L'Amour et la Musique

is creating Beauty, Conscious Living, & Sociological Thinking YouTube Videos

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Merci for your support! Now that you’ve joined me on this new platform, you’ll have access to the L’Amour Patreon feed… with behind-the-scenes views from my videos, pictures that never made it to Instagram, video re-postings of my weekly Instagram stories, music Mondays, recommendations for places and things I'm loving beyond monthly favorites, and anything else I think you'd enjoy. A feed of curated L'Amour ephemera...
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Have you been wishing I’d address a specific topic, or focus in greater detail on something I’ve only touched on in passing in past videos? Here’s your chance to influence L’Amour content… by voting in a monthly poll, and then having access to a 10+ minute Patron-only video (most end up being closer to 30 minutes!) where I dig into the topic that receives the most votes each month. C'est top!
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I regularly review and talk about my own arsenal of beauty products, but do you ever have more specific questions or wish for more personalized advice? I created this level just for you. During the first week of each month I send a blast email to all Patrons at this level and solicit your questions for the month. I then record a 5+ minute video (using a platform called Loom) specifically for you, answering your questions, providing suggestions, links, references and so on. Not limited to beauty, we can discuss anything from pregnancy/babies/parenting, to astrology, to deep house/djing, to academia. Topics can and often do span several months, or we can tackle new topics/questions each month!




Salut amis! I'm Mercedes, and I've been making videos on YouTube about eco-beauty and alternative health and lifestyle since 2014. I always describe myself as a bifurcated person - in my "real" life I hold a Ph.D. in Sociology and work as a researcher at an academic medical center in Boston. And yet, I have been on a lifelong quest for discovering, curating, refining, articulating, and presenting an evolving vision of beauty. During graduate school, while deeply immersed in French theorist Michel Foucault's work on self-governance, I came across something he wrote in 1984:

"What strikes me is the fact that in our society, art has become something which is related only to objects and not to individuals, or to life. That art is something which is specialized or which is done by experts who are artists. But couldn't everyone's life became a work of art? Why should the lamp or the house be an art object, but not our life?"*

This idea, that our lives can become works of art, has been an underlying tenant of L'Amour et la Musique.  Beauty, as a concept, has many facets for me - it includes of course the immense enjoyment and discussion around beautiful skincare and makeup that you're used to seeing on YouTube, but expands into music (how I first learned what something divine could *feel* like, in an expansive vibrational sense), aesthetics and design, critical social theory, esoterica and mysticism, among other topics.

Alongside my quest for beauty, I have maintained a significant interest in health and wellbeing since a very young age, interested in understanding both philosophically and empirically how we can live optimally as individuals, but also the social stratification around health. In fact, this was one of the underlying problematics in my doctoral research - unpacking the class politics (and accompanying moralization) around the alternative food movement (farmers' markets, urban farming, farm-to-table, community food councils). As a sociologist, I am inherently interested in how different life opportunity structures result in health (in)equality, and the sphere of alternative food/health/wellness is ripe for analysis and commentary.

As for my personal foray into the world of eco/green/organic beauty and lifestyle, I stumbled on the book No More Dirty Looks and started shopping on Spirit Beauty Lounge (one of the first online luxury eco-beauty boutiques) around 2010. This coincided with the decision to stop taking hormonal birth control around that same time, and I was finally confronted with the all the imbalances my body was dealing with (I made a whole video about this, if you want to hear more). The short version is that I started seeing an acupuncturist (who I see bi-monthly to this day), which not only rebalanced my system, but ignited a totally different way of relating to and understanding my body. I fell in love with what was at the time a nascent green beauty movement (it has changed a lot, and I also made a video about that!), and during graduate school had developed a fascination with the YouTube beauty community (ok maybe I was procrastinating reading for prelims?). Videos about the beautiful green beauty products I felt were so special and unique were lacking, so in the spring of 2014 I started recording product reviews and makeup videos on my iPhone, with no idea how to edit video footage or that lighting mattered. As every one who undertakes this kind of endeavor can attest, the learning curve is steep and ongoing!

Fast forward 3 years and here we are, the summer of 2017. L'Amour et la Musique has grown to include the most engaged, supportive, and knowledgeable community of like-minded, creative, and forward-thinking individuals I could have imagined. I've had the opportunity to work with many beautiful makers/brand founders, and have formed inspiring friendships with many of you. L'Amour et la Musique has enriched my life in so many ways, and I'm grateful to have had your interest and support as the endeavor has grown and evolved.

Now that L'Amour has a home on Patreon, I hope you'll consider supporting me here so that I can continue to create the type of content you're familiar with, as well as expanding into new content areas many of you have asked for. This will include more lifestyle-centric videos (vlogs, everyday conscious living, nutrition and other daily health practices), and videos in which I bring a more explicitly sociological perspective to a range of topics (consumption, materialism, capitalism, the science versus spirituality divide, gender politics in the beauty space, and class-based commentary on health seeking/wellness, among others). Your support will also allow me to invest in new equipment and software to continue refining the content I produce, as well as allow me to explore new formats and platforms. A few possibilities include a revamped and easier to use website, a podcast, downloadable lectures, articles, and live dj mixes (yes, I dj too!).

Ultimately, I'm motivated by the desire to make academic discussions more relatable and grounded, and to applying social science frameworks and theories to the content areas the L'Amour community is passionate about - beauty, what it means to live a good life, our interactions with the world, and becoming socially conscious and responsible beings. These are big and important questions, and I'm excited to tackle them with and for you. 

In closing, a HUGE merci beaucoup for any and all donations - from the bottom of my heart, thank you. I very much look forward to interacting with you on here, and am always open to your feedback and thoughts. Please don't hesitate to send me messages through any of my social media platforms, or at [email protected]


A few additional notes about me -

Education -
AB '04 University of Chicago, Sociology and Latin American Studies
MA '09 Brown University, Sociology
PhD '13 Brown University, Sociology

Natal astrology -
Sun in Gemini, Moon in Libra (stellium in Libra actually), Aquarius Rising

Classical astrology apprentice with Adam Elenbaas of Nightlight Astrology, August 2017-August 2019

INFJ myers briggs personality type.

Co-moderator of the Facebook Group Vert Nouveau: A Green Beauty Paradigm Shift with Stark Skincare's Jess LaFleur

Brands I love and work with: Beauty Heroes, Mahalo, MUN, Lina Hanson, Stark Skincare, Activist Skincare

On music and djing -
I took classical piano lessons for 15 years, fell in love with house music in the early 2000s, and bought my first set of turntables in 2006. From bedroom dj to playing with a collective of all-women djs throughout graduate school, I still play a couple gigs a month with longtime dj friends.

My favorite record of all time

The meaning of L'Amour et la Musique -
L'amour et la Musique stems from originally filling out Facebook's "Religious Views" section (remember that?) with "love and beats" many years ago. Love, because I believe in an expansive and all-encompassing definition of it, and beats, because I have been profoundly consumed with and influenced by deep house music for over a decade. After a trip to Europe in early 2011 I became obsessed with all things French, and L'amour et la Musique (the closest translation to love and beats) became my new social media moniker. While it doesn't signal "beauty" outright, it means something very beautiful to me.

*Foucault, Michel. 1984 "On the genealogy of ethics: An overview of work in progress." Paul Rabinow (ed.)The Foucault Reader(1991): 340-72.
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A L'Amour podcast, you say? I've received this request over the years, and as my own devotion to podcasts has grown substantially, I would love to add a podcast to the L'Amour slate of media offerings. I envision focusing primarily on bringing you informal conversations with important people in my life, as well as more structured interviews with people in the holistic beauty and wellness space. I'd also like to interview you, the L'Amour Patrons! And we can of course just have makeup and product chat. Your backing on Patreon will help me invest in the necessary equipment and tech support to produce a high quality podcast.
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