We Got Sir John to Spill His Skin Care Secrets
With mirrored aviators and bags packed for a quick stop in Grenada—before heading out on this summer’s most talked about concert tours—Sir John Barnett, L’Oreal Paris’ Celebrity Makeup Artist, walked in, all smiles, to sit down with us and talk about one of his favorite topics—and ours—skin care. Despite working on some of the biggest names in the business, Sir John has both feet planted firmly on the ground. It’s no wonder the who’s who of Hollywood—and their moms!—have him on speed dial. And while we may not be on speed dial status yet, we did get this self-proclaimed “skin care freak” to spill a few of his go-to beauty secrets during our chat. From what a celebrity makeup artist views as the best foundation for makeup to why he’s so happy he’s in the game right now, keep reading.
Why He Says It Takes a Bit of Work To Wake Up Like This
Think you don’t have anything in common with celebrities? Think again. Even the most flawless women have “moments,” as he calls them. “Even if you are a supermodel or a celebrity or a mega-star, everyone goes in and out of a good time when it comes to skin,” he says. “No one wakes up flawless…you have to put in a little bit of work to wake up like this.” What kind of work you ask? It starts with a healthy skin lifestyle.
“Before [products], it’s about your lifestyle, including your diet,” Sir John tells us. His tips for a clear skin diet include juicing and munching on kale and carrots, and lots of colorful veggies, especially ones with an orange or yellow consistency. “If you are conscious of your appearance, if you want to make sure that you put your best face forward, you’re going to make sure you have the best plate in front of you as well.”
Even if you are a supermodel or a celebrity or a mega star, everyone goes in and out of a good time when it comes to skin. No one wakes up flawless…you have to put in a little bit of work to wake up like this.
“It’s all about watching what you eat and making sure that you stay hydrated, making sure you elevate your heart rate for 30 minutes a day. Go to the gym, do a run, if you don’t have time to do a full workout, make sure you go for a brisk walk, because if you elevate your heart rate it’s going to [help you achieve] glowing skin. You want to make sure that you can keep the blood pumping. So that’s way before you reach for an eye cream or a moisturizer. I always preach these habits to my girls.”
Back to those “moments” that plague everyone—regardless of your celebrity status, or complete lack thereof. Sir John says that when it comes to all of his clients, there is one primary skin concern they all share: dark circles. “Dark circles are the number one thing these girls want to get rid of,” he says. “I say juice kale. Kale is great because it has vitamin K.” Another tip? Eye creams and a healthy amount of H2O. “Water is great because our bodies are made of so much of it.“
Why He Wants You to Clean Your Smartphone…Like, Right Now
When it comes to advice he gives to his clients on how to best take care of their skin—because let’s be honest, the best foundation for makeup is an already flawless complexion—Sir John is big on staying away from bad habits that can add germs to your beauty routine. His recommendations? Don’t touch your face and, for the love of all things skin care, clean your phone! “Your phone is the nastiest thing ever,” he says. “And we think, ‘Why do I need to clean my phone it’s just my face.’ or, ‘Why do I need to change my makeup puff because it’s just my skin?’ But you know, if you had a breakout, if you have super oily skin, or if you have dust blow up from traffic onto your face, that goes onto your puff that you’re putting on clean, fresh skin.” Another no-no, ladies? Popping pimples will probably just make things worse. So, hands off!
Why He Starts Every—or Almost Every—Appointment With a Facial
When he has time, Sir John begins every makeup application with a facial and he recommends trying this at home as well. “When you’re on the phone, when you’re watching TV, give yourself a mini-facial, it just takes 15 minutes,” he says. “Wherever I go, I like to really get in there with a clay mask to decongest pores.” Another quick skin care treatment he likes to use is a glycolic peel, but warns to always follow up with SPF when you use acids on your skin. “When you work with chemicals in that way, make sure that you’re extremely protective of your skin, use an SPF because you are susceptible, a lot more, to sun damage. And I don’t ever want to be the reason my girl has a sunburn.”
Why He’s (Personally) Serious About Skin Care
Outside of having a healthy skin lifestyle—eating well and exercising—Sir John is pretty serious about products. “I’m like a skin care freak,” he says. “One thing that’s cool about girls is that if you guys have a pimple or if you have dark circles, you can cover it. I have to own it. I have to own it and just pretend it’s not there. So I use eye creams, I take care of my skin.”
Why He Thinks You Need to Switch Up Your Moisturizer
“It’s not just about knowing when to moisturize. It’s also about knowing when not to moisturize, and when to change your moisturizer,” he says. “Like right now, everyone should be changing their moisturizer. You should go from something that’s really emollient and heavier, to something more water-based and lighter-formulated. Look for formulas with hyaluronic acids, which helps draw in moisture.This is also the time to use your peels and your exfoliators.”
Why He Loves Social Media
“You know what’s so cool about this age in society? The social generation? Everyone is so well-informed. Even with makeup, there’s no beginner anymore. Everyone’s at a medium level to advanced, so we can just jump right into the conversation with tricks and what to do. Now, everyone’s an editor, everyone’s a producer at a network, and [social media] is your network. I love the exploration, there’s no such thing as bad makeup, because you tried. Any girl who tries, she’s always going to get an A. That’s my opinion. I don’t like when someone won’t even get into the game. Get into the game. Get into the conversation. What’s so cool about the society we have now, is that there’s an instant sort of focus group. There’s so much inspiration that’s just happening. I’m just happy to be here now. Not happy to be here 15 years ago, not 20 years from now… right now.”
What’s so cool about the society we have now, is that there’s an instant sort of focus group. There’s so much inspiration that’s just happening. I’m just happy to be here now. Not happy to be here 15 years ago, not 20 years from now… right now.
Why He’s Excited for Beauty 2.0
“I can’t wait for the 2.0 [of contouring], the evolution, the softer side. Because we’re going to look back at this and laugh. There’s such a huge huge contrast, if you think about it. I mean polarizing opposite ends where editorially, it’s nothing, and then you go on Instagram and there’s the ‘insta makeup’ that you can cut it with a knife. So, I feel like in the next evolution, it’s going to tone down. Like right now, it’s trial and error. It’s almost like all these girls remind me of when you’re like 8 and you’re playing with your mom’s makeup, but, when you’re 15, it’s going to be a little more sophisticated and when you’re 20 (he snaps) you got it.” When it comes to the future of skin care, Sir John is excited about makeup with built in skin care. “That’s the future,” he says. “That’s the 2.0.”