Cover Violette Serrat

Violette Serrat, who goes only by her first name professionally, will be succeeding Olivier Echaudemaison, who has been in the position for 21 years

If one were to analyse the major milestones in Serrat’s beauty career with stints as Dior’s make-up designer, Estée Lauder’s global beauty director, and the founder of her own eponymous beauty brand, they would find that the French-born, Brooklyn-based make-up artist brings a unique blend of Parisian sensibilities, masterful techniques and spontaneous creativity to every role. And it is exactly this winning combination which has made her YouTube channel a success, with more than 300,000 subscribers who find her content accessible, entertaining and educational. 

Thus, it is only natural that the beauty world is abuzz about the potential that could emerge from the trailblazer’s latest appointment as the creative director of make-up at Guerlain, one of the oldest and most luxurious beauty brands synonymous with French beauty and constant innovation. In this new role, she will be releasing new make-up, including a refreshed version of Guerlain’s Rouge G lipsticks. 

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“As a little girl, Guerlain’s Météorites with its little pastel-coloured pearls for the complexion had a real aesthetic impact on me. I’d stare at the box fascinated, I couldn’t wait to become a woman,” says Serrat. “I’m so happy to be joining an iconic house with such a rich heritage, where I can pass Guerlain’s values in makeup on to a new generation and share it with those who, no matter their gender, celebrate beauty today and will celebrate it tomorrow.”

In a private live session hosted by Guerlain in Paris, Serrat virtually shared how she will be approaching her new role.

What are your biggest priorities stepping into this role?

Guerlain has always been a pioneer. If you look at its history, Guerlain created the first lipstick and they were one of the first to introduce unisex fragrances. And they have always been a leader in sustainability; as a mother, I've been thinking a lot about the world I leave behind.

I want to make sure that our products continue to be as impeccable as they have been since Guerlain began and to align with the philosophy of the maison, as the haute couture of beauty. 

In particular, as the younger generation is starting to embrace luxury, I want to make sure that Guerlain engages with people in a broad and diverse way; it should be fun and light while being sustainable, responsible and inclusive of everyone. The beauty industry has a big impact on mental health. Being in America, I realised the importance of looking at yourself with benevolent eyes. 

Do you feel any pressure following in the footsteps of your predecessor, Olivier Echaudemaison? 

No, I try not to think in that way. I always try to step into a new role with fresh eyes and a clear vision to connect the past to the present and the future. 

What is the quintessential Guerlain look?

It's very Parisian—all about effortless beauty and embracing who you are. Maybe there will be a smoky eye, red lip or retro liner but it's always on a fresh face. Living between Paris and New York, I love that French culture is getting so much love. I want to inspire new looks by bringing a strong French aesthetic and adding a bit of spice!

How did the pandemic change the beauty industry? 

The pandemic was a definitely wake-up call for the entire beauty industry. We definitely became more conscious about ensuring that we are making a positive impact on people and the environment. And now as the world slowly opens up, there is a desire to have fun and celebrate who they are through make-up. I am excited to help the world reconnect with make-up. 

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