Beyoncé’s make-up artist Sir John is the king of ‘second skin’ make-up, aka the ‘your skin but better’ finish that’s the secret to Beyoncé’s super-glowy, flawless complexion at her public appearances and in her music videos.
Luckily, with his help, you don’t have to be a global superstar to achieve the look, as Sir John told us exclusively how to achieve a perfect base every single time – by avoiding these common mistakes.
Mistake one: settling for the wrong shade
“I find that everyone is obsessed with buying foundation that is either too light or too dark. Women of colour can particularly struggle because it’s more difficult to find the right undertones and you can get a grey cast that makes you look unhealthy.
“Luckily, in 2019, there are more options to choose, from L’Oreal True Match to Fenty, because there’s been this shift towards inclusivity, helped by social media. It’s also about the industry embracing both the darker and lighter sides of the spectrum, so that even women with albinism can find their shade. You might have to spend a bit more time searching for the perfect one, but the flawless finish is worth it.”
Bazaar’s beauty editor Siân Ranscombe agrees: “You find that people tend to wear a shade or two darker than they should because they don’t want to look washed out, but that’s when their faces don’t match their necks. Instead, find your exact shade and invest in a good bronzer to warm up your complexion if required.”
Mistake two: only owning one foundation
“It’s a myth that we only need one foundation shade everywhere”, continues Sir John. “No woman is the same colour all over her face and that’s particularly true of women of colour who can struggle more with hyper-pigmentation or discolouration.
“It doesn’t matter whether you are from Holland or Hong Kong, you should have two foundations – one for the summer and one for the winter. Then, your summer colour can act like a bronzer in the winter. Having the ability to switch between the two gives your face nuances and highlights, so it doesn’t look flat and monochrome.”
Mistake three: applying foundation everywhere
“I hate foundation that looks heavy or like a mask and it’s so important that you can’t see where your foundation starts and stops. The generation before us would put foundation literally from forehead to chin and that still happens quite a lot on social media. Less is definitely more.”
Sir John recommends L’Oreal’s new Infallible Fresh Wear Foundation because “the full-coverage formula is so long-lasting and you don’t need to apply a lot”. Or, try the skin perfector he reportedly used on Beyoncé during last year’s Coachella performance, Alleven London’s Colour Shield.
Mistake four: using too much concealer
“I see so many people swiping concealer all across their face in big stripes and it just becomes unnecessary. Instead, use a dotting method so that excess product doesn’t fall into fine lines or accidentally emphasise imperfections.
“Try applying one dot on any blemishes, one under each eye to cover dark circles, and one dot either side of your nose where you tend to have broken capillaries.”