Lipstick Queen is expanding its reign with a new collection featuring the brand’s most advanced formula since its 2006 launch.
Come September, Australian entrepreneur and founder of the lipstick brand Poppy King will introduce Velvet Rope, a five-piece lipstick line designed to extend her lip-color empire. The item, at $50, will be the highest-priced lipstick in the brand lineup to date.
For King, the range is meant to harken back to Forties Hollywood, when “glamour was in every detail” and heavily pigmented pouts were the norm.
“Hollywood glamour was at its peak in the Forties,” said King. “It was a time when women were an equal presence on screen, and were there to be seen as well as heard. Each one of the female film stars in the Forties could match any man in terms of power and wit and look damn good doing it.”
Despite her vintage inspiration, King was equally focused on delivering a “futuristic” new formula that felt lightweight. The final formula, 20 years in the making, promises densely pigmented opaque color deposit, paired with the light feel of a lip balm.
“I have been trying to make this [quality] lipstick since I started my first lipstick brand when I was 18,” King shared. “I finally found a chemist who cracked the code on ‘high-drama look, no-drama wear.’ This was the lipstick of my childhood dreams.”
Central to the formula is silicone elastomer, which King said allows the lipstick to feel silky and weightless while preserving an intense velvety color.
“Because of [the silicone and elastomer base], you are able to achieve full coverage in a single stroke that usually requires at least three strokes,” King explained.
The lipstick’s additional ingredients include three types of waxes — candelilla, carnauba and beeswax — to give the stick its structure, along with vitamin E and apricot oil to maintain nourished and soft lips. Peppermint oil was also included for a dose of freshness and a minty scent.
“Mint is an action trigger,” said King. “The mint scent makes the wearer feel invigorated into whatever she has to get done that day/evening.”
The collection is comprised of shades Private Party, Brat Pack, Entourage, Black Tie and Star System, with colors ranging from nude to deep red. Each will retail for $50, setting them apart from the brand’s current range of lipsticks, which retail between $18 and $25. Industry sources project that first-year sales for the new collection will reach $1 million.
While King set out to evoke glamour and stardom, she also focused on a “rock ’n’ roll” sensibility, a nod to her own cheeky personality. To that end, the line will be sold in royal blue velvet-coated secondary packaging meant to feel more edgy than posh. The velvet is also meant to underscore the name of the collection, which alludes to the daunting velvet rope on a red carpet and to the velvety look of the lipstick once it is applied. “Velvet Rope is about beauty and power and where the two meet on an equal footing,” said King, adding that the lipsticks are housed in heavy golden casing to underscore her vintage inspiration.
The Velvet Rope collection will be sold at all Space NK and Barneys New York doors nationwide, as well as at all Space NK doors in the U.K.. Velvet Rope will be also be available online on Lipstick Queen’s Web site, lipstickqueen.com.