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The makeup artist updates an iconic 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 Turner
Original Look: French Girl Beauty with Violette | THE VIOLET FILES | @violetgrey

PHOTOGRAPHY BY STEVEN PAN


BEAUTY CREDITS
FASHION CREDITS
  • STYLING BY TURNER
  • ZADIG & VOLTAIRE SWEATER
From bombshell Brigitte Bardot to the alluring Françoise Hardy, there’s no greater beauty fetish than the French girl. So who better to create a series of Parisian-inspired looks than makeup artist and Française par excellence, Violette? “In every interview, I’m always asked about French beauty—how we do it, why it has this cool attitude,” she says of her inspiration for this story, which she creative directed with photographer partner Steven Pan. “It’s an attitude. When you Google ‘French beauty,’ you’ll always see images from the ’50s or ’60s, but I wanted to show that French style today is very different.” Here, Violette offers three fresh interpretations of modern French mystique. 

THE
NATURAL


                                                        
VIOLETTE ON FRENCH BEAUTY
“For this look, I was very inspired by today’s icons, like Charlotte Gainsbourg, Léa Seydoux, and Caroline de Maigret. 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 Violette’s step-by-step tutorial on how to look Parisian, no matter where you are. 

The
Glitter EYE



Original Look: French Girl Beauty with Violette | THE VIOLET FILES | @violetgrey
The Glitter Eye
BEAUTY CREDITS
ON THE HIGH-SHINE EYE
“We want to have fun,” says Violette of herself and her Gallic counterparts. “We like to play with makeup as part of our fashion. If you look at a Chanel show, there can be crazy makeup, but it’s still very chic. That’s why I decided to put such strong glitter on on the eye.” While Violette advocates wearing a look like this pretty much any time, the more reserved—or not yet fully French—among us might choose this one for a holiday masquerade or next year’s Met Ball.

Violette shares step-by-step instructions for replicating her interstellar eye look.

THE DARK
LIP


ON THE PLUM POUT
“I could have done a red lip, which is also very French, but I decided on plum because it’s a shade everyone loves, but no one knows how to wear. We paired it with boyish clothes and kept the rest of the makeup very simple. She’s not wearing anything except lipstick, so the look isn’t gaudy or heavy.”
Violette’s lessons on perfecting the art of the deep, bold lip. 

RULES On
FRENCH BEAUTY

Violette’s cheat sheet on how to achieve the look comme des Françaises
Rules on French Girl Beauty | THE VIOLET FILES | @violetgrey
ON TIMING...
Makeup has to be done in five minutes, max. Most of the time it’s just foundation, no mascara. We’ll go out with super messy hair; we don’t care.
ON MAKEUP...
We don’t contour, ever. It changes the texture of your skin and doesn’t feel natural. 
ON IMPERFECTION...
Don’t make anything too perfect—we like it to look like we’ve done it ourselves. If you work your makeup you can’t work your hair, and vice versa. 
ON HAIR...
The hair has to be very uncontrolled, not blow-dried, so it looks like you woke up that way. It’s chic to go out with wet hair and see how it dries naturally.

MEET 
VIOLETTE

The Parisian artist divulges her anti-aging strategy and where her best night ever was spent.