With a couple of recent beauty brand launches, it’s interesting to speculate who will be the next make-up-artist-turned-make-up-mogul after Pat McGrath and Charlotte Tilbury. I’m currently enjoying watching the rise of Gucci Westman and Westman Atelier, but next in the running we have Violette Serrat and Lisa Eldridge.
Violette rose quickly from freelance MUA to Estee Lauder Global Beauty Director after growing a dedicated following of her beautifully shot (and very ‘French girl style’) YouTube videos. Her aspirational but relatable style now translates to Violette_FR, a capsule beauty line that includes Boum Boum Milk spray serum, liquid eye shadows and – already! – a unisex musk oil perfume (above).
Building a loyal social media following is clearly the modus operandi du jour for future make-up moguls. Lisa Eldridge is another freelance MUA (make-up artist) who scaled her reach via YouTube. But whereas Violette’s are five-minute lifestyle vignettes, often filmed in chic Parisian brasseries or hotel rooms, Lisa’s videos are step-by-step studio beautorials demonstrated on a model (or occasional celeb). Lisa is a well known collector and history nerd ( remember the Audrey Hepburn lipstick auction story?), with an eye for accessory design and a make-up history book under her belt. Her line (below) launched first with a trio of incredible sell-out lipsticks, evolving recently into lip glosses, blushers and highlighter.
Both Violette and Lisa have great personal style that adds to their appeal. No surprise then to see them segue from the make-up playbook into other areas such as fashion and lifestyle – Lisa with jewellery and Violette with, well, who can say? “I want to reposition beauty as a lifestyle, not just about the face. We’re celebrating who you are and not trying to change your features or even enhance them — it’s more to help you feel great and fall in love with yourself and give you confidence,” she told WWD.
To illustrate the point, she has just opened a Violette_FR New York pop-up shop (until June 21), complete with a merch collab with French brand Bisous Skateboards. Why not pick up a Violette hoodie (below), tee or skateboard along with your matte red lipstick?
This evolution of not-just-make-up mogul seems logical in many ways when we look to the example of Gen Y competitors like Glossier and Kylie Cosmetics. If you have a highly engaged fan base, they will likely buy into anything you offer. But to succeed long term, or with a customer that skews slightly older, it must make sense, not just in terms of product type, but product quality and messaging too.
WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Violette_FR Lisa Eldridge; Violette_FR
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