The Beauty Business | Bassam Fattouh – Founder of Bassam Fattouh Cosmetics and Make-Up Artist to the Middle East’s Stars
In this instalment of The Beauty Business, I bring you world-renowned make-up artist Bassam Fattouh. If you’re a beauty obsessive living in the Middle East or are fans of singers Elissa, Najwa Karam and Haifa Wehbe you’d know all about Bassam as he’s arguably the best make-up artist in the region! Behind the much sought after dramatic eye make-up that Haifa Wehbe is known to sport, I had to chat with Bassam about his career, beauty kit, advice for aspiring make-up artists and his cosmetics line, Bassam Fattouh Cosmetics which is available across the region.
How did you get into beauty? Was there a particular defining moment that led you to become a make-up artist? Well ever since an early age, I had the love of art in all its aspects: the glamour and the attention to details, especially in decoration, fashion, colors and all forms of creativity. It only takes a fraction of a second when you have such a passion to know what path to follow and as you can tell I choose make-up.
You’ve made up the faces of the Arab worlds biggest stars including Haifa Wehbe and Elissa, how can budding make-up artists get themselves out there and work with big names? To be perfectly honest, my intention was never to one day be a make-up artist for the stars or seek the big names to do make-up for, as for me the true star is the make-up itself! The stars were never my target but following my passion which was the make-up and its colors, to play with the various colors and draw art with them. As for up-and-coming make-up artists, well they should always be innovative, have the tendency to be creative, be inspired but never imitate and follow their passion.
You have your own cosmetics brand available in Lebanon, what was it like creating a cosmetics brand and were there any challenges along the way? Not just Lebanon but throughout the Middle East and Gulf region (UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, etc). To me it was a dream come true. I have always envisioned myself as a brand name and thank God through my perseverance I made it happen. Of course there were challenges creating the brand by itself was a challenge! Now the challenge is continuing with the unimaginable success we have encountered.
What has your biggest career achievement been so far? Simply my make-up line :)
Out of anyone in the world, who would your dream client be and what look would you create for them? I’d personally love to do Kerry Washington’s make-up! One time I was interviewed and questioned about this issue, where I said that I have what I believe is an autoreflex reaction of correction i.e. when I see a woman’s face I directly spot what needs to be done and have a vision of what the outcome would be. So for me every single woman is a star and a client from celebrities who inspire me are Scarlett Johansson, Megan Fox and there is a particular model I like, Miranda Kerr.
Any cult favourites in your beauty kit? Just give me the Bassam Fattouh brushes and I will do wonders with them. Investing in good brushes is very important.
Which one beauty product does every woman need to have in her make-up bag? It depends on relativity. 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 the mascara, others it’s concealer or powder. But if I had to name one item, I would say lipstick because it could act like a face lift :)
The Middle East is famous for its hot weather, do you have any tips on keeping make-up fresh in the heat? For the eyes avoid oily and creamy eyeshadows. For the skin, use oil-free primer, and use loose powder over foundation to take off the excess grease.
Everyone loves Haifa Wehbe’s make-up! What’s the trick and how can we recreate her look at home? No doubt her look of smokey eyes and oriental twist is iconic. You can use kajal pencil to draw the eyes, then smudge it to have a defused shade. Add a grey satin-finish eyshadow (not black), then smudge it well and according to the eye shape. After that use eyeliner then mascara and there you go!
What’s in store for Bassam Fattouh in the future? For the near future, wow we have many new innovative launches to come for my cosmetic line such as a BB cream, sheer lipstick, super special eye glow base and much much more. As for in general, I’m looking for the Bassam Fattouh brand to go to the global market.