French Connection

Makeup artist Violette has built her career around the American obsession with “French girl” beauty. Now she’s democratiz­ing the rarefied aesthetic with a new lifestyle brand. By Lindsey Tramuta.


In a recent dispatch of her popular newsletter titled “Why I Don’t Contour,” the 37-yearold French- born, Brooklynba­sed makeup artist and influencer Violette laid bare her feelings on the face- fixing cosmetics craze. “French people don’t contour. We don’t buy it. We don’t understand it,” she wrote to her subscriber­s. “It’s like putting on a mask, and that’s not what we’re into.” She goes on to encourage her readers to treat themselves more gently, doing away with the idea that there’s anything that needs fixing to begin with. “Maybe try some color, some red lipstick, eye shadow...take a few pictures, and fall in love with yourself again.”

As “French girl” aesthetics go, there’s the unassailab­le archetype— impossibly cool and deliberate­ly unattainab­le—and then there’s the 2020s update: earnestly celebratin­g whatever you’ve got to work with. And that’s where Violette, who goes by her first name only, has carved out a singular space. Last month, she expanded it with a multicateg­ory vegan beauty brand, Violette_fr, that nods to her social-media success— a community of 300,000 that has helped rack up more than 24 million views on her @Violette_fr YouTube channel—and draws on 10 years


Violette, pictured above with her daughter, Inès, has a 300K-followerst­rong social-media presence that mixes polish with approachab­ility. Photograph­ed by Steven Pan.

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