A couple of posts ago, I said I was going to make an announcement soon. And here it is:
Yesterday, Francine Phillips, National Artist/Trainer welcomed me to the NARS family and spent 5 hours showing me and makeup artist, Alison exactly how to show our clients to have a fantastic and unique Nars experience.
I’m familiar with Nars- the brand and the products (up to those present during the time I managed the brand and trained artists for it, 4 years ago) but it was still such a pleasure to meet Francine and get to know the products and the man behind the Brand, Francois Nars -through her, since she has actually worked alongside him <Faint>. There were products which were totally new to me, like the NARSskin line (which my first pay will be going towards!) and of course, some of the new shades, formulation and products like the Pro-Prime collection. The Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base (an Insider’s trick of the trade) is just the perfect answer to the questions and um… doubts I had about Nars’ vibrant eyeshadows! I am now back in NARS mode.
In trying to remember Francine’s words… Francois Nars is just ‘lovely’ he’s so passionate about his brand and is so nice…’shy’, and down to earth. He thinks of the product names before it is made and has books filled with hundreds of names that come from people he admires and places he’s been to, things that have inspired him in one way or another… And when asked how he felt that his Brand has grown from the 12 lipsticks that he launched in Barneys New York 15 years ago, to what it is now -a collection of 0ver 400 products sold all over the world, he simply replied that all he’d wanted was to be able to show women how to have fun and how to discover their individuality, style and beauty through makeup. [Paraphrased].
When I had to make a 3 minute presentation on either a makeup artist or a photographer at school, I’m sure most of my closest friends assumed I would choose Laura Mercier. I was, and still am, a big fan of her and her brand. Laura Mercier’s journey and self-esteem about her image was something I related to in my own journey as a makeup artist, finding my path and ending up surrounded by the people and things the mainstream Beauty Industry is all about, yet not quite feeling like it was something I felt comfortable “living in”. I much preferred being behind the scenes, unless of course i was talking about my brand. But I chose to make a presentation on NARS.
Why NARS? He to me, is about the transition I had to make in being drawn into the industry by an early fascination about beauty and the fashion elites, and not wanting to be stuck in a cookie cutter Do’s and Don’ts world when it came to finding my own…and later on my clients’ natural beauty, and enhancing it for the world to see. It’s about coming out of my comfort zone (like being comfy telling my A-List clients, some of whom were very conservative in a lot of ways that Nars’ best-selling blush is called “Orgasm” which goes beautifully with “Deep Throat” “Sex Machine” and “Rated R” eyeshadow Duo!) and reminding myself that (and this is just one of many personal favorite Francois quotes) “Don’t be too serious; it’s only makeup”.
“To me, beauty is about balancing the fun stuff with the classic, timeless, wardrobe of makeup” -Francois Nars
I could go on and on…About how at the tender age of 10, he was already looking through his mother and grandmother’s pages of Vogue magazine… And about how he was drawn into the industry by the sophistication of Yves Saint Laurent’s Fashion empire and the main forces of the fashion Industry at that time (Versace, Calvin Klein, Armani)…And how the editor of Elle Magazine discovered him and encouraged him to move to New York (this may all sound familiar to fellow Laura fans out there- who would possibly know that both she and Francois Nars also attended the famous and prestigious makeup art school the Carita Institute in Paris!)… Oh, and how Nars made his name among the pinnacles of the fashion industry by working on the ad campaigns of Versace, Calvin Klein… …alongside famous photographers such as Avedon and Meisel…. And that he had picked up the camera and shot his first ad campaign in 1996, and has since shot every single one of his ad campaigns himself for Nars cosmetics as well as the images in the 3 (and soon-to-be 4) books he has published. His unique vision spills over to his photography skills and his work and love of strong faces and ethnicity has helped change and expand the traditional definitions of beauty.
Did I mention he was also responsible for the transformation of Madonna is the 90s into the style icon we know her to be today? He had attended one of her shows and commented on her horrible eyebrows which he hated and she overheard! They’ve been friends ever since (well..maybe not anymore, but he hasn’t spoken of that). He is one of the most sought after, influential image makers in the world. A phenomenal makeup artist who, when he launched Nars cosmetics, REVOLUTIONIZED the makeup industry.
When he was invited to show off his unique style of makeup along his contemporaries among which were the late Kevin Aucoin and Laura Mercier, he brought with him one product. A lipstick. And with it he created a beautiful look on his model’s eyes, lips and cheeks! …Pushing the boundaries of makeup and having fun with it. Thus, his Multiple (cream to powder jumbo sticks which are the original multi-use shades for highlighting, contouring, shading eyes, lips, cheeks and decollette) was born.
Read more about him as an artist and as the Creative Director of NARS here.
Now, back to me (haha! I sound like that odd Old Spice commercial “..over to me, I’m on a horse”…) and Nars. It is early days yet, since I am still just going through orientation etc. Follow me on twitter and drop by Fairview Mall to see what Nars has to offer you! I’ll even give you a complimentary consultation. In fact I have an event this Fri and Sat, and a National event at the end of the month called, Nars Loves Canada! All you have to do is show up, say hi and ask 🙂
Safe to say that for now… it’s farewell to “Flawless Face” and “Hello, welcome to Nars’ Immaculate Complexion“.
You’ll be hearing a lot more about Nars from me! For now… Here’s a short video I put together about the brand -some of its unique products, his friend and current Campaign model for S/S2010, Amber Valetta and his collaboration with another friend, Marc Jacob after a 10-year hiatus from the fashion industry: