BY TERRY $38
Our new Executive Director of VIOLET LAB, Sarah Brown (of VOGUE fame), shares her previously well-guarded beauty secrets and her eternally-favorite VIOLET CODE APPROVED products.
Written By SARAH BROWN
Portrait By EMILY SOTO
SHOP HER BAG
La Mer $360
Eau Thermale Avène $18
Dr. Dennis Gross $435
I have been a fan of VIOLET GREY since even before VG launched—I’m talking the early, early days, when VG was nothing more than a presentation deck on Cassandra Grey’s laptop and I was VOGUE’s Beauty Director, meeting this mysterious tornado of chic who’d just flown in from LA for breakfast at the Bowery Hotel.
Now, several years later, here I am, working at VIOLET GREY and officially AT YOUR SERVICE. In my new role at the VIOLET LAB, my mission is to bring you the best-of-the-best-of-the-best and to work with the ultimate industry insiders and most exciting brand founders to make sure we miss nothing and deliver everything. We exist to help you build a world-class, expertly-edited wardrobe of beauty essentials.
Below, I’m sharing some of my favorites off THE SHELVES–from longtime can’t-live-withouts to brand-new discoveries.
I want to hear what you love, too. Tag us on Insta and let me know what you’re putting IN THE BAG.
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Wanna know the best trick for someone who loves a professionally blended eye but is not a professional? It’s what I call an eyeshadow crayon. I use the smoldering dark shades as (foolproof) liners and the twinkly opalescent light shades to add a highlight in the corner, and sometimes to softly line along bottom lashes. Super-smudgeable. Instant smokeshow. Very little talent required. One day if I get brave enough and frankly, if Cassandra Grey forces me, I will (maybe) show you in a mirror review, but until then, trust me. So easy.
I have a new and dangerous obsession with Christophe Robin shampoos, conditioners, and basically everything else. It’s a problem. But not for my hair. I call this decadent wonder worker my “salt shampoo” and it basically guarantees a good hair day. It lathers up immediately into a rich froth, leaves hair and scalp feeling clean yet hydrated, and smells like a spa.
I try loads of different skin care (all day every day! Cool job, right?), but I always find myself coming back to La Mer’s Soft Cream. I could go on about the ingredients—the kelp-rich Miracle Broth—or about how the texture, which is rich yet also light and sort of air-whipped, is as perfect in summer as on a ski trip, but the thing for me is just that my skin always looks better in the morning after I’ve used it. Soothed, soft, happy. I just love it.
I will always cherish the memory of feeding Lord Jones CBD gummies to my father and step-mother one evening after dinner and watching them sit around wondering if they were high “yet,” giggling like teenagers. Look, these don’t make you high, but they do sort of chill you out. They are a crowd-pleaser, the very best hostess gift, and just nice to have in the bedside table drawer or on the coffee table. So, feel a touch naughty without actually being naughty, tell yourself it’s self-care, eat something chewy and delicious, fall asleep happy, enjoy your life!
I am forever recommending Avène to people who want wonderful skin care but don’t want to spend a fortune, and I am forever glamorized by the fact that the mineral-rich water in each product comes from a mountain-fed spring in the Languedoc that has been visited by pilgrims since the 1700s. It is the height of French apothecary chic and the gentlest stuff on Earth, a true find for prickly, dry, and easily irritated skin. And they make everyday staples, like this multitasking rinse-free cleanser/toner/makeup remover, still manage to feel like a luxury.
Yes, I feel vaguely Joan Crawford and a silk sleep mask admittedly has a kind of high-maintenance vibe, but I live for this gorgeous pillowy thing. Not only does this featherlight pink wisp feel great on, and likely help prevent sleep-induced crow’s feet for all of us side-sleepers, but if you have any problem at all getting to sleep, or staying asleep, I promise this will help you. It is instantly pitch-black. It is instantly calm. It’s like being inside your own silky dreamscape.
Here is something I’m putting in my bag because I don’t actually have it yet, and, yeah, I think I need it. O.G. NY power-derm Dr. Dennis Gross is generally the first out of the gate with major DIY innovation—the office-strength home peel? All him (put that IN THE BAG, too!)—and this futuristic LED mask is no exception. 100 gentle yet potent lights to kickstart collagen and elastin production, ease redness, even tone, treat and prevent acne. And in a pinch: it’s a potential Halloween costume. Sold!
by Cassandra Grey
After pursuing her for five years, VIOLET GREY finally persuaded the former VOGUE Beauty Director to head up our curation via VIOLET LAB.