Estée Lauder’s New Global Director on Changing the Makeup World

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Violette Makeup Artist
Photo: Courtesy of Estée Lauder

When it comes to seriously cool, quirky, and unique makeup artists, Violette is up there. Remember that metallic ear-makeup craze that was all over Instagram? She started that. In fact, she has inspired so many women to break the beauty rules and get creative – glitter, paint, stickers, and all – and always treats makeup as a true art form, which is hardly surprising considering the fact that she began painting and studying art at the age of three.

In fact, she’s so revolutionary that Estée Lauder has just signed her as its Global Beauty Director. She’ll be working on everything from product development and digital-content creation to education, training, and how-to videos. “We are thrilled to welcome Violette to the Estée Lauder brand and look forward to an exciting collaborative partnership,” shared Global Brand President Stephane de La Faverie. “As a talented makeup artist and lifestyle influencer with a passion for art and color, Violette brings a unique voice and perspective to beauty. We are excited to partner with Violette on innovative new product ideas and engaging digital content that creates a dynamic new beauty conversation with women around the world across all touch points.”

In this exclusive interview with Savoir Flair, Violette reveals the beauty rules she wants us to break and what inspires her creative makeup looks. Read on to find out more.

Violette Estee Lauder
Photo: Courtesy of Estée Lauder

What is your first beauty memory?
Definitely being in my home country, France. I remember seeing these women in T-shirts with messy hair and yet they had perfect red lipstick and heels on. They could be at the grocery store or at school picking up their kids, and they’d be wearing this. In my mind, I started to associate heels with lipstick. I get my inspiration for lips from shoes. I love that, no matter where these women are, they’re doing it for themselves.

Beauty is a way of expressing yourself, a way to celebrate femininity.

What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty is a way of expressing yourself, a way to celebrate femininity. It’s also a ceremony for me because the time I take for myself in the bathroom – or even in the car – doing my makeup is like my minute for myself. Just that gesture of applying the products is something really caring.

What inspires you most about the Estée Lauder brand?
It’s the history; there’s something very historic about Estée Lauder. I feel like it’s always been somewhere in an American life. It’s very iconic, and there is an emotional connection to the brand. It’s not just superficial – people are linked to this brand through their memories. It’s a brand that respects women because it cares about enhancing their beauty.

A post shared by Estée Lauder (@esteelauder) on

What inspires you most about Estée Lauder, the woman?
I could say that I met Estée a few weeks ago, and that I’m still meeting her as I’m really shocked by her modernity for her time. She was such a visionary. We have so much in common. Her philosophy was not about selling her products, but about selling the look. This idea of what you need versus what I think you need. She created this brand as a woman in an era when being a businesswoman was absolutely not a thing. She created it herself, and now it’s part of history.

If you could meet Estée today, what would you tell her?
I would thank her for paving the way for us women to be inspired and to dare to create something we believe in, to not be afraid of creating a strong business in a man’s world. I would also thank her for impacting our history because, now, it’s so relevant. What she created keeps inspiring us, and that’s a huge gift. And if she could make it then, I can make it now. I would tell her that she’s still an inspiration for women today.

Who inspires you?
Women. All women. I don’t have one icon. New York is an incredible source of inspiration because there is so much diversity – and the women here dare to try. I love to look at them and imagine a little story about how they decided to wear a particular look. It’s like every woman is showing you a little part of herself.

A post shared by Estée Lauder (@esteelauder) on

What is the one thing you wish every woman understood about makeup?
The root of my philosophy is working on accepting and celebrating who we are instead of “improving”. What does that even mean? There’s this pressure to be perfect, but everyone should do whatever they want. I’m pro-freedom of expression – think of forgetting the “beauty codes”, like what is the “perfect” beauty. Instead, look at what you like on your face, your favorite feature. Use makeup to celebrate who you are instead of changing what you look like.

There’s this pressure to be perfect, but everyone should do whatever they want. I’m pro-freedom of expression.

Are there any beauty looks or trends you wish you saw more of?
I’m kind of anti-trend. Since starting my YouTube channel, I just want to forget about them. Let’s consider any kind of look and forget whether it’s trendy or not. What do you want to wear? What is cool for you? If there is one look I would like to see more of, it’s women daring to celebrate their femininity and having fun with their makeup. I just want to see women owning their look.

What is the “little black dress” of makeup?
Red lipstick. In my bag, I always have concealer and red lipstick. Even if I’m not wearing red lipstick that day, I have it just in case!

Discover Some of Violette's Most Striking Makeup Moments

Now discover the biggest beauty sins according to the world’s biggest makeup artists.

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