The Party Looks Cool Girls Are Actually Wearing This Season

Photographed by Dina Litovsky at Redux Pictures
If you were to add up all the elements of a cool-girl starter kit, you'd end up with someone a lot like makeup artist Violette. Having moved from Paris to New York City a few years ago, she can do the pared-down French beauty thing just as well as glittery lips and star-stamped smoky eyes, which is likely why Estée Lauder appointed her its Global Beauty Director earlier this year. She wears jeans with Jimmy Choos, loves red wine, and hates the contouring craze. Oh, and she goes by her first name only. So yeah, we kind of really want to be in her crew.
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And that's how we found ourselves in her Bed-Stuy townhouse a couple weeks ago, popping bubbly rosé in the bathtub as she painted our faces with Estée Lauder's new Pure Color Envy Liquid Lip Trio, the brand's first liquid lipsticks curated by Violette herself. (The complete line of 20 shades will launch in January.) She then took us along for a ride with her BFF as they hit up local Williamsburg hot spots Sunday in Brooklyn and Freehold.
Ahead, come along for a night on the town with the beauty world's It girl.
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Photographed by Dina Litovsky at Redux Pictures
Violette's signature drink is red wine (her favorite is Côte Rôtie), but getting ready with girlfriends calls for Champagne — and a good playlist. "You're going to laugh," she says of her go-to party song, "but it's 'Kung Fu Fighting' by Carl Douglas!"
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Photographed by Dina Litovsky at Redux Pictures
Prior to this, Refinery29 production assistant Brianna Arps was "scared to do anything 'extra' or over-the-top with her makeup. "Honestly, I didn't want to look too out-there — whatever that means," she said. But Violette got her out of that mindset real quick. Using her fingers, the makeup artist tapped Pure Color Envy Liquid LipColor in Lacquered Lover on her lips, which she says is "kind of a tricky color, but the least boring nude ever and more versatile than you think," then reached for the glitter...
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Photographed by Dina Litovsky at Redux Pictures
"I really like Glitter Injections' pressed glitter," says Violette. She keeps an assortment of different shades on hand to use on the most unexpected place: the Cupid's bow.
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Photographed by Dina Litovsky at Redux Pictures
She took a small lip brush, dampened it, then dipped it into the pan of glitter before patting it along Brianna's Cupid's bow. Then, she wrapped a piece of tape around her pinky and used it to pick up whatever glitter was not sparkling on her mouth — since you only want the shiny stuff to stay on the lips. "I love it because it's a strong highlight that makes lips look super-plump. Also, I learned in Spain that if you have a curled Cupid's bow, it's a sign that you're a very good lover in bed," says Violette. Add that to the list of things to look for on Bumble...
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Photographed by Dina Litovsky at Redux Pictures
For her own makeup look, Violette grabbed Quiet Riot, a Burgundy shade that looks totally different when it's dabbed on lightly versus painted on opaquely. "I like to pat it on with my finger in the center so, it’s a little bit less dark, then add copper glitter to the Cupid's bow and the inner corners of my eyes," she says. She smudged Nyx Jumbo Pencil in Bronze along her waterline to really emphasize her dark brown eyes.
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Photographed by Dina Litovsky at Redux Pictures
Violette's BFF, Laily Mesbah, runs her own company doing artistic direction for brands and influencers — so she's not shy about trying new looks. "I used to wear a lot more makeup — I was really into clumpy, tarantula Twiggy lashes — but lately, I want to be as natural as possible," she says. "Violette has inspired me a lot; she's about accentuating your real features and not changing who you are."

For Laily's lips, Violette dipped a copper eyeliner into Inglot pigment in 232 and painted it on in place of traditional lip liner. She then swept Lava Flow, a bright orange-red from the trio, on top of that but skipped the glitter trick, since Laily's Cupid bow is already so pronounced. "I wanted to make her look like a Guy Bourdin icon," she says.
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Photographed by Dina Litovsky at Redux Pictures
Before heading out for the night, Violette threw the lipstick she's wearing and El Nabil's White Musk perfume in her bag.
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Photographed by Dina Litovsky at Redux Pictures
Makeup done, hair tousled, Jimmy Choos on... It's time to get this party started.
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Photographed by Dina Litovsky at Redux Pictures
Our first stop: dinner at Sunday in Brooklyn, where we put these lipsticks through rounds of signature rum cocktails and wine, copious appetizers, and one massive fish for the table (which was expertly de-boned by Violette).
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Photographed by Dina Litovsky at Redux Pictures
Violette's best tip for dealing with wine mouth? Embrace the stain by matching it with your lipstick.
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Photographed by Dina Litovsky at Redux Pictures
"To me, red lip liner isn't cool," says Violette. "I like it when things are strong but not perfect."
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Photographed by Dina Litovsky at Redux Pictures
After we finished dinner, we headed to Freehold around the corner, a bar and music venue complete with a mini arcade. Violette's other top picks for dining and drinking are Carthage Must Be Destroyed, 15 East, and Elsa Bar. On Thursday nights, you'll find Laily at Rose Bar's jazz night sipping a mocktail of club soda with lime, and Brianna recommends Kinfolk 94 for a cool vibe and good music. So don't say you can't think of anything to do next weekend...
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Photographed by Dina Litovsky at Redux Pictures
Violette's recipe for being the coolest girl in the bar: messy hair, comfy clothes, and badass lipstick.
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Photographed by Dina Litovsky at Redux Pictures
So what did we learn after a night out with the makeup pro? "Violette changed the way I view my strong features," said Brianna, the next morning. "Makeup, she told me, is supposed to be fun — and nothing brings the party quite like glitter does."

Special thanks to Sunday In Brooklyn and Freehold.
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