A Q&A With Tom Pecheux: The Makeup Maestro on his new Dolce & Gabbana Matte Lipstick Collection

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Photo: Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana

When it comes to makeup, this man knows it all. For over 30 years, he has been at the forefront of the cosmetics industry and has worked with some of the biggest names in the world, from legendary photographers Mario Testino, Patrick Demarchelier, and Peter Lindbergh to luxury fashion brands such as Prada, Yves Saint Laurent, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Givenchy (to name a few). He is one of the most in-demand makeup artists in the world, so it’s hardly surprising that Dolce & Gabbana turned to him to create its new matte lipstick collection. Here, Tom Pecheux tells Savoir Flair about the inspiration behind the lipsticks and why you need to make your next lipstick matte.

Photo: Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana

What inspired you to make a matte lipstick collection for Dolce & Gabbana?
The inspiration came directly from Dolce & Gabbana’s fashion. There’s a lot of red and a lot of flower prints – many different flowers, but mostly roses. So we thought it would be good to create a collection based on all these different kinds of red. This is the first time I’ve collaborated with the brand by creating cosmetics, but I’ve worked with Dolce & Gabbana many times on fashion campaigns. For me the Dolce & Gabbana woman is definitely a powerful and sexy woman. The sexiness comes either from the eyes or the lips, and when it’s from the lips that is when the red color becomes very important. That’s why we decided to create 13 shades of red lipstick.

What was the biggest obstacle you faced when creating this collection?
It was an easy process; the only obstacle was finding the right amount of pigment. It’s all about balance – when you make a lipstick too matte, it’s too dry and the application becomes really, really difficult. Too much pigment is the same thing; it’s difficult to apply. You want to have that incredible coverage and for the lipsticks to be very rich in terms of color, so it involves a lot of testing in the labs to get an easy application that has a sharp, strong result and gives the best quality to our customer.

What are your tips for picking the right red shade?
The tip is to eliminate the shades you don’t like. In the 13 shades, there is a brown dark red, a purple dark red, a bright red, and a bright pinky red. If you want a pure red, a ‘red red’, take away the colors you don’t like and try the colors you are left with to see which one feels the best. That’s why we sell Dolce & Gabbana in department stores; so you can go and try them and see how they feel.

Women of the Middle East have to deal with air-conditioning and extreme, hot temperatures, so long-lasting, nourishing lipsticks are essential. How will the new matte collection meet these needs?
I think they totally work in the Middle East because, as you say, there is a constant fight between dryness from air-conditioning and the heat when you go outside. These matte lipsticks are very stable and long lasting. I recommend that when wearing any lipstick you use a good lip balm at night as a treatment for your lips. Because these are matte lipsticks, when you wake up, apply more balm to make sure your lips are moist. Then, right before you apply the lipstick, remove the excess balm.

If you had to choose just one shade from the collection, which would it be and why?
It depends if it’s the morning, the afternoon, the night, today, tomorrow… My mood is always changing! As a makeup artist it’s very different, because every day is a new story for me. But if I had to choose, ‘Dolce by Dolce’ would be the one.

What three products do you think every woman should have in her makeup bag?
A concealer, a mascara, and a lipstick. It’s hard to choose between a black eyeliner or a mascara, but definitely something to define the eyes.

What’s the biggest beauty mistake you see women making?
Doing their makeup in two minutes every morning! Ninety percent of women around the world do that, and it’s a huge mistake!

What’s the best piece of beauty advice someone has given you?
If you feel good, you look good.

Which celebrity would you love to work with next?
That’s hard, as I have pretty much worked with all of them! Probably the next Meryl Streep, but I don’t know who that’s going to be.

What’s next for Tom Pecheux?
I play things day by day. I’m off to New York for a few days to shoot with a celebrity, then it’s back to Paris for two days of work with Mr. Lagerfeld. From there, I am going to Korea for a Chanel shoot and then I have a week of vacation in an amazing spa called Chiva-Som in Thailand. I then come back to Paris and start work on the next project with Dolce & Gabbana…

Dolce & Gabbana matte lipsticks, AED 160/SAR 163 each, Paris Gallery, The Dubai Mall

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