Beyoncé at the Met Gala in 2016. Image by: Getty
What we learned during a master class with Beyoncé's makeup artist.
After working closely with Beyoncé, Joan Smalls, Naomi Campbell and Karlie Kloss, you could forgive Sir John Barnett for not being humble. Except humble is exactly what he is. At a recent master class for beauty editors and industry insiders, L'Oréal Paris Celebrity Makeup Artist Sir John (yes, it's his real name) preached kindness in an industry that is sometimes perceived as being catty. “I am not in the business of makeup, I am in the business of people," he told the crowd. "It’s less of how I am with a brush and more of how I am with people. If you make them feel good, they will want to work with you again.” Here are 11 other things we learned from the makeup maestro.
1. Beyoncé wasn't mad that her 2016 Met Gala look wasn’t well received. "Fans wanted to kill me. [Laughs] I remember one comment, 'Who did this to her!?’ We wanted to do a bit of a graphic liner. She was happy though, I saw her the next day and I thought she was going to be so upset but she was like, 'Babe, I felt good, I liked it.' And I liked it too, so that was it!”
2. Beyoncé's favourite beauty look is all about the lip. “She loves a statement lip. She's a girl who loves lips and minimal eyes. If you see she is wearing a crazy eye look, it is probably because I convinced her to do it. One time I talked her into doing a glossy lid for one of her music videos and she loved it so much that now she tries to do it on her own.”
3. Use a light hand when applying foundation. “[My makeup pet peeve is] when girls wear too much foundation."
4. The makeup trend that he thinks is over: “Highlighting the tip of the nose.”
5. Reconsider your use of powder. "I never bake [makeup]. Never. The skin needs to be as natural as possible. Plus, imperfections give you swag. If you have oily skin use a mattifying moisturizer or foundation, don’t set with powder.”
6. Sir John looks for a "sense of urgency" in his assistants. "If I ask for something, I don’t want to see [them] walking over to get it. If I am feeling stressed out, I want to look over and see that [they] might be a little stressed out too.”
7. His favourite look is dewy skin. "It is the sexiest thing a woman can do.”
8. What he learned from working with makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury. “Be yourself, be unique.”
9. Joan Smalls is secretly amazing at makeup. "Joan Smalls is so good at makeup; she does amazing makeup on herself.” [Ed note: She also knows how to work her hair. I've seen her tweaking it backstage at fashion week.]
10. Take YouTube tutorials with a grain of salt. “While YouTube is great, we want to make sure it is not the blind leading the blind. Make sure you are seeking tips and advice from people who are out in the field and actually know what they are doing.”
11. He would love to work with Priyanka Chopra. "I saw her at the Globes and I was a little starstruck. I had to work up the courage to go and say hello. Also Olivia Wilde, she is beautiful.”
With files from Maryjane Peters.
Drake and Jennifer Lopez. Image by: Getty
Is DraLo legit? Reply hazy, ask again.
Where's our Magic 8-Ball when we need it? Jennifer Lopez is still refusing to confirm or deny any rumours of her alleged romance with Drake during a press day for her TV show, Shades of Blue.
When an Entertainment Tonight reporter asked her about the romance, the star's publicist cut in and J.Lo walked away. Prior to this awkwardness, she did, however, confirm what everyone already knows. The pair has collaborated on a song that may be on his next album.
Roberta Einer spring 2017
This designer's clothes aren't for shrinking violets.
Estonian-born, London-based designer Roberta Einer's frenetic and playful vibe is infectious. Since launching her label in 2015, Einer has become known for her bold use of couture-level embellishment and hand embroidery. It's no surprise that prior to launching her label, Einer worked with Olivier Rousteing as a print and embroidery assistant at Balmain.
We chatted to Einer about her spring collection, which is a mix of mad prints and reworked silhouettes inspired by pastel-hued South Beach circa 1980.
A look from Roberta Einer's spring 2017 collection
What's the mood and feeling of this collection?
"I drew main inspiration from Miami and South beach – 1980’s poolside poster art was translated into embellishment, highly worked fabrics featured botanicals and tropical birds. For the colours I was inspired by illustrators like Jiro Bevis and Yoko Honda who [featured] Miami a lot in their work. I wanted to recreate what all those strong Studio 54 characters like Bianca Jagger, Janice Dickinson and Debbie Harry would be wearing if they went to Miami. The pastel hues of the city’s architecture lead to using rainbow palette of greens, blues, pinks and fluorescents that were set by monochrome. It’s a very fun and sexy collection – just like Miami! – with lots of high shine and big contrasts in textures and cuts."
In terms of textures, what was the process in selecting or creating then?
"Fabric and material sourcing is one of the most important parts when designing collection. We get custom tweeds done in Linton mill, which is the same mill that develops Chanel tweeds. We get jacquards from Paris and leather from Italy. All embroidery is manufactured in one of the best hand embroidery factories, that also produces for Balmain, Ralph & Russo and Lanvin. We [experiment] in-house for the most creative techniques and finishes and then give the production to the industry’s best."
Who's the Roberta Einer customer?
"I don’t really believe that there is a certain age or image that most of our customers have, because for me it has always been about designing every kind of woman – all ages, all ethnicities, all body types and characters. I started selling from the very first season globally, so it became vital to design for all types of women.
One thing that unites all customers is that they wish to stand out and have this playful way of dressing and living. For me, it’s really important that the customer wears clothes and not the other way around. And with designs like mine, you will really need a quite a character to pull it off!"
An exclusive interview with the makeup maestro.
Whenever I interview people I admire, I tend to ramble. A lot. See: my recent conversation with makeup artist Kabuki about Kabuki Magic Collection, his upcoming collabo with M.A.C Cosmetics. During our chat, I was in full-on first-date mode, stumbling over my words and talking over him.
Lucky for me, not only does the New York-based Brit have the patience of a kindergarten teacher, he thoughtfully answered all my questions, even checking in with me if they were “good enough” answers. (They were.)
Kabuki Magic is his first official collection with M.A.C. – even though he's worked on their campaigns and has been using their products backstage at fashion week for ages – and he’s in good company. The iconic makeup brand also enlisted best-of-the-best makeup artists James Kaliardos and Diane Kendal to design their own must-have products as part of the Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection, available online Jan. 19 and in stores January 26.
Kabuki’s roster of lipsticks, shadows and blushes is super playful – think richly pigmented lip colour and vivid eye paints – but also super practical. Here, he talks about his vision and how Kendall Jenner inspired a VIS – very important shade.
Kabuki backstage with Gigi Hadid at Jeremy Scott's Spring/Summer 2016.
What inspired the Kabuki Magic collection? These are products I wanted that didn't exist – either the colours or the formula. Like Fallen Angel Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour (below, left). It’s a deep berry. I have to do that colour all the time when I’m on a shoot. It’s such a pain because I have to combine three different colours to get something to look the way I want it. So now it’s just a one-step thing. I also wanted a natural matte pink that was like a real lip colour rather than something that looked “lipstick-y.” I was working with Kendall Jenner and I created this colour by mixing [a few] pinky nude shades together. I brought that sample from the shoot to M.A.C and that's how we created Sweet Thing Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour (below, right). I wanted these products to be very practical—things that people would really need, and not just more stuff.
M.A.C. Cosmetics Fallen Angle Retro Matte Liquid Lip Colour and Sweet Thing Retro Matte Liquid Lip Colour ($25, at maccosmetics.com).
The names of the products are so fun – “Johnny Guitar” and “Sense Of Doubt” (both eyeshadow palettes) and “Ice Follies” (a gloss). How did you come up with them? I made three categories. One was made-up names, the other was Joan Crawford movies and the other was David Bowie references. So I suppose in my subconscious, maybe there are elements of Bowie and Crawford’s careers? Just because I’m a fan so maybe there is something to distil from that into my approach to self-creation.
Do you remember the first time you used a M.A.C product? My first break was in production, [I did makeup for] Sex and the City and then movies afterwards and M.A.C was always very generous in helping with the makeup. Plus, they have real makeup artists working for them and the artists are people I’d be friends with. There is always the feeling of community and sharing tips and, “oh what’s that product?” so it was always like Aladdin’s cave of beauty items.
Let’s talk about spring makeup. Are there any trends you are totally over? I kind of have immediate responses to trends. The ones that I’m over I was never into in the first place. I don't like it when there are a lot of people all doing the same thing. For example, I don't really like when they put that white in the inner corner of their eyes to create a glow. Because we know it’s a trick. I guess I’d rather be challenged and see something new. This surprise is always more exciting than seeing something you’ve seen a million times.
“I use the paints as an eye primer. There is nothing worse than a perfectly blended, precise eye that melts. I wanted these in very bright colours and in white so you could mix them together and created different colours. I tend to use a flat brush to put them on and if I need to blend them out I use like a fluffy brush. But if you’re doing it on yourself, it would be easier to use your finger.” M.A.C. Cosmetics Paints in Cracked Emerald, Holy Holy Overnight Sensation and Win and ($26 each, at maccosmetics.com).
What about "Instagram makeup"? Are you for or against? Mediums create their own style so in a way it’s almost like it works in the medium. I wouldn't say anything bad about it because they’re having fun. It’s like self-publishing. And you can learn from things that are exaggerated. I like going the whole distance [into a look] because it’s easy to pull back and just take an element from that. You can always make something more mild, so to me it’s more interesting to see somebody do all the tricks because it’s more information on one face.
And finally, I’ve always wondered how long it actually takes to make a makeup collection? I think it was about a year and a half! There were a lot of meetings, but they were spaced apart. But it was very enjoyable and I would do it all over again if I could.
Editor's note: We can only hope.
Kabuki created the Precision Brush – in his words “ a really small soft eye shadow brush” – because he found “that a lot of the brushes when they get smaller, they are also firmer so they weren’t good for blending.” M.A.C. Cosmetics Precision Brush ($30, at maccosmetics.com).