Hermes launched lipsticks and I bought one the purple one – Violet Insensé. It was the Friday before the UK officially went into lockdown. Work was busy (as usual) with an overlay of early stages of Covid 19 angst. I had had a rubbish day at work and just found out the holiday that the Mr’s planned Moroccan birthday bash was cancelled. So, I headed to Knightsbridge for a bit of retail therapy. The Hermes boutique had the full array of testers but sadly Violet Insensé was not in stock. Disappointed but not undeterred, I took a short jaunt on a very quiet street to Harrods. Of course Harrods has TWO Hermes counters in their beauty hall so I was spoilt for choice. I picked up my lippie and took a socially distant bus journey home.
I have to admit. When I saw the sales assistant putting the white box in my bag, I was a little taken aback. Of all the luxury beauty items I have in my stash, the packaging is always important but especially as outside of fragrance, this is likely to be the only Hermes purchase of my lifetime. Inside the outer white cardboard packing is the iconic orange. Inside the orange is a hemp bag and inside that is the lipstick.
Hermes launched 24 shades. Violet Insensé is a limited edition colourway of white red and blue. Red and blue makes purple so for me as a purple obsessive, I appreciate this touch. The standard (permanent) lipstick shades are white, light bronze and black. The outer packaging is weighty, magnetic and refillable. My favourite part however if the gold coin esque embossed top of the package .I was advised that new shades will be launching every six months so watch this space for more colours.
On The Lips
The formula applies a thin but pigmented layer. It is not the same as, but it reminds me of the Pat McGrath formula. The shape of the bullet follows my defined lip line easily. Going into it with the expectation that the formula is not fully opaque means that I am not applying loads of the product to my lips. A couple of goes round is good for me. Despite the lack of opacity it has pretty good staying power and leaves a slight stain on the lips.
As a fragrance fan, the fact that Christine Nagel, in house perfumer for Maison Hermes and creator of fragrances like Armani – Si, Jo Malone – English Pear and Fresia and Twilly from Hermes. No candy sweet vanilla scent, but a hard to describe slight sweet scent that is not discernible on the lips following application. I love a pigmented imperial purple with a matte finish. I really do, but there is definitely a place for a smooth satin almost glossy formula.
I received some samples with my purchase. It also came with a tiny lip brush, which is not the best for application but gives a good approximation for colour and texture. Orange Boite and Rose Epice are the Satin textures. On my pigmented lips they are extremely sheer without enough pigmentation to flatter my rich skin tone. Rouge Casaque is a statement red both matte and pigmented. The signature colour from the brand is Rouge H. Available in both matte and satin finishes it is a classic burgundy shade.
I own more than 30 purple bullet lipsticks. Violet Insensé is not new or innovative in terms of colour or formula. However I love it and in the short time, I have worn it often. Only you can decide whether it is worth paying more than £60 for a lipstick. I could have purchased a significant amount of toilet paper for that sum.
However, for me, when the news gets overwhelming or a friend contacts me to let me know that they are struggling with home schooling, or a colleague tells me that they have lost a family member or friend as a result of the coruna virus, the process of taking the weighty Hermes bullet and applying Violet Insensé to my lips in that moment helps me feel better. The lipstick edit is very well thought out. The idea of red being the new orange to reflect the majority of shades in the collection being red makes sense. The packaging the colours and the formulas