I don't know about you, but I have a go-to lipstick for every occasion. Pared down nudes and pinks for work meetings and Zoom calls, vibrant reds for special occasions and date nights, and when the situation calls for it, sheer glosses and lipsticks for that no-makeup look. And, the latest launch from Violette_FR fits right into that collection.
For a “just bitten” lip, look no further than the brand's latest drop. Bisou Balm ($25) leaves you with a sheer wash of color you can build on. Coming in with three candy-inspired shades, the clear matte lipstick is a versatile, simple approach to everyday lipwear. The sheer shades are perfect for swiping on for any occasion. The brand's velvety red Petal Bouche Matte Lipstick ($25) is for more special moments (a lipstick they've dubbed the red panties of your beauty wardrobe). "Petal Bouche is totally opaque with a very vibrant color. It’s THE bold lipstick. Bisou Balm is the opposite. It’s sheer with just a veil of pigment," explains the brand founder and beauty influencer Violette.
For more on the new Bisou Balm, we reached out to Violette herself. Read on for her inspiration, how she wears it, and the best way to apply it.
Naturally, the inspiration behind the Bisou Balm was a Parisian beauty staple. "Behind a bold red lipstick, in Paris, we love a 'Bouche Mordue' look, which translates in English to 'bitten lips,'" she explains. "The idea is to have a hint of color—like you’ve been kissing all night. It's meant to look like your own lip color, not like lipstick. That's why I created Bisou Balm." In short, despite its light and subtle appearance, the sheer-matte product is more of a lipstick than a balm.
Violette FR launched just this March, making Violette's signature "French Girl Beauty" aesthetic to the masses, a move that was years in the making. The Bisou Balm, in fact, was in development almost as long as the brand itself. "It’s very hard to create a matte lipstick that glides well and is comfortable," she says. "Shine is what makes it nice to wear and so easy to apply. It’s so much work to achieve this comfort level, but keep the matte effect intact."
The sheer matte shades offer pillowy, soft wear... and comfort. Bêtise is a sheer berry, Calisson is a tender beige, and lastly, Guimauve is a soft coral shade. "Each pigment has a different interaction with the formula, therefore, it changes its finish," Violette explains. "For example, Bêtise is a bit shinier. I had to pick my battle on this one. If it was less shiny it would have been less comfortable."
The hardest part of the formulation process was creating "the perfect amount of sheer pigment, but buildable without adding a powdery texture on the lips." The founder explains that "there are 2 products I tried to launch this year, but chemists can’t figure out how to make my dream product so we had to push the launch for another two years." Despite the hurdles, Violette and her team eventually found a solution, launching the product to rave reviews (Guimauve sold out quickly).
How To Wear It
The best way to apply it depends on your mood and how much color you want to build up. "For a subtle tint, swipe across your lips once, twice for a satisfying natural lip color, three times to achieve that 'Bouche Mordue' look, and four times if you want that lipstick feel." The matte formula is meant to look like your lip texture for a natural, "your lips but better" effect. You can use it before or after applying a lip balm or with lipgloss if you want your lips to look like candy Violette says.
If you're unsure which color to choose, the founder has a few suggestions, "Bêtise is meant to ignite your sensuality without effort. Pair it with a summer dress or hoodie and dab a little shimmer of Yeux Paint eyeshadow onto your eyelids." Callison, on the other hand "is ideal to pair with strong eye makeup," she says of the soft beige shade. "It’s also very nice when you want a more monochromatic look. A touch of Yeux Paint in Tout Doux on the eyes and Calisson on the lips is a total color mood."
Lastly, the soft coral tone Guimauve is "great for a daring or playful adventure you have planned for the summer, or it can be worn during an al fresco dinner that’s paired with gold hoops."
Bisou Balm isn't just for natural beauty looks, you can also wear it with a very strong eye. "For example, one of the iconic French looks is the smokey eye that’s a bit messy with no false eyelashes. Á la Brigitte Bardot for example," she explains. Use Calisson for this type of look, as "it will add a neutral touch to your lips without making you look washed out."
In short, "Bisou Balm, to me, are the colors of summer." Violette describes her perfect seasonal looks as "a touch of pigment on the lips like you just ate some berries before running to the beach..." We're already dreaming of our summer beauty looks.
Shop all three shades at Violettefr.com.