PARIS — It’s new — times two — for Hermès Beauty, which has just welcomed a new makeup artist and is introducing a new category to its color collection lineup: products for the complexion.
Hermès launched into makeup in spring 2020 with lipstick, followed by blush and nail color. Now, it is introducing the Plein Air Natural Balancing Complexion Balms and glow and matte powders, currently starting in France.
In January, the French luxury house named Gregoris Pyrpylis as its beauty creation director. He succeeded Jérôme Touron in the role and reports to Agnès de Villiers, president of Hermès Parfum et Beauté. Pyrpylis is also under the supervision of Pierre-Alexis Dumas, the group’s artistic director.
The Greek makeup artist was approached by the brand last summer via Instagram. “I was still on vacation and received a text,” he said, during a sit-down interview at Hermès Beauty’s Right Bank Paris headquarters, with sweeping views.
Pyrpylis receives lots of messages on Instagram, often questions from people for makeup advice. But when he saw a message from Hermès’ director of communications for fragrance and beauty, Corrine Perez, asking to have a talk, that was different.
“To be honest, I thought in the beginning it was a scam,” Pyrpylis said with a laugh.
Nonetheless, he shared his phone number, and a call the next day with Perez led to a meeting some weeks later, also with de Villiers.
“Through my portfolio, you can definitely see my vision of beauty [syncs] with [that] of Hermès’,” said Pyrpylis, who explained that in his 15 years of working as a makeup artist, he’s promoted natural beauty — but not in the “nude makeup” sense. “It’s more in a sense of trying to enhance and reveal the personality behind the woman. You can have a nude lipstick, and the person who wears it feels comfortable and great. But the result can be also the same with a woman who loves a red lipstick or a smoky black eye. If it’s something she supports and loves, it will look natural on her in the end.”
Pyrpylis is all about making makeup simple—and fun.
At Hermès, he is part of an artistic collective, which also includes Dumas; Pierre Hardy, who creates objects for the beauty products; Christine Nagel, the in-house perfumer, and the communications and development teams.
“I try to bring my expertise and knowledge of colors and of textures,” Pyrpylis said. “The world we live in is a true source of inspiration.”
Within Hermès, with its almost 200 years of history, there’s another universe with 16 métiers altogether from which to glean inspiration.
“Hermès has always been a house that attracted me for the way it stands for its values, savoir-faire and artisanal [craft],” he continued. “All these are elements that talk to me so deeply, because I feel I am an artisan, as well. I’ve always worked with my hands, felt the need to feel the textures and to play with the colors.”
“You can find this in the métier of silk or the métier of leather,” said Pyrpylis, who has visited some of the brand’s sites, like its leather tannery, and witnessed the various steps involved to create an object. “It’s really mind-blowing.”
Meeting Hermès’ employees, especially longstanding artisans, has also been deeply inspiring for him. “Every day is a discovery,” Pyrpylis said. “The history of the house is so rich.”
He can access Hermès’ archives, which includes communication images, materials and colors. If, for example, Pyrpylis is curious about the color red, he can type the word “red” into the archive platform and images will come up linked to themes and hues of red.
Pyrpylis became a makeup artist due to his love of color. So for him, Hermès is like a wonderland, with the silk métier having more than 75,000 color references and the leather métier, with more than 900.
The first Hermès beauty products to come out while he’s in the house are in the Plein Air line, which translates as Outdoor.
“There’s a strong connection to the world of outdoors for Hermès,” said Pyrpylis, who explained the link with horses and that much of the ready-to-wear and accessories created by the house at its outset were for people fond of being outside and sports.
The approach taken for the complexion products was the same as for the lightweight materials used in Hermès clothing created to reveal the wearer’s beauty, he said.
“We wanted to arrive into the category with an offering that enhances natural beauty, with a makeup result that is very light and fresh, very complimentary to what we already had with Rouge Hermès,” said Pyrpylis, adding that with the lipstick, a personality can be revealed in one simple gesture.
The complexion offer is meant to bridge the gap between makeup and skin care, with the balm formulas containing white mulberry tree extract that has antioxidant properties.
There are 12 complexion balm shades. “Each shade suits three different skin tones,” Pyrpylis said. “So at the end, it feels like we have 36 shades.”
The products are billed as having transparent textures with a satin finish. “It feels like you’re wearing just a skin care product,” he said.
There is also the Radiant Matte Powder in a translucent shade, which can be applied with a new, handmade powder brush. The Radiant Glow Powder gives a pink-gold hue. Each refillable powder is said to be suitable for all skin tones.
For the blotting papers, meant to remove excess skin shine and coming with little H’s on them, Hermès used hemp fibers, wood pulp and kozo fibers from the paper mulberry tree. Prices in France are 75 euros for the 100-ml. balm and 83 euros for both the 6.5-g. matte powder and 8.5-g. glow powder.
“I don’t like intimidating products at all,” Pyrpylis said. “This is a part of the house, as well. The idea behind Hermès beauty is we want women and men to take ownership of our products, apply them and make them part of their beauty rituals the way they want.”
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