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Dior’s Peter Philips on What’s Next in Makeup

Dior’s creative and image director fleshes out what’s catching his eye in prestige beauty’s largest category.

Nearly a decade into his tenure as Parfums Christian Dior’s creative and image director, Peter Philips thinks the sky is the limit for makeup.

“The biggest trend in makeup is makeup itself,” Philips said. “It goes in all kinds of directions…it’s so popular right now in all of its shades and formulas, from very nude and intellectual almost to very expressive and bold.”

The consumer for Dior’s makeup has widened as well. “Everything is possible, and that’s a huge step forward. There’s no more barriers, it’s not just gender-fluid, whatever you want to call it, everybody can have access to makeup, and everyone can wear makeup,” he said.

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That reflects larger market trends. According to data from the NPD Group, makeup sales have exceeded pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter, hitting $2.1 billion, with lip sales surging 32 percent in sales growth.

Dior’s lip launch for 2022 epitomizes Philips’ imperative — to meet demand, cater to current trends and adhere to Dior’s heritage. “Our Lip Maximizer project, where we combine the best of two worlds: Dior Addict and the Maximizer line that is very popular,” he said. “They’ve been brought together so it’s now our Lip Maximizer with caring and plumping benefits.”

That range, formally dubbed the Dior Addict Lip Maximizer, launches in January with 31 shades in four finishes, priced at $40.

“It matches perfectly with the revival of the late ’90s and 2000s looks, when lip gloss was huge,” he added.

Across eye and complexion products, change is also afoot. The brand is introducing a 30-shade concealer revamp in glass packaging — aimed at being easier to recycle than plastic tubes — and those formulas boast a higher concentration of natural-origin ingredients, tallying in at 96 percent. Those, called the Dior Forever Skin Correct Concealers, are priced at $38 each. It all ladders up to Philips’ goal of servicing broader concerns about formulations and sustainability from consumers.

“There’s a big responsibility when you’re a worldwide beauty brand like ours,” Philips said. “When we launched the previous Rouge Dior, we introduced the refill concept using recycled materials in our paper packagings, recycled paper, less silver print and less plastic foils — all little gestures that make a huge impact at the quantity that we produce.”

Similarly, Dior has introduced a new database where consumers can see which ingredients are used in each product, and how they are sourced. 

“The battle isn’t just creating trends and doing fun colors, but everything around it is as important as the product itself,” Philips said. “It’s being rational, being persistent and pushing all of those ideals through. Next to that, I’ve got my creative side and passion as a makeup artist, my passion in trying to offer great shades and great formulas.”

Effecting change at scale isn’t Philips’ easiest mandate. “If you look at the size we are, it’s like moving a mountain because you have to change a whole factory structure, just because it’s such a huge quantity. It takes a huge team effort,” he said. “But honestly, the pandemic helped because people became more aware. We made small steps, and now we’re making bigger steps.”