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One on One with Bassam Fattouh: Make-Up Artist to Arab Stars

As well as telling us about his new make-up range, Bassam Fattouh, make-up artist to stars like Haifa Wehbe and Elissa, shares his thoughts on this season’s trends and dishes out some tricks of the trade.

If you want to feel like the most beautiful woman in the world, leave it up to master of make-up glam Bassam Fattouh. As well as spinning his customary magic, Lebanese Fattouh went on to launch his own cosmetics range in 2010, ensuring to develop products that answer to his professional requirements as well as offering his clientele make-up that balances quality and luxury. The internationally renowned celebrity make-up maestro just launched two new lines, “Kajal Kingdom,” a collection of seven pencil eyeliners, and “Velours Liquid Matte Lipsticks,” a long-lasting velvety liquid lipstick range in six shades.

We chat with Fattouh, who gets his inspiration from textures and, of course, women, about the new products. We also get his insight about the world of make-up and what women really want. What’s more, he gives lots of insider advice, including how women living in the Arab region can hone their make-up application in hot and humid weather and save some time.

Haifa Wehbe (makeup by Bassam Fattouh)

How would you describe your signature look and what is it about your style that sets you apart from other make-up artists?
My signature look is glamorous. There isn’t one make-up look that relates to every woman. Make-up evolves with you. I believe and I feel that I can auto-analyse a face when I see a woman. At that moment, I can envision what look I will go after and the end result.

What do you love most about make-up? 
I love the perfect combination between what is beautiful and what is practical. Make-up is the perfect companion for a woman’s daily beauty.

What pushed you to start your own make-up line?
To put it simply, women! It’s about every woman, every client that I got to know, and most importantly trying to present a practical line that comforts women and doesn’t confuse them.

Bassam Fattouh Velours A Lèvres

What was the inspiration behind your new ranges, “Kajal Kingdom” and “Velours Liquid Matte Lipsticks?” Tell us a bit about the textures and colours.
The “Velours Liquid Matte Lipstick” (VAL) is a suede-soft matte lip stain inspired by luxuriously velvety textures.  It dresses your lips in one sufficient simple stroke, no need for countless applications. This breakthrough air-light yet powerfully creamy liquid will settle almost instantly, covering every little corner flawlessly. The best part? Say goodbye to dry, cracked lips after hours of matte wear, as the blend of moisturising essential oils will keep lips hydrated and keep colour bright, fresh and comfortable. It’s available in an array of six coveted shades that work for day and night.

“Kajal Kingdom” (KK) is a modern twist on royalty; this velvety smooth collection of eyeliners combines the precision and colour release of a liquid liner with the true, rich colour of the legendary classic kajal.

I was inspired by the ancient journey dating back to 18th century in the mystical Middle East, when kajal, also known as kohl, was used as a traditional cosmetic to beautifully contour and dramatically darken the edge of the eyes. At that time, the application of kajal reflected a status of royalty, just as the legendary Cleopatra did. KK is a collection of seven exotic pencil eyeliners where innovation meets tradition.

Rima Fakih (makeup by Bassam Fattouh)

What are your favourite trends this season?
Glowing radiant skin and matte lips, I can also highlight sparkling eyes with soft glitter application.

Speaking of the season, can you give us some advice about summer-proofing our make-up so it lasts longer in hot and humid weather?
For the eyes avoid oily and creamy eyeshadows. For the skin, use oil-free skin primer and use loose powder over foundation to take off the excess grease.

Do you have any other make-up tips for women living in the Arab world?

  • The best tip for make-up in hot climates is to keep it simple. Go with lighter colours, lighter application and oil-free formulas.
  • Always use water-based face make-up, powder blushes and face powder. If you use oil-based make-up, once your pores start to sweat, the make-up will melt off.
  • An exception to using only water-based make-up products is mascara, on hot and humid days. Use a waterproof mascara to keep those lashes long and beautiful.
  • Again, make sure to set your foundation with loose powder as heat tends to cause foundation to crease.
  • Today’s woman is busier than ever. What are your best tips for a great quick and easy make-up look?

Always prepare your skin before applying make-up and keep it moisturised.

  • Apply concealer lightly along the under-eye area, starting with the inner corner and working outward.
  • Use loose powder to set foundation and compact powder for quick and easy touch-ups during the day and night. Never use the latter over foundation.
  • To add length to short eyelashes, choose a thin brush mascara rather than a volume-based one.
  • To instantly lift up your look and mood on a gloomy day, wear pink lipstick and see how it works wonders, colours can be powerful!
  • With make-up there isn’t one style that suits everyone, or a single look that works on one woman, make-up evolves with you!

Elisa Sednaoui (makeup by Bassam Fattouh)

Which three make-up items do you believe every woman should have in her bag?
To be perfectly honest it is very relative, depending on many factors such as a woman's complexion, what would give her a better look, etc... For some it is mascara, for others it’s concealer or powder. It is generic in nature. Now if I had to name one item, I would say a lipstick because it could act like a facelift.

If you weren’t a make-up artist, what else do you think you would be doing?
I would be an interior designer.

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