Hair & Makeup

The 8 Makeup Hacks For An A-List Glow, According To Sir John, Beyoncé’s Makeup Artist

Known for crafting his signature look on Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Zendaya, Naomi Campbell and, most recognizably, Queen Bey, SIR JOHN shares the makeup secrets behind his iconic glam-glow look with MALENA HARBERS

Recreate Beyoncé’s glow by following top tips from Sir John, the A-list’s go-to makeup artist

Apply foundation when your skin is damp

“Using a Beautyblender or egg sponge, start to stipple on your foundation when your skin is still slightly emollient from your moisturizer. This is the key to making sure your skin actually looks like skin. It doesn’t matter if your foundation is full-coverage, very sheer or if you use a tinted cream – once your moisturizer is fully absorbed, your foundation will look like it’s air-dried on, so you have a three-minute window to work with. It doesn’t matter whose makeup I’m doing, I always apply foundation this way.”

Set concealer with a loose powder

“The skin around our eyes is so thin it’s almost transparent, so never use a pressed powder to set your concealer – it’s too heavy and dry for this area. I always set it with a loose powder. It should be so finely milled that, if you gently blow on top of it, it stays in the air. If your loose powder drops immediately, it’s too heavy for your eye area.”

Mattify your T-zone

“When you’re younger, you can be glowy everywhere, but you need to be a little bit more strategic with your glow when you’re more mature. From your pupil back to your ears is a really good place to have a bit of shine, but from your pupil to the center of your face is where you should start to work in more mattifying textures.”

Double up your makeup textures

“I always layer a cream and powder formula together for more staying power. I’ll use a brow pencil, then set it with a shadow. If I do a cream blush, I’ll set it with a bit of powder blush – that duality of applying two formulas gives you a good base, even if you’re using the most minimal amount of each one. When it comes to bronzer, I like to use a cream foundation stick. Choose one that’s deeper and warmer than your complexion and buff it in with a big, fluffy brush. Start around the hairline, add a little bit across the cheekbones, the bridge of the nose and underneath the jawline – a really important area that often gets neglected. It’s a beautiful way to bring in a little bit of a halo effect that gives a bronzed glow. Don’t be afraid to set it with a powder bronzer, too, such as Tom Ford Beauty’s, or one from Nars.”

Consider the direction you apply your makeup in

“Wherever you start applying your foundation, bronzer or blush is where you’ll deposit the most color, so you want to start further away from the center of the face and bring everything in for a more natural look. With blush, start on the apples of the cheek, or further away, then bring it in; with bronzer, work it into the temples, then bring it forward. Don’t be afraid to sweep a bit of what’s on your brush onto the back of your hand first, to temper the color before applying it to your face.”

Highlight with foundation

“This is when I break out Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter foundation. I don’t use it as a foundation, but as a topper – wherever I want the light to pick up the skin. Use your ring finger (your index finger is too ‘aggressive’ and you’ll probably use too much product) to tap it onto the cheekbones, cupid’s bow and brow bone. I don’t think it’s modern to use shimmery shadows on the brow bone anymore, so that’s why I like to use something emollient. The goal is for your brow bones to look spotlit, not makeup-heavy.”

Be strategic with your blush

“I like to temper a cream blush on the back of my hand so that I don’t bring too much color onto the face. Then I ask my clients to smile, and wherever I see the most fat on the cheeks is where you want to deposit your color. I’m well-known for taking a little blush – either a powder or a cream – and tapping a bit into the temples or the forehead, too, which is very 1970s à la Bianca Jagger, Jerry Hall and Grace Jones. Once you’ve done your eyes (this tip is not for a barely-there look), don’t be afraid to take a matte powder blush in pink or peach and tap a bit into the crease of the eyelid with a fluffy eyeshadow brush. It gives a little bit of heat in the crease. Take whatever is left over on your brush and tap it onto the décolletage, right where your clavicle is, too. This adds a bit of a flush, like blood pumping, which is sexy.”

Blur lipstick for fuller-looking lips

[Makeup artist] Katie Jane Hughes taught me this great lip tip. After you’ve put your lipstick on, take a soft brush and slightly brush the top of your lip, like you’re blurring it out. It doesn’t matter what color it is – I’ve been doing it on everyone. It’s so cool because it makes the lip look fuller without being intentionally overdrawn. It just looks ‘lived-in’ – like you’ve been drinking tea or have had a kiss.”


Sir John works his magic on Beyoncé