Makeup artist, YouTube sensation AND Estée Lauder Global Beauty Director, Violtte_Fr is about to add mama to her calling card. Here this Brooklyn-based, Parisian beauty shares how pregnancy has turbocharged her motivation. Plus, her desire to raise a multi-multi-lingual kid, birthing fears, going into her “animal state” and THE book you have to read (plus baguettes, cheese, and sleep!) @violette_fr
How are you feeling?
I’m full of energy!
Girl or boy?
The funny thing is that my OB did a sonogram and she initially thought it was a boy! For a week after we received this news, I already felt like a horrible mom as I was so depressed because we wanted a little girl. Then the doctor called us to say that she got the blood results back and in fact, we are having a little girl! I cried and cried. We were so happy. I grew up with two brothers and know how wild they can be. With boys, you have to tame the beast! Plus, I’m in the beauty industry and have always dreamt about braiding my daughter’s hair and playing dress-up! In any case, we are very excited about having a little girl 🙂
You’re French, and your boyfriend is Chinese American, are you planning to raise your girl with all of these cultures?
Our daughter will be of French and Chinese heritage with a French first name and a Chinese middle and last name. Plus, she will be raised speaking French, English, and Chinese. I’ve told her grandparents that everyone is responsible for speaking only French or Chinese to her. I want her to feel connected to her diverse origins.
How are you preparing for your daughter’s arrival?
I’m eight months pregnant, and it just dawned on me the other day that we have nothing prepared for her, literally nothing! We have a giraffe and a teepee, and that’s it. However, I figure we live in NYC and can order anything on the fly.
Plus, I’ve never achieved as much professionally as I have while pregnant. It’s giving me a fire and inspiration like never before. I feel like I’m setting up the future for our family with my new YouTube channel and all the projects I have in the pipeline. I suppose this is my version of nesting and creating a safe life for our baby versus making a bedroom for her.
That’s exciting, tell us about your new Youtube Channel…
I’m launching a channel in response to my audience wanting more. I currently have my beauty focused channel and frequently get requests for content related to fashion, lifestyle, cooking, and decor; therefore I am creating a platform to house all of these topics. It’s no longer just about makeup, it’s a lifestyle that my audience is curious about, and they want me to share more with them. My struggle with the influencer world is that it’s typically only about one person and I find that to be extremely limited as I’m just one type of girl. Therefore instead of working by myself and telling people only about me, I have invited nine diverse people throughout many fields of expertise to collaborate on this channel with me. The goal here is to be able to connect to different types of people on the content we’re creating. I will produce, and direct but each person will share and develop episodes on a variety of topics such as meditation, yoga, cooking, style advice, and how-tos. Both this and my spring collection for Estee Lauder is launching the same month I’m giving birth–April is going to be epic!
Any cravings or aversions?
Before I became pregnant, I had this vision of working out all the time and eating super clean, but you know how it is, once the hormones kick in, you’re like an animal, and there’s NOTHING you can do. For the first four months, I couldn’t look at a vegetable, a piece of meat, or fish (which has temporarily affected my hair without proper nutrients!), nor could I work out. I literally could only eat carbs and cheese, plus I was sleeping all of the time–so cliche, the French girl with the baguette! I was terrified. I thought that was the new me! Slowly the intensity of the first trimester began to wear off, and I was able to start to work out again. I asked my OB what the safest cardio is and she said Soul Cycle, plus I decided to take a trainer twice a week to keep my body active–which I must admit is costly and a luxury that I am gifting to myself. I’m working out as I had never done before because I was so scared not to have control over my body; I have been doing two sessions of Soul Cycle a week plus the trainer twice a week. It’s not a superficial thing about gaining weight; it’s about feeling great. The pressure I put on myself is because I’m a freelancer and I can’t afford to stop working for three or four months if I don’t feel good after birth. I’m going to work until two weeks before I’m due and then I’ll go back to work as soon as I can to provide for my family. My thinking is that if I give birth and then struggle with how I feel in my body, I’m going to focus on that instead of being a good mom to my baby or successful in my career. Therefore my rationale is that if I’m strong, I can go back to work and focus on my baby rather than worrying about my body. Plus, I’m enjoying working out so much as I’m hyperactive and pregnancy slows me down but working out helps invigorate me.
Do you plan to take maternity leave?
I will take it as it comes, but I said to myself that no matter what, two months after the birth, I will go back to work and traveling full-on. I have to be in LA in June for work, and the plan right now is that my boyfriend will join on that trip so we can travel as a family. However, for the first three weeks, I want to focus on my family and spend the time to get to know us together. My boyfriend and I are best friends and obsessed with each other so we’ll have to learn to be three. We’ve also asked friends not to visit until three weeks after as we want to dig deep into the three of us and our new dynamic.
How did you two meet?
We met on a job about eight years ago. We were friends for four years before we were together. We both went through breakups around the same time and reconnected at a dinner party. That night it suddenly all became clear in an instant.
Do you have a birth plan?
I was scared to death by the idea of birth until my friend gave me this book by Ina May called Guide To Childbirth. I advise every pregnant woman to read it as it completely healed all of my fears. It taught me how to give birth, what’s happening to my body, and how strong and capable I am. After reading this book, I went from being terrified of birth to wanting a natural birth! A very extreme shift! I told my OB that I don’t want to be in bed with drugs and not able to move because my goal is not to have a C-section. I figure if I can stay in motion, squat, be free and connect to my animal instincts then my chances of having a successful natural birth are higher. Overall I found this whole pregnancy/motherhood thing in NYC to be a bit intense. In France we’re more rock-and-roll about things. However, I have an amazing OB and doula that make me feel relaxed which is critical.
Are you planning to self-care during the fourth trimester?
I bought this book, The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother, which touches on this idea of the fourth trimester. I believe that food is an incredible way of healing and in the Chinese culture, they focus on caring for the mom after birth just as much as the baby. It’s important for women to nurture themselves after ten months of pregnancy, plus the physical and emotional trauma of birth. I plan to take care of myself.
So much, but mainly educate yourself, don’t listen to the “should-dos,” trust the mom inside of you, and do your research! There are many rules surrounding pregnancy, and they’re not all true. Do your homework and then do what works for your body. I did all the research I could to be able to loosen up a little and feel free through this process. You’re not meant to be in jail for nine months as you’re creating life and I think it’s imperative that you feel alive while you’re pregnant!