The saying goes, "Behind every man is a great woman."
Well, the reverse can also true: Behind Beyoncé, the greatest artist of our time, stands a team hundreds strong.
Most recently, Sir John's been beautifying Queen Bey on her Formation World Tour. He even crafted the already-iconic looks she wore throughout Lemonade, her visual album that dropped earlier this summer.
There, he talked about his inspiration, his career and, of course, where he got the idea for Beyoncé's Lemonade beauty reinvention.
Sir John said the inspiration behind the look was artist Sara Golish, a favorite of his. Her Moon Dust series, which she calls "afro futurism," feature elegant black women with pronounced cheekbones and makeup that's almost sci-fi.
B. wanted me to bring references. Usually… you storyboard with illustrations, like photos from the '70s or photos from the '20s or Bianca Jagger. But no, I brought in paintings. So she was just like [makes a quizzical expression] for a second, then she was like, 'Oh.' It's not even about the makeup, it's about the mood.
Gone are the oversize lashes and the dramatic makeup.
Instead, Beyoncé wears makeup that looks scarily close to natural, but that's what the emotional journey of Lemonade called for.
Sir John said,
As a makeup artist, when you have a celebrity like that, they want you to do beautiful pop color and beautiful lashes. But I was like, this is not that kind of moment. It's a cooling down for her, she's growing up. A lash and that whole girly persona, you feel like it'd hurt the music.
So, instead of seeing "Formation" as his time to shine, Sir John — who says he finds almost all his inspiration via Instagram — went subtle. It's an homage to the bold, confident women in Golish's paintings.
People are not going to go scream and run and buy the lipstick like they did with the last album... She wanted every woman listening to identify with the stuff that she was going through. I was honestly just an accessory in the journey.