There used to be a saying in beauty retail that designer cosmetics caused 80 per cent of the headaches and earned only 20 per cent of the profits. For years, only Chanel, Dior and Yves Saint Laurent really bucked the trend.

The rise of the Chinese beauty market has upended the old order, especially where lipsticks are concerned. When Gucci launched its makeup range in 2019, the luxury brand sold one million tubes in the first month of launch.  Giorgio Armani has also enjoyed strong sales in lipsticks and foundation.

L’Oréal took over the license for Valentino from Puig in January 2019. The Spanish multinational had exclusively made fragrances for the fashion house.

The move to L’Oréal placed cosmetics firmly in the spotlight from the get-go and the license was re-branded as Valentino Beauty.

L’Oréal debuted its first Valentino fragrances – Born in Roma for men and women – in late 2019. Voce Viva, a new juice fronted by Lady Gaga, was released in the run-up to Christmas 2020.

Pierpaolo Piccioli, creative director of Valentino, was appointed in 2016 and has electrified the 61-year-old couture house from its fashions to its fragrances and now cosmetics.

Unlike other luxury brands, including Hermes, Valentino will launch an extensive range of 40 foundation shades, 50 lipstick colours and eye products.

A month-long pop-up boutique will open in Selfridges in London on May 31st and Valentino cosmetics will be available to pre-order in the US from June 1st.

The global rollout will begin in August, including a major launch on Alibaba’s Tmall platform.

According to Pierpaolo Piccioli, Valentino makeup is “open to all genders, ages and cultures”.

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