the makeup revolution starts here
The beauty landscape is changing – and it’s customers who are the ones transforming it
Beauty is now taking centrestage on the runway.
Imagine a fashion house’s mindset changing so fantastically that the biggest shows are being used as a stage not just for their new-season collections, but as a chance to showcase the latest beauty offerings, too. Rather than merely complementing the design aspect of fashion week, beauty is now taking a front-row seat.
Leading the way is creative and image director of Christian Dior Makeup Peter Philips, who’s been helping to foster the brand’s modern aesthetic since 2014. Each season, he launches his latest creations on the faces of models walking the runway. We see the makeup, want the makeup, then we can buy the makeup. So why is this simple strategy so disruptive? Because it finally puts us – the people who buy makeup – first. “I create products that will give the same result in reality as they do on the runway,” he says. “Now, the biggest trend on the catwalk is makeup itself – not a specific colour or look, but the product and how you use it to express yourself.”
If you’re a beauty editor lucky enough to find yourself backstage at the exclusive Dior shows, then you’ll be immersed in a frenzy of models Instagramming new products as everyone scrambles to see Philips’ latest genius. This is where the trends are created and the latest innovations stake the limelight. “Having expertise in backstage makeup for the past 20 years has had an impact on what I create as products – the first Diorshow mascara was born backstage – but quite often my vision is led by what people need,” Philips says. “For example, the new Diorshow Pump’n’volume mascara was created so I could quickly do a layeredlash look and it could be re-created at home.” (We’ve tried it: you squeeze the rubber indents at the bottom of the tube to soften the formula and evenly coat the mascara’s spoolie, then you run it through your lashes once for a dense, full look. It works.)
But why are fashion houses creating consumerfriendly products first and letting the trends follow suit? In an era of live streaming and social media, our consumption of fashion shows and beauty looks is rapidly developing. We now have immediate access to the runway and we don’t want to wait six months for the looks to percolate into a specific, usable product. This has forced brands to consider how they can make their beauty offerings more commercially accessible, faster. Burberry and Tom Ford made their SS17 makeup collections available on e-commerce sites and in shops immediately following their shows, while Topshop allowed consumers to buy its latest beauty offerings via a pop-up stall during London Fashion Week.
Naturally, sales of a product rise when it’s made available for purchase during the hype surrounding it. When Kendall Jenner wore Rouge Dior lipstick in Poison Matte during the Dior AW16-17 show, it was a sell-out success. When we see inspirational beauty, we want to re-create it, and if the exact product is for sale, then we’re going to buy it.
The gap between runway and retail is closing. Makeup is becoming an increasingly important side of the fashion business, so being an early adopter is more important than ever. For some brands, this will mean a change to the production calendar – but if you can see something, fall in love with it and buy it straight away, then surely that’s a win-win for everyone. All products by Dior, (02) 9295 9059
Dior Addict Lacquer Stick in Tease, $53
Diorskin Forever Perfect Cushion, $93
Rouge Dior Double Rouge in Matte Metal, $53
Dior Addict Lip Sugar Scrub, $49