Dior Ultra Rouge
The famed French fashion House unveils the first water-based, ultra-colour lipstick that promises comfort and ultra-wear. The science behind the launch is fascinating.
“Ultra Rouge is not only a creation; it is also a ground-breaking innovation. It’s like picking up the pigments with a brushstroke and then applying them to the lips with stunning ease, with this incredible fresh, melting feeling,” explains Peter Philips, Creative and Image Director for Dior Makeup. It was under Philips’ guidance that the Dior laboratories formulated a water-based lipstick that offers great colour and long wear. The luminous semi-matte finish lasts up to 12 hours with a texture that is five times softer than traditional lipsticks.
“What do women want from a lipstick?” asks Philips. “Everything. Today they are used to high-pigment lipsticks with extreme long wear, even if that means less comfort. Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum they want light-as-air, weightless colour that lip inks provide, but these too often lack colour impact and comfort.” This is a crucial point to understand when purchasing lipstick. Few past formulas got the balance right – which from a laboratory’s point of view was a contradiction. Peter challenged the Dior scientists to think outside the box and try a water-based lipstick.
“We wanted to create a water-based lipstick, and that was a formulation challenge as the pigments we use are usually oil-soluable and are therefore unstable on contact with water. After years of trial, we managed, thanks to some clever formulating, to control the pigments so that their full colour expression can be seen in two phases of the formula (water and oil),” adds Brigitte Noe, Director of the Formulation Laboratory R&D. The stick is in fact a solid emulsion: water droplets dispersed in an oily gel network “break” and melt on contact with the lips. The presence of water enables the formula to transport hydrating molecules for lasting comfort and instant freshness. The lipstick is therefore exceptionally lightweight.
“Ultra Rouge adds new magic both to the experience of lipstick and the expression of red,” says Philips. “ Because the formula acts as an overprint, like an ink tattooing the lips and like an extremely weightless coloured film, it enabled me to develop new, highly saturated and luminous shades. Like a painter with a new colour palette.”
Dior Ultra Rouge is available in Canada at Sephora.