This year marks the 20th anniversary of huge make-up brand NARS! We were lucky enough to catch up with the man behind the make-up magic himself, Mr Francois Nars, who’s range you can shop here at HQ Hair with free UK delivery.
Here’s some of our burning questions we put to Francois, below. Enjoy!
How does it feel to be celebrating 20 years?
Twenty years is very young for a brand and I think it’s progressing very well.
It’s an amazing milestone and we are in a very good place – constantly improving and growing by the minute. It feels like yesterday that I started NARS. For me, the concept of time is very abstract. There is a certain point in your life when you start losing track of time; I don’t calculate the years. I’ve hit the point in my life where I try not to look back; I look forward to the future. It’s been a great ride so far and I hope it continues.
In the past 20 years, you’ve created innovative products that have changed the way women wear and think about makeup, what is your creative approach in developing new products?
I’m very spontaneous; I try not to think too much. I follow my instincts and use everything I’ve learned over the years. I create products based on what I’m attracted to in that moment. For example, I can see a specific blue color –in an accessory, a landscape, anything— and say I want to make an eye shadow exactly that blue. It’s a very spontaneous process.
I am always reinventing products, never settling for the same thing. We are constantly moving and looking forward, we try not to create the same thing twice. It’s important to be open minded and fresh, never boring.
What is your approach to finding new colors/shades? Where do you derive your inspiration?
I am inspired by everything, places I’ve traveled to, old films, exhibits I’ve visited and even people on the street. I can see something someone is wearing or their hair color, and design with those colors and palettes. That’s the way I design collections – it’s very spontaneous, nothing is really planned.
Paris always inspires to me. It’s such a beautiful and special place for me. I love going there. Traveling is probably one of the most inspiring things to me. There is always something that triggers my choice of colors and even sometimes my photography. I also love books, I don’t necessarily need to physically travel to a place because I travel through books. I can see a landscape or a culture in a book and that will inspire my work.
I love movies from the 50s, 60s and 70s. I keep an eye on what movies come out today and there are some great ones, but they aren’t as rich as they once were.
NARS is known for its bold use of color, provocative shade names and pushing boundaries, is this what sets you apart from other makeup companies?
I think what really sets NARS apart from other companies is that even though we are growing very fast, we try to keep the young feeling of the company. I work with a small group of people – they take my vision and my point of view and translate it into the products. I also create all of the imagery and visuals. When you have too many people involved in the creative process, the concept gets diluted and lost.
How does fashion influence the brand? In your opinion, what is the relationship
between makeup and fashion?
I’ve worked with some really fantastic fashion talent –Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein—and I learned something different from each, their DNA has influenced my DNA, my taste and creativity. I was very lucky to work with these luminaries.
As much as I’ve tried to stay away from trends, you have to be aware of them and aware of what’s going on with the runway shows – the fabrics, shapes, models – you have to relate to that. There’s always something that comes out of those trends, so for NARS, I try to keep it balanced between trendy and classic and that’s not always easy.
Do you have one piece of advice you would give to a woman on how to feel and live a beautiful life?
I think makeup is a great tool for transforming yourself. It’s fun to play with –you can become somebody else or find yourself in a look. There are so many different ways to achieve a look, so many tools and colors to use and play with – you can always take it off, so play with it, it’s fun.
Check out some of our NARS shining stars of the range below!
Don’t forget you can shop the full NARS range at HQ Hair, below, with free UK delivery.