Leave it to Hermès to take something as commonplace as a lipstick and transform it into an objet d’art. By virtue of its artistry and creative vision, the Hermès approach to makeup re-imagines the idea of beauty as a quest for the intrinsic; that beyond appearances, it is a quest for self-expression, self-fulfilment, and a sense of wellbeing. Born to cultivate these values, Hermès Beauty—the House’s first foray into the realm of colour cosmetics in its 180-over years of existence—is where its singular aesthetic and deep appreciation for beautiful objects are woven into the functionality of makeup.
The result? Rouge Hermès, a full-fledged lipstick collection by the House, rocking 24 shades, of which 10 are matte and the rest a satin finish, ranging from the most saturated reds and pinks to innately Hermès hues like an ultra-vibrant orange, as well as a deep crimson called ‘Rouge Casaque’ that recalls the leather finish of the iconic Kelly in Clémence bullcalf. A story of legacy-meets-innovation, the inspiration behind the colours come from none other than the Hermès archives in Lyon, where creative director for Hermès Beauty Jérôme Touron referenced more than 900 leathers and 75,000 colour samples stored on silks.
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“When I think of makeup, I think of materials. Materials carry colour. They give it its strength and its subtlety. They give it a particular finish,” says Touron. “At Hermès, colours travel. They are re-invented from one material to another: from silk to leather, enamel or lacquer. And today, to makeup. When I imagine a shade of lipstick inspired by a colour of leather or silk, it is a starting point. The material always takes the colour in another direction.”
Truly an object meant for the senses, Rouge Hermès doesn’t just satisfy the visual creature in all of us. It imparts an exceptional feel on the lips, with a weightless formula that is comfortable and sensual, giving a coverage as delicate as it is velvety. Formulated by the Beauty Research and Development laboratory in Le Vaudreuil in France’s Normandy region, ingredients such as white mulberry extracts and beeswax lock in moisture and provide hydration. And as part of its sensoriality, the lipstick even has a signature scent custom-blended by Christine Nagel, the nose behind Hermès fragrances, composed of notes such as sandalwood, arnica and angelica.
The elevation of this perennial cosmetic item also sees the House giving Rouge Hermès a playful colour-block packaging made from metal and permabrass, which are materials that can be found in the hardware of some of the handbags. There are even handcrafted, lacquered wooden lip brushes to complement this oh-so-Instagram worthy packaging, to provide a more precise and efficient application of lip colour. Collectively, these design elements don’t just look good, they contribute to the thoughtfulness and durability that is Hermes’ brand of luxury, for every lipstick tube is made to be refillable as well.
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At once poetic, functional and sustainable, Rouge Hermès is the ultimate lipstick crafted to bring out the beauty of your lips. Also, owning this piece of makeup swag is the first step towards that elusive Birkin. Always dream big.
BTW, check out what went down at the launch party of Hermès Beauty in Paris, where Bazaar got to see, feel and have a swatch-fest of the gorgeous Rouge Hermès collection:
The Rouge Hermès collection is available from 4 Mar at Hermès Liat Towers, $103 each.
Photographer: Yulia Gorbachenko
Model: Blanca Padilla
Hair: Shin Arima for R+Co
Makeup: Christine Cherbonnier
Manicure: Naomi Yasuda