Spring time at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, the perfect backdrop for Dior to present their upcoming launch, the first lipstick created by their new Creative and Image Director for Dior Makeup Peter Philips who gave me a very exclusive and rare interview (available in German and French in the new October issue of L’Officiel Switzerland – at newsstands nationwide this Thursday).
Since its launch in 2001, the «Dior Addict Lipstick» has been on everyone’s lips. The first lipstick created as a fashion accessory has been reinvented this fall in a futuristic version, defying the limits of shine to ensure easy-to-wear, lively and vibrant colour in one movement with no mirror needed. Thanks to its hydra-gel core, that is composed of 40% of the three of the shiniest oils used in cosmetics, it is the first lipstick with an integrated top coat. With each application, this original gel coat delicately melts over the lips, providing them with a sensual moisturizing glossy film and a spectacular volumizing effect. No lip balm needed anymore.
The 35 shades are divided in three different light effect families, from glittery to flashy to glowy. Actress Jennifer Lawrence is the face of the new campaign that is very reminiscent of the famous «Basic Instinct» movie scene in which Sharon Stone is crossing and uncrossing her legs. The only difference? The cigarette is a lipstick. The slogan? «Shine, don’t be shy!» – the perfect reflection of who she is in real life. A modern woman who takes control without taking herself too seriously. About her collaboration with Peter Philips she raves: «He is very sweet, incredibly creative and brilliant. I love how he does makeup. He understands a woman’s face and knows how to make it dramatic with makeup, but also make it seem very natural.»
Time to meet this icon of the beauty industry. Born in Antwerp in Belgium, Peter Philips is the former Creative Director of Chanel Makeup. After having left in 2013, he spent the subsequent year as a freelancer before joining the House of Dior. Working along with his fellow countryman and longtime friend Raf Simons, Creative Director Dior, the two share the same aesthetics and vision. The perfect match!
The lipstick as a fashion accessory – what does that mean to you?
I talk about the origin of the object, the way it is shaped is different from any other lipstick. It is pretty to put in your handbag, just like a fashion accessory.
«I am guided by beauty.»
When you create makeup looks, do you take it from a fashion and trend angle or you think more about the wearabilty of the products?
As a makeup designer my first motivation is beauty. That is my main reason. Once you start talking trends in makeup, it becomes fashionable but this is just a niche. Clearly all women want to be beautiful. Not everyone wants a trendy shade, but everyone wants a pretty shade. So first, I am guided by beauty and then I use fashion to make it more interesting, to tease and link it to couture, to editorials and shows.
How do you work together with Raf Simons?
Our creative process is about looks, not about collections, not about products.
Practically, we have a different timing. Raf works now on couture and the show will take place in one and a half month. I am working one and a half year in advance to design new makeup products. Therefore it is so important for me to be guided by beauty as I can always integrate the fashion part later. When I work with Raf, I create a look for his show and use my products as a service to enhance Raf’s vision and to deliver his message.
The ad campaign reminds me so much of that famous scene in Basic Instinct. Is this on purpose?
Yes, it comes with these cinematographic references and it is just a flash. With Jennifer Lawrence, we have got an actress and she loved the movie. It is visually a nice teaser. It shows a strong woman and is a nice «clin d’oeil» to another Dior icon, Sharon Stone.
Can you give us some tips how to apply Dior Addict Lipstick?
It is such an easy product. Most important is to find the right shade or shades according to your mood. «Be Dior» for example suits a lot of women. You can even only apply it in the middle as it is sheer and you can build it up as you like. It gives a lot of moisture and comfort. You don’t need to use a primer, a liner or a balm. All the tricks are in this one lipstick.
How do we find the right shade?
This is hard to say. It is the same for every beauty product, for eye shadows, foundation, nail polishes, you have to try it because there is no manual for it. I recommend going to a counter and feel it. Therefore I don’t believe in buying over the internet for the first time.
And do not forget to look at the colours in different lights. For example, the new Dior Addict Lipstick shades shine in the sun like fireworks.
How can we make lipstick long-lasting?
For shoots and in general, I like to scrub the lips to get rid of the dead skin, I moisturize the lips preferably with Lip Maximiser but it can be any lip balm to nourish them. Very important is it to take the greasiness away and to dab off the excess before getting started with applying the colour.
For a classic lip, I recommend a liner, maybe fill in the whole lip and apply the lipstick afterwards.
If you would like to have a lip stain, just pinch it in with the fingers so that it will last. The new Dior Addict Lipstick comes already with an integrated top coat that seals in the colour and makes the pigments stay longer.
«An eyelash curler is a must for every woman.»
What are the beauty products every woman should own?
Each woman should find the right foundation if she needs it. If you have great skin, do not even bother to get it, just maintain it. A foundation should give the illusion of a youthful skin. If you have it, do not change it. Actually I am wearing «Star Foundation» right now because I got a huge sunburn.
An eyelash curler is a must for every woman. Even if you do not wear makeup, curl your lashes as it will open your eyes immediately. But never apply it when you have mascara on as the lashes might break.
What is your signature?
As I said before, I am guided by beauty. I like to create products that are really useful and surprise with interesting elements, such as new textures or different shades. I don’t want to dictate. The women who wear my makeup should discover the products themselves and have fun with them.
When I work for a fashion show, my signature is that I am very loyal to the designer, to support him and not to make it my show. Therefore they like working with me. I like to stay low profile but if they want something spectacular, I can deliver it.
Why did you take the job at Dior?
After I left Chanel, I worked for one year as a freelancer and I realized that I missed creating the products. I know Raf for 20 years and kept doing his menswear shows. One day, he came to me and said: «You stopped so that you can do my shows now?» He booked me and so from one thing came another. I got to meet Claude Martinez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Parfums Christian Dior. Funnily enough, I was not sure if I wanted to be linked again to one brand and stay in Paris. (Laughs) Probably it was midlife crisis but after one year, I truly missed doing collections and creating new products, the innovation. It was bizarre going to a store and buy products again that I needed for my work. I had a very critical eye and simultaneously Raf came in. Now, I am happy to be part of this amazing House that has a different DNA than the one I worked before at.
What are you working on now?
We already shot the campaigns for S/S 2016. Autumn and Christmas is almost done and I will be shooting those ads for F/W 2016 during the next weeks.
What is your favourite part about your job?
To make a living by doing makeup. The big variety of my job. Doing shows, products, shoots and working with the labs, even that technical part interests me. I don’t see myself as an artist, but I can be very creative. I like to watch women wearing my shades and products. Working also with a movie star who wants to put me in her bag and travel around with me makes the whole package just great.
Thank you, Peter!
As a journalist you get to meet a lot of people but it is always a pleasure to talk to someone who has such a passion for his job like Peter Philips. After having tried the new «Dior Addict Lipsticks», I can understand his excitement and I have a confession to make. I have become an addict and I cannot get enough. And you will surely, too!
4 It-shades: Be Dior (Jennifer Lawrence wears it in the campaign), Smile, Tribale and Wonderful are also available as Dior Gel Coats.
The collection is in stores now.
Photos: Courtesy of Dior and © Sandra Bauknecht