We honestly can’t think of anyone we’d rather let loose on our bare faces than Beyonce’s very own make-up artist, Sir John. Having previously earned a living doing make-up at New York strip clubs and dressing windows for Gucci, he was introduced to Beyonce whilst assisting Charlotte Tilbury, and well, the rest is history.
This guy knows how to create a serious lewk (exhibit A, queen Bey) so when we heard he’d done a masterclass and given up some no holds barred beauty wisdom, we were all over it.
Here’s his top 16 tips…
Apply moisturiser right before foundation
Getting your skincare right is super important when you want to get that Beyonce flawless finish. Sir John advices that you apply moisturiser and then your foundation shortly after (before the moisturiser dries!) for that ‘I woke up like this’ glow.
Make sure you have good lighting
There’s nothing worse than patchy makeup, and the main culprit of this is insufficient lighting! Sir John says ‘you wanna check that make-up in a natural light and ask yourself: do I need this much coverage?’
Get a foundation wardrobe
So you thought owning one foundation was normal, right? According to Sir John you should own at least two; one for the winter months when you’re paler and one for the summer when you’re tanned. This way it’ll always be a perfect match to your skin – it makes total sense!
Always set with loose powder
If you need your makeup to last a long time (we’re looking at you festival goers) then be sure to set liquid/ cream foundation with a dusting of loose powder over the top – concentrating especially on your T-zone. Sir John says this will ensure your make up stays put: “At Coachella, when Bey wiped her face on stage? That make-up didn’t come off. Set with a loose powder, applied with a fluffy brush.”
Avoid ‘teflon’ makeup
Beyonce’s stage make-up looks have to be heavily applied to have staying power (and so we can see her from the back of the 02 Arena), but according to Sir John, cut creases and sharply defined brows just don’t look great IRL. Less is most definitely more.
This sounds kinda weird, but hear us/Sir John out. He says that the key to looking great is a ‘healthy glow’, and getting your heart pumping for just 30 mins will work wonders for your skin. Yet another reason to go to the gym, then. Who knew?
Don’t go overboard with foundation
Sir John says you probably need less coverage than you think you do. Firstly, a lot of people’s harsh bathroom lighting can lead them to apply too much foundation, so he suggests choosing another more softly-lit room in the house to do your make-up if need be. Secondly, he rates brushes over sponges or beauty blenders for applying a base, as the latter encourage over distribution of product. Finally, always use a light touch and hold your brush further down your handle to prevent “aggressive, heavy handed application”.
Skin texture is sexy
Hands up if you cake on the foundation and concealer to hide a multitude of sins? Us too. Well Sir John maintains dark circles, freckles and texture can be sexy, and you should use the natural colour of your lids as your starting point when applying any sort of base/concealer. People often opt for a lighter concealer around the eyes aiming for a brightening effect, but Sir John warns that this can come off “too austere”. Finally, he advises you do your eye makeup before your concealer and when you do apply concealer don’t swipe it on or go IN with a Beautyblender; instead dot lightly with your ring finger and blend, blend, blend.
Avoid beige eyeshadow primer
A primer that matches your eyeshadow colour or a clear product are your best bets – as Sir John describes a beige primer as “a roll-up blind”. Yeah, we’re not exactly sure either… but we’re throwing out our beige primer. He recommends a blue-toned primer instead – but before you freak out – it’s doesn’t actually come out blue IRL. Sir John explains it brightens your face in the same way that wearing a blue-toned red lippie whitens your teeth. Sold.
Step away from the powder
Sir John is clearly into natural, glowy skin, and that means over-powdering is a no no; He says “healthy skin is never matte all over – skin reflects light by nature so work with that, not against it.”
Although he uses a combo of powder and cream make-up to create long-lasting looks Bey needs on stage, he rarely applies powder all over the face, and never around the eyes because it tends to settle in creases. Go easy on the powder. Noted.
Your SPF makes for a great highlighter
We’re obsessed with Beyonce’s glow, but we never would’ve guessed that it’s not Iconic illuminator drops or a Bobbi Brown shimmer brick she’s using, but none other than her SPF. Sir John says that the natural sheen of an SPF or glycerin based products such as night cream dabbed across your cheekbones create an illusion of glowing ‘from within’. Mind. Blow.
The glowy look is all over Instagram, but that doesn’t mean you should try and emulate it in all its glory. Sir John advises never to apply highlighter to the tip of your nose under any circumstances, saying you’ll end up looking like a “cartoon character”. He also says that highlighter should be applied sparingly to the tips of your cheekbones, and never under any circumstances to the hollows of your cheeks; this is where your pores are larger hence just looks greasy and unflattering.
Use Pritt Stick as brow gel
We’ve heard of the soap in eyebrows trick, but Pritt Stick is definitely a new one. It sounds super easy though and therefore we are here for it; simply brush a bit of glue through your brows the add the illusion of thickness.
We all love a bronzed goddess glow, but this does mean many of us tend to go overboard on the bronzer, or choose the wrong colour. Keep your shade cool so that it doesn’t creep into orange territory.
Orange-based lipsticks for the win
So orange bronzers are out, but orange-based lipsticks are a winner, especially if you have dark skin or are sporting a tan. According to Sir John, they wake up your face and can be used on the apples of your cheeks too for a flush of colour.
Your Beautyblender can erase make-up mistakes
Sir John isn’t a fan of using make-up sponges for applying concealer or foundation, but he does use them for one very important job – erasing any and all beauty mistakes. Simply dip your blender in a bit of cleanser to seamlessly remove excess product or powder fall-out. Also, if you’ve applied too much foundation, concealer, eye shadow, blusher, bronzer or highlighter, then you can use your Beautyblender to lighten up the area without going patchy or having to wipe everything off completely and start again.
And there you have it, Sir John has spoken and we have listened. Now please excuse us while we go out on a Pritt Stick run…