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Peter Philips on reviving Rouge Dior and sustainability

“It’s been one of my personal battles for a long time to work on eco-friendly packaging for Dior Makeup,” said creative and image director Peter Philips on the new Rouge Dior.

Did you know that the concept of refillable lipsticks isn’t a new one? It was actually one of the first beauty innovations dating back to the early days of makeup. Similar to how we’re going back to the vintage era of having solid beauty products, it appears that lipstick is also going in that direction with refillable options. Dior Makeup has recently relaunched the entire collection of Rouge Dior lipsticks, spanning 75 shades in four finishes: metallic, satin, matte, and velvet. Each finish has approximately nine shades, with the iconic 999 shade available in every finish.

dior beauty
The new Rouge Dior is available in 75 shades with four finishes.

The best part about the new Rouge Dior lipstick? It’s refillable. The eco-friendly concept is one that Dior Makeup’s creative and image director Peter Philips has been personally pushing for many years. Now, his work is finally come to fruition.

Several months back, we got an exclusive interview with Philips discussing the new Rouge Dior and its green concept that dates back to the 50s. Below, we hear his thoughts on the new lipstick collection as well as shades that are perfect for the Asian skin tone. Also, is lipstick still relevant when we’re all wearing masks anyway? The man answers below.

Can you tell us what sparked the idea to have refillable lipstick cases for Rouge Dior?

It’s been one of my personal battles for the longest time to work on eco-friendly packaging and the concept of recycling. Step by step in the six and a half years that I’ve been here, we’d be working on that alongside different projects and launches. I call it a ‘battle’ because, in a big company like ours, it can be complicated to change the system overnight. I used the new launch as an extra reason to push for this refillable concept because the first lipsticks at Christian Dior launched in the early 50s were refillable. You could buy the lipstick as a luxury object and then buy the refills.

Making it sustainable is a no-brainer. These days, you really have to think about it — it’s not even a marketing concept anymore, it’s a reality.

What shades of the Rouge Dior are perfect for Asian skin tones?

The brick reds match really well with Asian skin tones. You can wear them as a lip stain or a perfectly-drawn lip. The few shades I feel will be perfect is the #720 metallic and the velvety #84. What’s great about this (velvet) formula is that you can apply it as a controlled lip (perfectly drawn) or a lip stain. Of course, if you want to have a brighter look, a beautiful pink always lifts your complexion. These are just general suggestions — of course, every woman is different and it depends on how she styles her look with her clothes, or if she dyes her hair in a specific colour. These factors have an impact on how your overall makeup will look like.


What were some of the challenges behind redesigning the new Rouge Dior?

We fine-tuned the formula and added more natural ingredients like floral extracts. Packaging-wise, our challenge was on how we could integrate it in a more eco-friendly way, to continue what we’ve been doing but evolve into something more sustainable. Thus, we developed a more eco-friendly way of purchasing your lipstick. With this system, we produce one-fourth less plastic than we did before and one-third less energy is used to produce the lipstick. That’s a big step. Of course, we plan to evolve this more, but it’s a step by step process.

Now that we're all wearing face masks because of the pandemic, do you think that wearing lipsticks should still be important?

You should do what makes you feel good. Wearing lipstick underneath the mask, I feel, is like a woman wearing lingerie. Nobody sees it but herself — it’s a great feeling for yourself because you feel it “completes” you. It’s the same with lipstick.

Now, of course, not every type of lipstick goes well with wearing a mask. I think the best lipstick finish to wear under a mask is a lip stain. You can also really exploit the strength of a lip liner in this sense. I normally use a lip liner as a primer before the lipstick, and you can do the same, apply lipstick, and then dab it off with tissue paper. However, I won’t go for a perfectly drawn lip, because it’s not guaranteed transfer-proof. I also won’t go for a lip gloss or a full creamy lipstick — that’s a guaranteed disaster.

(All images: Dior Makeup)


Poh Nee is the editor and writes about travel and drinks. When she’s not living out her holiday dreams via Google Earth and sipping on an Old Fashioned down at the local bars, you can find her snug at home bingeing on Netflix and mystery fiction.

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