Hermès Beauty’s New Eye Makeup Is an Object Lesson in Quiet Luxury
“Hermès is a great friend of time,” Gregoris Pyrpylis says on an October afternoon, backed by a low-slung mountainscape and watercolor blue sky—the kind of primordial vista that seems more likely part of a CGI adventure film than a site-specific makeup launch. Pyrpylis, the creative director of Hermès Beauty, is standing at one end of the, a glass-walled marvel designed to disappear into the surrounding Mohave Desert. In his hand, propped open like a pocket watch, is an eye shadow compact from the house’s new . Time, in this palm-size context, has a multitude of resonances. There is the steady descent of the sun, its light bouncing off the powders’ soft shimmers. There is the historical nod to Bauhaus design principles, suggested by the compact’s use of circles and squares. There is staying power too: a keepsake meant to be refilled, signaling a longer lifespan for the object and, in existential terms, beyond. Pyrpylis, a Greek native based in Paris, has a poetic way of speaking about such elemental subjects as time and observation. “The power of the gaze contains everything,” he tells an assembled group, before painting sweeps of teal onto a model’s lids. “We can make people see things differently. We can draw a new perspective.”
To launch a makeup collection at the Invisible House, of course, invites contradiction. The home, designed by Tomas Osinski with film producer (and original owner) Chris Hanley, has an eye-catching way of receding from view. It stakes a claim in rugged nature while serving as a high-brow temple for selfies. The imposing rectilinear structure resembles a skyscraper reclined in odalisque pose—appropriate for a place that is ogled from the outside while allowing sly voyeurism from within. Its photogenic appeal isn’t lost on a brand like Hermès. (Here, the 100-foot indoor pool has been transformed into a minimalist installation of mirrors and makeup, a Narcissan temptation.) But the Invisible House’s inherent dual nature—understatement butting up against look-here attraction—fittingly sets the stage for a makeup range that stokes excitement without needing to shout.
Le Regard encompasses three pillars: the shadow compacts, offered in six variations; a suite of colored mascaras; and brushes dressed up in lacquered stripes. “I’m not going to lie: I’m a very ‘eye’ person,” Pyrpylis tells me the following morning, sitting fireside at the Parker Palm Springs. He is confessing to a bit of favorite-playing when it comes to the products under his domain. “I do have this idea that we speak with the mouth,” he offers—an allusion to the fawned-over lipsticks that heralded Hermès Beauty’s arrival in 2020—“but the eyes say everything.”