Inspired by the prep work required when working on runway shows, Dior just released the Backstage Collection, a grouping of palettes for eyes, lips, face, and brows that not only have universal appeal, but aim to simplify your makeup routine (they actually do). In addition, the brand also created Backstage Face & Body Foundation — in 40 shades, no less, with a range of undertones that will definitely help you find your perfect match. All I need now is a catwalk …
Sitting pretty at Dior’s Backstage Sephora event
Backstage Foundation Face & Body (CAN $50.00/each) | Available in 40 shades that range from über-fair to deep, that also come in cool, neutral, and warm undertones, this foundation has been designed to withstand heat, humidity, and runway lights (for the model in us all, naturally). Housed in an ergonomically shaped bottle with a transparent exterior (making it easy to reach for the shade you want, as well as monitor product usage), the texture is quite fluid and highly pigmented — so a little goes a long way. There’s a second-skin feel to this finish, meaning it won’t weigh you down and you’ll literally forget you have anything on. Speaking of the finish, it’s described as “luminous” and I’d have to say that that’s pretty accurate, never oxidizing or breaking up around key areas i.e.: the nose, and in fact becoming even better with the wearing, staying true until removed. Buildable as well, it’s also amazing for use on any other areas of the body that may need correction.
I have to say that while I usually prefer my foundation to be on the light side, I’ve been reaching for this one since it arrived. On days when I want just a whisper of coverage that will nevertheless stay put, I like applying this with a dampened beauty sponge. When I’m looking for something with more staying power, I prefer going in with Dior’s paddle foundation brush (it’s one of the best in the genre that I own) and build up any areas that can use a bit more coverage. This is also one of the best foundations I’ve tried for covering up any sun damage/pigmentation issues, such as along the sides of my neck — without worrying that it will transfer to clothing or streak away in high humidity. As my skin is combination with an oilier T-Zone, I usually finish with a bit of setting spray in any problem areas, but I don’t mind a bit of sheen either as I feel it looks more natural that way.
- 2N – this is the shade I’ll be wearing once cooler weather hits
- 3N – an excellent match for my lightly tanned skin right now
- 4N – could be a contender if my skin tans a few degrees more
- 8N – obviously too deep for me, but it can always be used for strategic contouring
Backstage Contour Palette 001 (CAN $55.00) | All the palettes in this collection come housed in clear packaging — which I absolutely LOVE, as it takes the guesswork out of what you’re reaching for. The concept behind the entire range is genius as well; Dior’s Peter Philips wanted to create “technical products that are anything but intimidating” and in my opinion, he’s totally succeeded. Take this Contour Palette; yes, there are only four shades, but these are actually all you need to realistically contour a broad range of skin tones. Forget the exaggerated looks you see on social media — that’s NOT contouring, but rather a cartoon-like effect that’s best left for those who work in theatre. Real contouring is about the play of shadow & light as seen in nature, and that’s where the beauty of this palette lies. Your complexion will determine which shade you’ll reach for and the super fair-skinned can even use the top right as bronzer, while the darkest skin tones can benefit from the lightest shade to call attention to key features — and all in a born-with-it kind of way. In a pinch, you can even use these shades as eyeshadow or on brows, thereby making this a truly versatile palette indeed. Oh, and don’t be fooled by the hint of shimmer; that serves to add a lovely 3-dimensional quality to the finish without being visible to the naked eye.
- Highlighter (light)
- Highlighter (deep)
- Contour (light)
- Contour (deep)
Backstage Glow Face Palette 001 (CAN $55.00) | The four shades of this palette come with “ultra-fusional textures and a concentration of mother-of-pearl”, all of which means you’ll not only be radiant, but positively beaming. Upon first testing out the shades, I confess to being both totally blown away by the texture & pigmentation (which is off the chart, by the way) and a little confused as to how the 2 bottom shades could ever be used in a blush capacity. Then yesterday I was invited to a Dior Backstage event where I was given some amazing tips by one of brand’s master makeup artists. Of course, you can sport the top two shades as conventional highlighter — and if you apply either with a dampened brush, I can guarantee a glow that will probably be visible from space. But you can also wear them along the eyes as eyeshadow, blended together for a customized hue/glow, mix a bit with your favourite Lip Maximizer shade (yet another cult-fave Backstage Pro item) for a luminous gloss effect, or use them to magically erase undereye bags. How, you ask? By mixing a bit of Dior’s Flash Luminizer (another Backstage Pro staple & which comes in several shades to suit your skin tone) with approximately 3 light taps of either the white or gold shade (the gold was used on me) and using a flat concealer type brush, this mixture then is lightly patted along the puffy i.e.: bag part, and BAM! Fatigue is instantly minimized. If I hadn’t seen the result with my own eyes, I would have never believed it.
For the record, Dior makes some of the most amazing highlighters out there, with textures that are gossamer light and ultra refined, all of which means you’ll never have any pesky glitter bits to deal with or patchy applications that mess with the rest of your carefully applied makeup.
- White (strobe)
- Gold (strobe)
- Pink (blush)
- Bronze (blush)
Backstage Eye Palette 001 Warm (CAN $59.00) | Also available in a cool harmony of shades (which I was fortunate enough to receive at yesterday’s event, but it came too late for me to have included it in my review – I’ll post some swatches on Insta Story so make sure you’re following me on Instagram @ommorphia to catch that), this palette holds 1 primer and 8 warm-leaning eyeshadow shades that come in satin, shimmer, and matte finishes and range from light to dark. The texture of each powder is beautiful; smooth and well pigmented, along with easy to blend out. The primer is creamy and makes for a great undercoat, helping the shades last even longer as well as making the colours pop. That said, as my lids do get oily, the first thing I always apply is my go-to primer from NARS to keep any product from creasing — then I follow up with this primer to give a more even cast to my eyelids. By the way, this primer also works as a great & natural-looking shade for highlighting under the brow bone.
The best part of this palette — apart from how travel-friendly it is — is the fact that you literally have all the shades you’ll need to take you from day/work to night, and all in the palm of your hand. Mix, match, blend, and voilà! Your customized look awaits.
- Gold (highlighter)
- Ombré (sculpting powder)
- Beige (shimmer)
- Copper (shimmer)
- Brown (shimmer)
- Nude (matte)
- Ochre (matte)
- Charcoal (matte)
Backstage Lip Palette 001 (CAN $59.00) | The nine shades of this palette have been designed to work as “neutrals” for every shade of lips and complexion. Regardless of whether your preferred look is light or if you want to be a little extra, this palette can take you there. The top row holds 3 shades of volumizing gloss, the middle row is comprised of 3 shades of satin-finish lipstick, and the bottom row has 3 differing matte shades. The versatility of this palette also means you can wear these hues to create a simple mono-colour look or go in with a more detailed ombré effect. You can further use the shades as a base (the middle & bottom rows are ideal for this), as a plumper (the top row applied is perfect for this), or as a liner using a fine tipped lip brush and any shade in either the middle or bottom row, although I’m thinking it’ll work best with the mattes. Another bonus is that you don’t need to fuss with tools for application; fingers will definitely suffice (unless you’re going for precision — in which case, pack a brush) and the fact that you have 9 shades in one slim-profile compact means it’s not only versatile, but the perfect travel companion as well.
- Pink (gloss)
- Beige (gloss)
- Blush (gloss)
- Honey (satin)
- Peach (satin)
- Rosewood (satin)
- Amber (matte)
- Burgundy (matte)
- Berry (matte)
As I stated earlier, the collection also includes an Eye Palette in cooler rose-hued tones as well as 2 eyebrow palettes (which I don’t have but am seriously contemplating picking up the lighter one as I tried it out at the event and was quite impressed) — making this one of the standout collections of the year, in my opinion. The quality of all the products I tried is absolutely STELLAR and in fact, my daughter who is nowhere near as makeup-obsessed as I am, came with me to the event and had a light makeup look done … and left feeling absolutely thrilled. The fact that everything is so versatile is a huge plus and can we talk about how well priced everything is? For a luxury brand like Dior, any of these items are a veritable steal. Best part: everything is permanent! No dreaded ‘limited editions’ in sight, thank you very much.
Available at Sephora
Kindly provided by Dior for my unbiased consideration