Wings of love
Valdé creates elegantly sculpted lipstick that plays on the transformative power that make-up can have on women
“My mother was a strong, independent and inspiring woman,” says Margarita Arriagada. “In later life, she developed dementia and eventually stopped recognising me, but she never forgot the way her lipstick made her feel. When I applied it for her, she would perk up, flutter her eyelashes and kiss the mirror.” Witnessing the transformative power of her mother’s lipstick sparked a passion in Margarita that eventually led to her founding her cosmetic company, Valdé.
“My mother brought me and my two siblings from Peru to the US when I was 12 years old,” says Margarita. “She overcame many challenges, even before we settled in Los Angeles, from societal pressures to being robbed of every penny we had on our journey to the US. She sought liberation and she juggled three jobs to achieve it. I was inspired by her courage, but also by the way her eventual independence transformed her – she shone, and it transcended the physical.”
While compiling a photo album of her late mother in 2017, Margarita noticed that she had worn lipstick in every photo. She recalled the joy and confidence it gave her mother, especially in difficult times. “In that moment, I was inspired to start my own business; to pay homage to and celebrate women who, like my mother, are warriors: who persevere, who work hard to become their true selves and who, in becoming themselves, soar and radiate generosity.”
Margarita has worked in retail and branding for beauty and her extensive career experience fuelled the design of the first beautifully sculpted Valdé Armor: a unique, refillable and reusable vessel inspired by the female form, with winged details illustrative of the soaring confidence Margarita’s mother had felt when applying her lipstick.
Valdé now has a collection of Armors, with cases made in tactile materials from metal to quartz, and a range of lipstick and lip-balm refills. Each Armor is a versatile and artistic statement piece; a treasured possession akin to jewellery, with careful consideration given to every aspect of the design and functionality. “My desire is to offer women choices of Armor vessels to suit their style, mood or occasion and truly personalise their experience,” says Margarita. “Something to fire and celebrate the warrior within them, wherever they may be.”
Not only do these artful applicators embody the empowering and uplifting effect lipstick can have on a woman, they also enhance the uniquely personal rituals of lipstick application, both emotional and physical. The exquisite vessels encasing the refills are also available in limited-editions, such as crystal, and can be personalised with bespoke detailing to further deepen the Armor’s significance to the individual.
“The Valdé Armors are not only a beautiful gift to yourself or a loved one, they are robust and reusable, and therefore more sustainable. It’s so important to me that every detail is perfect: from the strong, durable zinc alloy core and inset magnifying mirror, to the intricate gold-feather detailing and the secure click of the refill. They are built to last. To be relied upon and cherished.”
Valdé will continue to develop its collection of Armors and its range of vegan and cruelty-free lipstick and lip-balm refills. The luscious refills perform with the same flawless quality as the Armors, with incomparable coverage and colour. Both the sensuous satin lipsticks and the rich tinted lip balms blend natural, clean and sumptuously conditioning ingredients for the ultimate in lip luxury.
“My aim is to create artistic vessels and lavishly sensual refills that celebrate and uplift the woman who wears Valdé,” says Margarita.