It’s been a little over a week since Beyoncé released her new visual album consisting of 14 songs and 17 videos, and now that we’ve obsessed ourselves over the songs we can really get into how amazing Bey looks in each of these visuals.
In addition to excellent styling and creative direction, Bey’s striking new looks are enhanced — in part — by makeup artist Sir John.
Sir John, the 31-year-old makeup artist behind eight of the videos in Beyonce’s “visual album” (his on-set complement is fellow artist Francesca Tolot).
As former assistant of Charlotte Tilbury who works regularly with top models Joan Smalls and Jourdan Dunn, he met Beyoncé backstage at Tom Ford’s spring 2011 show. (Speaking of Beyoncé in Tom Ford, have you seen this?)
This past June he was invited to join Beyoncé on the Mrs. Carter Show tour and to work with her team on a top-secret project.
“After looking at the direction of the styling and hair, I didn’t want to go for too much fanfare,” Sir John explains of the decision to scale back on false lashes or oversaturated colors in videos like “Blue,” and focus on glowing, luminous skin instead. “I wanted to elevate the presence she already has instead of changing anything.”
Sir John says his favorite makeup look from the album appears in “Mine,” which opens with Beyoncé as the mother in a Pietà scene, the dancers around her manipulating flows of fabric that move like smoke.Suddenly, there are flashes of light and they’re standing on the sand, and Beyoncé’s face is bright like the moon.
“I’m an eye guy,” says Sir John of creating a three-dimensional opalescent blue eye using multiple shades of cream color and shadow. “We embraced a cool naturalness. I used eight-hour creams to gloss up the eyes and the lips, and we transitioned into a serious wash of color.”
While the video looks were carefully planned, Sir John reveals that he got to have a little more freedom while on tour.
“For shows, she lets me wing it, and we just go with it,” he says. Last night, speaking by phone before her show at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, he had decided on a Brigitte Bardot aesthetic.
“We’re going to do a nice sculpted bronze cheek with a taupe shadow to define the shape of her eye. A feline flick of black liner on top, and maybe a beigy lip. Something like the South of France in the 1960s,” he explained before heading into the arena, where things are always subject to change. “I have a great eye for detail,” he says with laugh. “But Beyoncé knows her face like nobody’s business.”
Which of Beyoncé’s many new looks is your favorite? Our top picks are “Mine,” “Jealous,” and “Partition”.