At Hermes, the hand is both symbolically and literally vital. “We are the house of hands,” says its artistic director Pierre-Alexis Dumas. The man’s of course referring to the skilful touch of the artisans that’s involved in everything that the maison creates.
The third and latest addition to its beauty metier can thus be said to be a loving ode to it. Hitting shelves on October 15, in stores such as the house’s Liat Towers flagship and on its e-boutique, Les Mains Hermes is a tight yet exhaustive collection that focuses on colour and care for the hands and nails.
The 24 shades that the brand has come up with contain high concentrations of fine colour pigments.
The beauty products that the house has previously released – lipsticks and blushes – had been inspired by leathers and silks. Now the nail polishes draw quite aptly from another one of its signatures: the laborious, decorative craft of enamelling most often seen in its jewellery.
The 24 shades that the brand has come up with (a number in tribute to the address of Hermes’ historical flagship on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore in Paris) contain high concentrations of fine colour pigments so that they apply opaquely and offer a high colour payoff.
Les Mains Hermes continues the visual language of the house’s line of beauty products. The ex libris house insignia and white-and-brushed-gold packaging echo the look of the brand’s lipsticks and blushes – all by Pierre Hardy, who also designs footwear and jewellery for the French luxury house.
Like the palette of its master enamellers, there are multiple variations of red, blue, pink and green. Bottle #71 Orange Brule, for example, is an ochre red meant to recall the tangerine light that hits a forest in autumn while #33 Orange Boite is the iconic hue that graces its boxes and paper bags. To complete the application ritual, there’s a base coat to smooth the nails and a top coat that seals the polish with a glossy, lacquered finish.
The colours of the nail polishes draw from the house’s vast palette of colours. Shades like Gris Etoupe, Rouge Casaque and Vert Ecossais, for example, recall the iconic grey, red and green of iconic leather Hermes handbags.
Meanwhile, the hand care is meant to be “intimate” and “pure” according to Pierre Hardy, who’s responsible for the brand’s beauty, footwear and jewellery design. There’s the balmy Complete Hand Care Cream – formulated with shea butter and a blend of plant oils – and a Nail and Cuticle Nourishing Oil with similar ingredients that strengthen and protect nails. Both are certified by Cosmos Natural (read: they’re legit organic) and contain 98 and 100 per cent natural ingredients respectively.
The nail enamel formula is composed of at least 71 per cent of ingredients of natural origin.
And because this is Hermes, expect some thoughtful and luxurious accompanying paraphernalia. There’s a three-tiered carrier crafted in Tadelakt calfskin – the brand’s smooth, grain-free, semi-glossy leather – that’s shaped rather like a fancy tiffin with compartments that swivel out.
Products like base coat (pictured) and cuticle oil and nail files complete the Les Mains Hermes collection.
It’s been designed to house the entire range of products save for the hand cream (that should be stashed in your handbag anyway). Even more indulgent: a set of 12 nail files crafted from poplar wood with dual edges to shape and smooth. Do-it-yourself manicures have never been this plush.
Scroll on to peep what’s in store.