NARS Cosmetics embraces individuality and creativity by bringing high-fashion and a forward-thinking attitude to beauty, writes Nadia Badarudin
WHEN I tell my best friends that I am off to Hong Kong for an assignment on a famous make-up item named Orgasm, some of them smile coyly while others just blush.
In our culture, where sex remains a taboo subject that isn’t discussed openly, imagine saying the name of this product out loud.
But to beauty junkies, this make-up piece — NARS Orgasm Blush — is a staple or must-have item.
The legendary item has been picked as a favourite by beauty experts and fashion editors around the globe and has joined the ranks of the world’s most sought-after products listed by top magazines, including the Vogue 100 Beauty Hall Of Fame.
It is said that the blusher is so famous and iconic that two pieces are sold every minute in the United States!
Founded by renowned make-up artist Francois Nars in 1994, NARS Cosmetics embraces individuality and inspires self-expression and creativity by bringing high-fashion and a forward-thinking attitude to beauty.
Bold, unexpected colours and luxurious textures ensure each product lives up to the brand’s DNA — modern, audacious and iconic.
The Orgasm Blush was launched in 1999 and is part of the signature Orgasm collection by NARS Cosmetics.
Prior to the trip, I was not sure what to expect from the product because to me a blusher is, well, a blusher.
But I have heard people saying that the peachy pink shade is highly sought-after because it is universally flattering and will effortlessly suit any skin colour.
I found these claims to be true after I got to try the make-up myself at NARS’ first pop up store in Hong Kong recently.
The four-day store was set up at Pacific House in Queens Road Central to celebrate the success of Orgasm Blush and to unveil three latest additions to the Orgasm collection for summer 2017.
For the campaign, Nars chose to photograph Russian model, actress and photographer Daria Strokous outdoors under natural light to capture the essence of the universal Orgasm shade.
The new items joining the Orgasm range are a liquid blush, a lipstick with a translucent touch and classic pink satin finish and a limited edition Orgasm Blush that comes in a collectible compact.
The liquid version of the original Orgasm Blush is a rush of sheer pink with golden shimmer and infused with monoi and tamanu oils for extra moisture and resilience.
A make-up artist shows me that just a dab of the fluid is enough to create that natural flush on my cheeks and perk up my lacklustre complexion.
She layers it over with the iconic pink powder blush for that afterglow. In less than three minutes, my face is all photo-ready and I am good to go with that youthful, barely-there look.
With each having lightweight textures, both sultry blushers are very easy to apply and blend well with my skin tone.
Having had the taste of the aesthetic experience myself, it became clearer to me why the Orgasm Blush has been a cult favourite for almost 20 years.
THE OPPOSITE EFFECT
Some people think that the suggestively sexual and provocative name of the make-up range might push people away from trying the products but it actually has the opposite effect, says NARS global artistic director Lena Koro.
“I think the Orgasm Blush is able to withstand the test of time because of its characteristics. The range is all about good quality, beautiful colours and of course, the very shocking name,” says Koro during an interview at the event.
Koro’s experience behind the scenes at major fashion shows like Prada, Marc Jacobs, Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino as well as her celebrity clientele have made her one of the most highly regarded make-up artists in the industry.
Originally from Tokyo, she began her professional journey with the brand as the first assistant to Francois Nars.
“Some people are offended by the name because they think it’s too sexual. But it evokes that sense of emotion and attracts people to check it out rather than stay away from it. In person, Francois is like that. He will always push the button. He is a rebel and likes to think of the opposite when doing things,” she says.
“When I heard the name for the first time from Francois, I was hooked and my reaction was ‘Oh my gosh! I’m going to buy it!’,” she adds.
Koro says the blusher’s universal appeal is the main factor which makes it a best-seller including in the Asian region.
“Francois created the Orgasm Blush for everybody regardless of whether they have fair or dark skin. Apart from its quick and easy application, the formulation will go down well with any skin tone. It simply works and that’s why I think it’s iconic and sells really well until today.”
The Orgasm collection for summer 2017 is available at NARS Cosmetics at Suria KLCC, Pavilion KL, Mid Valley Megamall, Sunway Pyramid and Parkson Gurney Plaza, Penang.
ICONIC make-up products usually have two things in common: One, they work wonders and two, they have survived the passage of time, trend and technology.
With so many make-up and beauty products launched every year, only a few are hard to beat and considered iconic.
Here are some favourites:
1. REVLON LIPSTICK CHERRIES IN THE SNOW
The classic red lipstick was launched in 1953. The lipstick was modelled in Revlon’s advertisements by Dorian Leigh, among the very first supermodels.
2. MAYBELLINE GREAT LASH
Since 1971, the mascara is reputable for its ability to condition lashes while it thickens and “won’t flake”. It is being sold every 1.9 seconds. Over half a billion units were sold between 1971 and 2015.
3. URBAN DECAY NAKED EYE-SHADOW PALETTE
An insane frenzy among fans broke out when this 12-pallette eye shadow was launched in 2010. The item is famous for its beginner-friendly features and has become a staple among make-up artists and beauty buffs.
4. MAKE UP FOR EVER ULTRA HD FOUNDATION
Dubbed “the foundation for the age of selfies”, the Ultra HD is available in 40 shades and was created to meet the demands of 4K technology.
The Ultra HD is actually an improved version of the original HD Invisible Cover Foundation launched in 2009.
The original product was engineered to make skin looks flawless, a necessity in HD technology in television and movies.
Sources: Adapted from Observer.com and Reader’s Digest