Leave it to Hermès to take something as run-of-the-mill as lipstick and transform it into a coveted objet d’art. Rouge Hermès launches today and I for one will be galloping to get hold of my favourite, 66 Rouge Piment.
Rouge Hermès Matte Lipstick, £58, Harrods
The Wall Street Journal has already dubbed Rouge Hermès the ‘Birkin of lipsticks’. But having tried all 24 shades, I personally prefer to call it the Goldilocks of red lipstick, as each variation is neither too cool, nor too warm. Whether you choose the most saturated claret or crimson with a touch of pink, the baseline shade is magically spot on.
Above all, Rouge Hermès is an homage to the luxury French fashion house. Every part relates back to Hermès’ impressive 180-year-old heritage, first as a saddlery workshop then as a purveyor of silk scarfs and the ultimate ‘it’ bags like the Birkin.
Here we break down everything you need to know…
The 24 must-have shades
Running the gauntlet between a neutral rose pink to the innate Hermès shade of Orange Boite (FYI this shade will make tanned skin sing), each lipstick shade was specifically chosen from the brand’s archive of over 900 leather shades and 75,000 silk swatches.
Most importantly for Bali Barret, Artistic Director of Hermès Women, each is decidedly feminine without being frilly.
‘Creating a lipstick is like a mood, a flash of wit, and a signature reflecting a woman’s personality without altering it,’ he says.
Why 24, you ask? It’s the address of the brand’s historic roots at 24 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris, of course. See what we mean about everything relating back?
Two iconic textures
According to Jerome Touron, creative director for Hermès Beauty, ‘I immediately thought of leather, for the sensation of comfort and the look and feel of its different finishes’.
Consequently, 10 of the Rouge Hermès lipsticks are matte, conjuring up the soft, powdery feel of fine-grained suede. The rest are a sheeny satin inspired by the brand’s iconic Kelly bag.
Each is easily identifiable by the matte or shiny band on their cases and by the shape of the bullet. Those with a matte finish have a pointed tip for precision, while the satin lipsticks are rounded so you can just smoosh it on in the back of a taxi.
The custom scent
A luxury lipstick wouldn’t be quite so bougee if it didn’t have its own signature scent. Developed by Hermès perfumer Christine Nagel, Rouge Hermès leaves behind a subtle scent trail of sandalwood, arnica and angelica – i.e what we imagine rich people smell like.
The luxe packaging
The tri-coloured cases are not only the definition of chic, with a luxury weightiness and satisfying click when they close. They are designed to be environmentally friendly, too. Constructed from lacquered metal and the same hardware used on its bags, they contain no plastic and are also refillable in store.
Can’t get enough of Hermès Beauty already? Good news: the brand has plans to launch a new cosmetics category every six months for the foreseeable.
Proof that this is no horseplay.