Makeup Brand Boss Victor Saint-Père Is A Man In A Woman’s World—And He’s Slaying It
During the recent event of Benefit Cosmetics and its Brow Try-On web app, guests got to try to match their faces with the best shape and shade of eyebrow to give them an idea on what they would want for their eyebrow waxing experience. Amidst all the beauty junkies gathered at the venue, this man stood out as he went in detail about what shape would best frame a guest's face and what shade she should go for to match the color of her hair. He even continued to explain how his favorite Benefit product, the Goof Proof eyebrow pencil, makes for an easy, fool-proof, first-timer eyebrow product for every eyebrow aficionado.
The way he enthusiastically speaks about his brand, the careful and skillful way he talks about the makeup, makes one wonder how a guy can be this knowledgeable in what is, technically, women talk. This man is Victor Saint-Père, and he is the General Manager for South East Asia & India at Benefit Cosmetics.
Victor has held this position at the famous beauty brand for two years now. Prior to this job at Benefit, he was with Dior Beauty for three years. Before Dior, he was managing Duty Free branches all over Southeast Asia.
Victor was born in France; he lived in France and finished college there as well. That’s why, when he got married to the love of his life (a quirky love story that’s best told, really, by the man himself, but mainly consists of surprising admissions of "I love you!"), they decided to start an entirely new life across the continent. They went to Singapore, and there, Victor found a niche for himself. He loves working in different environments and interacting with different nationalities.
There are only so many men—straight, married men—in the beauty industry. That’s why the question “Why the beauty industry?” just begs so much to be asked.
“What I like [about working in Benefit] is it’s not just beauty,” Victor says. “It’s about making people feel good, giving them confidence, making them powerful so they can go to an interview and be confident. Makeup for me is empowering women. It’s not just about making them beautiful; it’s making them smile.”
“What I like also in this environment is, yes, I work with mostly women, maybe 95 percent of the team is women—but damn strong women. And I can tell you, it’s very inspiring for me to work with them. You know, it’s also what makes me jump out of my bed in the morning. My team, they are bold, they have big dreams, they are empowered,” he continues.
It was beautiful how Victor talked about women empowerment, right smack dab at this current climate where more men are standing behind strong women who are finally coming out of their shells, finding their voice, and seizing the opportunities for themselves.
Victor had a lot of heart, but did he have enough credibility to survive in the field?
“When I go to dinners, when we start talking about makeup, I realized I know so much about beauty. My friends, the guys, they’d go, ‘How come you’re talking about makeup like that?’ It’s unusual! Girls start asking me tons of questions and I get very excited because I love what I do,” Victor says.
It must be hard to be in a woman’s industry. To this, he comments, “The only limit I have is I don’t wear makeup. But what I love to do is ask lots of questions. Ask customers, ask the team. Know what the market wants.”
“And I do try the products,” he reveals in between chuckles. “It’s just that I don’t wear it every day. On my wedding, I wore a bit of makeup and when I go to parties, I hope my guy friends don’t find out that I put on a bit of primer to get that Instagrammable, very very smooth skin!”
In fact, he says that when people ask him about his job and wonder why he’s in the beauty industry, he would offer to show them how good he is with makeup. He even does his wife’s makeup and she loves it! Finally, a man who understands the difference of a primer from foundation, an eyeliner from an eyebrow pencil, and a mascara from a comb. Who wouldn’t want a husband like him, eh?
Victor, who flew to Manila for this event, holds a special place in his heart for the Philippines, which he first visited seven years ago before he even started working with beauty brands. He shares his one-month charity work in Mindanao all those years back for Children of the Mekong, where he first saw the beauty of the Philippines, witnessed the resilience of its people, and learned his very first Visayan words: Maayong buntag.
“I love the Philippines! I’m coming here as much as I can,” he says. “Last April, when I was in Palawan, I was with my wife, daughter, and my parents-in-law. I told my wife, Palawan is my number 1 destination in the whole of Asia. So beautiful.”
And to add to his most memorable experiences in the Philippines, Victor says that he got his very first eyebrow waxing here in the Philippines, at the Benefit BrowBar branch in Bonifacio Global City. And Benefit has changed him for life—and his family, too!
“My wife, my mom, as well, my sister, they started [having their brows maintained] when I started with Benefit. Now they’re addicted! My wife would look at our old album pictures and she’d say, ‘I can’t believe I’ve lived so long without doing brow products!’” he chuckles.
We now live in a world where men can’t just push their wives around or tell them what they can or can’t do. Victor is a man who truly values his wife, his daughter, and respects women the way they should be respected—as equals. And it was heartwarming to know that men like him do exist.
But if a man like Victor can persuade his wife to start using a certain makeup product (his wife is now using Benefit’s new BADgal bang! mascara everyday)—then he’s really got magic.