A little over a year ago, Hermès Beauty authored a new chapter in luxury brand Hermès’s 183-year history. Dedicated to the beauty of the lips, its debut makeup collection, Rouge Hermès, epitomises the Maison’s philosophy and culture of craft and aesthetics—with the minimalist outer packaging in the iconic Hermès orange, the durable lipstick case assembled by hand in France, the scented, lush-as-suede lipsticks in 24 bold hues and the accompanying small leather accessories presenting a multi-sensory experience that elevates the simple act of putting on lipstick.
This April, Hermès Beauty follows through on that visual and tactile sensuality with the Rose Hermès collection, comprising a blusher, two blusher brushes, a mini bag specially designed to fit the set and a lip enhancer. Centred on the colour pink, it is a narrative of all the shades of the romantic hue—from pale and muted to intense and electric—the House has created since its birth. The plethora of pinks in the archives was eventually narrowed down to eight for the Silky Blush—including the Asia-exclusive Rose Poivre, described as “the pink of a Persian night enveloped in spices”—and three for the Rosy Lip Enhancer.
“The colour pink can be seen as a cliché of femininity,”says Pierre Hardy, Creative Director of Hermès Jewellery and Hermès Shoes, who designed the packaging, cases and bag in Rose Hermès. “I think it shows the strength of fragility. Red is a statement, but pink says, ‘Let’s talk about it, let’s think about it.’ Pink comes with softness, but also personality and strength.”
One of the biggest challenges design-wise, he shares, was to marry Hermès’s past with its vision for the future. “[The House’s history] nourishes me, but I have to transform and translate all that into an object with a new form or shape,” Hardy explains. “I try to keep to essence and identity of Hermès and make it alive again and again. Otherwise, it’s just going to be a beautiful past and I don’t want that.”
Like the Rouge Hermès lipstick, the Rose Hermès Silky Blush tells the story of heritage and brings fashion into the mix. The case, which is refillable, similarly features the ex-libris created by Émile Hermès in 1923, this time engraved on a concave gold disc nestled in the top of the white, round compact. Inspired by Hermès scarves, the powder pan showcases a textured pattern on its surface that recalls the twill weave of its inspiration, with the fine and velvety mineral powder itself evoking the lightness and softness of the silk accessory as it gives skin a whisper of translucent colour that’s buildable to your heart’s fancy. Adding to the tactile feel are the two blusher brushes: The full-sized Blush Brush (Hardy’s favourite) boasting goat bristles and a smaller mini Travel Blush Brush with bristles made of easy-to-clean synthetic fibres. Both feature a lacquered wooden handle and a metal ferrule in brushed gold.
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An ally to this feminine trail of pink is the Rosy Lip Enhancer. Designed to hydrate the lips and enhance their natural beauty with every swipe of any of the three rosy-nude shades, it has a balm-like texture inspired by the smooth feel of the House’s Butler leather, introduced in 2013.
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As fine as these products may be, the pièce de résistance of the Rose Hermès collection is undoubtedly the Pommette Blush Case, which comes with an adjustable shoulder strap and is specifically designed to hold the Silky Blush and the Travel Blush Brush. Made with calfskin and in an electric pink, it shows off the House’s exquisite craftsmanship and is the perfect capper to a collection that continues the Hermès story of beauty and fashion.
This article was first published in Harper’s Bazaar.