Another Men’s Fashion Week in Paris has come and gone, and one of the most talked about shows of the season was undoubtedly held by Dior. Celebrating Kim Jones’ five-year reign as creative director, the summer show was held in a futuristic and minimalist atmosphere at École Militaire on Friday, June 23rd. Foreshadowed by a metal invite embossed with the letter 5, models emerged from trap doors in the metallic catwalk, revealing a sea of textured tweed, dropped-shoulder blazers and jewelled button-downs, mixing subdued tones with pops of colour.

Highlighting the incredible collection, our favourite to date, the beauty was equally noteworthy. We spoke with the creative and image director for Dior Makeup, Peter Philips, backstage before the show to get the scoop on the beauty looks for the Summer 2024 men’s collection, his backstage essentials, plus what’s keeping him inspired.

What was the inspiration behind the makeup for the show?

“It’s inspired by the different elements. The entrance of the models is mind-blowing and the catwalk is spectacular. One after another, the models rise from the floor, like a chessboard, almost robotic. There are softbox-like lights all over, so there’s a lot of light deflecting. When I saw the light, [I thought], this is very powerful, very impactful. It’s almost like something from Netflix, something futuristic, like a Squid Game moment when there’s a new challenge coming.”

What was the main look you created for the show?

“We wanted to do a very clean groomed look with strong eyebrows and velvety skin. Skin was close-shaved and sculpted via highlighting, and the eyebrows were straight to frame the eye and give a more intense look.”

What are some of the techniques or tricks you use backstage to make the model’s features stand out?

“Well, contouring without contouring via highlighting. We used extremely light concealer and applied it on the top of the nose bridge, on the chin and on the cupid’s bow to make the features pop without looking made up, especially with the light coming from above. Some of the really pale boys were the lightest shade, zero, so we had to go lighter for highlighting, for example. We used clown white because after blending, it blends in with their own tone but lifts off [the skin]. For the darker-skinned boys, if we used, let’s say, a number nine [foundation], we highlighted using the number six shade.”

What were some of the products you used to create the looks?

“For all of the looks, we used the same routine. We started by cleaning skin and then moisturizing with Dior Capture Totale Le Sérum, a little bit of under-eye cream, and then the Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation. It’s a lightweight foundation you can build up, and it has a little bit of a velvety luminous matte finish, so you don’t need to use powder. Where we’d [normally] place contouring, we highlighted with Dior Backstage Face & Body Flash Perfector Concealer. The next step is the eyebrows. I always put myself straight in front of them, so I can see what the camera sees. If some boys had a natural arch, I toned it down to make a more horizontal line [using Diorshow Brow Styler and Diorshow On Set Brow]; otherwise, it becomes too elegant, almost too feminine. Last but not least, on the lips I used the Dior Addict Lip Maximizer (shade #001 Pink). It gives a beautiful luminous moisturizing effect without being too glossy.”



How would you define the signature “Dior” look?

“It’s difficult because Dior is all about multifaceted women and men—there’s so many possibilities. [Thinking of] Dior now, it’s not intimidating. Everybody can find something, which is very democratic in a way. But at the same time, there’s this illusion and history with Christian Dior himself and John Galliano. But our beauty client is not necessarily the same client that you see on the catwalk. There’s nudes and naturals, but there’s also a woman who loves to express themselves with deep-pigmented colours and great formulas. There’s a fine balance because you don’t want to look like a brand that doesn’t know what they want. So we make sure that our range covers all of that in a very elegant way.”

Are there any current innovations in beauty that you find particularly inspiring?

“We’ve got great things that have been in design for a long time with the labs that we work with in France, like for example, non-transfer high gloss lipsticks and glosses. It’s something that’s really almost unimaginable and technically very complicated to make. We’re reformulating a new generation of Face & Body foundation that’s cleaner. So pushing the formulas, reinventing them to get more of what people want—not only getting cosmetic results for themselves but also for the planet. Step by step, it’s cleaner and more responsible, so that’s very inspiring.”

Working in fashion and beauty often means being creative every day. What are your tips for staying inspired?

“Staying grounded, and whatever you do, as good as it gets, when we launch something fantastic, we’re always thinking about the next thing and how we can improve it. Always stay grounded and alert, and keep your ears and eyes open. Because people who go to the counter and are intrigued by the products, they are our best judges. Try to be not intimidating and pretentious towards the people who love the products.”

Finally, what’s one thing you always keep on-hand backstage?

“A good team and the right routine, for backstage that’s key—you can’t improvise, you have to be prepared. Once you have the right tools, the right products and good preparation, then you should have no problem. And that’s something that could work for anyone in daily life.”