The Aesthete: Violette Serrat talks taste
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My personal style signifier is my everyday uniform: jeans – usually by Agolde or Rouje – and a T-shirt paired with a blazer. Often I’ll wear a smart jacket by Blazé Milano and pair it with a casual shirt by Bisous Skateboards. It’s feminine but not too girly; easy-going but chic.
The last thing I bought and loved was Nutrafol hair supplements. I lost about 50 per cent of my hair during pregnancy, postpartum and then while launching my brand. But I started using these about two months ago, and I’m already seeing results. My hair is healthier, fuller – and it’s not falling out any more. $88 per month
And on my wishlist is an outfit by The Row that I’m obsessed with – a pair of navy ribbed pants with ruffled cuffs, and a top to match. I’m waiting to see if they’ll go on sale, which I highly doubt. Cassiopea top, £1,020, and Carmine pants, £1,080, net-a-porter.com
My party make-up centres around glitter, especially if it’s a holiday celebration. I like to start with a Pat McGrath concealer and Guerlain’s Terracotta powder, which gives me a little warmth. I became Guerlain’s creative director of make-up this year and this is a brand classic. Then I’ll apply one of my Yeux Paint liquid eyeshadows as a base with some glitter on top – Hemway sells biodegradable glitter that is safe to use on your face. I’ll finish with a nude Guerlain Rouge G lipstick to make my eyes really pop. Guerlain Terracotta, £39, and Rouge G, from £21. Violette_FR Yeux Paint, £27. Hemway Ultra Sparkle Glitter Biodegradable, £10.95. Pat McGrath Labs Sublime Perfection Concealer, £25
The place I can’t wait to go back to is St Barths. I always thought it was going to be another St Tropez, which is really not my thing, but I visited this year and fell in love. It’s so chilled, the island is incredible. I’ve booked to go again in April. Then for something really spectacular, there’s Lençóis Maranhenses National Park in Brazil. It’s a wild adventure – it takes about two days to get there by horse – and the area is covered with sand dunes and lagoons that look like infinity pools. My dream is to go back with my daughter.
And the best souvenir I’ve brought home is a set of bowls from Brazil. They’re decorated with blue and white flowers, which is typical of the south-eastern side of the country. I’ve had them for about 15 years.
The gadget I couldn’t do without is my Oral-B water flosser. I’m the worst with tech; if I touch something with an electric charge, it’s going to break. But I’m obsessed with this. Oral-B Aquacare Pro-Expert Water Flosser, £125
The best book I’ve read in the past year is Bonjour Tristesse by the French writer Françoise Sagan, which she wrote when she was 18. Since I had my daughter I haven’t been able to read much, but this was one of two books I managed to finish this summer. Next I’m going to read Glennon Doyle’s feminist memoir Untamed – I’ve heard it’s groundbreaking.
A recent “find” is From Future, a Parisian knitwear brand. They specialise in high-quality, affordable cashmere in contemporary styles.
My style icon is Anna Karina, the late Danish-French actress. I love the look in her eyes; she must have been a very intense person. If you watch interviews with her, every answer she gives is a whole process – and I like that she dressed up her look with eyeliner. She’s breathtaking.
The best gift I’ve received recently is a drawing by Regina Yazdi, a Taiwanese-Iranian artist who lives between LA and New York. She drew a picture of me surrounded by roses, and everything is in black and white aside from my red lipstick.
The last music I downloaded was “Moon” by Kid Francescoli, an electro pop act from Marseille. I like to listen to music when I go to work in the morning because it makes me feel inspired. It’s like putting water on a flower; it opens me up.
In my fridge you’ll always find cheese and wine. It would be an insult to my country if you didn’t.
I have a collection of around 200 pigments, some from Pigment Tokyo and Sennelier, one of the oldest art shops in Paris. When I started as a make-up artist I had no money for products, so I bought pigments instead. That’s how I learnt to paint – I was trained to mix them and make my own materials – so I thought it would be the same for make-up. I realised how vibrant the products were when I made them myself on set, and I still use them today.
An object I would never part with is a gold pendant with my name and blood type on it that was given to me by my parents when I was born. I stopped wearing it about 17 years ago as I needed not to be reminded of my childhood for a moment, but a few weeks ago I started wearing it again, and now I cherish it even more.
The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Yves Klein. I love the iconic International Klein Blue, which he created. I’ll buy anything that has that colour on it – even if it’s a dot of paint that fell on the floor that somebody has kept and framed. I have a crazy connection to it.
The beauty staple I’m never without is my Boum-Boum Milk, an all-over spray that acts as a toner, serum and moisturiser. I can’t wear foundation because my skin is so sensitive; I always have reactions, and it gets dehydrated. I’d been looking for the perfect cream for years, so this was the first product that I worked on. It’s changed my skin – just two sprays and I’m out the door. Violette_FR, £56
An indulgence I would never forgo is Fruité Noir olive oil from Moulin Cornille, a small mill in southern France, which I buy by the box. They make it from black olives – it’s life-changing. €109 for 5l
My favourite room in my house is my bedroom. I’ve got the best mattress in the whole world. It’s an organic latex model by SleepEZ; they let you customise each layer. I also have a portrait of my daughter by the artist Fahren Feingold – and I designed my own bedside tables and headboard. SleepEZ Organic Latex Mattress, from $1,999
If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be an interior designer. I’ve designed so many things in my house and office – I love it. It’s still my plan B.
My beauty guru is Alissa Frum, the best hair colourist in the world. No one else touches my hair. She keeps my natural colour, but with subtle highlights that don’t look too blonde. And now I’m starting to get white hairs, she tackles them one by one. For wellbeing, I go to Evolve Health + Wellness on Rivington Street in New York, which uses Chinese medicine practices. Nini Mai, the founder, is very impressive.
No celebration is complete without a glass of Krug champagne. And Steven, my husband. If he is not there, no party is complete.