Confessions Of Beyoncé's Makeup Artist: From Crazy In Love To OTR II

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images.
Imagine being so close to Beyoncé that you could just reach out and touch her. Now imagine being able to do that and getting paid for it. That is Francesca Tolot's actual job.
Beauty-industry veteran Tolot is a celebrity and editorial makeup artist whose work you've seen on the cover of Vogue, in Atomic Blonde, and on the face of Beyoncé, in music videos like "Crazy In Love" and "Partition" — and, most recently, for the On The Run II tour.
It's been 15 years since Tolot began working with the star ("I've done every single music video since her first solo album," Tolot says), so it was only natural that she be in charge of Bey's makeup for all the video content and stripped-down tour-book photos for the Carters' joint performances. So, what's that like? We asked — and Tolot answered.
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We know Beyoncé is the ultimate boss. What was the creative direction like on set for the OTR II content?
"It was pretty loose — she really trusts me. We do have a connection and we kind of think the same way. She never gives me strong direction; it’s more about expressing her feelings and what she wants to portray and communicate through her look. From there it's a collaboration and that transfers into the hair and makeup. I feel very blessed that we do have such a connection that there's never a need for a long conversation or images from the internet [for inspiration]."
So, you two don't pull images from Pinterest or Instagram for inspiration?
"No, we just connect on that kind of level. It really requires minimal words and images to understand each other."
What inspiration did you use?
"We were in Jamaica, so the whole island flavour, spirit, and music really inspired these looks. It was that with a little bit of vintage added to it, but in a modern way."

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Did she have a specific look in mind?
"It was one of her desires to be really natural, raw, and herself. She wanted her hair and makeup to be minimal. She feels very good in her skin. She’s one of those people who can wear absolutely nothing and go out and be photographed."
Does she like to do that a lot?
"I did something similar for the 'If I Were A Boy' video. Throughout the years, she started liking natural makeup more and more, except for when the moment calls for something else. There's one scene in 'Crazy in Love' when she walks down the street in a tank top and jean shorts. The makeup was very minimal there. Then, of course, the rest was full-on glam."
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Did you use body makeup on her for the beach and bedroom shots?
"No, nothing. She didn't need it. At most, I used some baby oil in those beach photos for that shine you see. She has good skin. Unless she’s been rehearsing and has some bruises from dancing, I don't need to use body makeup on her. The biggest challenge was to keep the sand away from her body, but no, no body makeup."
Did you do Jay Z's makeup?
"He doesn’t use makeup. Some people do, but he does not wear makeup. At the most, I'll use eye drops on him, or, if he’s sweating, I'll blot his skin."
If you didn't put makeup on Beyoncé, what did you use?
"I used some moisturiser, maybe a stain on her lips, then nothing else. But this was just because it was right for some of the moments in the OTR visuals. Some other scenes, she was full glam. Thats the beauty of working with her: She can go from extreme glamour to absolutely nothing."
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