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August 30 2014

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Estée Lauder Takes Paris, Backstage At Anthony Vaccarello

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When Tom Pecheux signed on as Estée Lauder’s creative director of makeup in the fall of 2009, he had a specific goal in mind: to inject a sense of ”fashion, fantasy, naughtiness, and above all youth” into the 66-year-old brand. Three years later, he managed to get all four objectives into one backstage beauty look, as the makeup artist and the storied New York cosmetics brand combined forces at Anthony Vaccarello, Lauder’s first ever appearance at Paris fashion week.

“The inspiration is Parisian women late at night,” Pecheux said—a recurring theme with the Frenchman who spent his younger days dancing until the wee hours of the morning in the City of Light at clubs like Le Palace. Pecheux is so well versed in the way of nude lips and sultry eyes, he has even designed a limited-edition color collection for Estée Lauder in homage to the “naughty-chic” aesthetic, as he likes to call it. Prepping skin with a blend of its Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher and DayWear Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Creme SPF 15, Pecheux applied a veil of Estée Lauder Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup SPF 10 to hold a “little bit of contour,” courtesy of its Bronze Goddess Soft Shimmer Bronzer. Lips were painted nude with its Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick in Vanilla Truffle, which Pecheux matted down with translucent powder.

But what made these girls beautiful Parisian women—and not beautiful American or even Polish women, Pecheux explained as Anja Rubik sat in his chair—was a focus on the eyes, and the eyebrows. “You know how much I love them,” the face painter said of the full, face-framing arches, which he filled in and brushed up using Lauder’s Artist’s Brow Pencil Double Groomer. Lids were layered with a combination of its Double Wear Stay-in-Place Eye Pencil in Onyx, which Pecheux drew around the outer corner of the eyes and in strokes underneath the lower lash line, only to smudge them later with his finger, and a mix of shimmering black and berry shadows. ”I’m using a burgundy pencil just inside the eye,” he explained of the stroke of Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Lip Pencil in Wine that he topped with a dollop of its Pure Color Gloss in Opulent Opal to add a multi-dimensional glimmer that referenced the iridescent fabrics in the middle of Vaccarello’s collection. Hairstylist Anthony Turner’s sleek, gelled-down, “sexy soldier” ponytails bore a similar shine. ”C’est bon?” Pecheux asked Rubik as he slicked the glitter-flecked salve across her eyes.  “Oui!” she replied.

Photo: Celia Ellenberg

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