The South of France has brought us sun, sea, and Francois Nars, the namesake of the iconic cosmetics brand launched in 1999. Born in the southwestern city of Tarbes, raised with a love of design and fashion, Nars moved to Paris to continue his studies at the Carita Make-Up School before Yves Saint Laurent took notice and the story writes itself from there (Saint Laurent helped break Nars into the industry). Nars moved to New York in 1984, and probably speaks English better than most French people because of having lived in America the past thirty years.

Known for high-quality products with audacious names reminding you of last night (or last night from three months ago), Francois Nars began the company with next to no budget and thus was the photographer he could not afford to hire at the time. To this day, Nars has remained the sole photographer of the brand and has published multiple photography books.

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