It’s estimated that one billion lipsticks are thrown away annually, a truth that compelled Nicolas Gerlier, a 10-year veteran at L’Oréal Luxe in Paris, to have an epiphany. “We cannot continue to consume the way we do,” he says. “We invented plastic 100 years ago, and today more than 82 per cent of our oceans are polluted with it.”
Envisioning an alternative that is considered both luxury and sustainable, Gerlier came up with La Bouche Rouge: a refillable lipstick that’s formulated without fragrance and suspected endocrine disrupters, made in small batches and housed in a leather case that uses no microplastic. “I wanted to give a deeper meaning and impact to objects that last,” he says. The brand launched last year with six red shades designed by British makeup artist Wendy Rowe.
Gerlier chose lipstick because it’s the most “visible” makeup item and focused on red because of its meaning. “It’s more than a colour,” he says. “It’s an energy that encourages speaking out and defending a point of view.” The leather for his monogrammable cases comes from the same 176-year-old French tannery that counts Hermès as a client and is respectful of the environment. And that’s ultimately what Gerlier wants to improve. “I am a father of three children, and I just want for them to live in a better place,” he says. “There is no planet B.”
CHLOë SEVIGNY, WHO CREATED HER ULTIMATE ORANGE-RED SHADE FOR LA BOUCHE ROUGE BACK IN THE SPRING
LA BOUCHE ROUGE LIPSTICK ( FROM $160)