Hermes lipstick | How the fashion house mastered makeup

Fashion houses are getting into beauty is nothing new – designer fragrances have boosted the incomes of the most famous names for decades. More recently, designer lipstick has come to the fore, with brands from Christian Louboutin to Carolina Herrera creating statement bullets to appeal to the younger generation of luxury shoppers.

As the market continues to oversaturate, brands need to offer something unique: something that reinforces, doesn’t broadcast their brand DNA and speaks to the ready-to-wear customer as well as those looking for an introduction to entry level.

Hermès is one of those brands that has mastered the transition from fashion to beauty. The Rouge Hermès lipstick line launched last year and has been so well received that it now includes dozens of shades in multiple finishes.

As you’d probably expect, the packaging is thoughtfully designed and designed to show off. The heavy lacquered tubes, designed by Pierre Hardy, are lacquered in shiny stripes, close with a satisfyingly weighty magnetic click, and are stamped with the brand’s gold seal on the base. Naturally, they are refillable (these refills being offered at a much lower price).

When it comes to colors, it makes sense that most luxury houses stick to the tried-and-true formula of a few nudes and maybe a pop of red. Hermès, however, eschewed surefire sellers in favor of a palette that reaffirms its predilection for punchy, unpredictable pigments. Bright flamingo pinks, cheery corals – and of course, some bright oranges – take center stage here, offering something that looks striking like this coveted wrapper itself.

Matte finishes can raise eyebrows these days, when natural, vibrant hues and comfortable formulas steal attention, but a Hermès matte is like no other. The ultra-lightweight, almost foamy texture creates the most beautiful slick of opaque, even color that never settles unflatteringly into fine lines. For something softer, Satin Lipsticks combine creamy, slightly shimmery color with uplifting vibrancy.

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More recently, the brand added a trio of limited-edition Shiny lipsticks that belie their vivid appearance to deliver a translucent sweep of color, adding volume and shine while illuminating the complexion.

So what’s the next step? A small edition of blushers – and a coveted limited-edition highlighter – have already joined Hermès Beauty’s growing roster, alongside a gift-worthy nail care collection. (Yes, you can now paint your fingers this shade of tangerine). Skincare products are rumored to be next on the list: we’ll see you in line.

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