Courtesy of François Nars: The Untold Story of a Legendary Makeup Artist
When we think of the iconic blush shade called Orgasm or the cult-favorite mascara Climax, we often forget that there was a time when François Nars, the man behind these beloved products, was just a young artist exploring the beauty of Biarritz’s beaches. While celebrities have their glam squads and access to premium products, we, the everyday makeup enthusiasts, rely on drugstore finds. But there’s more to Nars than just his successful cosmetics brand. In the new documentary Unknown Beauty: Francois Nars, viewers get a firsthand look into the mind of this legendary makeup artist, photographer, and cinephile.
A Journey Through Images and Inspiration
Directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland, Unknown Beauty: Francois Nars is a beautifully crafted film that takes us on a non-linear journey through Nars’ creative mind. It unveils his unique vision, inspired by moments, images, film, art, and strong women, including his mother, Claudette, his grandmother, and iconic models like Lauren Hutton and Isabella Rossellini. The documentary showcases over 50 movies that sparked Nars’ curiosity, offering a peek behind-the-scenes of the high-fashion photoshoots he creatively directed. It’s a tribute to the people who inspired him, thanking them for their fabulousness and the impact they had on his life.
The Magic of the ’70s
One chapter of the film that stands out is Nars’ magical experience of the ’70s. As a teenager growing up during this time, he found himself captivated by the dream world depicted in movies. The fashion, the glamour, and the freedom of expression all became an obsession. The sophistication and liberation of women during this era left a lasting impression on Nars, which can still be felt in his brand today. The beauty of the ’70s was linked to the Sexual Revolution, with figures like Brigitte Bardot pushing boundaries and redefining what it meant to be a woman.
The Age of Supermodels
As Nars transitioned into the ’90s, he witnessed the birth of the supermodel era. While Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, and Naomi Campbell are often credited for the creation of this term, Nars reminds us that the concept of supermodels existed even in the ’70s. Jerry Hall and Lauren Hutton were already supermodels, but it was during the ’90s that these models started earning millions of dollars, solidifying their status. Nars acknowledges these iconic figures and how they influenced the way beauty was perceived.
The Beauty Stars of Today
In a world filled with great actors and good-looking people, Nars believes that it’s difficult to compare the stars of today to the Golden Age of Hollywood. However, he does have an appreciation for the models he works with in his campaigns for Nars Cosmetics. He is highly selective and looks for people who not only have visually striking features but also possess a personality that complements their beauty. For Nars, true stardom is still about taking risks and pushing boundaries.
Unveiling the Secret of Orgasm
One cannot discuss Francois Nars without mentioning his iconic blush shade, Orgasm. Nars reveals that the name was not specifically inspired by anything in particular. He believes that sex sells, and people want to feel sexy in their own way, whether it’s through an androgynous or feminine expression. Orgasm was chosen as a name because it captures that sensuality and desire to feel good in every aspect of life, not just in a sexual context. The peachy-pink shade with shimmer was a spontaneous creation that resonated with people worldwide.
Unknown Beauty: Francois Nars is now available for download on Apple TV, Amazon, and Google Play. This documentary delves into the mind of a makeup artist who has revolutionized the industry with his unique perspective. Through his love for film, his passion for beauty, and his appreciation for strong women, Nars has left an indelible mark. So, the next time you wear that perfect pop of color or achieve that effortless glam, remember the journey that gave birth to these iconic products, courtesy of François Nars.