In the early hours of the morning, a woman strolls into a tiny café. A cheerful busyness dominates the open, airy spot. After placing an order, the woman pulls out a mirror to gaze into the blank canvas of her face. A few moments of tranquil inspection pass by, and then her work begins. Like a master painter with brushes in hand, she delicately swipes color from an open palette. The table becomes an apothecary shop as the artist mixes colors to achieve her desired hue. When complete, a sparse but effective makeup look shines on her face. On Violette_Fr, a French beauty inspired YouTube channel, these peaceful moments of artistic expression dominate the atmosphere.
Maybe you don’t associate such an aura with the YouTube beauty community. The infamous drama and brand competition can easily overshadow positive voices in the category. Violette_ Fr, however, rises above petty online rivalries. The channel maintains that “our differences, our weirdness [and] our ‘je ne sais quoi’ make us who we are.” Rather than compete with other influencers, creators focus on fulfilling this vision. Ten diverse contributors highlight the potential for artistry in self-care routines, all while adhering to the philosophy that “beauty is an attitude — not a look.”
Coree Moreno is the channel’s expert on natural hair and its specific needs. His self-described purpose is to “bridge the gap between knowledge and understanding of coily, kinky and textured hair.” In his series “Hair Healing with Coree Moreno,” the stylist seeks to educate viewers on proper product usage. For every customer, Moreno pushes conventional boundaries to create a beautiful new look. Moreno scoffs at the supposed difficulty associated with textured hair. With intentionality, the artist maintains that you can incorporate a stress-free hair routine into any schedule.
Similarly, Allison Bornstein concentrates on making fashion feasible for the everyday person. Throughout her style tutorials on Violette_Fr, Bornstein aims to overcome an exclusive, unattainable view of fashion. In her mind, looking nice is not a luxury reserved for high-end individuals. Bornstein strives to create breathtaking outfits from staple pieces, providing viewers with a reliable wardrobe all year long. Her down-to-earth language demystifies the process of putting together an outfit, leaving audiences with an optimistic outlook on their own fashion capabilities.
Likewise, Kavita Meera Mehta provides a fresh, sunny perspective on makeup. As a new mother, Mehta knows firsthand the challenges intertwined with a hectic schedule. Rather than decry these obstacles, this artist allows her novel circumstances to highlight more of makeup’s potential. While straddling a baby on her hip, Mehta says, “I’m a mom now, and I think that brings a whole new level onto wearing makeup. Time is really of the essence, and makeup is a tool to make you feel beautiful.”
Although important, Violette_Fr does not only concentrate on external beauty. In her series “Eat the Rainbow,” chef Sophia Roe highlights the importance of consuming a colorful array of foods. For Roe, food is an outlet for creativity similar to painting, sculpture or photography. As she clarifies in her introductory video, “I wanted to call this series ‘Eat the Rainbow’ not just because eating the rainbow is good for you, but I also think colors can tell a really beautiful story.” With each meal she creates, Roe proves that food possesses both nutritious and artistic potential.
In her makeup tutorials, Delina Medhin further explores the medium’s underlying artistic quality. As a devout artist, Medhin allots great importance to texture and color. A splash of jagged golden glitter across the eye contrasts nicely with the smooth surface of her skin. Throughout her videos, she highlights each model’s natural beauty with her keen attention to detail. Overall, Medhin wants the self-care process to remain relaxed, and maintains that makeup “shouldn’t be something you overthink.”
Emily Chu, the channel’s youngest contributor, definitely understands the importance of a stress-free attitude toward makeup. As a pre-med student, Chu wrestles with the time constraints that accompany a hectic college schedule. Despite this hindrance, Chu enjoys finding time to express herself through the makeup she wears. Its purpose isn’t primarily to hide blemishes. For her, makeup is a means of self-expression and a way to “preserve authenticity and exercise creativity” in the throes of college life.
Violette Serrat is the mind behind the perfectly Parisian YouTube channel Violette_Fr and encapsulates the philosophies of all her contributors. As the Global Beauty Director of Estee Lauder, she is a high-profile woman at the top of her field. And yet, despite her success, the businesswoman remains committed to her artistic roots. For example, Violette has no qualms about admitting that makeup is not her first love. As she says in an interview with W Magazine, “I’m not a makeup fan. I know it sounds weird, but to me, it’s just a way to do my thing. I’m more an art fan. I am obsessed with art. I’m obsessed with paintings. I find my inspiration in pure pigments that I find at art supply stores.”
Since artistic expression is obviously her utmost priority, Violette incorporates an aesthetic quality into all of her content. Her videos aren’t filmed in front of a stagnant, rigid background. It’s hard to picture harsh lighting or invasive microphones on one of her makeup sets. Rather, she brings her expertise to peaceful, yet dynamic locations. In her mind, coffee shops, flower markets and dimly lit restaurants can easily transform into stunning film locations.
As she saunters into these scenes, the everyday beauty of ordinary locations becomes apparent. In the hustle and bustle of a busy street, this artist slows down and enjoys a normal part of her routine. Nimble brush stokes, meticulous lines and a few playful swipes of lipstick bring the surrounding activity to a halt. The effect is mesmerizing, and each tutorial on Violette_Fr offers more ways to incorporate artistic expression into your self-care routine.