After Hermès announced last year that it will venture into the beauty domaine, excitement started mounting. The storied French brand kept the information related to the launch tightly sealed until now and those beauty editors who went to advance presentations had to sign non-disclosure agreements, only elevating the intrigue. Yesterday was the first day when Hermes introduced the lipstick collection, called Rouge Hermès to its customers at its Bond street flagman in London, as well as at Harrods. Suffice to say I dashed in to have a look.
There will be three limited colour editions of the lipstick (currently vibrant rose, violet & coral, £62) and a choice of matt or satin finish for the main lipstick collection. There are currently 24 shades (14 satin colour choices, inspired by the ‘sheen’ of calfskin leather and 10 matt ones, reminiscent of the fine-grained suede that Hermes uses in its bag & accessory collection). Those lipsticks are priced £58.
Shades range from beige to pink, from stunning reds to trademark orange. Lipsticks very subtle signature scent was created by Hermès nose Christine Nagel and packaging was devised by Pierre Hardy. Each lipstick can be refilled (for £33), so clearly sustainability was on the mind of Hermès team, as they developed the concept for about two years.
Rouge Hermès adoption of this new ‘metier’ is seismic. Each lipstick comes in its own pouch, modelled on the pouches that each Hermès bag, wallet or leather accessory is housed in. Then each pouch is packed into Hermès signature orange box.
Each lipstick has a pointy tip in order to allow the customer precision of application. The lipstick case is light in the hand, yet ‘solid’ enough to allow you slight ‘weightiness’ rather than ‘flimsiness’ when you hold it. There is also a clear, moisturising balm in the collection, which you can apply before the lipstick to soften the lips, as well as a lip brush, if you prefer to apply or fill in your lips with the brush, rather than directly from the tube or with your finger. In addition, you can also purchase a moon-shaped elegant mirror and a Universal Lip Pencil that will help prevent colour ‘bleeding’.
According to Hermès Artistic Director Pierre-Alexis Dumas “as artisans we are dedicated to the beauty of useful objects. Beauty contributes to this enchantment.”
” Hermès Beauty took shape quite naturally as a collaborative creation driven primarily by a talented college composed of Bali Barret, Pierre Hardy and Jérôme Touron. Their work on objects, materials, colours and gestures, and the new sensory field of texture, developed freely through shared affinities and connections”Pierre-Alexis Dumas, Artistic Director of Hermès
There is no high-profile MUA behind this launch. In addition to Hermes in-house perfumer Christine Nagel & designer Pierre Hardy that I already mentioned, there is also brand’s Head of Beauty Agnes de Villers, Jerome Touron, who was responsible for product development & Bali Barret, Artistic Director, who was consulted on the colour palette for lipsticks. Quite a strong team of very diverse talents, so it’s no surprising that Hermès first colour cosmetic collection is incredibly impressive, as well as eye-catching.
At the time when there are many flimsy beauty launches, Rouge Hermès continues the artisanal traditions, fusing together brand’s history and traditions of metier. By venturing into beauty marketplace, this much admired brand elevates itself to new heights by opening itself up to more customers, including the young generation, who will find beauty offerings more accessibly priced, than Hermès scarves or bags. Each product in the collection is durable, lacquered & polished. Visually perfect, colour vibrant and to top it all, each purchase is housed in its own little orange box & accompanied by the duo of personal choice samples for the customer to experiment with at home. I walked away with the vibrant Rouge Piment 66, wondering what would be this season’s bestseller shade .)
To find out more about Rouge Hermès please go to brand’s website here