CASSANDRA GREY: The Confidence Code

4 years ago by

In Partnership With Saks Fifth Avenue Beauty

As soon as you meet Cassandra Grey it is very apparent she is one of those women who has an eye for things. It’s no surprise then that over the past five years she’s successfully grown her company, Violet Grey, into the beauty destination it is today.

Violet Grey is a place where celebrities, make-up artists, and, well, people like us, trust a curated team of beauty industry professionals to tell them what products really work.

I love the face Cassandra gives to beauty. As a smart, worldly, and free woman, she stands for a new definition of beauty, from the inside out – but with all the perfect tools to make you feel your best, of course. In this podcast, she explains very well how beauty is confidence – and illustrates how to get to that confidence…

I sat down with Cassandra in her home in the hills of Hollywood to talk about her relationship with beauty, how Violet Grey started, and who she turns to support her on a daily basis…

This episode of Pardon My French is sponsored by Saks Fifth Avenue Beauty, a place we love for our beauty from the inside out needs…

[podcast_episode episode=”274580″ ]

On having a good eye…
My late husband once said to me, and he wasn’t a guy who gave a lot of compliments, so when he did it really meant something. But he said it to someone else actually, that I had a really good eye. And I just loved that. When I feel that I have talent, it’s about my eye and my edit.

On being an independent woman from an early age…
Cassandra: I’ve been on my own, by design, from an early age. I got my first apartment when I was just turning 17, so I felt very independent from the age of 13, in that I wanted to buy my own food and save and spend money on things I wanted. I was very specific about how things were designed and my schedule and structure.
Garance: What’s your sign?
Cassandra: Triple Aries! So I think that explains it all!

On what she was doing before getting into beauty…
I’d always worked as a consultant since living in San Francisco. I just have instincts about what and who’s cool, so I’d help brands and companies attract the culture and community they wanted. Kind of the beginning of influencer marketing, but more word of mouth in the historical sense. My business was all referral. Sometimes I’d just go in and give a bunch of ideas, walk away and get paid for the ideas, which was great and other times it was execution.

On previously thinking Hollywood was a bad word…
When I first came to LA, Hollywood was kind of a bad word and I didn’t think of it as elevated or that it had artistic integrity in terms of what I imagined was the image of Hollywood, tabloids and red carpet. But quickly I realized I was very naive!

CASSANDRA GREY: The Confidence Code

On her own approach to beauty…
I’ve always been a sort of “can’t be bothered” person! I love it and I love having my hair and makeup done and figuring out the perfect outfit, matching nails and shoes, but I will not do that for myself. If it wasn’t work related, I wouldn’t do that because I just don’t feel like I have the time. But when I do all those things, it’s so much fun!

On the early content strategy of Violet Grey…
It’s interesting how a lot of fashion books didn’t use celebrity in the beginning, it was fashion models, and then it shifted to celebrities. So I thought the most valuable real estate in fashion magazines is the cover and it’s usually a celebrity and usually someone who stands for excellence in whatever they’re doing or a certain standard of beauty or attitude. That’s how we started the content strategy for Violet Grey, taking that concept of a cover story but for digital, but the same kind of high production. It was sort of two-pronged, because we wanted to elevate the point of view of Hollywood within the digital space, but we also wanted to garner the trust of these image makers. Whether it was makeup artists, hairstylists, photographers, editors, because we needed them to build the company. We curate by committee so we have a committee of these kinds of authorities that actually curate everything we make available to purchase, so we needed them to want to build with us and to trust us.

On the broadness of beauty…
Beauty is so broad. I don’t think about beauty as a bunch of beauty products. Beauty has such a big fashion element, it’s the self-esteem business, it’s connected to our confidence and our power and sexuality, and there’s a lot of vulnerability in it. It’s a category that people are addicted to, and I was really excited about doing something that people might be addicted to. It’s something most people are doing everyday, some kind of ritual around beauty, whether it’s washing their hair or putting their entire face on. These are the sort of rituals that unite us.

On aging…
When older, more mature people are represented around us by great storytellers, whether it’s advertisers, filmmakers or magazines, people are celebrating and capturing the sex appeal or confidence of an older woman, and it changes our perception and effects how we feel. I think it’s about confidence and whatever you need to get there. I’ve never met anyone with confidence who wasn’t really enjoying their life on a different level.



On feeling sexier and more powerful after having a child…
I’m glad I experienced being pregnant, but I definitely didn’t feel attractive when I was pregnant! That said, after I became a mother, I felt so small like an ant in the animal kingdom and then I also felt like god. I definitely felt so much more powerful as a human because I was able to create another human. As a mother, I certainly feel much sexier, beautiful, proud to be a woman and proud to be a mother.

On pain and suffering…
I’m pretty sure life is about pain and suffering. If you’re experiencing pain and suffering, you’re learning and then the moments when you’re not feeling that way, it’s so great. With what’s going on in the world right now, the only way to not get depressed and terrified is to have some understanding that ok, we’re meant to feel pain and suffering and we’re all going to grow as a result.

On finding love again after the loss of her husband…
I haven’t been attracted to that many people in my life, physically, sexually. I thought it was incredible I was attracted to anyone after losing my husband because I was madly in love with him and I just thought he was so beautiful and loved kissing him. I just didn’t think that would happen to me again and it’s almost like losing that kind of love gave me a bigger capacity to love. I was reunited with her, but I met her about six years ago and that was the first time I was attracted to a woman, so much so that I told my husband at the time that I had a crush on this girl. It was the energy she had, it didn’t really have anything to do with the fact that she was a woman, I was just really attracted to her.

Cassandra, Prophet of Doom
Francis Ford Coppola
Ice Loves Coco
A special thank you to Cassandra for letting us record in her beautiful home. To stay up on the most recent Violet Code approved products, head to Violet Grey and don’t miss them on social here and here!


Add yours
  • Casandra’s story really resonated with me on so many levels. I found my self crying from her honesty and the road she’s traveled to get where she is now. Unconventional like mine. I’m inspired to never give up hope even though I haven’t followed the “perfect” path I am hopeful I will arrive. Love your podcast! Thank you!

  • J’adorerai pouvoir écouter vos Pardon My French, mais je ne suis pas bien douée en anglais, puis les accents n’arrangent rien à mon niveau de compréhension.
    A quand une traduction en français ?!!!! ;)

  • emmanuelle chauvin October, 16 2018, 8:31 / Reply

    Marrant, elle a un petit air de Lumila Mikael jeune
    sur cette photo!

  • Rien a voir avec le post, mais Garance, j’aime beaucoup votre coupe de cheveux ainsi que celle de Cassandra.

  • Alexander Rosato October, 16 2018, 5:20 / Reply

    I so enjoyed your interview with Cassandra. Hope you are well ! You are the best interviewer can’t wait to see what is next !!!

  • I have been saving this treat for a special weekend :-) but was unable to hear the podcast. :-(
    Am I the only one?

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