When Beyoncé decided to write and produce the history-making cover story for the September issue of Vogue, she made a decision to put her natural beauty on display. Not only to prove something about herself—we all know she’s stunning—but, for the culture.
In her words: “I think it’s important for women and men to see and appreciate the beauty in their natural bodies. That’s why I stripped away the wigs and hair extensions and used little makeup for this shoot.”
To create a look that demonstrated the beauty of her natural, black body, she brought in her longtime makeup artist, Sir John, who brought products that would help Queen Bey achieve her goal.
“She’s all about being confident in your skin and owning your natural element,” the makeup artist said in a press release. “This look was all about redefining glamorous as a state of mind. We focused on enhancing her natural brows, skin and structure—and bringing out that inner glow. It’s a #boybeat.”
The hero product: Marc Jacobs Beauty Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter in Fantasy.
To get a “lit-from-within glow,” Sir John applied the product, after prepping her skin with Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer, to the high points of her face.
“Always avoid shimmer on the front of the face. Apply it to your angles for sexiness,” he suggested.
Then, he added a few drops of the liquid highlighter to her foundation and proceeded to create a “glowy contour.”
While the product requires a bit of an investment—it’s $44—the formula uses five active coconut ingredients Provitamin B5 to hydrate the skin. Sure, it’s not skin-care, but it’s pretty close, considering it’s a highlighter. Plus, with metallic rose pigments, it brings life to olive and brown skin tones. See: Beyoncé.
“It’s the one thing I have in my bag everywhere,” he continued. “I use it for concerts, for shoots, for tours—I use it religiously.”
The result of Sir John’s expertise in using the product helped Beyoncé and photographer Tyler Mitchell (the first black photographer to shoot for the publication) achieve their goals of authenticity and natural beauty.
“For so long, black people have been considered things,” the 23-year-old photographer told Vogue. “We’ve been thingified physically, sexually, emotionally. With my work I’m looking to revitalize and elevate the black body.”
For the photographer, who also did Beyoncé’s cornrows for the shoot, elevating the black body includes demonstrating its beauty.
Between the music icon, Sir John and Tyler, we can consider their mission accomplished.
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