We met celebrity make up artist, Sir John, over the weekend and got the best trends and tips from the master himself!
Q&A with makeup extraordinaire, Sir John
What brings you to South Africa?
Who was your first celebrity client?
Naomi Campbell. I met her during my first Paris Fashion Week, and next thing I knew, I was getting called to go do her makeup at her hotel!
What’s your most requested Beyoncé beauty look?
The 2017 Grammys. Everyone sort of still references that. It got the most eyes for some reason. For me this year, I think that was one of the most impactful things that I did, work-wise.
You’ve been Beyoncé’s official makeup artist for her tours, albums and more. How does one decide which makeup look to go with for someone like Queen Bey? Is it a collaboration or does she let you do your magic?
It depends on the event. Everything is case by case. For example, I know she has a formula. She just loves beautiful skin and natural beauty so if I know she loves that, I’m going to nail that and everything else is going to be the icing on the cake. So for people who want to be makeup artists, hair stylists, manicurists, when you have a client, know their style and the essence of who they are. Once you have that, you can do it with your eyes closed. Adding other things will blow them away and they’ll trust you more once you know their formula.
What’s going to be some of the hottest make up trends for summer?
I see so many cool things happening right now, honestly. I’m liking the unicorn highlighter. I’m liking the prismatic highlighter for women who are under 35.
A lot of women are scared to wear red lipstick! Any advice?
There’s so many different complexions so I’m thinking about all women, from Harlem to Hong Kong. Whenever you want your skin to pop or your tan to come alive, you always want to choose an orange-based red. Think ‘50s red or tomato red. Those will always make your skin look healthier. On the contrary, if you want your teeth to look really, really white and your smile to illuminate, go for a blue-based red.
You have so many beautiful A-lister clients. What’s a tip that you use on them that’s easy enough for non-makeup artists to do?
I would say a cool thing for a non-makeup artist to do would be statement lips, then treat your brows as a feature. I think that women nowadays know the power of brows, but that there’s also more than one focus.
Let’s talk eyebrows! Do you think that a ‘90s thin brow will ever come back or is the thicker brow here to stay?
I think everything is going to come full circle. We had the ’80s where people didn’t even tweeze at all. But the thin brow didn’t come from the ‘90s as much as it comes from the ‘30s: Marlene Dietrich, Ava Gardner, and women of the film noir era. It’s all going to go full circle. If you look at any beauty staple in the 20th century, it’s a re-shopped idea. So wait for it if you love it.
Have the confidence to rock it and know that it’s coming back in season. And if it’s not, then you’re the only girl who’s wearing it.
What is your message to other African artists out there?
I think the new generation of artists in the world we live in now, we don’t have the luxury of just doing beautiful makeup or doing beautiful hair. There is such a social and emotional connection that we have to have with our work that you have to be deeper than people ever previously were. You have to have that substance.
TEXT: SUPPLIED/ EDITED BY ANNETTE DE WET