“For spring, I want something super fresh but still flirty, with that va va voom, you know?” Estée Lauder’s Global Beauty Director Violette is chatting through her first collection for the beauty giant, Poppy Sauvage, which launched this week and is just about the most flattering collection we’ve tried yet. Violette – who, it’s worth noting, is also a makeup artist, beauty consultant and influencer with a 205k-strong Instagram following – is the perfect model for her own range, her tousled waves and Parisian style all the advertisement her products need.
Thankfully, though, Poppy Sauvage actually lives up to the hype. Made up of seven products, Violette was looking to create something fresh and wearable for spring. “I used to take the train from Paris to Provence and witness the sun rise over all the fields in bloom, particularly the poppy fields,” she explains. “When I did my research about the poppies, I found out they're different from every other poppy in the world. They're true red, whereas others are slightly orange. This makeup collection is all about my 'printemps souvenir', or my spring memory. When the light hits the poppies just right, the fields turn gold, pink and copper, like they’re suddenly on fire with colour. It’s so vibrant, it gives me so much energy. Combining all of these shades in one collection is my way to recharge for a new season after the frost of winter melts away.”
First up is the Pure Color Envy Sculpting Blush Duo in Soleil Doré and Camélia. A velvety blush duo in nude and pink, it brings a soft touch of colour to your skin, and the shades can be used individually or blended together. “My favourite blush is ombre, so I designed this to start with the nude and then go to pink on the apples of the cheek,” Violette explains. “For women with rosacea, I'd avoid the pink as it will bring out the redness in your own skin.” There’s the Soft Glow For Lips & Cheeks in La Rosée, which means ‘the dew’ in French. “This is my favourite in the range; it's a little pot of transparent balm that you apply to the cheekbones, brow bones, Cupid's bow – for girls that wear a lot of foundation it puts the texture back into the skin.” A do-it-all pot that works beautifully over colour-pop shadow or just to bring some glow to winter-ravaged skin, we’re making this a permanent fixture in our handbags.
Directly inspired by the sunlight hitting those poppy fields, the eyeshadow offering, Pure Color Envy Sculpting EyeShadow 5-Color Palette in Les Nudes de Soleil, allows you to sculpt and shape your eyes as desired, thanks to the lighter golden hues and deeper earthy shades. This palette works both wet and dry; we’re applying with our fingers for a more lived-in, nonchalant feel. The colours also work nicely with the Deluxe Eye Crayon in Terre d’Or, which makes it easy to recreate that subtle, smoky eye French girls have down pat. “I always do makeup on the go, so I created an eye stick that you can use in the lift, in the car, with no light and no mirror – it's mistake-proof." How would Violette apply it? “Run it over your eyelid, then blend with your finger, and you'll get this very French, messy smoky eye.”
Finally, there are three lip shades, which are the highlights of the range. Pure Color Envy Paint-On Liquid LipColor in Poppy Sauvage is a rich, matte liquid shade and may just be the perfect red. Violette says it was important to her to get this shade just right. “What I love about this red is that when you go into natural light it turns super fluorescent as it mirrors a flower and absorbs the light. It stays matte and there's no transfer, so you can kiss all night, too!” Our picks of the Poppy Sauvage collection, though, are Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Poésie and Vin Noir. Poésie is a nudey, dusky pink that will convert even those most committed to a red lip, thanks to its universally flattering tone. It works just as nicely as a cheek blush, too. As for Vin Noir: finally, a lipstick you can wear while drinking red wine. It looks very dark in the tube but, thanks to a flash of raspberry, is more playful than it appears; best of all, it conceals that dreaded red wine mouth. “I blend the edge of my lips in Vin Noir, as it’s the best way to wear a dark colour,” Violette explains. The formula of both these wonder products is super creamy and therefore comfortable on the lip; simply blot with tissue to remove excess moisture and it stays put through breakfast and coffee.
We were bound to fall for Violette’s first Estée Lauder collection, but this universally wearable limited edition offering genuinely delivers, and has us dreaming of summer sunsets – preferably in Provence.