Ultra Violette

Lucien Pagès
Freya Gnaedig

Violette Serrat is currently one of the most well-known make up artists in the world. Originally from Paris and based in New York City with her husband – photographer Steven Pan and daughter Inès, Violette has had a passion for make up since she was 8 years old.  Throughout her career she has participated in shaping the image of some of the most respected beauty houses in the world such as Dior Beauty, Sephora, Estée Lauder and today she is joining Guerlain as their Global Creative Director of Makeup. 

A long her impressive career, Violette has amassed a large digital community with over 300K followers on YouTube and 430k on Instagram. She is constantly working on new projects and has recently launched her own beauty line Violette_FR which is just as stylish, elegant and charming as she is. 

Violette is known for her staple matte lips; strong eye colour looks and impeccable skin, which have obviously been included in her own makeup brand. Below, discover Violette’s newest projects, her inspirations, as well as her plans for Guerlain. 

Freya Gnaedig:  Congratulations on starting your own beauty brand! What were your main inspirations for the collection?
Violette Serrat: It’s been a dream in the making for 15 years. The first spark happened when I was 8 years old though when I saw a black red rose in the Bagatelle garden in Paris. The minute I saw it, I knew right away the kind of  lipstick I wanted and have imagined it since. Each product that I launched was basically my wish list. It’s what I have been searching for, for years. They are products I could not find in the market. For instance, Boum-Boum Milk… I have very dehydrated skin, but there was never one product that kept my skin completely hydrated after use.  I would always have to use a combination of products to achieve that hydrated effect. So with Boum-Boum Milk, after 3 years in the making, my dream product was created and I cannot live without it! My inspirations come from  art, nature, literature, fashion, my team, my friends and anyone that walks on the street.
FG: What products are you the most proud of? Do you have a favourite?
VS: Yes! Boum-Boum Milk. After 1,5 years of using this twice a day, my skin has improved incredibly  (I suffered a lot from contact dermatitis and dry skin). So it’s a huge help for that. When I read all the reviews… It makes me so happy to see how it helps others as well.
FG: What is the next product you are wanting to develop for VIOLETTE_FR? 
VS: Ah there are so many! Without giving too much away there is a face cream, which is completely complementary to Boum-Boum Milk coming out in March 2022. We are also working on our own blush, a hair product, more targeted skincare products and more! This is the best part of being a Founder. I get to create what’s in my wish list!
FG: As well as creating your own brand you have been appointed as the new Global Creative Director of Makeup for Guerlain beauty. What are your plans for Guerlain?
VS: I am very inspired by the mission. To me, Guerlain is the maison de haute couture. It’s history is INCREDIBLE ! I can’t believe I get to work with a brand that created the first bullet lipstick. My goal is to use and take inspiration from their past, their DNA, and the soul of the brand to write their new chapter.
FG: Are you planning any personal collaborations between your brand and Guerlain?
VS: Not for the moment. I am very happy to keep the 2 brands separated. I get to dig into my personal world for VIOLETTE_FR and be a guest at Guerlain that digs into their story. It’s so refreshing to sometimes get out of your creative bubble and get into another one. My inspirations are multiplied.
FG: How are you going to share your time between VIOLETTE_FR and Guerlain? 
VS: I work every day for my brand. I am the CEO of my dream that is … a startup. It requires my constant attention. Just like a newborn! For Guerlain I have a number of days per year in place so it’s not full-time. Guerlain built a system around me to be efficient. I have Laurence as my right hand who works with them under me full-time. I also have the support of their PR and Marketing team that is amazing. I love them all. It makes things way easier, as I give the tempo, the direction, the story and ideas and the team digests it and then presents to me the project. From there I direct the next steps with them until the project is final. it’s real teamwork and they have been really great at working with me that way.
FG: Over the last couple years, you have built a successful digital beauty empire, quickly understanding the importance of having a strong digital presence on Youtube, Instagram… How has this impacted your career? 
VS: I am from the fashion industry and have been very lucky to work in a way where I could creatively direct shoots and really bring my creativity to life with other incredible and super talented creatives. But after years in the industry, I felt disconnected from real life…  For instance, who’s turning the pages of the story I just did for this magazine? I started to post on IG my work and got a lot of new followers that were not from the industry and just wanted to recreate my looks. When I saw the way beauty was going, in a direction where it’s a performance tool rather than a self love one… I decided to create content to guide the ones who want to express themselves with makeup and help them restore their relationship with beauty. My community gave me a purpose in my work that is invaluable.
FG: You are considered by most the ultimate quintessential French Woman, how has this been incorporated into your creative style? 
VS: First thank you, I am so proud of my culture and love my country so much. My culture gave me the tools and the inspiration to allow me to have the freedom to  just be me.  People are obsessed with the term “je ne sais quoi” how can we get it? But we ALL have it. It’s this little thing that makes you, YOU. This unique thing that you may not pay attention to. Feel yourself, feel how being different is being unique and therefore irreplaceable. Embrace that and be free to be you!