Hermès is getting in on the beauty juggernaut with its first foray into makeup: a line of lipsticks, released in the U.S. today. The 24-shade collection, named Rouge Hermès, is just one part of Hermès Beauté—which the French luxury house is positioning as a full range of beauty products. The rest of the lineup is TBD, but for now, the lipsticks are being billed as the one affordable thing the masses can purchase by Hermès. While you can't recycle your bespoke Birkin like Kim Kardashian West, shell out $67 and suddenly you're the owner of your very own Hermès rouge. But is this new lip product even comparable to the caché of the brand's existing coveted accessories? We put it to the test.
Maridelis Morales Rosado, Assistant Visuals Editor
When someone says “Hermès,” what’s the first thing that pops into your head? Scarves, chain links, horses. I think that’s probably what their mission statement is, anyway, so good job on branding.
What is your history with Hermès, if you have one? When did you first come to know of the brand? The brand has always existed in my periphery, but I never became fully aware of them until my 20s. I’d just know them from ads in magazines or Instagram, but never paid attention—until I started working here, since I’ve never really identified as a horse girl. I can confidently say the beginning of my relationship with the brand is with the lipstick, and it’s a strong start.
What are your first impressions of the lipstick? I tried a taupeish color and a wine red one. The tubes are heavy and look official, and the gold stamp makes me feel like I am financially stable. It went on so smoothly—like butter, you could say—and was buildable: never dried out my lips, and stayed on evenly all night, which is all I can ask for. I only had to reapply once, and that was really for emphasis. Matte lipsticks have been a personal enemy of mine for some time since the application always ends up uneven, as much as I try, but this one changed my mind on matte.
After using it a few times, what do you think? Would you continue to use this lipstick in the future? The wine red color works as either a berry tint, or full-on matte Goth vibe, if that’s what I need that day. I’ve used the wine color the most because I’ve felt more edgy and in control than usual, but the taupe one is my perfect nude and I use it on a day-to-day basis. I’ll definitely use both moving forward.
Andrea Whittle, Features Editor
When someone says “Hermès,” what’s the first thing that pops into your head? The word "chic." Then, in this order: the color orange, the general concept of horses, the clack of the metal and enamel bracelets my former boss used to wear, silk scarves, a parade of prototypical finance guys loosening their cute little animal print ties.
What is your history with Hermès, if you have one? When did you first come to know of the brand? I have had at least a vague understanding of the unique power of the Hermès brand since I was about the size of two Birkin bags stacked on top of each other. Mostly because I grew up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where women of a certain age talk about Hermès with a quasi-religious zeal. It’s always represented stately elegance to me, a reverence for craftsmanship and old-school simplicity over everything else.
What are your first impressions of the lipstick? I’m more of a tinted lip balm kind of gal, but I felt pulled toward this product. Chalk it up to that mysterious aura. I tested out two shades: the brick red Rouge Casaque (matte) and the dusty pink Rose Encens (cream). They both have a smooth, luxurious texture—very spreadable, not at all sticky. The red looked a little too orange on me, but works better when blotted down, and the pink I love.
After using it a few times, what do you think? Would you continue to use this lipstick in the future? Neither of them rocked my world to the point that I’m going to start wearing lipstick every day, but I’ll keep them on hand for parties or days when I want to feel a little more “done,” like a real Upper East Side lady.
Tilden Bissell, Digital Designer
When someone says “Hermès,” what’s the first thing that pops into your head? Silk scarves. The scent of Terre d'Hermès. Bright orange.
What is your history with Hermès, if you have one? When did you first come to know of the brand? I can’t quite put a finger on it. A vintage carré at the consignment store near my home in Philadelphia, the lurid pink Birkin that Logan Huntzberger gave Rory Gilmore, Tinkerbell peeking out of Paris Hilton’s bag in the mid-aughts—I think there are two parts to Hermès: an aspirational luxury brand and a pop-culture touchstone.
What are your first impressions of the lipstick? I would qualify myself as a Lipstick Girl™, albeit one with an aversion to matte products, so I picked out two satin finish colors to try: Rouge Piment, a bright chili pepper hue and Rouge H, a vampy wine shade. The formula went on perfectly smooth and it even stood up to the two cups of matcha I inhaled that morning, a necessity for any potential lipstick trying to make it into my rotation.
The packaging was elegant and thoughtfully designed: Once finished, the lipstick cartridge can be swapped out for a fresh one, making the gilded and color-blocked tubes refillable. As a devotee of Kjaer Weis’s reusable cheek compacts, I appreciated that the whole thing won’t end up in a landfill—but it did make the lipstick itself prone to popping out.
After using it a few times, what do you think? Would you continue to use this lipstick in the future? Absolutely. Hermès’ lipsticks capture the feeling of their heritage silk scarves in a tube, and the color payoff was phenomenal.
Maxine Wally, Senior Digital Editor
When someone says “Hermès,” what’s the first thing that pops into your head? Betty Draper riding a horse.
What is your history with Hermès, if you have one? When did you first come to know of the brand? When my mom and dad were first dating in the '80s, my dad, a jeweler before he retired, wanted to lavish upon my mother a supernice gift. He went to Hermès and bought two scarves for her: one was a brown, orange, and green colorway, large—when I was a kid, I thought it was about the size of a picnic blanket. Realistically it was a small flag. The other scarf was tiny, meant to be tied around the wrist or close to the neck, and it had a bright red border. Mom used to maintain that dad was dating the salesgirl at Hermès on the side, too, and that's how he managed to finesse two scarves to give to her, but I could never tell whether she was joking or not. This is how I first came to know of Hermès.
What are your first impressions of the lipstick? The tube has a nice heft to it, and a satisfying magnetic click when I close it. I hear it's reusable, which is great in theory, but sometimes the lipstick itself falls out of its conduit. The lipstick is stamped with "Hermès" in all caps—very official. I love the selection of mattes, a category which I've long ogled but have never tested, and now, I can't wait to try it.
After using it a few times, what do you think? Would you continue to use this lipstick in the future? I picked Rose Mexique, a vibrant pink, and Rose Indien (what's up with these names?), a matte magenta. Rose Mexique was far too bright for my coloring, and transported me to the '80s, the era when my father gifted my mom those scarves. This is no fault of Hermès, it's just not my color. Rose Indien, which is darker and more rich, goes on incredibly smoothly—I thought, since it was a matte, it would be dryer, but it's not. My one gripe is the smell—the lipsticks give off a scent of salinity. Still, there's definitely room in my tiny stable of lipsticks for the matte color, and I will use it on the rare occasion when I leave my house.