendations mentioned in the post.

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