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Beyoncé’s Makeup Artist and Kilian Paris Makeup Creative Director, Sir John, Shares the 3 Ways to Instantly Elevate Your Look

Sir John. Photo: courtesy Kilian Paris

The man behind some of Beyoncé’s most iconic beauty looks, Sir John, has built a career off his next level creativity. Over the last decade, the American makeup artist has worked his way from backstage at Fashion Week – his first introduction to runway beauty was under the tutelage of industry icon Pat McGrath – to become an A-lister favorite. With a celebrity client list including Naomi Campbell, Zendaya, Iman, Margot Robbie, Serena Williams, and his longtime client, Beyoncé, he’s become known for stylized looks which enhance and embolden his subject’s features. For Beyoncé, he created some of the performer’s most iconic looks – from her bold appearance in her ground-breaking Beyoncé visual album which included videos for Drunk in Love, Partition, and Formation, her copper makeup for the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show which accompanied the American sporting event, and her beauty concepts for her 16-country Formation tour.

Now announced as Kilian Paris’s first makeup creative director, Sir John says he’s just getting started in his new role with the French beauty and fragrance house. “For a person that is part of communities that have historically been underrepresented, being the first makeup creative director of Kilian Paris means that I will do my best to continue to represent so many people in this space and allow everyone to feel makeup, not just to see it,” he explains. “It is great when an artist has the ability and platform to help people redefine how they show up in the world. I feel honored to have the opportunity to bring my impact and experiences to new audiences, and to evolve this space with the Kilian Paris family.”

Sir John and Kilian Hennessy. Photo: courtesy Kilian Paris

After being introduced to the Kilian Paris’s New York boutique by his best friend, Sir John was blown away by the brand’s ethos and design. “I felt like I was stepping back into the Regency era of Hollywood when presentation, packaging, and glamour were paramount,” he remembers. “It was then that I fell in love with Angels’ Share, this amazing fragrance that embodies so well the French heritage legacy of the founder Kilian Hennessy. It’s my festive night-out scent. It can instantly put me in a happy mood, I never go partying without it.”  As Makeup Creative Director of Kilian Paris, Sir John will now work on the brand’s color cosmetics, including the Le Rouge Parfum collection, which he calls “absolute perfection”. “The colors are intense, bold and impactful, offered in both satin and matte colors. It also has lasting power which is convenient and allows me to trust the product without having to worry about reapplication,” he explains. “All our fragrances and lipsticks are real objects of desire that are not only beautifully crafted, but also eternally refillable.” Sir John plans to continue the brand’s luxury packaging mission. “I’m looking forward to tackling the creation of iconic packaging and challenging existing innovation. Expect outstanding formulas to deliver the most innovative and best performing makeup,” he promises.

Sir John. Photo: courtesy Kilian Paris

Working alongside the founder of Kilian Paris, Kilian Hennessy, Sir John says that they both share a similar approach to luxury, “We both believe that luxury is about quality and attention to detail…that true luxury should last forever,” he shares. “I also love the philosophy that Kilian Hennessy lives by: ‘everything is possible at night, there is infinite possibility in a way that feels playful and inclusive’.We want to continue to stand by that and create with that shared vision in mind. We want to own the night, whether it be opening a beautiful compact at dinner which sparks a conversation or setting the tone with mesmeric velvet lips and jewel-toned eyes.” He says that part of his job will be to continue to lead the charge when it comes to challenging norms and ensuring representation. “My mission is to help people fully see themselves from Harlem to Hong Kong. Kilian once told me that his commitment to diversity is to reflect how the world really is, and one of my missions will be bringing some of that texture, the real one, into the conversation, which to me is supremely seductive, inviting, and refreshing,” he says.

Sir John’s Top Three Makeup Tips

Good foundations
“Start by focusing on creating a good skincare routine that is tailored to your needs. Great makeup application calls for a smooth base. Incorporate an exfoliator, hyaluronic acid, and SPF30 or higher sunscreen as a starting point.”

The perfect base
“My second tip would be to use products that have the same base. Water based primers should be topped with water based foundation. The same thing goes with silicon based products. This prevents your makeup from caking up and separating.”

Be bold
“My last tip is – don’t shy away from color. I work with mental health organizations and recently teamed up with to come with a term that describes beauty in relationship to the way we feel, ‘Dopamine Glam’. More so now, we are in a phase of history where everyone wants to feel something. To feel better, to feel connected. Explore your palette by adding a pop of color in your shadows or eyeliners.”

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