NARS Cosmetics is a Shiseido-owned cosmetics and skin care company founded by François Nars, make-up artist and photographer. The cosmetics line began with twelve lipsticks sold at Barneys New York. Since then, NARS have created various multi-use beauty products. The minimalist packaging was created by Fabien Baron and has been hailed as a modern design icon. In 1996, Nars started his first advertising campaign doing the photography for the ads himself.
Product shades carry provocative names like 'Orgasm', 'Deep Throat', 'Striptease,' and 'Sex Machine'. NARS 'Orgasm' blush is one of their most top-selling products, being Best of Sephora's Best Blush for 2006, 2007 and 2008. They have developed an entire "Orgasm Collection," including blush, lipgloss, multiples, illuminators, and even nail polish.
Some of the most popular NARS products are blushes, bronzers, lipsticks, and their world famous eye-shadow palettes. The shadows are highly pigmented and come in an array of beautiful colours. They have been known to release products inspired by artist such as Andy Warhol using colours from one of his famous paintings 'Marilyn Monroe'.
In the United Kingdom, Nars products are sold in Harvey Nichols and Selfridges and are favourites of Madonna and Victoria Beckham. In the United States, NARS products can be found in 42 states and the District of Columbia. They are sold at Sephora as well as in department stores, including Macy's, Lord & Taylor, Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom. In Canada NARS can be found in the department store Holt Renfrew as well as Sephora and The Bay. Their current CEO is Louis Desazars.