Beauty

Beyoncé’s make-up artist on how to properly apply foundation

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Lucy Partington
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Sir John shares his tips and tricks for complexion perfection – and if they’re good enough for Beyoncé, they’re good enough for us. 

Foundation – and the way we apply it – is likely to be something so ingrained in most of us that we don’t really ever give our application technique a second thought. 

Well, that was the case until Sir John, Beyoncé’s acclaimed make-up artist (he’s also worked with Ashley Graham, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Joan Smalls and Serena Williams to name a few others), made us rethink everything we’d ever learnt.

Launching some new L’Oreal Paris make-up products earlier today (31 January), Sir John made an appearance in London and talked us through his way of applying foundation. And there was a whole host of tips we’d never heard before – and if his way of working means Bey’s foundation was able to stay perfectly intact during that iconic Coachella performance last year, then we’re all ears.

Here’s what we learnt…

Apply foundation onto wet skin

Until this moment you probably did one of two things in the morning before you applied your foundation. 

1) Skip moisturiser and just go straight in, or 2) apply moisturiser but let it sink in completely before doing anything else. But consider both of those things to be wrong. “Right before foundation is the best time to apply moisturiser, I like foundation on wet skin. That way, when the moisturiser dries, your foundation adheres to the skin in a really organic way,” he says.

Use powder and cream products together for a longer-lasting finish

“Skin needs to be able to breathe, so things like long-lasting foundations don’t always allow that to happen. Anything that tattoos itself to the T-Zone area of the face is just going to cause dehydration and make your complexion lacklustre, and we don’t want that. So the way I create a really long-wearing finish is to use duality. I use a cream foundation and then I use a powder foundation on top of it – so that duality creates long wear.”

Don’t use a traditional foundation brush

“I like to apply foundation in one of two ways. I either use a wet sponge, like a Beauty Blender, or you can buff it into your face with a big fluffy blush brush. I don’t use foundation brushes because I feel like the application doesn’t look as seamless in a way.”

Try not to disguise every flaw or blemish

“I know this sounds crazy, but I like seeing a dark circle and I like some of that texture around the eyes and some colour on the lid. To me that’s sexy and it’s real. You can conceal those areas if you like but to me there’s nothing wrong with seeing a little texture or seeing veins on your eye lids. It’s 2019, it’s cool, and we don’t need to cover every little thing.”

Never use pressed powder around the eyes

“Pressed powder is so dry that it’ll crease, so it’s really counterproductive and it automatically ages you. Instead, use a medium-sized fluffy brush and a loose powder to set any concealer or foundation you apply in that area.”

Main image: Getty

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Lucy Partington

Lucy Partington is Stylist’s beauty editor. She’s obsessed with all things skincare, collecting eyeshadow palettes that she’ll probably never use, and is constantly on the hunt for the ultimate glowy foundation.

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