For just one day, myself and Marie Claire’s beauty editor, Ncumisa Makhonjwa, got to spend the day with world-renowned beauty and fashion duo Sir John and Ty Hunter. Between them, this style duo has glammed up Beyoncé as well as our favourite music and small screen stars Solange Knowles, Viola Davis, Kim Kardashian West, Michelle Williams, Kelly Rowland, Serena Williams, Joan Smalls and Karlie Kloss for some of the most prestigious red carpets and events in the world.
You’re probably wondering how a mere mortal like myself got to rub shoulders, chat and take selfies and boomerangs with people who style Queen Bey. Well, this was a creative collaboration with Woolworths that brought MUA Sir John and stylist Ty Hunter together again for the first time since the already iconic #Beychella — Beyoncé’s Coachella performance that blew up every social media platform in April and snatched all our edges.
The Woolworths event was a decidedly star-studded affair, as celebrities, fashion enthusiasts, bloggers and fashion/beauty influencers all mingled with VIP customers, enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from the stylist and make-up artist who form part of Beyoncé’s personal Glam Squad. Aside from their charisma, wit and good looks, these two gentlemen have a well of wisdom that they shared with us on beauty, fashion and overall wellbeing. These were the best quotes:
2018 trends worth investing in
‘Faux fur is a must-have 2018 trend. Ankle boots or thigh-high boots in a brown tone. A leather coat that goes with everything (even a leather trench coat will do).’
On his personal image
I asked Ty Hunter if he has any fashion faux pas he regrets deeply, and he calmly told me there’s no such thing in his books.
‘I’m so confident in what I wear. The world might be like, ‘What are you wearing?’. But it doesn’t matter because I feel confident. I like to go against the grain, so whatever’s hot at the moment, I’m going the opposite way. I like timeless pictures, so I like to not take fashion trends so seriously.’
The foundation of every good outfit is good underwear. ‘Undergarments are very important. Once you get the undergarments right, it makes the lines and silhouettes of your clothes look much better.’
When it comes to investing in one particular piece, Ty advises that denim be that investment: ‘Denim is forever. It’s a timeless trend.’
The minute we met Ty Hunter, we could immediately tell he is humble with a good head on his shoulders – exactly what you would expect from someone who is often in Beyoncé’s company. And he and Sir John’s interaction with media and the masterclass audience was reminiscent of Bey’s graceful demeanour around fans. This positive aura made sense when he served chicken soup for the soul in conclusion to his presentation:
‘Stop comparing yourself to other people. Take a social-media break if you have to and just get to a place where you truly love who you are – if you have freckles, show your freckles. Be very transparent about loving yourself and when you get to that place, you can play around and have a good time. People will say you look great – it’s not your clothes, it’s how you truly feel on the inside. That’s how the Beyoncés and the Naomi Campbells do it – those women, in their mind, they are that girl. You are that girl. You just have to get to a place where you truly love yourself.’
Don’t follow people who don’t make you feel good about the space that you’re at in your life.
The man responsible for Beyoncé’s red carpet make-up looks, world tour performances, and that sweat-proof Beychella face undoubtedly has encyclopaedic knowledge about skincare and make-up, which he swiftly demonstrated on VIP customers. There were plenty of women in the room who were eager to quiz him on make-up best practices, from how long you should keep your mascara (it’s 90 days by the way) to advice on picking the best foundation. Of course, he dropped all the advice he can, but sometimes value can also be found in the simplest prescriptions.
This is what Sir John believes is the best initial approach to make-up:
‘A starting point when it comes to make-up is to have a strong sense of self. Know who you are. You need to know that what works for Kim K or Beyoncé may not work for [you]. But if you want to start anywhere, start with a statement lip. Have a strong feature that you accentuate and work everything else around that.’
Even when your job entails being in the presence of the world’s most praised artist, you need a little time out to disconnect:
‘What I tell people is to take your head out of what doesn’t make you feel good about yourself. Don’t follow people who don’t make you feel good about the space that you’re at in your life.’
And that’s how you do fashion, beauty and life almost the same way Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter does.