François’ approach to modern makeup was, and still is, revolutionary. He believes that makeup is not a mask and that the woman’s individuality must shine through. From his famous “natural look” to classical elegance, sheer glamour, to the outrageous, François’ creations have transformed the accepted face of beauty. Celebrity clients including Madonna, Sharon Stone, Lauren Hutton, Michelle Pfeiffer, Isabella Rosselini, Anjelica Houston, and Catherine Deneuve are testaments to François’ extraordinary talent and ability to create a spectacular look that enhances a woman’s true beauty and style.
With the success of the brand, NARS decided to introduce its first advertising campaign in 1996. With a clear vision but lacking the budget to hire a star photographer, François realized the time had come for his talent to evolve to the next level. The NARS Fall 1996 advertising campaign marked François’ first professional photo shoot. François’ unique style of photography was recognized immediately and he was commissioned to shoot for French and German Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Vanity Fair. In addition, François continues to shoot all of the NARS advertising campaigns.
Capitalizing on his success as a photographer François’ next step was to produce a collection of elegant and richly stylized portraits. In 1999, he released the wildly successful photography book X-Ray. Distributed globally, X-Ray has become a collector’s edition for those who revere the truly chic. His second book, Makeup Your Mind was released in 2001. It’s the ultimate instructional makeup manual featuring 63 before and after beauty images of some of the world’s most recognizable models. Its unique design transcends the scope of basic manuals by providing an array of inspiring looks that showcase the limitless possibilities of makeup. Each photograph features a unique clear acetate instructional guide. NARS celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2009 with 15X15, a limited collection of 15 celebrity portraits photographed by François. He designed and created each portrait which was inspired by a NARS product shade and an iconic reference.
Published in 2011, Makeup Your Mind: Express Yourself brings together François’ two passions—makeup and photography—to spectacular effect. Taking the before-and-after concept to the next level, he turns the lens on real women and men, revealing the powerful role of beauty in personal transformation.
Today, François Nars is continually working on new projects to further grow the NARS brand; he serves as the creative force behind NARS, as a successful photographer and a legend in makeup artistry.