As a bit of a beauty junkie myself, when I found out about a programme on Lifetime TV over in the States - American Beauty Star - I got a bit excited. I got even more excited when I found out that Sir John, a.k.a the man behind Beyoncé's incredible make up looks, is a part of it. For those who have never heard of it, the basic premise is a group of beauty directors battling it out for a gig at Teen Vogue as well as a tasty $250,000 cash prize. But whilst the world is going beauty crazy, Sir John opened up about what's wrong with the beauty industry in a world of YouTube tutorials and heightened expectations when it comes to appearance.
As well as telling the show's contestants to 'make it hot', the L'Oréal Paris ambassador also actively encourages them to take a step back from the looks that are trending in the beauty world, by telling them to stay away from the 'cookie-cutter idea of what beauty is.'
Talking to USA Today, Sir John said: 'Everyone’s over-contouring over self-tanning. They’re just too inundated with someone else’s look that they lose their identity. I think everyone is so obsessed with one idea of what beauty is. Why are we following the same three people? The same contour kit and the same stack of lashes? It should be a bit more diverse.'
He's not wrong, with the likes of Kylie Cosmetics and KKW Cosmetics ruling the make up roost. In addition to his thoughts on the industry, he shared some advice that any make up lover could learn from. 'Be careful who you're following,' he said. 'Taste levels change. The blind are leading the blind at this point. Makeup artists: Don’t just follow other makeup artists. Don’t just follow YouTubers, don’t follow me.' What does he recommend instead? 'Go to a museum, look at a painter, look at an unorthodox view of how you can place blush on the cheek, a wash of colour on the forehead, translate it to skin, [as a] three-dimensional canvas. If you’re just following the people who are following the people, then you’re never going to have anything to contribute.'
As much as we have the freedom to use it however and whenever we want, cosmetics on a industrial scale is still a form of smoke and mirrors that perpetuate certain ideals of beauty. It's refreshing for someone at the top of the game (Beyoncé's MUA, no less) reminding us that beauty fads come and go, but the most important trend to follow is your own.
Founder and Editor of The Unedit