L'Amour et la Musique is creating Beauty, Conscious Living, & Sociological Thinking YouTube Videos
121

patrons

$1,169
per 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].

xoxo,
mercedes 

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.
Tiers
coup d'oeil
$3 or more per month 15 patrons
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...
aux urnes
$7 or more per month 81 patrons
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!
petit conseil
$11 or more per month 11 patrons
I review my own product favorites each month, but have you ever wished I'd opine on what products I think would work best for you? If so, this reward tier is for you. You’ll email me the product type you're looking for, give some context (skin type, lifestyle, et cetera), and select your preferred criterion (price, formulation, aesthetics). I’ll write back with a customized top three list just for you. This isn't limited to beauty, either. If you want recommendations for where to go for astrology readings, skincare treatments, or bodywork we can do that too. As a bonus, if you live in the US and I've got a sample of one of my recommendations, I'll pop it in the mail to you! Just feeling like having a casual chat over email in a less structured way? That's fine too!
le livestream // maquillage/q+a
$33 or more per month 18 patrons
We all love makeup Get Ready With Me videos on YouTube, and adding an interactive q+a element during a livestream is what this tier provides! Each month I will invite you to a private livestream where I'll apply makeup (or remove it and show you a skincare routine!), experiment with new products, provide impressions and reviews, and answer your questions as they come in live. If you aren't able to attend live you can submit questions prior and I will repost the footage for you to view at your convenience. With 10 patrons and under I will host these monthly, 10 - 20 patrons bimonthly, and 20+ patrons I will host them three to four times per month (dependent on scheduling). Remember that at this level you also get a monthly petit conseil/email correspondence, and access to all Patron-exclusive content (videos and posts).
tête-à-tête
$79 or more per month 0 of 4 patrons
Looking for more than product recommendations? Want to dig deeper into topics like pursuing a Ph.D., work-life balance, creating a metaphysical toolkit, or establishing a skin care regimen? Choose this reward tier, and we’ll connect for an hour-long call or Skype session each month. You'll share your questions, and I’ll share my candid perspective and insights. (Encore mieux? Commit to this reward tier for three months and you'll get an exclusive patrons-only deal from one of my beauty/wellness collaborators. Currently this reward is a $50 Beauty Heroes gift certificate to be used at their online boutique!). 
Goals
$1,169 of $2,200 per month
Vise les étoiles! This stretch milestone will allow me to launch a new L'Amour monthly series, one that is dear to my heart, and has been highly requested. As yet untitled, the project will be a monthly video lecture in which I apply sociological insights to thinking and commentary on the current beauty/health/wellness/new age communities. As my doctoral research was rooted in theories of governmentality, body policing, and morality under neoliberalism, I am well-situated (and trained) to offer these insights. I would prepare for these lectures similar to how I would prepare to teach a university seminar, yet would make the material grounded, and the theories real-world applicable. I would also like to extend sociological thinking to topics like bridging the science and spirituality divide, weaving in my own experience at working through the many polarities and contradictions one encounters in living a conscious life, or pursuing the spiritual path. With this new monthly project, my goal is to introduce my viewers to new perspectives, and support you in exploring what resonates.
4 of 4
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].

xoxo,
mercedes 

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.

Recent posts by L'Amour et la Musique

Tiers
coup d'oeil
$3 or more per month 15 patrons
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...
aux urnes
$7 or more per month 81 patrons
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!
petit conseil
$11 or more per month 11 patrons
I review my own product favorites each month, but have you ever wished I'd opine on what products I think would work best for you? If so, this reward tier is for you. You’ll email me the product type you're looking for, give some context (skin type, lifestyle, et cetera), and select your preferred criterion (price, formulation, aesthetics). I’ll write back with a customized top three list just for you. This isn't limited to beauty, either. If you want recommendations for where to go for astrology readings, skincare treatments, or bodywork we can do that too. As a bonus, if you live in the US and I've got a sample of one of my recommendations, I'll pop it in the mail to you! Just feeling like having a casual chat over email in a less structured way? That's fine too!
le livestream // maquillage/q+a
$33 or more per month 18 patrons
We all love makeup Get Ready With Me videos on YouTube, and adding an interactive q+a element during a livestream is what this tier provides! Each month I will invite you to a private livestream where I'll apply makeup (or remove it and show you a skincare routine!), experiment with new products, provide impressions and reviews, and answer your questions as they come in live. If you aren't able to attend live you can submit questions prior and I will repost the footage for you to view at your convenience. With 10 patrons and under I will host these monthly, 10 - 20 patrons bimonthly, and 20+ patrons I will host them three to four times per month (dependent on scheduling). Remember that at this level you also get a monthly petit conseil/email correspondence, and access to all Patron-exclusive content (videos and posts).
tête-à-tête
$79 or more per month 0 of 4 patrons
Looking for more than product recommendations? Want to dig deeper into topics like pursuing a Ph.D., work-life balance, creating a metaphysical toolkit, or establishing a skin care regimen? Choose this reward tier, and we’ll connect for an hour-long call or Skype session each month. You'll share your questions, and I’ll share my candid perspective and insights. (Encore mieux? Commit to this reward tier for three months and you'll get an exclusive patrons-only deal from one of my beauty/wellness collaborators. Currently this reward is a $50 Beauty Heroes gift certificate to be used at their online boutique!).