The cosmetic brand Nars was founded in 1996 in New York by French makeup artist François Nars. At launch, the brand offered only 12 shades of lipstick, but the inimitable colors offered were an early demonstration of the brand’s strengths. Nars was also among the first to make unconventional choices of models for commercial beauty campaigns, boldly suggesting a new idea of feminine beauty.

Welcome to the 36th issue of B.

Many people have been drinking deep sea water or “glacial milk” for the beneficial nutrients they are supposed to contain. I once heard, however, that a single vitamin can do more for you than hundreds of bottles of water. Drinking lots of water is certainly good for your health, but—given the difficulty of distinguishing drinking water products by taste or effect—water seems to be one of the products most affected by branding. The same can be said of moisturizers and color makeup products. Functional lineups do have differences, but the differences are not easily recognizable. It’s easier for people to choose products based on the story of the brand, and that’s why the brand’s story is important.

Many fashion and car brands are recognized by consumers as things to be seen by other people. Products like makeup, however, are more influenced by how much the user themselves likes them, rather than how they will be viewed by others. Those products require a slightly different point of view to understand because brand choice for those products is more personal and often the result of an individual’s aspirations or a reflection of their self-love.

This month we introduce Nars, a cosmetics brand launched by French makeup artist François Nars in New York in 1994. The simply designed, but vividly pigmented, cosmetic brand is loved by many professional makeup artists and women who admire the images that the brand suggests. Nars has maintained a long partnership with Fabien Baron, who designed the matte black packaging that forms a large part of the brand’s strong identity. Also, Nars has been breaking away from trends in choosing models and made unconventional choices to suggest authentic feminine beauty. Inspired by its founder, Nars has become known as a brand loved primarily by consumers who want to project a professional air, and as one that represents confident, sexy women.

Strength and clarity of expression make a person seem more confident and powerful, and I dream of a brand with the same sort of strength. If a bottle of water or juice from a specific brand successfully represents a particular individual’s unique fantasy, then the brand has accomplished its goal. I’m certain that if a brand is founded on professionalism, and consistently maintains the level of quality, it will win the hearts of those who appreciate the same values. A good brand will most likely be created by highly confident professionals.

The most important elements to making a good brand are trying hard to become a professional in your field, however small it may be, and having the confidence to love yourself. If you do that, you will naturally meet a friend like Fabien Baron. For this issue, we were able to visit François Nars at his private island in the South Pacific. I hope our interview with him will help you understand the powerful charm of the Nars brand.

PublisherSuyong Joh


Publisher’s Note


Comments and reviews made by Nars users in social media


Nars flagship stores filled with the brand’s consistent language


Hwakyung Chung, Vice President of Private Brand Division, Shinsegae Department Store


The freewheeling identity of Nars products becomes apparent in the flexibility of their use

User Choice

Factors affecting purchases and brand choices in cosmetics


Wonhye Ko, makeup artist


Base Makeup
The market for base makeup is dominated by traditional cosmetic brands

Color Makeup
Color makeup is where the individuality of different brands is dramatically revealed

Inner Space

Nars’ brand language stems from the aesthetic sense of the founder


Julia Juyeon Kang, editor in chief of Elle Korea


Nars users express their beauty in their own ways


Nars shines on the backstage of fashion shows

Brand Story

Nars was born out of the artistic inspirations of a makeup artist

Campaign History

Nars campaign images go beyond conventional stereotypes


Founder François Nars’ philosophies on makeup and the brand


Louis Desazars, CEO of Nars Cosmetics Sada Ito, International Lead Makeup Stylist

Nars Headquarters at New York

François Nars

The artistic worlds and muses that inspired Nars

Art books showing the brand’s identity and emotional discourse

François Nars, Founder & Creative Director Fabien Baron, Creative Director at Baron & Baron


Figures revealing Nars’ sensibilities and commercial value

From the Editor in Chief

The Editor in Chief offers his observations on Nars’ core values



Suyong Joh

Editor In Chief
Taehyuk Choi

Issue Editor
Heeyoung Yoo

Senior Editor
Eunsung Park

Yunseong Jang, Bora Nam

Translation Editor
Heejean Kim

Hyunkyung Yoo, Rancy Kim, Seongae Yang, Soonok Hwang

Copy Editing
Eugene Larsen-Hallok

Ethan Clansky

Lead Designer
Younghyun Ok

Ayoon Jung

Film Designer
Sukwang Baak

Nohseon Song

Mihye Nam (Tokyo), Nari Park (London), Jungho Lee (New York), Jeewon Lim (Milan), Hyeseon Jeong (Paris)

JOH & Company

Printed in the Republic of Korea

978-89-98415-74-7 03050


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