When tinctorial plants colour lips with Le Rouge Français

When tinctorial plants colour lips with Le Rouge Français

Eva Lagarde

Founded in 2020 by Elodie Carpentier and Salem Ghezaili, Le Rouge Français is embracing the language of luxury while providing exquisitely green formulations. Sourced from tinctorial plants, all pigments or dyes are botanical, making it a patented, natural and make-up brand. The range is vegan and certified organic, with formulas developed with a very strict black list to remove any controversial ingredients. The range is entirely made in France.

Elodie, an engineer in biotechnology, wanted to develop a fully natural make-up range and created its own laboratory of biotechnology to extract, develop and create vegan formulations. 

“ Sometimes organic formulas can be dry, so we looked at a way to use smooth and effective ingredients and find colour depth and strength in natural pigments. We used enzymatic fermentation for ingredients and supercritical co2 for extraction’ explained Elodie.

“Le Rouge Français develops proprietary and patented formulas, reaching a level of naturalness well beyond the minimum required by the BIO certification. With a choice of ingredients concentrating a high level of active ingredients, present even in the composition of its plant pigments” adds Elodie.

Elodie Carpentier - co-founder - Le Rouge Français

The stability of natural ingredients can be difficult to create. Since plants are grown naturally depending on the season and the harvest, results can vary from one batch to another. That is why we tend to use synthetic ingredients in make-up to ensure the stability of colour throughout the production process. Developing a fully natural range from tinctorial plants in itself is a challenge. Research and development in biotechnology will help us to develop better ingredients, and one day, the entire beauty industry will be fully natural, but it will take years of trialling and testing. Le Rouge Français claims to have patented a world-first innovation with its formulas.

From Lip to nails and face

The French label launched with lipsticks and has 16 shades today, in addition to a lip balm housed in elegant translucent packaging made from castor oil. With 60 references in its catalogue, Le Rouge Français currently offers nail polish, lip oil, mascara and eyeliner in 3 shades - and has just released 12 shades of foundation. The nail polish range includes seawater extracted from algae and has an 85% naturalness thanks to bio-sourced ingredients. 

Beyond the circular or sustainable economy, the French start-up has developed its business under the principle of regenerative economy. “Upstream, the sourcing of dye plants participates in the recreation of an agricultural sector with organic or biodiversified crops. For each order, we plant 1 young mangrove, a plant which has the most efficient carbon sequestration capacity of the planet.” explains the brand.

Le Rouge Français - French Elegance Box Set

Infinitely Recyclable

Le Rouge Français is producing its own packaging that can be recycled in-house through a take-back program.

“ The first aim of our bespoke packaging is to make it long-lasting without compromising on performance. Every component is strictly 100% recyclable. That is why we only use high-quality materials like glass and bio-based materials like castor oil.” explains Salem Ghezaili.

The lipstick case is made from vegetable oil (castor oil) and is refillable. The rest of the line is housed in glass. The entire range is protected by FSC paper secondary packaging. The secondary packaging opens like a flower (in line with the brand ethos - using colour from flowers and plants)  and contains all the brand and product information, removing the need for extra paper leaflets.

Le Rouge Français - bio-based lipstick case

European expansion

With 250 retail locations in Europe, the brand has been expanding in the UK since early 2024 with a presence at the legendary John Bell & Croyden pharmacy in London as well as the online retailer Naturisimo. 

The French label has selected an unexpected yet effective retail space displaying its beauty box in luxury hotels & spas across France with the Ritz, Shangri La, Fouquet’s or George V in Paris as well as the independent and luxurious Negresco, Château de La Gaude, or Couvent des Minimes. The brand is also expanding in luxury residences and will soon be available at the Belair in California and the Fairmont in Mexico.

In 2023, Le Rouge Français created a limited edition with Opera de Paris. “ The Paris Opera has been working with the French cosmetics brand ‘Le Rouge Français’ to create a makeup line inspired by the Palais Garnier's signature colour, red.

Intensity and elegance are the two hallmarks of this unique eco-friendly and sustainable line. Every product of the “Rouge Opéra” collection is made from 100% natural, certified organic and vegan ingredients. “ explains the Opéra.