Givenchy Beauty’s Nicolas Degennes On The Power Of A Velvety Red Lip

“Red is passion, life and love. It is one of strongest colours and at the same time the sweetest one…it is the unique colour that fits all women” — Nicolas Degennes 

Considered the smallest haute couture creation by Givenchy, Le Rouge Deep Velvet reimagines the house’s most iconic lipstick, while drawing inspiration from rich haute couture fabrics. Dressed in a red velvet case to mirror its powdery matte finish, the day-to-night shades offer a bold and sensual look that appeals to every kind of woman, according to Givenchy’s make-up and colour artistic director, Nicolas Degennes. Here, the beauty mastermind talks to MOJEH about the all-embracing, inclusive power of a red tinted lip cloaked in velvet. 

Explain what ‘Deep Velvet’ means, what can we expect from this imagining of Le Rouge?
What was interesting in the creation of this lipstick was its formula; it is extremely rich in pigments, it has mattifying powders, it is long lasting (12 hours), it has a mango oil that hydrates the lips for 6 hours and a protection like an “armour” that we feel lastingly. And thanks to all of these performing ingredients, it is a comfortable matte lipstick that guarantees an intense result on the lips without all disadvantages you usually meet with the matte lipsticks.

What are the ingredients that make a difference to this formula and why?
The ingredients that make the difference are the structuring waxes that form an even, flexible and ultra light film with a matte appearance. Silicone elastomer powder that, in combination with nourishing emollient oil, creates a creamy texture that stays soft over time.

Blanca Padilla wears No.37 Rouge Grainé

You once said: “I’m working for real women”. What did you mean by this and how does that ideal affect your work/vision?
I love the idea of working for all women, all over the world and I want them to live with the product, to feel good when wearing it. It is fundamental to offer comfort with a strong protection and a long lasting finish.

Why red…
Red is passion, life and love. This is one of strongest colours and at the same time the sweetest one. This is the ultimate symbol of  living colour!

Do you think red is the right shade for every woman? 
Of course, this is the unique colour that fits all women whatever their age, skin colour. The red colour awakens a face while bringing light through its living side.

Le Rouge Deep Velvet

No.37 Rouge Grainé

Graine No.37 appears to be the star of the Le Rouge show. Can you tell us about this colour and why do you think it is so sought after?
The #37 is the most ‘right’ colour that we have ever created (so far) because the texture has allowed this beautiful effect. There is always a link between the colour and the texture. This is a not a yellow red, nor a blue red but simply carmine red. Its density and it power makes this red unique in its shade and its result on the lips.

How did you build out the rest of the colour spectrum? What woman did you have in mind?
When we work on lipstick, we don’t have in mind a unique woman in mind, but rather all women from all countries. While taking account of all needs, we have been able to build this range with an additional will. I had the idea to put a touch of grey and fade slightly the shades because it matches with matte effect perfectly.

The genius behind Givenchy’s groundbreaking beauty formulas, Nicolas Degennes developed all fifteen, highly pigmented shades in the Le Rouge Deep Velvet series, which includes nine recently launched hues. From the powerful L’Interdit No.36 vermilion to the subtle Nude Rosé No.12, find your rouge tint at

Read Next: Fresh ways to wear crimson lipstick 

  • Interview by Kelly Baldwin