What's different about the new Rouge Dior Ultra Care line of lipsticks? The brand's creative and image director shares more about that—as well as the magic of flowers

The late Christian Dior is known for many things. Among them, it was his immense flair for creating divine haute couture garments that won him universal acclaim. He is most remembered for injecting splendour back into the post-war wardrobes of women with the New Look—a sensuous silhouette that drew the eye in to the beautifully nipped waist. His name soon became synonymous with the ideals of grace, elegance and femininity.

But the designer had other interesting facets to him too. Dior kept a pocketful of talismans with him—he believed that the combination of a pair of hearts, a gold star, a four-leaf clover, a piece of wood and a sprig of lily of the valley brought him luck.

Sewn into the hems of his runway dresses, Dior’s fascination with the lily of the valley went beyond superstition. In fact, he loved flowers as much as he revered women. “After women, flowers are the most lovely thing God has given the world,” he famously wrote in The Little Dictionary of Fashion.

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So, it’s no wonder flowers continue to feature prominently in the house’s ongoing story. The latest chapter? The launch of Rouge Dior Ultra Care, a sumptuous selection of lipsticks that are infused with flower oil. The latest innovation by Peter Philips, creative and image director for Dior Makeup, the range puts lip care at the centre of its cutting-edge R&D efforts. “Thinking about ‘care’ has become an essential step in the creative process,” he said. “This extra touch is beneficial to any beauty product since when you feel good, you look good.”

Besides offering rich colours, long-lasting wear and a matte and dewy finish, the new-and-improved lipsticks are formulated with cameline oil that deeply nourishes the lips, plus jojoba oil extracts that form a protective barrier to lock in moisture for that irresistible pout.

“The fantastic thing about this formula is that it is lightweight, it is almost like whipped cream. You do not feel that you are wearing the actual colour that you are wearing, and your lips stay hydrated while you are wearing the lipstick, which is a great extra in the new formulation,” Philips explained. The renowned make-up artist tells us about the magic of flowers as well as how he bridges the gap between heritage and modernity.

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What do flowers mean to you?

Peter Philips (PP) For me, flowers are the most beautiful thing. They are unique, look amazing, and smell great. When you give someone flowers—whether it’s a bouquet or a single stem—you really put a smile on their face. The great thing about flowers is that they are a force of nature, but they are very fragile at the same time. That contradiction is almost poetic.

Can you describe the woman Rouge Dior Ultra Care is made for?

PP These lipsticks are made for a woman who loves make-up and wants a product that keeps its promise. It has such an amazing colour pay-off. It can be adapted to anybody, from those who prefer a subtle touch to those who want bold looks.

What was your inspiration to create these shades?

PP Of course, being Rouge Dior I wanted to go for strong colours, but at the same time I wanted to bring naturality and “care” elements. That’s why they’re in all kinds of raw hues—there are no shocking pinks or jarring fluorescent tints. Visually, it doesn’t look like a contrast, what you see is the result it gives on your lips. That is a beautiful, natural bouquet of raw shades.

Why did you choose to use flower extracts for this collection?

PP Personally, I like the idea of the Rouge Dior lipstick being in the world of flowers. It’s a huge inspiration not only for Dior’s beauty sphere, but also for our fashion universe. Christian Dior was slightly obsessed with flowers; thus it makes them an essential part of our DNA. If we can use ingredients that are derived from flowers and they also take care of you, then it’s a great match. That’s why it’s so important for me that we use flower extracts because it’s not only a beautiful story, but also a product that performs. Flower extracts really help you take care of your lips.

How is the applicator of Rouge Dior Ultra Care Liquid different from the traditional ones?

PP The Rouge Dior Ultra Care Liquid applicator is literally inspired by a flower petal. If you look at it closely, you almost see the shape of a rose petal. On the curved side, there’s a bit of a container which holds the product, so you apply a proper quantity of product onto your lips. The texture of the applicator is thought-through in a way that it has the softness of a flower petal, but with enough strength to hold the product. So you can have an even, smooth application of the product onto your lips. The point at the top of the applicator is a bit sharper, helping you control the contour of your lips when applying the lipstick; the curved side lets you even out the lip texture when you make the final swipe.

This is the second time you have created a lipstick with a “gel heart” that also delivers skincare benefits. Is this officially a Dior signature?

PP Once we discovered this concept, we realised that we could create the ultimate lipstick. Each formula can keep its quality pure while in the stick, and they fuse on application. This way, we can take advantage of each formula’s qualities to the maximum. The fact that we are able to do that is just a technical masterpiece. It really gives us the possibility of combining formulas that normally don’t really match.

How important was it to create a collection based on lip care?

PP We always try to add care elements into our products, be it in our foundations, lipsticks or more. For this launch, we wanted to add something extra and push the “care” factor even further without compromising on the make-up aspect of it.  

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