The French house of Hermes works on its own schedule – taking the time to thoroughly research and develop products that meet its exactingly high standards.
Its Rouge Hermes line of lipsticks – its first foray into the world of colour cosmetics revealed last April – took two whole years to develop. So it’s only fair now to get excited about its new extension: blushers, or more correctly, its Rose Hermes Silky Blush line of powder blushers.
While the brand’s lippies are inspired by leather, Rose Hermes takes its cue from the brand’s silks. After leather goods, silks are probably what Hermes is best known for.
It’s a long history that started in 1937 when Robert Dumas, the fourth-generation leader of the brand, released the house’s first silk scarf. In the years since, the number and variety of silk designs and products that Hermes has made is dizzying. To date, the brand has made use of around 75,000 colours in its silk scarves.
Rose Hermes is formulated with a mineral powder to give it a weightless quality.
For Jerome Touron, creative director of Hermes Beauty, there exists an “analogy of material between powder and silk”. The two share a delicacy, softness and radiance that Touron has transposed into the medium of a finely milled powder with a surface texture like the fine rib weave of silk twill fabric.
Lightness is also key: Rose Hermes is formulated with a mineral powder to give it a weightless quality. It’s also got vitamin E in the mix for its antioxidant properties, which improves its luminosity and lasting power. It imparts, rather than deposits, colour – a fine and velvety veil that can be built up to your preference.
Rose Hermes takes its cue from the pink hues used in the brand’s silk archives.
The beauty (pardon the pun) of Hermes is that it takes its time to perfectly marry art and science, and it does so by bringing together talents from different fields – what artistic director Pierre-Alexis Dumas calls “the result of a collective effort”.
Pierre Hardy, who designs the house’s shoes and jewellery, is behind the round, disc-like case that houses the Rose Hermes Silky Blush. In white and gold satin-finish permabrass, it’s marked by a concave ex libris house motif that was first created by Emile Hermes in 1923. On the inside, the powder pan is deliberately nudged off-centre to suggest a playful drift and movement.
Rose Hermes captures the idea of what the colour pink represents to the maison that of the emotion of a dawning day and of bliss.
Christine Nagel, the Hermes perfumer since 2016, has meanwhile composed a delicate scent of arnica, sandalwood and green tea to fragrance the powder. It’s a discreet harmony of notes that amplifies and enhances the experience of applying the blusher, distinct from but related to the fragrance of its sister product, Rouge Hermes.
And tying it all together is Touron’s vision of the colour pink as a sensual, complex language that speaks volumes. In the Hermes universe of colours, “pink can express optimism, femininity, extreme gentleness or absolute intensity”, says a brand representative.
Hermes has imbued a delicate scent of arnica, sandalwood and green tea to fragrance the powder.
With Rose Hermes, users are invited to enjoy and relish the experience of applying blusher to the cheeks. Blusher is unique in makeup because of how transformative it is. A sweep of colour on the cheeks can impart a look of good health, insinuate coyness, assert boldness or even create the illusion of having been in the sun.
The eight shades that Hermes has devised have extremely romantic notions: the orange-toned Rose Abricot is compared to a beam of sunlight, the deep pink Rose Nuit with subtle blue undertones is likened to voluptuous bougainvillea flowers touched by moonlight. Even Rose Pommette, the most accessible and universally flattering shade of pink in the range, is dubbed a “rosy-cheeked glow of emotion”.
Which begs the question: when is a blusher more than just a blusher? Going by the extreme refinement of these creations, we wager that it’s when it makes you feel something – special, even.