Photography courtesy of Estée Lauder

Makeup Artist Violette’s Newest Collection Is A Range Of Nudes For Every Skin Tone

Makeup artist Violette is the quintessential French girl, but these days her jam-packed schedule reads more like ambitious New Yorker than laissez-faire Parisian. Her YouTube channel is a go-to for inspirational and educational video vignettes and she’s been on a roll developing new products for Estée Lauder since she became its global beauty director. Recently, FASHION spoke with the Brooklyn-based face painter and new mom to talk about her other baby–Oh Naturelle!, a limited edition collection of face, cheek and eye palettes as well as four matte lipsticks, all in neutral shades “that flatter all skin tones.” But what does universally flattering mean? We asked her that, along with why Instagram brows bother her, what she misses most about Paris, and why she wants to write a book about pregnancy.

What was the inspiration behind Oh Naturelle!?

“I wanted to create a collection that would complement every skin tone. I was struggling to find my own shade of nude lipstick, and I was thinking about women with different skin tones and the struggle they must be having.”

 What’s involved in the creation of universally flattering shades versus shades designed for a certain skin tone?

“[With this collection] the goal wasn’t to create one colour that fits all. What I wanted was diversity, to make sure that a girl with dark skin could find all the nudes she needs in this palette, and a girl with fair skin can find all the nudes she needs. So I sat down with the Estée Lauder team, and I told them that the only way to make sure that the collection will represent everyone would be to ask all the girls from the office with different skin tones to come and play with the colours I was considering. And that’s what we did. Every time I came to the office there were like 20 girls playing with colours, putting makeup on and giving feedback.”

 With your previous collection, La Dangereuse, you considered a particular shade in the palette one of the best products you’ve ever created. What are you most proud of in this collection? 

“I was always dreaming about a beautiful nude coral eye shadow. And I kept mixing all these different eye shadows because I never found one on the market. When I decided to do this collection, I said ‘I’m going to make this eye shadow that I’ve wanted for myself.’ And I did. So I’m really happy—I’m wearing it today actually. It’s my favourite colour ever.”

I read that you’re not a fan of contouring. Are there any other beauty trends that you don’t particularly like?

“I think Instagram eyebrows look like stamps or tattoos—I struggle with it because it looks fake, it doesn’t look like you. The other one is false eyelashes. All these girls are starting to wear them all the time, and it’s getting out of control. I really want to inspire people to go back to the celebration of their natural beauty. That doesn’t mean avoiding colour; I wear glitter when I go for brunch. It’s just [avoiding] makeup that will change your features, like false lashes and very strong eyebrows. To me, it’s just trying a bit too hard, and almost like transforming yourself into a cartoon. I love when women are in tune with themselves, grounded and confident that they are born perfect. Everybody is born perfect.”

When you’re missing Paris, where do you go in New York for a little bit of home?

“It’s hard because there’s not really a [traditional] French bistro. If an American opens one, it will be a bit cute, and more trendy. But when you go to Paris, a French bistro smells like cigarettes and coffee. It’s not cute. That’s what feels like home, because it’s home. So the [American French bistros] try, and they look really nice, and I like them, but I know I’m in New York. I don’t see any cigarettes on the floor. I miss that, to be honest. I miss the incorrect way of French people.”

A lot of North American parents have read Pamela Druckerman’s Bringing up Bébé, because we’re all trying to be more chill like the French.

“Yes, I bought it, because I heard from many French people that it’s really good. I’m due in five weeks so I’m going to start reading it now. But I should write my own version of it about pregnancy, because damn, Americans are intense about everything like breastfeeding… most of the women in France don’t breastfeed. And washing bottles. All the rules—it’s so different from France.”