As creative and image director for Dior Beauty, Peter Philips has a long list of duties: He creates the looks for the historic Parisian house’s runway, works on countless editorials and, of course, is responsible for creating new products for the French luxury brand.
However, in all these pursuits, he has one defining guideline: be respectful of a woman’s beauty.
“I don’t believe in pushing looks or dictating what to wear,” says the Antwerp, Belgium-born Philips, who has been with Dior since 2014. “My style is about beauty, from very natural to very extreme, but always respectful to women. I think a woman is beautiful with or without makeup as long as she feels comfortable. I am a fan of beauty.”
This month, Philips left his home in Paris to come to a surprisingly rainy Los Angeles for the brand’s first West Coast makeup launch. The event, a packed affair at West Hollywood spot Delilah, drew celebrities, influencers and beauty experts to celebrate the Dior Addict Lacquer Stick ($35, at Dior.com), a new formula of high-pigment lip color in a stick form that goes on with ease. (Jennifer Lawrence is the face of the Dior Addict line.)
At the party, the colorful line, divided into four collections, was available for guests to play with via roller girls on skates.
“It is a colorful and young line,” says Philips. “It’s playful. We have liquid lipstick, and now we have the lacquer. It’s between a gloss and a stick. It’s an innovative formula.”
That new formula contains moisturizing properties (oil, resin and beeswax) that make the product feel soft to the touch, while the hue is intense and saturated. The tube is fun too. Each color comes in a sleek black-and-iridescent casing.
The collection’s four categories — Pastel, Neon, Classic and Wild — have distinct inspirations, reflected in the vibrant colors that make up groupings.
The choice to introduce the collection in Los Angeles makes sense once the main muse is revealed: California.
Philips says the Pastel collection was inspired by the sun and the laid-back nature of California, while the Neons feature dance club-influenced shades; the Classic collection takes cues from Americana; and the Wild shades are an homage to late nights in L.A.
“I am a Belgian working in Paris, and I used to live in New York,” says Philips. “So, the way I look at L.A. is from an outsider’s point of view. I have an idealized image of L.A. My first idea of L.A. was built on impressions, flavors, tastes and the weather. Those are my inspirations.”
Of course, it being February, launch took place during a busy awards season. While Philips is not a red carpet makeup artist (he says his jam-packed schedule doesn’t allow for it), he still has an opinion on what works best under the spotlight.
“When I look at the red carpet, the looks I like are the ones that look effortless,” he says. “I don’t think it should be too editorial. When there is perfect harmony between the makeup, hair, accessories and the dress, I think it looks good. It can be bold or simple, as long as it is the perfect balance.”
Now given Philips’ passion for Los Angeles, the new Lacquer Stick probably won’t be the last Dior Beauty product inspired by the City of Angels.
“Every time I come to L.A., it is discovery,” he says. “I never know what to expect.”