Infectiously charming, quintessentially French and loved by photographers, models, celebrities and beauty editors alike, is none other than renowned akeup artist Tom Pecheux. There is no one more suited of such an esteemed role as Global Beauty Director for Yves Saint Laurent Beauty. In order to get to where he is today, Pecheux has worked tirelessly in the industry. The most unlikely entrée into beauty… From pastry chef to makeup artist. Seems impossible, right
Tom Pecheux wasn’t always destined to become an icon in the beauty industry, he started out at culinary school, and qualified as a pastry chef assistant. While working as a pastry chef he discovered that as a people person, cooking for people he would never meet wasn’t the life for him. Simultaneously, Pecheux spent a lot of time exploring the Parisian nightlife and during this time he met a girl who said she was in makeup school.
The makeup school idea stuck with him and he decided to look into the school that she attended, Christian Chauveau L’Ecole Technique Privée de Maquillage Artistique. Tom Pecheux told Into the Gloss that he then picked up some information, enrolled and told his parents the good news – “I’m gay, I’m going to quit my job, and I’m going to be a makeup artist.”
During his time at beauty school, he was promptly kicked out of class for applying makeup with his fingers, just like he saw his mother do as a child. Turns out, that was a blessing in disguise as he then began assisting Linda Cantello, all while still applying makeup with his fingers.
Thanks to his sophisticated vision of Parisian glamour and convictions that makeup should enhance natural beauty instead of correct or transform it, Pecheux has taken the beauty world by storm. He has risen to become one of the most sought-after makeup artists in the fashion industry, working with celebrities such as Cara Delevingne, Mariah Carey and Gisele Bündchen.
Now 33 years on, Tom Pecheux has never looked back since following his dreams. He credits his success to his drive and work ethic and describes sharing the experiences, he calls ‘delicious opportunities’ with a designer, photographer, model and talented people as what he loves the most.
His career path has led him to become the creative director of both Estée Lauder and Shiseido as well as working for companies like Chanel, Balmain, Lanvin and Emilio Pucci on their runway campaigns.
In 2017, Pecheux was announced as the Global Brand Director for Yves Saint Laurent. Growing up in France in the 60’s and 70’s, Pecheux watched Yves Saint Laurent’s career grow describing him as one of his muses. He told Allure “It’s part of my culture – its like the English with the Beatles or the American with the Rolling Stones.”
With this new role, his journey has just begun. He will be developing new products and creating all of the makeup looks for the brand’s ad campaigns, and doing what he does best – making the models look beautiful, doing it all with a laugh and a smile.
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By Mikayla Tabone