Dior Makeup Origins & History Explored

“Happiness is the secret to all beauty. There is no beauty without happiness.” - Christian Dior

What comes to mind when you think of Dior? Their iconic perfume, fashion, or luxury bags?

It’s hard to think of just one thing because Dior is synonymous with luxury today - but here’s how it all started in one of the most fashionable cities in the world: Paris.

Dior: The Early Days

Christian Dior Shopfront

Another fashion house with French roots, Dior contrasted against already-established Chanel with hyper-feminine silhouettes - nipped-in waists, floaty fabrics and an emphasis on curves. Christian Dior, born in 1905, worked as a pattern cutter for Robert Piguet, then for Lucien Lelong until 1946 when he officially opened the Christian Dior Couture House on 30 Avenue Montaigne, Paris. 

Working for established names in fashion at the time meant that Dior didn’t have to ‘wait to be discovered’ when he finally launched his own brand - in fact, his grand opening was a much-awaited event that created a radical shift in fashion!

The designs that Dior presented were so different from the current fashions of the post-World War 2 era that the Editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar at the time commented, “It's quite a revolution, dear Christian! Your dresses have such a new look”.

“New look” were two words used to describe Dior’s fashion for years afterwards - the extreme emphasis on feminine shapes contrasted with the heaviness of the post-war era. They brought a new lightness and joy to fashion - closing the chapter for good on the war. 

Rouge Dior Ultra Rouge Lipstick product
Rouge Dior Ultra Rouge Lipstick | $56
Dior's incredibly comfortable, yet long-wearing lipstick that lasts all day long. Marlene Dietrich and Grace Kelly's favourite! 

Dior Beauty

Dior Beauty FlatlayCredit: DiorBeauty/Instagram

Dior’s emphasis on the hyper-feminine reflected in Dior’s beauty offerings, too. Shortly after launching the fashion house, Dior launched the first perfume, called Miss Dior. It was created to embody the ultimate femininity of the Dior brand in a single scent, which is why it’s so popular even today. 

Miss Dior Product Image

Miss Dior Eau De Parfum | $240
A classic, timeless fragrance with floral notes that embodies strength & femininity.

Did you know that Christian Dior named the fragrance for his sister, Catherine Dior? She was part of the French Resistance, and Christian wanted to celebrate her in some way.

The story goes that Christian was brainstorming names for the new fragrance with his friend, Mitzah Bracard when Catherine suddenly came into the room. Mitzah supposedly said, “Ah, here’s Miss Dior!” and well, the rest is history. 

However, you probably know that Dior cosmetics doesn’t stop with perfumes - Dior Beauty has expanded to include luxury makeup and skincare, something that also started early in the brand’s lifetime. 

Diorshow Pump n Volume Waterproof Mascara product image

Diorshow Pump 'n' Volume Waterproof Mascara | $56
Dior's revolutionary Pump 'n' Volume mascara formula for even longer lashes now comes in a waterproof version for flawless makeup, all day long.

They first started with lipstick and mascara - two defining products of 1950’s beauty and are still essential now. Red lips and fluttery, feminine lashes were (and still are!) hallmarks of beauty that set the tone for the Dior Beauty line.
German actress Marlene Dietrich exclusively wore Dior Lipsticks in Nos. 5 and 28, on top of requesting that Dior design all of her outfits for some movies!

Modern launches, such as Dior Addict Lip Glow - a sheer, almost balm-like lipstick - are updates to the original classic lipsticks and are still popular today, alongside the iconic Diorshow mascara. But Dior Beauty doesn’t stop there, either - it took until 1986 for Dior to launch their first skincare line, growing into the huge range of beauty we know Dior to have today.

Dior Addict Lip Glow packaging
A sheer universal balm that complements all skin tones and adds a flush of colour to lips. 


Women@Dior Crowd Photo

Credit: womenatdior.com

Believing in the power of women was at the heart of what made Dior a successful brand, and this is still carried through Dior’s mentoring program: Women@Dior. It’s a worldwide initiative that coaches thousands of women around the world, helping them to grow and become their best selves - something that Christian Dior would have stood for today. The Women@Dior program is based on empowering women on four key values:

  • Autonomy
  • Inclusion
  • Creativity
  • Sustainability

Women@Dior recently teamed with UNESCO to allow their program to reach women in even more countries to support disadvantaged female students for a better future. Dior is the ultimate fusion of feminism and fashion - and you can see that in Dior’s brand DNA from the very beginning.

Don’t forget to get your beauty affairs in order with the latest (and best!) in Dior Beauty!

Need some help putting together the best skincare routine for your skin type? Try our skin quiz!

Beauty Affairs Skin Quiz Image

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Alexis Adrienne

Alexis Adrienne

Alexis Adrienne is a passionate beauty writer with over 10 years of experience. She’s incredibly keen on all things skincare, makeup and cosmetics, with a fingertip on the pulse of the latest global beauty trends at all times.

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