Beyonce’s Longtime Makeup Artist on the Industry, Her Influences, and Queen Bey

Augusta Falletta
beyonce makeup

Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Nothing gets us more excited than experimenting with makeup, and while we may be constantly inundated with images from the red carpet and the runway, the people who create the looks that inspire us are who we find really interesting. Makeup artists are forever behind-the-scenes, and being able to pick the brain of a seasoned artist is one of our favorite things to do.

Francesca Tolot, a legendary makeup artist who’s been an industry heavy-hitter for more than 20 years, recently made the decision to step out from behind-the-scenes to create her first book, One Woman 100 Faces (available September 11). The book, shot by Tolot’s husband and noted photographer Alberto Tolot, immortalizes Tolot’s creative work, showing model Mitzi Martin wearing 100 different creative makeup looks.  

Even if the name Francesca Tolot doesn’t ring a bell, you surely know this famed artist’s client list, including Beyonce, Madonna, and Jennifer Lopez, among countless others. We recently had a chance to catch up with Tolot, at which point we discussed her favorite looks, how the industry has changed in the past 20 years, and of course, Beyonce. Read on!

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Beauty High: How has the industry changed from the beginning of your career until now?
Francesca Tolot: I feel like there are so many more makeup artists now. The competition for those starting out in this industry is very tough.

What are some of your biggest influences when it comes to creating looks for your clients?
The wardrobe really plays a large part in my inspiration, as well as collaborating with the photographer or director in regards to the mood, environment, and lighting.

What was the best career advice you’ve ever received?
I’ve actually never gotten any advice geared towards my career, I learned from my own experiences and grew from that.

You’ve worked with Beyoncé for a long time and you’ve created so many looks with her. When creating a new look, what’s the process like? Do you collaborate?
A makeup artist’s work is based on team collaboration. We all bring individual creativity to set but every element needs to coincide with the overall direction the photographer/director has in mind.

What have been some of your favorite red carpet looks you’ve created?
The previous two Grammys [for Beyonce]! Completely opposite looks but both have been my favorite.

For more information on Tolot’s new book, visit Amazon.com!

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