Back in 1953, Christian Dior famously claimed he wanted to "dress women's smiles" with the debut of his eponymous lipstick line Rouge Dior, then comprised of just two red shades. These days, the modern world looks unrecognizable from Dior's in virtually every way. But if cosmetic sales data tells us anything, it's that even in times of hardship and duress, said women (and lots of other people, too) aren't just after a dressed-up smile: we want the whole smile wardrobe.
Today (Jan. 15) the legendary house of Dior makes good on its founder's proclamation with the re-release of Rouge Dior, but with a distinctly modern twist: it's aesthetically redesigned and refillable. In a move toward sustainability and away from plastic waste, the actual case includes a line of silver trim that hides the base of the lipstick bullet which can be twisted up and replaced with a minimally-packaged (and $8 cheaper) refill. The redesign not only cuts down on excessive packaging and trash but is also shockingly convenient. Designate one case for your bag, one for your house, and mix and match its contents accordingly.
To accompany the new packaging and design, Rouge Dior offers 75 compatible shades (there's that smile wardrobe!) that range from variations on and reinterpretations of signature shades to entirely new ones. If that wasn't enough, the shades themselves are all reformulated to retain the striking color payoff of the original while improving on lip care with an infusion of ultra-moisturizing shea butter, supple pomegranate blossom extract, and radiance-boosting red peony.
The complete Rouge Dior overhaul comes under the watchful eye of Peter Philips, Creative and Image Director for Dior Makeup, who personally recalibrated each of the 75 shades to adjust them for modern life.
"Red makes a true statement, while nude has become the everyday shade," Phillips elaborates in a press release. "Nude is different for each woman. The finish varies depending on the color of the lips, so it is important to offer a number of shades, from light beige to rosewood, to ensure every woman finds the one that is most flattering."
It would be difficult not to with a color library this extensive. Some standouts from the wide-ranging collection include updated versions of four iconic Dior shades: 999 Velvet, a timeless siren-red inspired by original the Rouge Dior shades; 100 Nude Look, a beige-grey originally created by Christian Dior himself and updated by Phillips for the new millennium; and 525 Chérie, a sweetheart of a shade in rosewood nude inspired by Christian Dior's deep love for and appreciation of women. If even some form of nude feels daunting, Phillips made something for you, too: the Rouge Dior Satin Balm ($38), a natural and universally-flattering balm that moisturizes and nourishes under color or on its own.
The shades are available in assorted finishes, including matte, satin, velvet, and metallic. Metallic and velvet are the newest finishes to join the Rouge Dior family, with velvet as its most intense and pigmented form. According to Dior, a velvet shade can last 16 hours without feathering, drying, or cracking.
If you thought the new and improved Rouge Dior line ends there, think again—this is Dior after all, and elegant extravagance is the name of the game. To complement the resigned case and accompanying lip shades, Phillips also developed a range of 24 lip liners to work in tandem with the lipsticks. Named Dior Contour ($31), the collection is designed to be applied before lipstick to give it an additional two hours of wear time.
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In his effort to bring the storied line a thoroughly modern update, Phillips artfully infuses the most evocative details from both the original collection and Christian Dior's couture clothing to make something at once timeless and of this time. Though 75 shades should more than satisfy us for now, Phillips makes it impossible to not be excited for his next move. And the one after that.