It was intense behind the scenes as we caught up with the master of trade, Peter Philips-Creative And Image Director at Dior Makeup, ahead of the Dior Fall 2023 show in Mumbai. The moodboard looked interesting, to say the least, as I glanced through hundred of images pinned on the board behind him. “Maria (Grazia Chiuri) loves eye makeup,” says Philips while talking about Dior’s Creative Director and her visual direction for the looks. “In a way, it has become her signature,” he adds. Thus, we saw a re-imagined smokey eye look with luminous skin and glossy, hydrated lips.
Dior Fall 2023 Mumbai Edition – Backstage with Peter Philips
ELLE: Kohl is very important for Indians and it’s deeply rooted in our culture. How did you decide to give it a modern twist?
Peter Philips: It’s actually a combination between heavy kohl eye makeup and a smoky eye. The modern touch is because of the wet look twist. The shape is a bit more raw, almost like filling it with your fingers. That’s what gives it a modern touch. And also because it’s not combined with any other makeup element. It’s just skin and eyes. Once you add a bit of blush or colour on lips, it becomes more classic. So, I think the rawness of it makes it a bit more contemporary. That’s what Maria Grazia likes. She likes to keep it a bit ‘tough’. She uses the word punk. I’m not sure if this is punk, but I think she means a bit tougher.
ELLE: So while designing the look, what was the inspiration behind the makeup?
PP: First of all, when I do a makeup look for a show, I’m always at the service of the designer. It’s a look that’s created to complete Maria Grazia’s vision based on our conversation with her—a mood board that she sent with vintage pictures of a gorgeous woman in her 20s and 30s. It’s a bit of a finger wave and smoky eye, a kind of (a bit) sweaty, almost. So, not too precious in any way. That’s where the ‘wet eye’ look came from.
ELLE: Apart from the mood board, was there a specific reason that you decided to spotlight only eyes and no other feature?
PP: One of the specific reasons is that Maria Grazia loves eye makeup. Since she’s been at Dior, it’s always been eyes. I’ve done variations on eye lines, and smokey eyes. In a way, it became a signature for her. That’s why we keep reinventing different variations of eye makeup. We keep the skin nude, no contouring or highlighting. The hair changes, the shape of the eye and eye makeup makeup changes. Sometimes we add some colour on the eyes depending on the theme, and narrative for the show. And so, for the India show, we went for this wet, smokey eye look.
ELLE: Is there any makeup element that was specifically designed for the show in India?
PP: I’d say the use of kohl liner and reproducing that shiny texture. I used eyeshadow powder, kohl liner, waterproof eyeliner, black eyeshadow powder for the look and then a little bit of Vaseline to keep that sheen.
ELLE: Can you just explain to us the other elements of makeup that you’ve used in the look?
PP: It was important to have beautiful, simple skin. I used the Forever Foundation and because of the great range of shades we got, it was easier to work on the diverse casting and find the matching shade for each girl. For a bit more coverage, we did extra concealer. I didn’t use powder to keep the glow.
On the eyes, I did the wet, smokey eye. I started with the kohl liner, used it on the lids and under eyes. I made sure that I used it in between the roots of the lashes. I didn’t use mascara to keep it raw and adding mascara also makes it look classic. I also used the waterproof liner to intensify the side of the eye and the inner corner of the eye and for the fact that it’s more resistant to vaseline that’s used to add the wet, glowing effect. Then fixed it with black eyeshadow powder. Lastly, I added some Vaseline on top.
ELLE: How is it different working on the Indian skin?
PP: There are a lot of different undertones in the Indian skin, so you have to be careful that you don’t end up making it too ashy. I think it’s nice to mix in a bit of orange to revive the skin tone. There are a lot of girls with different tones, a bit darker around the mouth. So you have to properly prep the skin and think about how to colour correct it, if needed. That’s how it’s different. Every woman is unique and every skin is different. For me, real life experiences like working on 20 to 30 Indian models make for a good exercise.
ELLE: Do you think any of the makeup look that you’ve designed will also be a big beauty trend of the year?
PP: A black smokey eye is always pretty but it might be difficult to wear it daily. I’m sure most girls that I know may want to have a version which is a bit more feminine, sensual, or seductive. In essence, a smokey eye is always flattering. It might inspire people to play around with the texture—a smokey eye with a highlight sparkle in the centre or in the corner of the eye or under the eye can make for a nice twist.
ELLE: What do you think will be the taste of beauty for 2023?
PP: I think glow in any kind of aspect is a must. Glowing and luminous skin with some sort of gloss on eyes and lips will be interesting.
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