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The Parisian makeup artist updates a classic look for the modern garçonne.
Written By Christine Whitney
Photography By Steven Pan
Makeup By Violette
Hair By Dennis Gots
Nails By Elisa Wishan
Styled By Tu Rner
Original Look: French Girl Beauty with Violette | THE VIOLET FILES | @violetgrey
Makeup artist Violette, a regular contributor to The Violet Files and our go-to for all things French beauty, offers her how-tos for attaining that elusive Parisian je ne sais quoi.

NATURAL BEAUTY: “For this look, I was very inspired by today’s icons, like Charlotte Gainsbourg, Léa Seydoux, and Caroline de Maigret,” Violette says. “We French girls love a smoky eye, but not too perfect. You want it to look real, like you did it yourself. We love accidents and imperfections. It can be rock-and-roll but still stay elegant.” Read on for the artist’s step-by-step guide to creating the look.

Natural 
Beauty
TUTORIAL

BY VIOLETTE

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“Here you just want a classic look. I apply liquid foundation (try Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation) like a cream—the French don’t use too heavy a base on their skin. Then I removed a little bit of makeup from the bridge of the nose and put a radiance booster like the Dr. Barbara Sturm Glow Drops on the T-zone. This trick makes everything look lighter, like you’re not wearing foundation.”

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“To make the face look warmer, I used a bright creme blush like the Jillian Dempsey Cheek Tint in Rosy. The tried-and-true technique of smiling and tapping it onto your cheekbones is always effective. If you have a rounder face, bring it in closer to the nose; if you have a thin face, nearer to the ears.”

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“I started with a charcoal brown shade (we love the espresso shade in the MAC Art Library: Nude Model), which I applied along the arch of the eyelids with a large, flat eye brush and blended through. Then I used a smaller brush (about half the size of my pinky nail) to layer two shadows—a deep brown and a shimmery beige—between the lashes and around the contour of the eye to add intensity and open it up even more (both in the Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette in Queen of Glow). It gives the impression of having more lashes than you do—without using kohl.”

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“I recommend putting as much mascara as you can on the roots of the eyelashes, then moving outward. The black intensity and heavier texture on roots will contrast with eyes and make their color pop more. It also looks more natural with natural shape of lashes. I used Chanel Le Volume de Chanel Mascara because you can really reach the roots with it. Another bonus: If you add mascara after curling your lashes, the texture helps them keep their curl longer.”

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“I didn’t want the lips to be the focus, but I didn’t want them to be erased, either. So I chose a super simple beige nude lipstick—Charlotte Tilbury’s Penelope Pink. I used a brush to put it on, but you could also apply it directly to the lips.”

VIOLETTE’s
chanel red lip

In her new video series, the makeup artist shares her tips for creating a bold lip on-the-go.

LEARN FRENCH
WITH VIOLETTE

See more gamine looks the makeup artist created for her Parisian-inspired beauty story. 

GET IN CHARACTER
WITH CHANEL IMAN

Violette transforms the model into three iconic beauties of yesteryear.