We may not have Beyonce’s bone structure or bank balance, but we can all take a few tips from her beauty guru, Sir John. He’s been Beyonce’s favourite make-up artist for nearly a decade, and we were lucky enough to get an hour of his time during a flying visit to the UK.
‘I love working with Beyonce because I love it when she smiles at me,’ he told us. ‘It sounds really corny but her smile lights up a room. When I’m around her, I feel like I’m in the sun.’
He’s helped create some of Beyonce’s most iconic looks over the years but his personal favourite was the 2017 Grammys when the singer was heavily pregnant with twins.
‘We embraced her pregnancy, we really went for it,’ he says. ‘I wanted her to look like a pregnant Greek goddess. I put this golden liquid all over her body, I painted her shoulders, her boobs, her belly. It was beautiful.’
Not quite ready to copy that look? Here are some of Sir John’s other secrets for a Beyonce-worthy glow…
Layer textures for a long-lasting face
‘All day make-up is about duality, so I’ll use a cream blush, then a powder brush over the top,’ explains Sir John. ‘Brow pencils have oils and waxes and get shiny by lunchtime, so I’ll always set them with brow powder.’
Straighten your brows
Don’t tweeze your brows into a high arch thinking it’ll ‘lift’ your face. ‘A brow with a straighter shape opens up the eye,’ says Sir John. ‘If your brow dips down at the outer edges, just taking off a few hairs will make a big difference.’
Cheat an intense gaze
‘This trick makes every woman’s eyes look amazing,’ says Sir John. ‘Take a finger, lift your top lashes and fill in the upper lash line with a waterproof pencil. It creates the effect of a dense bed of lashes and makes your eyes mesmeric.’
Double up your lippy
‘I love using liquid lipstick – it stays in place all day and you don’t have to worry that it’ll feather,’ says Sir John. ‘You can blend a little on the apples of your cheeks for blush that doesn’t match your lip perfectly, but looks like it’s going to the same party.’
Discover your skin’s glow zone
‘Young skin suits all-over sheen, but as you age, your “glow zone” becomes smaller,’ says Sir John. ‘Keep highlighter to the sides of your face. You want to turn three-quarters and see your skin dancing in the light. Make sure the front of your face is free of shine – no shimmery blush or bronze. It’ll go into your pores and make your skin look greasy, especially in photos.’ He recommends L’Oreal Glow Mon Amour Highlighting Drops, £9.99, for a suits-all radiance boost.
Lift eyes with concealer
‘I like to do concealer after eyes,’ says Sir John. ‘It cleans everything up and lifts the eye. Don’t use too much, or it will crease. I put it on in four little dots, then blend it outwards and upwards, which creates a fresh, awakened appearance. Use a fluffy eyeshadow brush to buff it on for an airbrushed look. If you use a stiff, flat concealer brush you won’t get that soft finish. I really like L’Oréal Infallible More Than Concealer, £9.99. It has a jumbo applicator you can use to sculpt or conceal.’
Put on a suits-all smokey eye
First, use an eyeshadow primer, especially if you’re older. ‘NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, £21, is great,’ says Sir John. ‘For the eye shade itself, invest in a neutrals like a great khaki or brown, and go for a matte finish. You want a shadow that’ll stay put. Apply it in a rounded shape over lids, and don’t be afraid to go above the crease line. It will help get rid of a hooded eye, if you have one.’
Make up on moist skin
‘I only put foundation on skin that’s wet from moisturiser,’ says Sir John. ‘You can’t see where it starts or stops, and it lasts longer too. I use a damp Beauty Blender, £17, to stipple it on.’ For older skin, he advises avoiding matte bases (‘too drying, they show up fine lines’), and choosing a product with medium coverage and a finish that’s satiny, rather than full-on dewy.
Ditch the pressed powder
Using pressed powder around your eyes is ‘the worst thing you can do’, according to Sir John. ‘It is so heavy and dry that it will age you, whether you’re 18 or 80,’ he warns. ‘To prevent your concealer from creasing, apply it sparingly and use the tiniest amount of loose powder to set it instead.’
Sir John is a make-up ambassador to L’Oreal Paris
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