It’s not unusual to catch a first look at a new makeup product while backstage at a runway show. It happens every season—makeup artists will use samples of products still in lab packaging, putting the new formulas through the ultimate test. But backstage at the Dior Cruise 2019 show in Chantilly, France, makeup artists weren’t just using a new makeup product…or two. They were using an entirely new line of makeup from Dior aptly called Backstage.
Think of Dior Backstage as the younger, cooler, trendier extension of the classic Dior makeup line (the campaign is fittingly fronted by it-models Bella Hadid, Chu Wong, Manuela Sanchez and Ruth Bell.) From the clear acrylic packaging (so you can see all the shades inside) to the waterproof liquid face and body foundation in an applause-worthy 40 shades—Dior Backstage aims to make luxury beauty accessible to the Instagram generation. The prices in the collection fall below what you’d typically pay for Dior Makeup (the Dior Airflash Foundation is $92, the new Backstage one is $65).
The entire collection is available on Dior.com right now, but it launches at Sephora and Sephora.com on June 15. We got a first look and chance to try every single product in the line. The newsiest and anticipated product from Dior Backstage is the Face and Body Foundation ($65).
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“It’s my key product. I wanted 16 different levels of intensity but above all, 6 different skin undertones: rosy, olive, yellow, beige, etc. in total that makes 40 colors, allowing every woman to find the shade that best matches her complexion,” says makeup artist Peter Philips, the creative and image director for all Dior Makeup. The finish is natural and glowy, with a sheer but buildable hydrating formula ideal for layering. You only need a dot or two of the milky formula to give a light wash of coverage that will minimize imperfections without covering freckles (think of Meghan Markle’s skin on her wedding day; it’s rumored that her makeup artist Daniel Martin used this new formula for the occasion.) If you like full or medium coverage, you can pat on a few more layers without sacrificing the natural, skin-like finish.
The 40 shades are organised by undertone. They range from shade number 0 in cool/rosy, neutral, and warm to a 9 neutral—the deepest foundation shade Dior has ever created. While there are far more light and medium shades in the collection than deeper tones (only about 9 will cater to anyone darker than tan)—the brand is adamant that most women should be able to find a color that works for them after extensive market research. In the months to come, you can expect even more shades to drop depending on customer feedback and requests.
The rest of the collection consists of do-all palettes and brushes. The Glow Face Palette ($77) consists of four shimmery and silky highlighters in rosy pink, bronze, golden tan, and white champagne. Backstage at the Cruise 2019 show, Philips admitted that the models crushed a little too hard on palette, taking the brush into their own hands and swiping it across their cheekbones with abandon (he went back and toned it down for the show).
There’s also a contour palette ($77) that was designed in conjunction with Bella Hadid and her famous cheekbones. “She’s a master of contouring,” says Philips. “These are the shades she loves to use. She has a mixed skin tone—she’s pale but can go a bit more olive. Two years ago I brought out like a contouring stick [editor’s note: it was Hadid’s must-have but is now discontinued], it was her favourite so we based it off those colours to do this.” There are two matte shades and two luminous shades to perfect that sculpted look.
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The eye palettes are perhaps the most genius makeup launch of the entire collection, just for one very small reason: the first pan in each palette is not an eyeshadow, but rather a creamy eyelid primer. The palettes come in two shades—warm and cool—and each features eight silky shadows and one creamy primer. Philips used the warm palette on the models for the Cruise 2019 show.
If you’re not typically a fan of lipstick palettes ($83), the new one from Dior Backstage might just convert you. The first row of three lipsticks are sheer, the second are satin, and the last are matte. You can buy a lipstick brush to apply them with, but we preferred to tap them on with our finger to get a soft, blurry lip look. The shades all hover in the pinky-nude, your-lips-but-Dior territory. If you like a more serious lip statement, Philips noted that someone with lighter skin can pull-off a bold look by wearing the darkest brown-red shade, while someone with darker skin could get the same effect by choosing the light peachy pink. It’s an entirely new lipstick formula, just like everything in the Dior Backstage line, but Philips said it’s most closely related to Rouge Dior.
The Dior Backstage collection also includes two eyebrow powder trios ($65 each) as well as thirteen brushes ($45 to $104) to cover all your application needs.
The Dior Backstage collection goes on sale on June 15 on Sephora.com. Singapore will have 21 shades and will be available at Dior ION Orchard, Marina Bay Sands, Takashimaya S.C. and all Sephora stores from July 2018.
*Prices have been updated to Singapore dollars (SGD).
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.