You could feel the steadily-growing anticipation leading up to Beyoncé’s history-making performance from the moment the gates opened yesterday. Who will the surprise guests be? What will she be wearing? What will the message be? And then, with a 200+ person marching band and a round of fireworks, it began. For over two hours, we all stood still, captivated by a show that’s already being called one of the most powerful music performances of our era.
Beyoncé made history last night as the first Black woman to headline Coachella, took us on a trip down memory lane with Destiny’s Child, and debuted a college-inspired, Balmain-designed look with a strong underlying message. It was everything we hoped it would be — and more — and we haven’t even gotten to her glam.
Ready to get into it? Beyoncé stepped on stage with dewy, glowing skin, a glittery lid, and matching lips and cheeks — and it all stayed in place through her entire show. Our first question: how? We caught up with her longtime makeup artist this morning to learn the secrets he used on Bey at Coachella. Spoiler: These tricks don’t disappoint.
Sir John walks us through the inspiration and techniques he implemented for last night’s performance, below.
The ’80s Movie That Inspired The Makeup
“She wanted to look young, fresh, and like she wasn’t trying too hard. I was really inspired by the dress rehearsal, I didn’t want to take her out of the element of the show by making her too girly or too minimal or sleek, I wanted her to look like a college girl on campus. Remember the movie School Days by Spike Lee? That was my inspiration.”
The Secret Behind The Glittery Eye Look
“ I created a glittery lid by mixing a few different glitters. I started with a warm, terracotta base, mixed in an iridescent purple then applied glitter on the center of the eye. For eyeliner, I used MAC’s Brownborder on the bottom and a black liner on the top. I always tell women, even though you make your wing with black, coffee eyeliner on the bottom is the best finisher because it doesn’t weigh down the eyes. Then I used the Lash Paradise mascara by L’Oréal and the brand’s Infallible Chocolate Lip Color on her lips.”
On Making Makeup Really Last” It’s basically like keeping your makeup on through two hours of cardio [laughs]. Layering is the key, so you want to use a liquid foundation, then set it with bronzer; a cream blush, then set it with powder blush; eyeliner, then set it with shadow. No matter what part of the face, it has a double application.”
The Body Makeup That Won’t Budge “I found this new body makeup called AllEven, it’s a spray makeup but it will not move. You can have white sheets and sleep and it won’t transfer. I use it on her boobs, arms, and legs. We had four changes so we wanted something transfer-resistant.”
On What To Expect
“ I walked out into the field yesterday and it was so cool to see so much makeup — seeing everyone wearing glitter as highlighter?! I got a beer and some popcorn and just started taking photos of girls, a couple girls kinda knew who I was and went a little crazy, but for the most part I was out there undercover.”
On What You Don’t See “You literally have about 45 or 50 seconds to touch her up [during a wardrobe change] — if you have a full minute, that’s a dream. Someone is also pulling off a dress, or a zipper breaks, or something doesn’t work, so I am basically holding her face still with one hand and then applying powder or blotting off sweat with the other. The funny thing is, you have to stay really, really calm — when the energy is going up, you have to go down and just chill. The best thing I can do is offer her zen vibes and usher her back out onto the stage.”
Read These Stories Next
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?