What does a nude shade mean in today’s saturated beauty market? This thought was at the top of Peter Philips’s mind when he was creating 10 new nude shades for the Dior Addict collection. Like any good artist, Philips wanted to get as much information as he could before starting.
To that end, he engaged the house’s marketing team to do a worldwide study of colours women naturally have on their lips, much like the ones they “do regarding skin tones and their nuances and undertones when we work on our foundation line,” he tells us.
The result? Realistic hues that have been calibrated to blend in with multiple skin tone ranges while retaining what its existing audience has already grown to love about the line: the high-shine that comes from just one swipe, a moisturising 90 per cent natural formula, and of course, the iconic “upside- down” case, which now comes in four limited-edition couture cases.
Christian Dior once said, “Every woman is a princess” and Philips’s new additions truly live up to his proclamation by making any one across the globe feel, look and be like one.
Hello Peter, as this interview appears is our first issue, we have to ask: what was a “first” you experienced this year?
I dived straight into work during the new year and my first big adventure was when I went to Los Angeles and back to Paris for a day. Next, I went to India!
When it came to creating new colours for the Dior Addict collection, how did you start gathering inspiration?
When we put the first launch out, it was a beautiful and complete line, but I started to think of the gaps we could fill. I put in a request to our marketing team to do a huge research project like the worldwide one we do regarding skin tones and their nuances and undertones when we work on our foundation line.
I asked our marketing team to do the same for the lips, because there are so many naturally-coloured shades around the world.
The research included the way women perceived what a nude lip colour was, and what were the nuances, like how many shades women naturally have on their lips. Based on that exercise, I completed and fine-tuned the range to produce colours that would blend in with any skin tones.
Some are strong and some are subtle, but they all blend in nicely.
How important was it to you that Dior Addict had to have a 90 per cent natural formula? How do you think it makes the lipstick even better?
I’m not a chemist but all I know is that we ask our laboratories about the maximum amount of natural ingredients they can use without compromising the quality of a product itself. The DNA of the house is based on gardens and the beauty of flowers.
The latter is the main source of inspiration that started from Christian Dior and how he viewed women as flowers. We use that as a base for all our products and our laboratories automatically do research on beautiful flowers and their oils, nourishing elements and ingredients that can be used in formulas.
That is something they always achieve and it might be a process which can take two, three, or four years as it also includes the design of packaging which has to be as green as possible.
For the refill concept, we also had to consider the power of seduction and how women can be seduced into using a lip product that was refillable. We designed a desirable case with an easy-to-refill concept and it’s little things like this that also helps to make the product cleaner for everybody.
Is there a way to wear Dior Addict that defies how lipstick is traditionally worn?
You could wear it in different ways, but it depends on how you define tradition. It could mean a classically drawn lip and it’s funny because young girls perceive it as a new trend. Quite often, some of them are familiar with the soft, smudged look and consider it a classic look instead.
I like to apply it on the cheeks as I like that Dior Addict gives a beautiful glow with a hint of colour.
Is there a way to wear Dior Addict that defies how lipstick is what do you think is the role of lipstick in today’s times?
I don’t know if I can be too philosophical with it but the only thing I know about lipstick is that it’s a powerful tool. I’m always blown away by the surprised reaction of models who are just starting out in their careers when I do their lip make-up for the first time. They almost walk away differently because suddenly, they look and feel more mature and feminine.
Wearing lipstick gives you a seductive look because you’re drawing attention to your lips but at the same time, it creates a protective wall because one can’t come close to you as it leaves a mark. It’s attractive but at the same time defensive.
Also, when you use a more powerful shade and you have something important to say, people will naturally pay closer attention.
Do you have a favourite shade in the collection?
Dior 8 is a gorgeous brick red tone that is warm and beautiful because that’s what people perceive as the ultimate lipstick colour. The number is also Christian Dior’s favourite number and it is also the shape of the infinity symbol.
I didn’t want to go for a bright, blood, or tomato red but instead, I decided on a brick- toned one that blends in beautifully with all skin tones. It’s definitely a lucky number and perhaps, it’ll be someone’s lucky shade.
What kind of femininity do you think campaign faces Anya Taylor-Joy and Jisoo bring to the house respectively?
They are both young and dynamic career women who share their creativity, individual beauty and talent with the world. They look radiant all the time even when they might not feel great and they’re the kind of women that others would identify with.
You would want to be part of their circle or even be a little bit like them. They’re appealing not just to their fan base, but to a large group of people, because their beauty is not one that is intimidating. It is a beauty that is unique, and uniqueness means individuality.
Every woman has their own individual beauty and that is something Anya and Jisoo both represent.
Lastly, how will the House’s beauty universe expand in 2023? What can we expect from you next?
We do less impulsive launches and focus instead on launching products that really deliver after thinking it through. There are no lazy or crazy launches where it’s done for the sake of doing it because there is a balance of elements like formulas, finishes, packaging and communication.
We want to keep doing more with every season and launch because taking small steps means that reaching the finishing line feels more impactful. It makes it easier for our clients too, because you’re not overwhelming them with something they’re intimidated by.
Our other goal is to develop new greener formulas and more refillable packaging this year. We’ve made progress in the past five to six years by making small changes like producing cardboard cases using recycled paper, printing using less violet ink and eliminating the use of plastic foil.
We work on producing long- lasting products not only in makeup but how people perceive it. They get involved with the way we work towards a greener approach and it’s easier for them to adapt to it