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Jeanne Damas

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The Violet Files

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The Rouje Paris founder reveals the secret to that ever-elusive French girl je ne sais quoi.

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VIOLET GREY profiles female beauty entrepreneurs who are considered industry game changers because of their individual approach to business. Each one entered the conversation in her own manner and maintained a steady, if not unparalleled, trajectory with her indomitable spirit.

One look at Jeanne Damas and it’s easy to understand why she became a favorite amongst street style photographers during the early aughts, long before “influencer” was deemed a proper profession. Her just-rolled-out-of-bed waves. A fresh flush that suggests she’s pedaled her way from one end of Paris to the other (probably because she has). And that signature, imperfectly-perfect red lip. It only makes sense that Damas would parlay her personal style and covetable French girl insouciance into a full-fledged brand, Rouje Paris, that allows her 1.3 million Instagram followers (and counting!) to get the look from head to toe.

“I always wanted to create my own brand to express my own universe and my ideal wardrobe for every season,” Damas explains. “Rouje started quickly with my longtime friend Nathalie Dumieux who works with me on design. We shared the same creative vision, so we knew exactly which direction we wanted to go.” Launched in 2016, the range has expanded beyond boots made for stomping around the Marias and ultra-feminine dresses designed to blow in the breeze atop a bicyclette. Now, it includes beauty products too—like the Lip Palette Les 4 Rouje, which contains four universally flattering shades for lips, cheeks, and eyes in one vintage-inspired compact you’d be proud to pull out for a touch-up.

“I’ve always loved the beauty industry and I used to do makeup for my close friends when I was younger,” says Damas. “When I was still in school, I even did an internship at YSL Beauté in Lloyd Simmonds’ department.” It appears that working alongside the legendary makeup artist rubbed off. From a classic crimson (named Jeanne, naturellement) to a cool rose, there’s a creamy lip color to complement everyone. When applied with your fingertip (Damas’ go-to tool), this line of luxe lipsticks is the easiest way to achieve a Parisian pout tout suite.

Here, Damas shares her pharmacy favorites and where French girls really go to work out.

  • 01

    VIOLET GREY: What is your beauty philosophy?

    JEANNE DAMAS: Less is more!

  • 02

    VG: First thing you do when you wake up?

    JD: Feed my cat and drink a lot of water.

  • 03

    VG: Hours of sleep on the regular?

    JD: I need eight hours of sleep. Early to bed, early to rise.

  • 04

    VG: Time spent on beauty in the a.m.?

    JD: Ten minutes.

  • 05

    VG: Typical skincare regimen?

    JD: For the past few months, I’ve used products from Biologique Recherche. Some of them have a strange smell that you need to get used to, but the Lotion P50 and Masque Vivant are amazing, especially for fighting the hormonal acne I’ve experienced after stopping the pill. I also go to the Biologique Recherche spa once a month in Paris for a treatment.

  • 06

    VG: Hair situation in the a.m.?

    JD: I wash my hair with a mild shampoo from Klorane or Leonor Greyl and skip conditioner. I let my hair dry naturally with a few drops of serum from David Mallet.

  • 07

    VG: Your signature beauty look?

    JD: I use my fingers to tap the red shade from the Rouje Paris Lip Palette onto my lips and cheeks. When it comes to my everyday look, I don’t wear any eye makeup at all.

  • 08

    VG: Favorite workout?

    JD: Running in the Buttes de Chaumont in Paris. It’s like our Central Park. I also have a personal trainer and we box a lot. I do Pilates when I have time. When I’m on vacation, I like to swim in the sea. For my everyday appointments, I use my bike to move around Paris.

  • 09

    VG: Go-to breakfast and a.m. beverage?

    JD: Cereal with oat milk and coffee.

  • 10

    VG: Signature scent?

    JD: Tuberose.

  • 11

    VG: An expensive-but-worth-it product or treatment?

    JD: Joëlle Ciocco makes amazing skincare. I love her moisturizers and oil.

  • 12

    VG: A cheap-but-chic product or treatment?

    JD: I use coconut oil for my skin and hair. I even like it in my food!

  • 13

    VG: Bedside beauty essentials?

    JD: Nuxe lip balm.

  • 14

    VG: Last thing you do before bed?

    JD: Drink matcha tea from Japan and read a good book. Right now, I’m reading Idaho by Emily Ruskovich.

  • 15

    VG: Beauty icons?

    JD: My mother. She is very feminine but very strong at the same time.

  • 16

    VG: Highest point as an entrepreneur?

    JD: Enjoying the freedom of having my own company.

  • 17

    VG: Lowest point as an entrepreneur?

    JD: The stress!

  • 18

    VG: Best career advice you've ever received?

    JD: Being surrounded by the right people is one of the keys to my success. I work with creative people I’ve known for a long time and can trust.