Beyoncé ‘s Makeup Artist Sir John Shares His Hack for Natural-Looking Foundation

When Sir John has something to say, we’re all ears. As the trusty makeup artist to a gang of famous beauties–such as Joan Smalls, Karlie Kloss and thee Beyoncé–he’s basically a walking skin and makeup dictionary, with plenty of experience and expertise to show for it.

So when we stumbled upon his simple, but game-changing foundation tip over at PopSugar, we knew we had to share. Everyone’s go-to coverage plan is different, be it full, sheer or nothing at all, but Sir John is noticing that the “second skin” look is most popular in 2018; or as he likes to call it, the just woke up and rolled out of bed and look kinda cute” look.

And for that reason (and a couple others), he recommends applying your foundation while the moisturizer on your skin is still damp. Understandably so, this may sound like a disaster-in-the-making for those with oily skin, but doing the opposite actually creates a “disconnect between how the foundation cements onto your complexion.”

So, instead of creating a smooth, breathable canvas, you’re actually adding multiple layers that may clog your pores or make your complexion look unnatural.

The best way to make your foundation look dewy and even is to apply it with a wet Beautyblender and when necessary, apply it only to the places that need coverage instead of all over. What you’re left with a seamless blend-out that looks as though you quite literally “woke up like this.”

As for the best natural-looking foundations, Sir John says his go-tos are L’Oreal Infallible Pro Glow foundation ($13) and Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation. Does this mean we’re one step closer to looking like Queen Bey? Probably not, but we’re definitely following this advice.

10 Sensitive Eye-Friendly Mascaras That Won’t Cause Irritation

From contacts to allergies to chronically dry eyes, those with sensitive eyes know the smallest fleck of makeup fallout can lead to major irritation. Sure, there are tons of mascara formulas that advertise added fibers, thicker formulas and even wilder colors, but these probably aren’t the picks for someone who truly needs something that won’t leave their eyes watery and puffy.

“If you have sensitive eyes, look for mascaras that have fewer ingredients and are fragrance-free,” says celebrity makeup artist and author of Perfection: The Art of Looking Good Without Really Trying, Jenny Patinkin. “Fancy colors, fibers and oversized applications are things that cause friction against the skin and can be very irritating.” If you’re in doubt and not sure if your formula fits the bill, start by looking for formulas with clean and natural ingredients.

Whether you’re part of the sensitive set or just want to adopt a cleaner beauty routine, we’ve rounded up 10 mascara picks that won’t irritate your peepers ahead.

STYLECASTER | Best Mascaras for Sensitive Eyes | 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Ultra Lengthening Mascara in Black Tea

100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Ultra Lengthening Mascara in Black Tea

The brand name doesn’t lie. You’ll know every ingredient when reading the label on this fruit-pigmented mascara.  Formulated with natural pigments from black tea, berries and cocoa, its clean formula won’t irritate sensitive eyes (or skin).

$26 at 100 Percent Pure

Photo: 100% Pure

STYLECASTER | Best Mascaras for Sensitive Eyes | Honest Beauty Truly Lush Mascara + Lash Primer

Honest Beauty Truly Lush Mascara + Lash Primer

Having sensitive eyes doesn’t mean you have to compromise your flutter. This 2-in-1 primer and mascara from the beloved Jessica Alba brand, is made free of extra additives like parabens, silicones and synthetic fragrance.

$22 at Honest Beauty

Photo: Honest Beauty

STYLECASTER | Best Mascaras for Sensitive Eyes | Blinc Mascara

Blinc Mascara

“Tube mascaras are a great option for sensitive eyes. They form little tubes that shrink wrap around your lashes to give them extra length and thickness, but they don’t flake, give great wear time and rinse away easily at the end of the day,” says Jenny Patinkin, celebrity makeup artist.

$26 at Blinc

Photo: Blinc Mascara

STYLECASTER | Best Mascaras for Sensitive Eyes | Hush + Dotti Mascara

Hush + Dotti Mascara

This tiny bottle carries an organic and vegan formula that’s water resistant and full of clean ingredients.

$24 at Hush Dotti

Photo: Hush + Dotti Mascara

STYLECASTER | Best Mascaras for Sensitive Eyes | Josie Maran Argan Black Oil Mascara

Josie Maran Argan Black Oil Mascara

Infused with 100% pure argan oil that treats and strengthens lashes with every swipe and black iron mineral pigments to really make lashes pop.

$22 at Sephora

Photo: Josie Maran Argan Black Oil Mascara

STYLECASTER | Best Mascaras for Sensitive Eyes | RMS Beauty Volumizing Mascara

RMS Beauty Volumizing Mascara

If you like va-va-volume, this is the mascara for you. A blend of organic oils and plant waxes allow the formula to coat and stick to lashes without fallout.

$28 at Blue Mercury

Photo: RMS Beauty Volumizing Mascara

STYLECASTER | Best Mascaras for Sensitive Eyes | Alima Pure Natural Definition Mascara

Alima Pure Natural Definition Mascara

Free of synthetic dyes, fragrance and silicones, this ultra-nourishing formula is a great pick for those who prefer a more natural lash look without added clump.

$22 at Alima Pure

Photo: Alima Pure

STYLECASTER | Best Mascaras for Sensitive Eyes | Pacifica Stellar Gaze Length & Strength Mascara

Pacifica Stellar Gaze Length & Strength Mascara

For all the coconut oil lovers, this mascara is infused with the coveted hydrator. A formula you can layer on as you please and the brush is 100% vegan.

$13 at Target

Photo: Pacifica

STYLECASTER | Best Mascaras for Sensitive Eyes | Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Jumbo Lash Mascara

Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Jumbo Lash Mascara

Rock dramatic lashes without the irritation of complicated formulas. Its 100% natural volumizing technology plumps and lengthens lashes with a hypoallergenic and ophthalmologist-approved formulation.

$10 at Ulta

Photo: Physicians Formula

STYLECASTER | Best Mascaras for Sensitive Eyes | W3ll People Expressionist Mascara

W3ll People Expressionist Mascara

This gluten-free, toxin-free formula with ‘hyper pure’ mineral pigments gives lashes bold color. We love its dual action brush with thin bristles that coat full length lashes and reach even the tiniest of lashes in your tight line.

$22 at W3ll People

Photo: W3ll People

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The Best Street Style at
European Fashion Weeks Fall/Winter 2018

The Best Street Style at
European Fashion Weeks Fall/Winter 2018

How to Replace Your Heavy Foundation With Concealer

What isn’t there to love about a full-coverage foundation during the winter season? It’s essentially a blanket for the face that also happens to conceal random breakouts and even out our skin tone. Unfortunately, it carries a couple downsides. There’s clogged pores if you’re not priming correctly underneath and the looming threat of it transferring to your clothes or worse–someone else’s.

Also, it can just feel heavy when using day after day. If your skin needs some breathing room, but you still want the same benefits of a foundation, most will recommend swapping it out for a concealer. And while that is the obvious and correct fix (besides going makeup-free when we feel like it), there are some caveats for ensuring that it works with instead of against your complexion.

Choose Your Coverage

Like foundation, concealers are available in different finishes; from sheer to full-coverage. The type you use will depend on the condition of your skin. For instance, if it’s free of blemishes and you simply want to even things out, a sheer formula–similar to one you’d use on the under-eye area–will serve you best.

Natalie Soto, Global Makeup Artist/Educator for jane iredale cosmetics, stresses the importance of how to apply whatever it is you choose. “As the consistency of concealer can be a lot richer than foundation,” she says, “you should use a damp sponge in a tapping motion if applying it all over the face in place of foundation.”

Now, if you want to get fancy with a highlight and contour effect, know that you will need to utilize more than one shade.

“For contour, choose a concealer like Mehron Celebré Pro-HD™ Conceal-It and apply a shade that’s three shades darker than your foundation and on the cool side of the color wheel,” says James VincentMehron Makeup Artist. “Use this in place of contour powder for a more natural shape and shading that looks realistic and more elevated.”

And If you’re looking for a more bronzey and beachy effect, you can find something two shades darker and on the warm side of the color wheel.

But again, if you want to keep it simple, be sure to color-match your concealer to your skin tone. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a face that’s shades lighter or darker than the rest of your body. Awkward!

Spot-Treat, Don’t Spread

This is perhaps the biggest difference between foundation coverage and concealer coverage. Whereas the latter is typically applied all over the face and blended out, concealer should instead be concentrated to the blemishes you wish to disguise.

For instance, if you have a pimple or dark spot on your cheek, instead of covering the entire area with concealer, you should dot each blemish and blend or build until it’s covered. The overall effect is skin that “no makeup” makeup look that tricks people into thinking you’re wearing nothing at all.

“A great way to sheer out concealer for all over coverage is by mixing a small amount of concealer with a pearl size amount of your daily moisturizer or a facial primer (try jane iredale Smooth Affair® Facial Primer & Brightener).

If you’re going for that contour/highlight effect we talked about earlier, your concealer should be applied to the parts of your face that are hit most by sunlight.

Vincent says, “use a powder brush to sweep it over the forehead, down the center of the nose, on the chin and the highest part of your cheekbone. You can’t believe how easy it is to get the most beautiful beachy effect.”

Blend, Blend, Blend

So what does one do when you need two types of coverage in the same area? Well, you’ll need either two different concealers–sheer and full–or you’ll have to apply the same concealer in two different ways. Again, a heavier consistency is best for disguising blemishes, but blending out the surrounding area with a sheerer formula (i.e. a moisturizer blend) will ensure that the treated area doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb on your face. And like foundation, you’ll also want to seal in your coverage with a setting powder or spray.

If you have no idea where to start your concealer search, start with this list of makeup-artist approved brands.

Foolproof Makeup Artist Tips for Rocking Red Makeup

There is nothing subtle about the color red. And if you’re going to wear it on your face, you’d better come correct. There are a few ways to incorporate the classic red lipstick and more into your makeup slay, but as always, you want to make sure it enhances your natural beauty instead of becoming a not-so-flattering distraction.

Ahead, a few makeup artists with plenty of experience share the tricks you should keep in mind before rocking the color of love this Valentine’s Day and beyond.

Finding the Perfect Red Lipstick

It’s inevitable that you may consider rocking a red lippie on Valentine’s Day … or any other day for that matter. Wearing red lipstick doesn’t necessarily require a special occasion. There are more than enough options out there, but the key to finding a shade that works for you is knowing your skin’s undertones. We’ve got an expansive guide for discovering yours here, but according to Kirin Bhatty and Lisa Aharon celebrity makeup artists at Starworks Artists, the quick and easy answers are:

  • Blue-based reds for fair skin with cool undertones, like Laura Mercier Velour Lovers Lip Colour in Addiction
  • Pink reds for medium-fair skin, like Hourglass Confession Ultra High Intensity Lipstick in I Live For
STYLECASTER | Red Makeup Tips | Hourglass High Intensity Lipstick


  • Orange reds or classic brick red for tanned fair skin, like Laura Mercier Velour Extreme Matte Lipstick in Fire
  • Orange reds for fair-medium brown skin, like CHANEL Rouge Allure Lipstick in Insaisissable
  • Berry reds and orange reds for dark brown skin, like Chantecaille Matte Chic Lipstick in Dovima

Alternatively, New York–based makeup artist Lori Hamlin Penske says you can also start with a sheer lip color or stain when you’re not looking for something too intense.

“To apply, pick a shade you like and apply it to the tip of your middle finger,” she says. “Pucker your lips, then press color into the lip. Using your fingers allows the product to smudge perfectly. This gives the look of a ‘Kool-Aid’– or cherry-stained lip.” You should also be sure to treat the lips prior to application by exfoliating and applying a balm, like Inika Certified Organic Lip Balm, so the color will go on smoothly and evenly.

Is Red Blush Wearable?

When it comes to blush, pink is certainly the more popular color. But don’t sleep on red, either! Bhatty says that “all skin tones can wear a red blush. It’s more about finding your undertone and also identifying the intensity of the blush you want.” Aharon adds that red looks especially flattering on dark brown skin tones.

What really matters is how you apply it. According to Penske, face shape and age make a big difference, since we tend to have a more natural flush tone that requires less help when we’re younger. However, once our skin does start to change, we may feel the need to add more color. In that case, “apply blush just behind the apple of the cheek and blend upward and back.”

If you’re low on time, you can also use your lip color as a blush by lightly distributing along the cheeks. No matter what you do, remember to blend, blend, blend!

Making Red Shadow Pop

There’s no in between with red eyeshadow. Regardless of how much you apply, heads are definitely going to turn, based on the richness of it alone. If you want to create a lighter, more subtle flush of color, Bhatty says to use a fluffy brush “so that not too much color is deposited, leaving you room to build your look.”

When you’re looking for a more intense finish, Aharon suggests pressing it on with your finger or a medium-dense shadow brush. “Start near the lash line and blend upward and outward until you reach the crease,” she says. And if you really want that red to pop and be its most vibrant, don’t be afraid to layer cream and powder shadows together.

“Using a lid primer and also a cream-based product underneath the shadow will help intensify the color,” says Bhatty. And if you run out of shadow, Penske says you “can also apply it with a wet brush or mix it with Vaseline for a vibrant gloss.”

11 Expert Answers to Randomly Chosen Beauty Questions

One of the more challenging parts of being a beauty editor is constantly having to remind friends and readers that I am not a blogger, vlogger, or makeup artist. Sure, I can make recommendations, relay advice from the experts, and help you apply your foundation, but I’m not a walking beauty dictionary and can’t answer every question under the sun.

However, there is a core set of random but all-too-common conundrums that need addressing, like knowing whether to apply your concealer before or after foundation and if there’s a proper way put mascara on your bottom lashes. Ahead, Mary Wiles, a London and New York–based makeup artist whose celebrity clientele includes Saoirse Ronan, Brie Larson, and Naomi Watts, and Shannon Pezzetta, celebrity makeup artist at Starworks Artists, offer quick-fire answers to 11 of them.

How do I apply mascara to my lower lashes?

Watts prefers to use a small square flat brush and apply close to the lash line to “avoid looking feathery and smudging.” Alternatively, Pezzeta likes to “use a tiny brush, add mascara to the end of the lash with the tip of the wand and use back-and-forth strokes at the roots.” Both methods work; it’s just a matter of preference … and the steadiness of your hand.

If I only have two minutes to apply my makeup, what should I do? 

“You should curl lashes and then apply mascara, and then a BB Cream,” says Watts. “I like INIKA BB Cream, followed by a highlighter, and then finish with a time-saving dual-purpose tint, like INIKA Lip and Cheek Cream, that looks great on both lips and cheeks.”

STYLECASTER | Random Beauty Questions | Inika BB Cream


And according to Pezzetta, you can also apply a quick layer of mascara, along with a natural-looking cream blush.

What color should my under-eye concealer be?

Both artists agree that concealer should be one shade lighter than your foundation. Watts adds, “Apply with fingertips, patting into the skin to blend in. Your foundation should match your skin shade and tone.”

How do I keep my eyeliner from smearing?

Both artists also agree that a water-resistant liner is the smartest way to avoid smudging and creasing.

Should I always apply my lip line before lip color?

Although she doesn’t always use it, Watts says that lip liner should always be applied first since it serves as a good base for lipstick and can prevent bleeding.

Which comes first: foundation or concealer?

The answer is unanimous: Foundation first, ladies.

Is it better to apply makeup with your hands or a tool (like a brush or Beautyblender)? 

“I use both. It’s personal preference. Hands are going to soften and warm product more, which can help blend,” says Watts.

STYLECASTER | Random Beauty Questions | Beautyblender


Is makeup primer actually necessary?

While Watts deems it necessary since it “creates a good base and keeps makeup in place longer,” Pezzetta thinks it can also depend on the person’s skin. For instance, she prefers to use it on skin with larger pores.

How often should I wash my makeup tools?

It’s pretty difficult to escape germs, so Watts advises washing every time you use them. “I wash them in Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap—cuts through the oil,” she says.

STYLECASTER | Random Beauty Questions | Mrs. Meyer's Dish Soap

How do I prevent my eyeshadow from creasing?

Watts says to “use a makeup eye base or a fine face powder like INIKA to create a smooth oil-free surface.” And according to Pezzetta, you can also utilize a lid primer, like this one from Urban Decay.

What’s the difference between setting spray and setting powder?

Both versions hold makeup in place, but what differentiates them is the finish. “Setting spray gives more of a glow, and powder is matte,” says Pezzetta.