Beyoncé’s Makeup Artist: From Helmut Newton To ‘Drunk In Love’

ITG: Any other favorite products to use on Beyoncé?

Francesca Tolot: One that I find myself using on her a lot is MAC In Extreme Dimension Mascara. To me, it's the best mascara right now, so that’s kind of a constant. My other favorite mascara is L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes. Definitely that one. Let’s see… Eyelashes. Whenever I use eyelashes—not only on Beyoncé—I get them at the drugstore. I think they’re Ardell. But I don’t use lashes a lot on Beyoncé anymore. Except for that look in the "Blow" video, when we went for a really ‘70s look [30]. But we stopped using lashes quite a few years ago. At one point I brought up the fact that I feel that false eyelashes are dated, unless you're going for the retro look. So I talked to her about that, and she totally agreed.

ITG: Beyoncé's makeup artist...How does one land a job like this?

Francesca Tolot: We met on the "Crazy In Love" set back in 2003 [1-3]. She was very nice; she's a very approachable and warm person. We hit it off from the beginning. Right away I felt very comfortable, and very appreciated, too, because she loved everything we did. The makeup is barely there for some of the shots; that was a new look for her. But then we transitioned to a very beautiful, glamorous, strong look.

ITG: Before we move on, I should know what Beyoncé's no-makeup look actually consists of.

FT: It’s so easy. She is beautiful, first of all, so even if we have to do a bare look —like for "If I Were A Boy"—there was really practically no makeup there [11]. For that, I use moisturizer and maybe a little bit of concealer and lip balm. I like Amazing Concealer. It’s very intense, very rich. It really covers a big problem if you need it to, and I like that. Otherwise, I really love La Mer The Radiant Concealer. It’s nice—enough coverage, but it’s very moisturizing and it doesn’t dry or crease. Believe it or not, one of the hardest looks to do was for Cadillac Records when she looked so distressed [10]. Can you imagine—because, you know how beautiful she is—to make her look like that? Somebody with perfect skin, beautiful almond-shaped eyes, very luminous and happy and full of joy—to make her look so bad? Also, it’s not like she was supposed to have no makeup, no. She was supposed to have some makeup on, because in the scene she got drunk and drugged out and overdosed the night before. I don’t know how I did it; it was very, very hard to make her look like that. But you know what? I think she looked so cute. It’s like you wanna grab and hug her and say, 'It’s OK baby!' [Laughs]

ITG: And suddenly you're doing music videos. I wonder if you can explain the relationship between music videos and baby oil.

FT: In the "1+1" video in particular—that’s an extreme use of baby oil [17]. Again, no makeup on the skin because it would be gone in two seconds. But the ultimate use of baby oil, yes. After you shoot, you just wipe it off with a towel and your skin is so nice and smooth and soft, so it’s actually really good, you know? And sometimes I mix in some shimmer to the oil or moisturizer. I also like the Nars Body Glow. But do you know this product RCK Luminous Body Glow? It’s a body shimmer that comes in three colors, and it dries, so it doesn’t bleed into the clothes. But the "Single Ladies" video—I’ll never forget that day—it was the hottest day in New York and the studio's air conditioning broke down [13]. So as you can imagine, dancing in the heat like that, the glow was all natural. [Laughs] It was tough for the girls, but they did it.

rest of the interview @ the src