Violette_FR Launches ‘Invisible Bandage’ to Treat and Prime Problem Skin

For Violette Serrat, the upside to every makeup or skin care mishap is a new idea.

So when a 2016 laser treatment-gone-wrong left the makeup artist and beauty founder with mild burns on her face just before a press tour, Serrat realized she needed a product that could offer a protective barrier between her makeup and her wounds, while promoting healing.

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“When you try to put makeup on a burn, a cut or a wound — which you should never — it’s not great,” said Serrat, who serves as Guerlain’s creative director of makeup in addition to being chief executive officer of her namesake brand.

“These three points — treat, protect and prime — they became my obsession,” she said.

This trinity was the genesis of the Invisible Bandage, Violette_FR’s newest product. More than four years in the making, the clear formula, $28, features a blend of oil-regulating Acnilys, hydrolyzed algae extract, niacinamide and anti-inflammatory CM Glucan Granules.

“This was a product that I felt would be perfect to help when you get a little cut from a razor, or if you have a burn or a pimple; this can help you underneath makeup or with no makeup,” Serrat said.

The launch comes at a pivotal time for the brand, which just inked its first major retail deal with Mecca.

“I wanted our first retailers to be partners, to really help build the brand, and not just distributors — and I heard that’s what Mecca did,” Serrat said.

Violette_FR is rolling out to 39 Mecca stores in Australia and New Zealand with its full line excluding Invisible Bandage and Sérum Superlatif.

The brand also sells at six French pharmacies in Paris, including Pharmacie Rambuteau and Pharmacie Dauphine. “It was my obsession to go into French pharmacies, because that’s the stamp of approval — if [the pharmacies] say it’s good, it’s good,” said Serrat, who had reservations during the brand’s early days about whether her skin care offerings would be taken seriously, considering her background as a makeup artist.

Those reservations have since been assuaged. Today, the brand’s probiotic-based Boum-Boum Milk is its bestselling stock keeping unit, and though Violette_FR has a wider makeup assortment, its skin care buyers have a higher repeat purchase rate, she said.

“I’m trying to build a maison here — an institution that’s focused on the quality, the core, the craftsmanship — that’s what I’m trying to build for beauty,” Serrat said.

Though Serrat did not specify sales expectations for the launch, industry sources think Invisible Bandage could do up to $1 million in first-year sales.

“I’m not creating products that already exist on the market and I’m not trying to own everything — I’m not here to compete, I’m here to complete,” said Serrat, noting the U.S. is the brand’s biggest market, followed by France. “I believe also Asia could be an interesting market for us, but we’re not there yet; I’m not focusing on hyper growth — I always say I’d rather take the stairs than the elevator.”

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