When Hermès, the French luxury brand that was founded in 1837 announced their foray into lipsticks, I was initially puzzled. Then, the promo photographs began appearing and I got really excited………until the prices were announced.
Well, cough cough, two reds later but with different formulas, here we are.
There are two formulas, satin and matte. Both formulas draw inspiration from the leather and suede used for Hermès’ bags, specifically, suede for the matte formula and leather for the satin formula. Beeswax is mentioned in the INCI list so be aware if you bypass products containing this ingredient.
Hermès perfumer, Christine Nagel, composed the scent, which is almost undetectable to me. While Jérôme Touron, Hermès Creative Director of Beauty, spent two years preparing the collection which debuted with 24 shades.
Hermès lipstick cases were also meticulously designed by the brand’s jewellery and shoe designer, Pierre Hardy. Refillable and containing no plastic components, the lipstick packaging is made from a combination of lacquered metal and permabrass.
Each lipstick comes in the classic Hermès orange box and inside of the box, the lipstick is further protected in a fabric slip-on case.
Made In: Italy
Availability: Honestly, it’s been dicey. When the lipsticks first launched, they sold out in a flash. On the department stores websites, it’s often listed as back-ordered. I was able to get Rouge Bleu on the Hermès website but I waited for more than a month to receive it after I placed my order due to pandemic closures. Hermès has since re-opened their distribution centers but the lipsticks don’t appear to be available right now so keep checking back. At the time of this writing, Harrods has some shades available but if you’re not in the UK, do prepare yourself for the shipping costs.
Rouge Piment has a satin formula and goes on similarly to a balm. It’s so comfortable I often forget I’m wearing it.
On me, it doesn’t remain intact through toast but with other meals involving cutlery, it holds up better. I also experience some feathering but again, only after I’ve eaten something.
Of all the ways this lipstick can be applied, I prefer to use a brush although it’s definitely one of those red lipsticks that you can casually swipe on. The balmy feel makes it very pleasant to wear.
For me, Rouge Piment is a beautiful shade of lipstick but I give more points to the feel than the performance.
Rouge Bleu is among the matte formulas and as the name implies, it has a blue undertone that is quite flattering. There’s also some pink in this shade, as seen in the swatches below. For a matte lipstick, Rouge Bleu is also very comfortable to wear and if I’m really careful, I can get away with not using a lip liner.
While it doesn’t smooth over lines, it also doesn’t emphasise them more so than any other luxury matte lipstick I’ve used. Plus it also doesn’t feather beyond my natural lip contour in the way Rouge Piment does.
Rouge Bleu wears better, although this fades in a similar time frame as other lipsticks I’ve used, about four to five hours. It’s opaque in a couple of quick swipes and can definitely be built up easily.
I also think Rouge Bleu has a cooler element to it and is somewhat more ‘black tie’ than Rouge Piment. Essentially, you’ll choose based on whether you prefer matte lipstick or a satin one.
Rouge Hermès lipsticks are in a category apart from other lipsticks. You’re paying for the brand’s heritage, the novelty and the sum parts of the packaging which is exceedingly impressive and I’d even venture to say the most unique I’ve seen. Plus, the lipsticks make beautiful collector’s items.
Hermès plans to expand their beauty products in the future with new additions scheduled every six months. It sounds like a great strategy to me; create anticipation, limit the rate of new releases, add in the luxury price tag and my guess is that the items are likely to always sell out.
Let me know if Rouge Hermès has been on your radar, or if you’ve tried it and what your thoughts are and I hope this helps.