Peter Philips

the backstory behind the rue cambon's resident beauty genius

Chanel's Jade Le Vernis nail lacquer and its $100 eBay asking price became a blogosphere phenomenon last year. But it wasn't the only success story for Peter Philips, who was named the global creative director of makeup at the French house in 2008—don't forget the waiting-list-only temporary tattoos from the recent Spring show. Next month, the Belgian-born face painter (who didn't pick up a makeup brush until he was 27) will launch Rouge Coco, which is being billed as a "modern interpretation" of crème lipstick. His first major collection for the brand, it's decidedly more straightforward than spectacular, but that doesn't mean he and his bosses aren't hoping for big things. "Makeup, like fashion, is a nonstop moving organism, so textures and formulas evolve," he says. "I just need to update it with time." Here, Philips talks about finding his true calling, moving into the house that Coco built, and a time when he too waited in line to buy a bottle of Chanel nail polish.

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—Celia Ellenberg

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