Revered luxury house Hermès has finally joined the beauty world. The brand’s fragrance line has been popular for years — thanks to the genius of in-house perfumer Christine Nagel — but the launch of Hermès Beauty marks its first foray into the wild world of cosmetics.
Launching cosmetics lines makes good business sense for most luxury houses; not only do they get to express another aspect of their brand universes, but the accessibility of beauty products also means that more people can take home a piece of the dream, whether that dream is created by Chanel, Dior, Gucci, or — in this case — Hermès.
“We are approaching this new métier with our own language,” says Hermès artistic director Pierre-Alexandre Dumas on the philosophy of Hermès Beauty. “We are expressing the beauty of Hermès, or Hermès’ vision of beauty… we have been accompanying our customers in their daily lives for almost two hundred years, attending to their comfort with elegance.”
In typical Hermès fashion, Hermès Beauty doesn’t refer to its beauty products as products, but rather as objects — beautiful objects. For instance, its debut collection comprises “objects devoted to the beauty of the lips”. Rouge Hermès, as the collection is called, comprises lipsticks, a universal lip pencil, a lip brush, lip care balm, and Poppy lip shine (a pearlescent gloss).
The Rouge Hermès lipsticks, which are the focus of the entire collection, come in a total of 24 highly pigmented shades, echoing its Parisian address on Rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré. 14 hues come with a satin finish, and 10 with a matte finish. If there is one colour to pick up, it is probably Rouge H, a shade of red — not orange — dating back to 1925 that supposedly marked the first time a luxury house had created a signature colour on leather. As you might have guessed, the colour — a neutral red with a hint of brown, but not quite burgundy — was originally called Rouge Hermès.
The other shades in the collection were similarly inspired by colours found in Hermès’ much-beloved silk scarves — all 75,000 hues were whittled down to just 24. The formula of all the lipsticks also contains white mulberry extract, an ingredient related to silk production that is usually used in skincare to brighten dark spots.
To complete the sensorial aspects of the Rouge Hermès, the brand’s in house perfumer Christine Nagel was also asked to create a signature scent for the lipstick — expect notes of sandalwood, arnica, and angelica.
Naturally, the cosmetic products are also accompanied by a selection of accessories, all of which were crafted by Hermès artisans in its signature Madame calfskin. The accessories include a lipstick case with an integrated mirror, a pop-up lipstick case, and a moon-shaped mirror attached to a leather cord. All of the accessories are available in three shades — rouge piment, rouge h, and gold.
Hermès Beauty will be available from the 4th of March at Hermès’ stores in Liat Towers, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, and Takashimaya.