Hermès has already got us lusting over their luxurious lipsticks and blushes, not to mention those elusive Birkins, so what else is in the works for their ingenious beauty line? Nail polishes. In fact, the Les Mains Hermès consists of a whole hand beauty collection, consisting of nail enamels, a hand cream, and even a nail file, but really, it’s those gleaming polishes we’re most excited about.
With a satisfying sheen we’ve come to expect from the richest of polishes, these lacquered beauties come in 24 shades, each containing a formula composed of at least 71% of ingredients of natural origin. The beauty atelier incorporates lessons from enamelling, one of the house’s areas of expertise, which is shown off in the glaze and full shades of their Les Mains Hermès Nail Polishes. And while there’s an array of pinks and reds, as well as the odd greens and blues, to admire, the signature shade has to be Orange Boîte, or “orange box”, an interpretation of the house’s signature bright orange.
Other shades that play on key facets of Hermès’ identity include Gris Étoupe, a muted linen grey, as well as Rouge H, an intense burgundy found on the house’s seal. Rouge Casaque, a vivid red with a hint of blue, also evokes the iconic Kelly in Clémence bullcalf. The other hues are just as evocative though if you care to peruse through their descriptors, from “garnet-tinted emotion at your fingertips” of Rose Incarnat, to the “radiant and dazzling vastness of a new morning” of Rose Horizon.
The bottles are, rightly so, just as exquisite, with a graphic design of white and gold, and similar to the lipsticks, engraved with the Hermès logo in brushed metal. Within, you’ll find a long and supple rounded brush designed for a precise and uniform result.
“While the lipstick is masked, concealed inside its robe of light, the design of the nail enamel reveals the colour and texture of the product inside its glass bottle. The material is only there to give expression to the colour. If there is artifice, it concerns proportion. The cylinder has been slightly flattened and widened and the glass slightly thickened to create additional resonance between colour and transparency,” said Pierre Hardy, who assisted in package design, alongside Hermès artistic director Pierre-Alexis Dumas.
[all 24 shades of the Les Mains Hermès Nail Polish. click on the images to expand.]
Les Mains Hermès Nail Polish, $74 each.
Of course, we’re talking about a whole hand beauty collection here, so there’s the hand care cream, a nourishing oil for nails and cuticles, a protective base coat, top coat, and a set of nail files too. Hands are the reflection of the self, “the instrument of instruments”, according to Aristotle, and Hermès acknowledges this as well, recognising our hands as a form of expression, as an enabler of skill and enterprise, even its intimacy — which explains the creation of the Mains Hermès line.
The first care product by Hermès is this Complete Hand Care Cream, composed of 98% natural ingredients, while also developed by their R&D laboratories and made in France. It’s described as a balm-like texture that gently caresses the skin, and contains white mulberry extract as the main active, along with shea butter for a pampering treat, all the way to the tips of your fingernails.
Speaking of fingernails, a nail and cuticle oil, base coat, and top coat accompanies the extensive nail polish series too, and are meant to be used together to complete our nail ritual. The nail and cuticle oil nourishes and protects nails with precious mastic resin, white mulberry extract and vitamin E, while hydrating and softening our cuticles as well. Hermès’ base coat is similarly enriched with mastic resin for a good protective coat that primes our nails; the top coat extends the lasting power of your nail polish by creating a durable, protective shell, and gives off a transparent high-gloss finish akin to a mirrored surface.
Last but certainly not least, is a nail accessory you’d want on your vanity table — the Hermès nail file. Twelve poplar wood nail files, sourced from sustainably managed forests, are packed in their signature orange box. The beige side of the double-sided file can be used to file our nails to their desired shape, while the finer-grained orange side is used to smooth and perfect the manicure.
Les Mains Hermès Collection, available from 15 October 2021.