Without a question, Beyoncé‘s headlining, history-making performance during the first weekend of Coachella was the highlight of the music festival. With five outfit changes (including a near wardrobe malfunction!) and 24 songs, the star’s longtime makeup artist Sir John relied on a selection of budge-proof beauty products to give Queen Bey a #flawless look all night.
“Beyoncé’s Coachella beauty look can be described as ‘the coolest girl on campus at college meets Greek goddess,’” Sir John said of the superstar’s makeup moment. “I was so inspired by the choreography and the styling at the dress rehearsals, of the band and college life, so I started a Pinterest board that was inspired by cool college girls and went from there. I was thinking about the coolest girl on campus, who is she and what she look like? That’s how we came up with the glittery eye.”
Before making his way to Queen Bey’s face makeup, Sir John started with the body to give the superstar singer an even, airbrushed look. Thirty minutes before Beyoncé got dressed for the performance, her makeup artist sprayed on Alleven’s London Color Shield ($80) in the shade Amber — a lightweight aerosol airbrush body concealer.
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“It literally looks like your skin is HD without being too obvious,” Sir John said. “I focused on her legs and cleavage. The great thing about this product is it doesn’t transfer. So when she’s changing her clothes so many times it doesn’t transfer onto clothes.”
For her complexion, Sir John went for the ultimate bronzy, glowy look from head-to-toe, making sure it would last for the duration of her performance. “We kept her face really matte in the t-zone – when she is photographed, in videos and on stage I am always super strategic with light and shade. So I focus on matte t-zone and dewy everywhere else. I used Tom Ford bronzer ($110) on the t-zone to mattify,” he said.
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But surprisingly, Sir John’s secret to keeping isn’t setting spray. “I don’t use setting sprays – even though people are constantly asking me!” he revealed.
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Instead, the star makeup artist swears by layering powders on top of creams.
“It’s all about duality. I layer cream and powder for every stage. Cream and powder foundation, cream and powder blush, cream and powder eyeshadows and matte and cream lipstick. It’s the only way the makeup stays anchored throughout the day. I also don’t use moisturizer on her skin before a big set or concert. The moisturizer will lift the makeup which we don’t want. For a big show like this I use a primer to prep the skin.”
For the singer’s glittery eye, Sir John started by putting the iridescent Lemonhead Houdini Highlite Spacepaste ($22) all over her eye with a pop of Lemonhead’s Dirty Penny Spacepaste ($22) glitter in the middle “to add extra dimension.” Then, he drew on a subtle cat eye using the M.A.C Cosmetics Fluidline Gel Eye Liner in Blacktrack ($18).
“On the bottom I used a brown kohl rather than black. It softens the eye a bit and adds a contoured effect to the eye – that way it’s not too harsh,” Sir John said. “I finished with L’Oréal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara ($8.99).”
Queen Bey celebrated a historic moment for both the music festival and herself: “Coachella, thank you for allowing me to be the first black woman to headline,” she said to the crowd, before belting out her hit “Run the World (Girls).”
Coachella marks Beyoncé’s first performance since welcoming twins Rumi and Sir last June. The superstar celebrated by reuniting with her former Destiny’s Child bandmates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams.
The girl group wowed with memorable smash hits from the ’90s and early 2000s, belting “Say My Name,” “Soldier” and “Lose My Breath” in matching bedazzled camo ensembles by Balmain that paid homage to their iconic stage looks worn in the early aughts.