We Spent An Hour With Beyoncé’s Makeup Artist — & Learned So Much

You know Sir John’s name from his status as Beyoncé’s go-to makeup artist, but the beauty pro’s life wasn’t always so star-studded. Before he caught his big break assisting beauty legends like Pat McGrath and Charlotte Tilbury backstage at some of the biggest fashion shows, Sir John (yes, that’s his real name) worked at MAC counters in New York City by day and did makeup in strip clubs by night. In other words, he knows a thing or two about nailing great makeup, no matter your budget. From using glue stick as brow gel (really) to the best concealer-blending technique, here’s everything we learned from the L’Oréal Paris Makeup ambassador when we caught up with him in London.

Apply foundation straight after your moisturizer.

“I prefer to apply foundation on wet [freshly-moisturized] skin, because once your moisturizer dries, the foundation adheres to your skin in a really organic way,” Sir John says. He likes L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care, and we spotted Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré in his kit, too. “Also, don’t be afraid to give your face a little bit of a massage to increase circulation,” he says. “Blood flow is what you need for great skin. I like using a jade roller, as it really helps to kickstart circulation.”

Foundation brushes are overrated.

“I like to apply foundation in two separate ways,” Sir John says. “I like using a wet BeautyBlender, but also a big, fluffy blush brush. I don’t use foundation brushes because I feel like the application doesn’t look as seamless.” With the other tools, he says, the product melds more into the skin and looks more organic. “The goal is not to be lacquered from forehead to chin,” he says. “It’s okay to see an area that isn’t covered in product. I like seeing dark circles and veins on eyelids — that’s sexy to me. It’s 2019, and it’s cool to see texture, especially freckles.”