From The Straits Times    |

Credit: Dior Beauty

Last year, Dior Beauty amped up the bold, individualistic spirit of its high‐shine Dior Addict lippie with the introduction of couture cases: decorative shells that fit any of the refill bullets from the range to give it a fashion‐forward personalised touch. Now, another four holder designs and 10 shades have been added to the collection. Ahead, Peter Philips, creative and image director for Dior Makeup, shares how his idea of self‐expression is one for everybody.

The idea of couture cases remains a novel one. What do you have to say to those who find it frivolous?

“You can say that we’re using this ‘frivolousness’ for a good cause. After all, once someone likes a shade, they tend to buy it again. You can stick to the classic Dior Addict case (its slick black lacquered design is iconic), of course – it also works with the refills. But by making cases that are a bit more funky or fun, that could help get people buying more sensibly and sustainably. The more attractive and fashion-forward we make the case, the more desirable and collectible it becomes and perhaps this will encourage people to buy refills instead of the whole lipstick and its packaging repeatedly.” (According to the brand, in comparison to using two non-refillable Dior Addict lipsticks, switching to a refill saves 33 per cent of fossil fuels and 39 per cent of water as well as reduces 37 per cent of greenhouse gases emitted. On March 27 this year, it launched three new couture cases that draw from Dior’s fashion codes: the powder pink Rose Montaigne; the sleek White Canvas with the Dior Oblique monogram printed all over; and Brick Cannage, which features the label’s emblematic canework motif in bright red fabric. Come April 10, another one with the Oblique pattern – this time in a burgundy-on-beige colourway – will drop. All are limited-edition.)

Lipstick is a great tool for self‐expression, says Dior Makeup’s creative and image director Peter Philips (above), and Dior Addict’s nourishing formula that is composed of 90 per cent natural ingredients and melts upon contact for a second‐skin feel offers the comfort to truly be oneself. Joining this signature collection of high‐shine lippies recently: 10 new shades spanning soft nudes, reds and rosewoods said to complement every skin tone.

Do you see interchangeable designer cases becoming a huge trend and eventually, the norm?

“I don’t want to link what we’ve done with Dior Addict to a trend or say that it’ll become one. It’s just a beautiful makeup product … Trends are created by the people who wear a product and they will wear your product when it’s appealing. This is where we come in. We make sure that the formula is good and keeps its promise; that the colours are really great; that people can connect with them regardless of what their vision of beauty is; and that the packaging is beautiful. When you can seduce people to look at and buy your product, it becomes a trend to them. When a lot of people look at and buy it, that’s how it becomes a huge trend and we end up with the new It shade or product.” (Said to impart intense colour and high shine that lasts six hours with a single stroke, Dior Addict is also known to feel ultra-lightweight and comfortable, thanks to a formula that melts instantly upon contact with the skin. The addition of jasmine wax and omega-rich plum oils help to keep puckers hydrated, nourished and in turn smooth.)

Why is lipstick a great makeup tool for self-expression?

“Because it draws attention to the centre of your face. There are different ways to express yourself using your looks: It’s a combination of hair and makeup and styling, and lipstick is a part of your look that ‘talks’. You talk and smile with your lips and the more attention you can draw to them, the more people will perhaps take note of what you have to say – not just audibly, but also visually … Another thing to remember is that if you want to project a positive energy, you need to feel comfortable. Dior Addict has a super comforting and caring formula that makes it feel like second skin – a little creamy and buttery. It’s nourishing and has a beautiful shine, and you don’t get the urge to want to check it every few minutes, making it a very good ally. You can wear it like a full gloss – a glam Studio 54 kind of look – or as a stain. However you want to use it, the results will look gorgeous and feel comfortable.”

To up the fashion factor of Dior Addict, which has always come in a slick black lacquered case (foreground) to complement the lippie’s high shine and colour pay-off, Dior Beauty launched couture cases – decorative sheaths that can be used on any of the bullet refills to “dress” them up – last year. Now, expect four new designs, all limited‐edition and inspired by the house codes: (clockwise from far left) the powder pink Rose Montaigne; the Burgundy Oblique; the Brick Cannage in bright red fabric; and the White Canvas, which also sports the Dior Oblique monogram.

There are 10 new shades in the Dior Addict collection, bringing the range to a total of 35 colours here. Which of them would recommend to emulate joy?

“It’s important to remember that as a makeup artist, I never look at lipstick on its own, but instead one’s overall makeup look and how lipstick plays a part in creating it. Take 758 Lady Red, a very bright and classic red. On a nude face, it’s not going to look so joyful and would in fact look severe. With good lashes, a bit of blusher and dewy skin though, it can look very sexy. That’s the power of makeup. Any shade you have can be transformed to help express your intended emotion.”

Indulge us a bit more; how about a Dior addict colour for channelling one’s inner goth?

“We have a dark shade, 730 Star, that’s almost a deep chocolate tone. On a dark-skinned girl, it would look like a cool, modern nude, while on a medium-toned girl, it would be a sexy brown. On a very pale girl though, this would look goth.”

What’s your tip for using Dior Addict to create a Y2K look?

“To create a Y2K look with lipstick, you’d always need to combine it with a lip liner. First, use a lighter shade – something like 527 Atelier (a beige-pink) or 412 Dior Vibe (one of the 10 new shades added to the collection recently). Both are nude and shiny. Next, apply a lip liner – ours are very long-lasting – and blend it out a bit with a cotton bud. Follow this with a touch of colour and shine in the centre of your lips either in full coverage or transparently and you’ll get that great vintage 2000s look. I was young in those days and my friends then loved using lip liner. It made them feel great, so I think I know how the youths today feel when they do the same look. It’s empowering: a bit punkish and at the same time sexy; severe yet also soft. It can also be used to correct your lip shape if you want them more plump or symmetrical, making it a great look to help enhance one’s beauty or camouflage insecurities.”

Representing the daring and liberated femininity of the collection are two of the most vibrant and go-getting female entertainers on the scene: Dior ambassadors Anya Taylor‐Joy (right) and Jisoo (left).

How would you say Dior Addict appeals to Gen Zers?

“Sometimes, it feels like the labelling of generations is a way to make them an easier target when it comes to marketing … For us, what Gen Zers like is nothing that we can put into a formula or a range of shades. What’s more important is how we approach our products. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how you feel about your gender or how you want to express yourself. When you visit a beauty counter or see someone wearing a shade that appeals to you, it’s because of a personal connection or emotion you feel with that shade. This is where our formula and packaging come in. There’s no need for categorising our products. They’re accessible to everybody. Imagine I create a range for Gen Zers. This would only accentuate that this is just one fragment of the population at large and discriminate against others. As a creative director and as a house, our service, quality and expertise are meant to make people feel comfortable and beautiful no matter their gender, age, skin colour and how they feel. That’s the essence of what we do. Once that positioning is clear, everybody should feel welcome at our counters and boutiques.”

Lastly, tell us how the two stars of the latest Dior Addict campaign — actress Anya Taylor-Joy and K-pop star Jisoo — represent what the lipstick stand for.

“Both are very beautiful, dynamic and ambitious individuals … Despite their different cultural backgrounds, they’re creative entertainers who shine and a lot of people look up to them because they’re living their dreams – and work hard to make this happen. For both of them, nothing comes as a present. I shot with Anya just this week in London, and I listened to her schedule and was taken aback by how intense it is. Still, she’s always so positive. And I last saw Jisoo four months ago in December, when she was in Paris with Blackpink for their concert. I went backstage to see her, and the energy and motivation that the girls put into their work is mind-blowing … People tend to see Jisoo and Anya when they’re on the red carpet or on social media – the glamorous part of their lives – but behind the scenes, they’re both hard-working professionals who love what they’re doing. That is how you make your dreams come true. You don’t wait. You go for them and act on them.”

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

This article is adapted from a story that first appeared in the April 2023 Community Edition of FEMALE