Beverly Hills, CA: Inside The Dior Backstage Pop-Up

When Peter Philips set out to create the Dior Backstage line back in 2018, he wanted to bring the everyday person a step closer to achieving the very same looks dreamed up backstage at Dior runway shows. Think: tawny eyelids kissed by the sun, just-got-back-from-a-run cheeks, and lips so plush and glassy they’d put that maraschino cherry in your Shirley Temple to shame. (Well, that’s my idea of the perfect runway look, anyway). If you’ve ever gushed over the celestial beauty of Bella Hadid—who happens to be Dior’s makeup ambassador by the way—before, you know what I’m talking about.

The products Peter came up with are just so, well, wearable. You don’t need a lot of know-how to achieve an array of looks. The formulations work for both the makeup-savvy and the rest of us who are still trying to figure it out. No mess required. In looking at today’s noisy beauty counters, the Backstage line stands out as something that’s easy-to-use, efficacious and designed with all sorts of complexions in mind.

Robert Steven Munoz, makeup extraordinaire and Dior show artist, explains this to me as he scans the architecture of my face. He begins to fill my brows with brisk little strokes of pencil, pausing every few seconds to check his work before handing me a mirror to glance at my new set of Cara Delevingne-esque arches. We’re sitting in the clean, well-lighted space of Dior Backstage’s Beverly Hills pop-up, a 10-day affair which comes in the heels of temp boutiques the luxe brand previously set up in New York City and Paris. (The shop is slated to end its Los Angeles run on May 19).

The space is lined with a wish list worth of beauty products, including the brand’s face and body foundations—forty shades that fans swear by, to be more precise. At the very end of the French beauty house’s pop-up space, behind a black curtain, there’s a round podium and a camera that’ll shoot and send 360-degree videos to your email inbox in a matter of minutes. If you ask for it, you’ll also be treated to a virtual reality experience. Pop a headset on, and watch Peter Philips work his magic on a model’s face backstage.

But the best part (to me, at least)? A chance to sit down with a Dior International Pro Team Artist for a complimentary makeup sesh. It was an opportunity I was hard-pressed to pass up, even though I’d already pranced in with a full face of makeup I’d labored over for a good 30 minutes earlier. It was a good—no, great—decision, because not only does Robert busy himself with painting the empty canvas that are my eyelids, he also gives me a complete rundown of the three latest additions to Dior’s Backstage collections (which are available exclusively at the pop-up). Eager to see the goods, I sit back and listen.

Dior Backstage Face and Body Primer

Any makeup enthusiast will tell you, when it comes to creating that airbrushed, flawless look, primers do a lot of the heavy-lifting. Before jumping into your usual makeup routine, spread on a veil of the hydrating, weightless primer on moisturized skin, says Robert, and you’ll notice a difference right away. Not only does it boost hydration and blur your pores and wrinkles, it latches on to the makeup layered on top and increases its longevity.

“[Peter] added a slight peachy hue to it, so it doesn’t get ash,” says Robert. “The problem is, a lot of primers on the market don’t really work for darker skin tones. They end up reflecting too much light or getting a little ashy. So with this one, he warmed it up a little bit and made it really invisible. It works whether you have skin the color of paper, or skin the color of chocolate.”

Dior Backstage Amber Neutrals Eye Palette

To put it simply, this is the eye palette that’ll make you want to retire your old, half-used, half-untouched kits. Because let’s face it, there are only two—okay, three, max—shades in there that you actually like. When concocting the Dior Backstage Amber Neutrals Eye Palette, Peter sought to put something together that would be adaptable and easy to carry around when you’re on the go.

“If you’re someone that’s traveling with your makeup, you need lighter-weight products,” says Robert, applying the product on my upper lids—a shimmery, stardust-y copper along the outer corner, which effortlessly diffuses into a lighter champagne hue. “That’s why he focused on smaller quantities of shadows in warm colors.” The palette touts eight shades in combinations of satin, matte and shimmer shadows, and a built-in primer.

Dior Backstage Glow Glitz Palette

The glow face palette has been a fan favorite since the brand rolled out the original product back in 2018. A little dusting of the product— which comes in white, gold, bronze and a plush, rosy blush—and you’re a step closer to achieving that glowy, outdoorsy flush. All to say, the popularity of Dior Backstage’s first glow product has given way to something new. Now, there’s a fresh palette that’s about to hit the shelves at beauty emporiums across the country.

“[Peter] just launched this one, you’ve got kind of a green gold, which is good for warmer skin tones so it doesn’t turn ashy,” he says, sweeping peachy pigments on the bridge of my nose, before working on my cheeks with broad, purposeful strokes. Aside from a green-ish gold, the Glow Glitz palette also boasts three other squares of color, including a champagne white, a shimmery peach and a bronze with a satin finish. “It’s like contour-slash-blush. It’ll give you kind of a warm, sunny, just-spent-the-day-outdoors look.”

LA-based journalist and blogger sharing her deep-seated, honest love for fashion and travel. Check in every week for new stories of exploration and roundups!

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