It’s been 20 years since French makeup icon François Nars launched his beauty line with just 12 lipsticks. Since then the beauty mogul has evolved and expanded his collection with cult classics like Nars Blush in Orgasm, and The Multiple cream color stick, and he has collaborated with fashion designers like Marc Jacobs and Karl Lagerfeld. As he prepares to launch Audacious Lipsticks, a collection of 40 new shades, he reflects on his epic career as well as the industry that helped shape him.

To read the full story on Glamour’s beauty site, click here:

Nars on his big break into the industry…

Legendary fashion editor Polly Mellen booked me to shoot the fashion collections in Paris with [photographer] Peter Lindbergh. It changed everything.”

Nars on how he has influenced women during his career…

“Women don’t want to feel like they’re wearing makeup. I hope I was partly responsible for that. Polly Mellen always felt that my touch was lighter than other makeup artists’ at the time. That was the start of seeing more freckles, seeing more skin on models. It’s like what Coco Chanel did for women by freeing them from corsets—not that I want to compare myself to her.”

Nars on how to follow a beauty trend …

“Your look should fit your personality…. If a friend says that red doesn’t look good, listen to your friend. Well, listen to yourself first; just don’t follow fashion blindly…. Do single elements of an extreme look, not the whole thing.

Nars on the difference between French and American women…

“American women are still lovers of makeup. They want a total, perfected look. French women, not as much. It’s a different attitude to what they feel sexy is. I love them all!”

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