Of all the makeup artists at Kika Mourad’s beck and call for her wedding to Elie Saab Jr. Kika chose Bassam Fattouh and we can see why. The beautiful bride appeared naturally radiant for her three day wedding extravaganza. Bassam has the ability to highlight a woman’s own beauty, not over-shadow it. We had the pleasure of meeting the makeup maestro in Beirut..
To have both a creative and organized mind is a blessing. The two hemispheres working in beautiful balance. That is what I saw in Lebanese makeup artist and entrepreneur Bassam Fattouh, a slight man with a great presence and immaculate English. Dressed in a youthful CEO image, it is clear that this gentleman has his head screwed on well, very well. He is gentle in his approach, yet fierce in his resolve.
As we are given the royal tour, a state-of-the-art beauty facility in the heart of bustling Beirut, a word comes to mind that perfectly describes it, pristine. Come to think of it, his facility; as is usually the case, is a perfect reflection of the man himself.
I am perhaps more impressed with his mind that I am with anything else. Imagine having both creativity and a disciplined mind? Then add to that passion and perseverance.. That is a powerful thing, and to be honest it must be exhausting. Which is probably why I spent the majority of our visit apologizing for inconveniencing him and thanking him profusely for his time. It’s a Saturday, it’s 10:30am, and Bassam has arrived a mere few hours prior from an international obligation. Just writing it down makes me tired, and again apologetic..
But there is more… which is perhaps why I feel the word pristine is a precise description. Unlike the word perfect, the word pristine includes heart, and to me that is the magical element at Bassam Fattouh.
There are numerous makeup artists that have turned their passion into a successful makeup line. Charlotte Tilbury and François Nars immediately come to mind, but there is a disconnect between the two entities, no matter how many You Tube videos, and public appearances are arranged at their latest boutiques. That’s the fabulous thing about heart, you can’t fake it with a contouring makeup kit… That intangible element that rules us, for better or for worse.
As we settle into our meeting with Bassam, in a corporate office unlike any I’ve ever seen. The pink table and chairs and neon light art are disarming, they are familiar and endearing. Then I turn to Bassam Fattouh and his team (they seem more like family really) and I see a man guided by hiss passion, using his stellar GPS instinct.
As we ask him about his start in the beauty business, there is no sad story of loss, or tearful inspiration by a long lost grandmother as she applies her lipstick in the mirror. It’s simple really, he always wanted to be in the creative and artistic field. He had a passion for beauty and colors. He never lost the love for makeup and artistry and so he decided to pursue his passion.
When we ask about the greatest highlight of his career, again, there is no Kim Kardashian or Madonna story. It’s basic really, he worked really hard, channeled his passion into his makeup line, making it one of his greatest achievements. The line, available online and internationally was created by Bassam Fattouh personally in 2010.
When I say personally I mean each product has been obsessively selected, tested, refined and perfected by the artist himself. There is not cookie cutter makeup factory involved. Each product from caked bronzing compacts to lip liners and lipsticks have been individually sourced. The famed eye brow pencil, that is one of Bassam’s favorites, actually comes from as far a field as Japan, a one-color-fits-all pencil that magically glides on, and stays put.
Another one of his favorites..(because you’re probably wondering) is the two way cake. A creamy yet super light foundation, it ‘covers’ all our needs. Its moist and creamy so it spreads easily, yet dry and super light for easy application.
As for my favorites, I would have to go with the cushion primer that magically fills in my acne scars, and gives my; at times, oily skin some needed matte-ness. I am also obsessed, with the heavenly BB cream in beige (often sold out) that merely enhances my complexion.
If you were to ask Kim Kardashian she would say the lip liners, she has two in her makeup bag, Khashab and Wardeh.
His latest collaboration with Lana Sahely and Dodo Mouse remind us that Kim and I are not alone in our Bassam Fattouh makeup obsession.
Perhaps the last and most important observation I have about Bassam Fattouh and his makeup line is his universal appeal which is a direct result of his attitude. Although clearly precise in his work on the makeup line, Bassam’s approach to beauty is less so, there are no stereotypes and preconceived notions. It’s a matter of confidence and self-appreciation. Attainable by every woman if she has the right approach. When asked about his favorite muse, he didn’t chime in with the latest IT girls. To Bassam “every woman and client is my muse”. It must be said though, when asked who he would want to work with most he mentioned Queen Rania, who is already an avid makeup product fan of his.
Perhaps one of the most beautiful answers we received from Bassam was the answer to our, “Can you share something about yourself that few people know?” To which he answered, “After all these years of experience I still get the jitters before doing the makeup of any bride. Trusting me in their biggest and happiest day in their life means the world to me.”
Bassam Fattouh makeup is now available at Eliana Center.
See I told you.. heart.