“She Really Does Wake Up Like This” and 7 Other Things We Learned From Beyoncé’s Makeup Artist
Face painter Francesca Tolot is Beyoncé’s go-to makeup artist—and has been since the Destiny’s Child days. She also counts Madonna, Diana Ross, and Elizabeth Taylor among her current and former clients. Helmut Newton, too, frequently called upon her services. NBD. The only time the pro has ever been starstruck was upon meeting Taylor on one of Newton’s shoots. “My mom adored her—she was her idol. She even dressed me like Cleopatra when I was little,” she said. “I took a Polaroid with [Taylor], and I never ask [clients] for a picture or autograph, but I had to do it so I could send it to my mom. To the day she died, she had that photo in her wallet.” I imagine many people’s parents today would feel the same way about Beyoncé. Here, Tolot reveals everything (well…almost everything) you ever wanted to know about the Queen:—Amber Kallor
Being a Member of the Carter Crew Is Like Working in the CIA: When asked how she kept the visual album under wraps, Tolot said, “The way I do it is I completely erase it from my mind. There are some things I don’t even tell my family, like when she was pregnant. I literally told no one, that way I’m sure if it goes out, it’s not me. It’s not that I don’t trust my family, I just don’t want to put the pressure on them to remember not to talk about it.” So essentially it’s like being an agent in the CIA? I quipped. “Exactly.”
Yoncé’s Tastes—Like Her Music—Have Evolved: Rewind to 2003 and you’ll see Tolot’s influence. “When I first met her [on the set of “Crazy in Love”], she was wearing a lot of makeup, as probably most people did around that time—especially in the music business. That was one thing I brought to her: no-makeup makeup, which made her look and feel good. She knows who she is—it was just a matter of presenting to her. She definitely bought into [the idea] immediately.”
You Have as Many Hours in a Day as Beyoncé: But you’ll never be Queen—even Tolot has never seen a celebrity with so much “drive.” When asked if Beyoncé ever sleeps while getting her hair and makeup done: “No, never. I’ve never seen that happen. She’s not one of those people that comes and falls asleep on set or in the makeup chair.”
Madge and Bey Have More Than Just Their Makeup Artist in Common: Tolot noted that both Beyoncé and Madonna run the show and don’t skimp on the details. “Madonna was always very much in charge in what the final look would be. She was very observant—she would remember if I did the liner one way and the next time I did it [differently]. She would know.”
She Gets Gorgeous on Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: As for the toughest place Tolot has ever had to primp Beyoncé: “On a bus on a windy street driving up a mountain—I get car sick. That was with Destiny’s Child when we were in Europe for some promotional tour.” And this coming from the woman who has applied mascara on a landing jet.
There’s More Than One Way to Get Her Glow: Shimmery bronzer or highlighter from MAC and NARS Blush in (what else?) Orgasm are the tools Tolot frequently employs to achieve Beyoncé’s luminous complexion. “Sometimes it’s just not using powder and leaving the sheen of the foundation,” she added. From the neck down, MAC body makeup, NARS Body Glow, and RCK Luminous Body Glow are all frequently on deck.
Queen Bey Is a Fearless Beauty Leader: “There isn’t anything she won’t try. She’s open to whatever it takes to achieve the idea and the result [she’s after]. As far as makeup goes, she’s not scared of anything.” As if I ever had any doubts.