Violette_fr is a beauty influencer and the new Estée Lauder Global Beauty Director. We met this exceptional woman for an interview
Beauty influencers don’t have it easy – probably because nowadays no one would willingly want to become one unless they’re either crazy or simply relish struggling to get their elbows in amongst the thickest of competition. In short: The flood of YouTube videos in which women of every persuasion smear THE perfect product on their faces and want to convince me how urgently I need either this or that, personally, none of it grabs me.
That is, except for one that does it so well and so cleverly that I have to say: “Hat’s off!” Violette, who once mainly worked as a digital consultant and also actively on Instagram, recently started her own video channel and now – congratulations – has been recruited by Esteé Lauder to be the brand’s global beauty director and drive forward product development and digital strategy. At a time when “bottom-up” brands like Glossier are disrupting the industry, it’s a clever move. Here, the woman being called the brand’s promising white hope speaks about her new project.
What is your first beauty memory?
My country: France. I remember seeing these women in t-shirts with messy hair, and yet they had incredible, perfect red lipstick on. And wore heels. They could be at the grocery store, or at school picking up their kids, and they were wearing those things. In my mind, I started to associate heels with lipstick. I get my inspiration for lips from shoes. I love that no matter where these women are, they’re doing it for themselves.
What inspires you most about Estée Lauder, the woman?
I’m really shocked by how modern she was in her time – she was such a visionary. We have so much in common. Her philosophy was not about selling her products, but about selling the look. This idea was: “What do you need vs. what do I think you need.” She created this brand as a woman in an era when being a businesswoman was absolutely not a thing. And she created it herself. Now, it’s part of history.
If you could meet Estée today, what would you tell her?
I would say thank you for paving the way for women to be inspired and dare to create something we believe in – to not be afraid of creating a strong business in a man’s world. And I want to thank her for her impact on our history, because it’s so relevant now. What she created keeps inspiring us, and that’s a huge a gift. And if she could make it then, I can make it now. I would tell her that she’s still an inspiration for women today.
Are there any beauty looks or trends you wish you saw more of?
I’m kind of anti-trend. Ever since I started my YouTube channel, I just want to forget about them. Consider any kind of look, and forget whether it’s trendy or not. What do you want to wear? What is cool for you? But if there is one look I’d like to see more of, it’s seeing more women daring to celebrate their femininity and having fun with their makeup. I just want to see women owning their look.
What is the “little black dress” of makeup?
Red lipstick. I always have a concealer and red lipstick in my bag – even if I’m not wearing red lipstick that day. I keep it just in case.
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Violette was born in Paris and studied painting at the Ècole du Louvre. She took additional courses in fashion and costume design in order to begin her “self-made” career on Instagram. Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, W, T Magazine, and online portal Violetgrey.com are among the media outlets she works with as a digital and creative consultant. She has worked with photographers like Patrick Demarchelier, Camilla Akrans, and Mario Sorrenti. Today, she works out of her studio in Brooklyn.
Julia co-founded one of the first fashion blogs in Germany in 2007 and became a freelance consultant for digital strategies after publishing her first book in 2010. After an eventful four years with Condé Nast working mainly in the digital department of Vogue Germany, she decided to launch her own online magazine with her dream partner, Veronika Heilbrunner. She is based in Berlin and loves to read books.