Sir John Barnett, Beyoncé’s MUA, first met the singer at Tom Ford’s first womenswear show in 2010. Following their first encounter, they have collaborated together on album covers, music videos, concert tours and the unforgettable Vogue cover in September 2018.
Recently, Sir John gave a L'Oréal Paris master class in London, where he discussed his start in the beauty industry, doing everything from fashion week to makeup at strip clubs in his early days. The makeup artist has since worked with everyone from Mario Testino to Steven Meisel to Naomi Campbell.
Sir John, 37, considers himself a minimalist when it comes to makeup, believing that you should first start with flushed, healthy skin. He is also keen to discuss what you shouldn’t do as much as what you should do.
"Don't conceal your eyelids. Don't do that roller blind effect there, a little visible vein in the eyelid is sexy. It's cool. Don't conceal or hide your freckles either, freckles are hot,” he says. He is also against using pressed powder around your eyes. "If you set under your eyes with powder, that's too heavy. It'll age you, no matter how great your skin is. Anything that goes under the eye needs to be light."
As for do’s, he recommends investing in a great moisturizer since hydration is essential. He usually applies foundation to wet skin because it adheres more organically. Therefore, he suggests applying a moisturizer and then a foundation before the moisturizer dries in order to achieve a more even coverage that looks natural.
Sir John also recommends using eye creams around the face as well as face creams on the body. He thinks skin care is about caring for the body from head to toe, including your back and your legs. As for keeping your skin in optimum conditions, the makeup artist suggests drinking kale, which is high in vitamin K and aids circulation and cell turnover.
“If you approach your makeup with a holistic approach to health, everything else seems a bit easier. A highlighter also helps,” he says.
He favors cream highlighters instead of powder because they appear more natural. He also recommends using softer products for a beachy glow, rather than shimmery highlights. A favorite of Sir John’s is L'Oréal True Match™ Lumi face makeup, which includes foundations and illuminators that highlight any skin tone and undertone, providing radiant coverage and a healthy glow.
Currently, Sir John is the new global brand ambassador for Alleven, which is one the brands he uses on Beyoncé. He also has two licensing deals to develop his own line. We can expect more from him soon.