By Christina Hull

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Open up any of Christian Dior’s 5-Color Eyeshadow palettes, and the first thing you’ll notice is the vibrant splash of colour. Somehow even the softest combination of hues manage to get you in the gut. Now try them on. The texture is light and smooth, the finish silky-fine and the staying power incomparable.

It’s no wonder then that women everywhere declare their undying devotion to the House of Dior when it comes to the eyes. One faithful user in Arizona proclaims, “I have many different eye shadows, from Clinique to Chanel, and from Avon to Covergirl, and this eyeshadow is by far the best. I will never buy another brand again.”

So what does Dior put in their shadows to make so many a-woman swoon? I decided to embark on a quest for the answer.


It’s been whispered among the BN staff that there is a special ingredient within the product – cashmere fibers or something? – that lends to the smooth, pearly finish. When I asked the publicist at Dior if the shadows did indeed contain cashmere fibers, she assented with a murmured yes. But unfortunately, that was all I could pry out of her despite my many attempts. This is top-secret stuff!

I realized then that this mystery would be a tough one to crack. If the ingredients were being so heavily guarded by the sentinels at Dior, would I ever be able to find the true answer?

In a flash of inspiration (or a moment of “duh,” whichever way you want to look at it), I contacted my friend, Courtney Sauve, a makeup artist who used to work as a Dior consultant. She pointed out ingredients like Nylon-12, used to discourage creasing, and Isopropyl Isostearate, a skin conditioner and emollient, to help explain the incredible staying power and creamy finish of the shadows.

Feeling encouraged, I decided to speak to some more makeup artists to get their read. My one little query led to a deluge of impassioned responses from these industry experts. New York based freelance makeup artist and color expert Sarah Choi recounts the many times she’s had to explain to clients that she was not using a cream shadow, but a powder one – such was the velvety smooth feel of the product on their eyelids.

Makeup artist to the stars, Ashunta Sheriff, raves about the shadows – which are highly pigmented and come in “a variety of phenomenal colors that are bold, yet versatile enough to suit every complexion.”

The experts were sold, that much I could tell, but what about the everyday woman? When I started gathering their feedback, it was then that I had a Dior-epiphany. Cashmere fibers, special emollients, non-creasing agents, extra pigmentation – these women could care less. Why? Because it wasn’t about the product itself. It was about that magical feeling of glamour and perfection they got whenever they used the product. Quite simply, the slogan is spot on: women do Adore Dior.

*photography by Therese McKeon (
All Rights Reserved.

Originally published January 2007



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