How Balmain x L'Oréal Paris' lipstick collaboration celebrates diversity and high fashion

How Balmain x L'Oréal Paris' lipstick collaboration celebrates diversity and high fashion

More than lip service

Text: Renée Batchelor

Image: Instagram: @balmain

Something's been brewing in the house of Balmain, and this 12-lipstick collaboration with L'Oréal Paris more than fulfils the hype with its inclusive campaign and envelope-pushing line-up

Lipstick junkies and fans of Balmain's rock-chic aesthetic take note. There's a spanking, new collaboration that just pinged on our radar and it's hella exciting. Today, the two brands released the official line-up of 12 lipstick shades and models, and we have to say, it looks promising, especially considering the affordable price point. There's no word yet on whether and when the collection will be on our shores, but according to the brands, the matte lippies will be available at select points of sale where L'Oréal Paris traditionally retails, and will be released in early September, just before fashion week season. We say: It's time to make nice, with your European and US-based friends and get them to buy and ship these babies to you. The shades were curated and designed by Balmain's creative director Olivier Rousteing, so don't be surprised by some of the more out-there choices. The packaging and campaign, were also overseen by him, and telegraphs exactly the kind of rock couture glam, you would expect from the house.


As a response to the push for diversity that the fashion and beauty industries are seeing, the campaign also features 12 models of different ethnicities — they include British-Indian model Neelam Gill, Korean fashion star Soo Joo Park and up-and-coming Dominican beauty Ysaunny Brito among many others. Each model will rock a different shade, and like the women of diverse colour that feature in the campaign, the lipsticks come in a range of hues from a metallic, khaki green (the star shade called Balmain Instinct), grey, blue and purple, to more vanilla choices like coral and nude.


In a joint statement, the two powerhouse brands said the collection and the campaign was meant to display "a message of beauty in diversity and female empowerment." And with the tagline, 'United, we are invincible' and the (not just incidental) representation in the choice of 12 models, we have to conclude that Rousteing and company have done a pretty amazing job with this.