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Tom Pecheux Talks Natural Beauty and Women of the Middle East

YSL Beauty

Global Beauty Director at YSL Tom Pecheux. Courtesy of YSL Beauty

I’m sitting in the new YSL beauty boutique in the Dubai Mall. A man exits a door at the back of the room. As he passes each person in the store he greets them with a warm smile and hello. He is chic, dressed head to toe in black, the air about him endearing. It is Tom Pecheux, makeup icon and the Global Beauty Director for YSL beauty. With a career that spans over three decades, he’s worked with the world’s most prestigious people and esteemed brands. Heading back to the VIP room, he talks nonchalantly about his first visit to the region, “I find it very modern.” As for the women who saunter through the mall, “Arabic women have everything Western people would love. The almond eyes, the perfect beautiful skin tone with that sun-kissed look.”

A long way from where he began, Pecheux who at first studied to be chef discovered makeup artistry by chance. On an evening out in Paris, he met a girl who was a makeup artist working on TV and stage sets. “I didn’t know it was a job,” he says, “Something went click. I dropped my job as a young chef and I went to learn makeup.” Rising through the ranks, when asked about his defining moments he simply states, “There are so many.” Of note his work with the late Princess Diana, “I still have goosebumps even after so many years talking about her. The aura of that woman was so incredible,” Pecheux says. Not to mention his work with Madonna for over a decade, “She had worked with the best in the business and suddenly she chooses me to work with her.”

YSL Beauty

Tom Pecheux at an exclusive beauty masterclass at the YSL Beauty boutique in The Dubai Mall. Courtesy of YSL Beauty

Showcasing his skills from magazine editorials to the runway he muses, “With makeup, you can pass a very strong message to others. With just a few minutes of working with my hands and products I can turn somebody into a different character, more importantly, I can transform their mood.” When talking about his favorite form of makeup his eyes light up when it comes to enhancing natural beauty. “You just upgrade,” he says. A notion synonymous with the YSL woman. “The YSL woman has a certain confidence. She’s a woman who isn’t scared to show her own personality and uniqueness.”

Looking at the products which line the walls of the VIP room, Pecheux notes the first YSL product he ever used, “Touché éclat, of course,” and his favorite, “Rouge Facial Oil.” He’s a big fan of the lipstick too, noting the only negative is its nightmare for makeup artists on shoots. “They are so powerful, they won’t go away, which is also why we love them,” he explains. As for any beauty tips for the women of the Middle East, “As a makeup artist, I feel that many wear too much foundation,” he says, “I’ve worked on many women’s faces from the region and I’ve seen them with no makeup. I’ve seen so much beauty. I don’t understand why they hide this under so much foundation.”

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