The man behind Chanel's makeup creations shares his beauty philosophy.
He might not be as famous as Max Factor (yet), but in the beauty biz, Peter Philips is regularly referred to as “the most powerful man in makeup.” As the recently appointed global creative director of Chanel Make Up, Philips has a very big job to do — and he knows it. “The challenge is to keep Chanel edgy and modern but also retain the values of a luxury brand and offer beautiful, quality products,” he explains. These days, makeup artists are winning mega-contracts with fashion houses and cosmetics brands and becoming almost as famous as the faces they work on. It’s a competitive business: To be a star, you need to know the “right” people, discover the next top model and work with the best photographers. Timing is everything and, as fate would have it, Philips’ timing was perfect. After graduating from Antwerp’s Académies des Beaux Arts in the late ’80s, he famously turned his focus from fashion design to makeup. “I knew I wanted to do something in fashion, and back- stage at my friends’ shows, I saw the makeup, kits and brushes and thought ‘Oh, I can do that.’”
He moved to Paris and began collaborating with the darkly trendy Belgium designers Veronique Branquinho and Olivier Theyskens and forward-thinking photographers like Willy Vanderperre. The first project that Philips has entirely developed for Chanel is Rouge Coco, a new range of lipsticks inspired by the young Gabrielle Chanel. His goal? To intro duce the luxurious feminine ritual of applying lipstick to a younger group of lipgloss devotees. “I think a woman who wears lipstick likes to reapply,” he explains. “After dinner, after lunch, whatever. The gesture is part of being a woman — it’s a beautiful thing.”
In his words ... Philips talks inspiration on the next page ...
View our favourite Chanel products here
Beauty trendsetter Pat McGrath shares her beauty secrets