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La Bouche Rouge

Meet the founder and CEO Nicolas Gerlier

The click open of a lipstick container. The elegant, metallic turn of the tube inside. A swipe of red. Lips press together.

Classic French Glamour.

A touch of red on the lips evokes our deepest fantasies about luxury. In the case of La Bouche Rouge, what may feel too good to be true is in fact the luxurious truth: artisanal craftsmanship demonstrated in a minimal leather case, thoughtful re-fillable design, and a mindful ethos.

Modeled around the idea that luxury can be safe and ecological, Paris-based La Bouche Rouge formulates chic “reds” for the modern woman. BWB had the opportunity to speak with Nicolas Gerlier about his inspiration and his glamorous vision.

How did it all start?

It all started with a conviction. I have been working in this industry for more than ten years, and saw it gradually evolving, transforming, fluctuating. I am convinced that our generation does not think, produce, or consume like previous generations. Do you realize that a billion lipsticks are thrown away every year in the world? An eighth continent of waste is ready to implode! I have a strong belief in a new way to create, design and think about makeup and cosmetics. This is how I created my beauty House, a brand that cares about the environment and becomes a part of a socially responsible project. In a word, the idea matured, until I decided to launch my own model.

One and a half years ago, on the 9th of September 2016, I sought out the help of Ezra Petronio. He has since been responsible of all the creative Direction of La Bouche Rouge. He is our eyes and our hands. Our lipstick is called the Rouge 9.16, as a symbol of our collaboration and the sign of the great pleasure I have to work with him and his studio between Paris and New York. This is a beautiful creative story that is always the result of common work.

Our lipstick is an object for life, refillable and customizable, developed in the French tradition of excellent craftsmanship.

What makes La Bouche Rouge a unique player in its field?

We do not make products. We aim to create the desire to buy less to buy better. Our lipstick is an object for life, refillable and customizable, developed in the French tradition of excellent craftsmanship. Our case is a fine piece of art, covered with calf’s leather produced by double tanning with plant extracts. Baranelle leather is made in one of the most prestigious tanneries in France, according to skilled methods kept secret through generations since 1842.

We are also a start up with human values. Water scarcity today represents the leading cause of infant mortality. For each lipstick sold, La Bouche Rouge donates 100 liters of safe drinking water through Eau Vive Internationale. While imagining the beauty of the future is great; committing to changing the reality of the world is even better.

Tell us about Wendy Rowe and Anja Rubik. the ambassadors of La Bouche Rouge. What is their role?

Our Ambassadors are smart, committed, and creative. Wendy Rowe designed a color collection of six tubes that are just her style: energetic, eclectic, and universal. Among them, a poppy hue inspired by the canvases of Andy Warhol; a seventies, slightly orangey red (think all-American Pepsi Cola); and an sheer brown red, hot as the flames in a fireplace.

Anja Rubik was the first face of the maison, a passionate advocate for our oceans through the Parley association, which fights against plastic pollution. She makes her contribution in the form of a nude and red lipstick, packaged in a plastic-free, refillable case and formulated without allergens or harmful ingredients. I love that buying a lipstick can be a form of activism, the symbol of a conscience!

What are your future plans for La Bouche Rouge?

La Bouche Rouge’s future plan is to expand internationally in the coming year, and surprise you with amazing collaborations and projects to be announced.

Can you share some of your best and most challenging moments from starting the business?

One of my best memories is of being at Station F on the day of the launch and receiving our first order! All the work I put in la Bouche Rouge was suddenly so real!

French elegance is a chic that never ages.

La France et L’Elegance: tell us, what do French Elegance and French Seduction mean to you?

French elegance is a chic that never ages. French companies have historically guided the world of beauty and set global trends. We hope to preserve our monopoly on luxury, and our tradition of quality, while at the same time introducing new values. Though our lipsticks are made in France, and our creativity is no-doubt nourished by excellent French craftsmanship and Parisian elegance, our commitment is aimed at the whole planet.

Taylor Johnson

Taylor is a recent honors graduate of Rhode Island School of Design’s Painting and Art History Department. A dual-citizen in Belgium and the U.S. with frequent wanderlust, a passion for editorial, and an affinity for sketching, she is now exploring the connection between art and beauty.

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