Dior’s Peter Philips on the Democratization of Makeup

Nearly a decade into his tenure as the Creative and Image Director for Dior Makeup, Peter Philips occupies a fascinating place in the house’s history. Not only is he immersed in artistic visions from designers Maria Grazia Chiui and Kim Jones on each runway show, but he is driven by the brand’s ongoing relationship with makeup-lovers around the world. “If a girl puts money aside and buys a Dior Addict Lip Maximizer [which was recently reformulated], I am as proud of her as I am of someone who buys a whole Dior wardrobe,” Philips tells us.

Speaking from his office in Paris, he explains that his customer may not be aware of Dior fashion at all. “Most of the products that I make are for [people] who just want to feel beautiful, who don’t necessarily care what the latest trend is … or know about last season’s looks.” This year, rather than reference the latest runways, he was inspired by historic Dior muse Mitzah Bricard to create The Mitzah Collection. Reflecting Bricard’s signature style, the collection features a 10-colour leopard-print eyeshadow palette and an eye-catching crimson lipstick.

When he is backstage, Philips is always considering ways to bridge the gap between his makeup kit and those of his customers. “A lot of people are intimidated by backstage [makeup],” he says. “We have our techniques and our ways of working, but…it’s all based on the same principles of beautiful, everyday makeup.” That’s why he created Dior’s Backstage line, as well as the newly launched Dior Forever Skin Correct concealer and two new Dior Forever primers (designed to create either a matte or luminous finish). “I think that [people] know these aren’t just professional tools. They know the benefits,” he says.

While his role is singular, Philips thrives on teamwork. “I work well with the whole beauty army here. That’s something I’m very proud of,” he says. “When we want change, we go for it.” He cites working with naturally derived ingredients and refillable packaging as two important examples. Much like him and his colleagues, Philips has seen makeup enthusiasts band together to learn and share tips as well. “Thanks to social media, there are communities all over that have helped the beauty industry open up, become more democratic and accessible. That’s a great thing.” Given that makeup preferences are so personal and individual, Philips is encouraged to see everyone —from the most minimal makeup wearers to those who love a bold look— finding like-minded peers online.

Philips is motivated to continue providing customers with game-changing formulas, new colours, and the options to create whatever look they desire. “The biggest trend in makeup is the concept of makeup itself. I think it’s going to stay like that. There’s no going back to seasonal trends.” From his vantage point, the abundance of choice that consumers have is something worth celebrating. “The strength of the beauty industry now is that people [can] embrace their natural beauty or the beauty they want to be. Everything is possible, and I think that’s a huge step forward.”

Photos courtesy of Parfums Christian Dior.