Calling all The Lion King lovers who happen to be makeup enthusiasts: Disney's classic film was reborn in makeup form. World-renowned makeup artist Sir John worked with Luminess Cosmetics to create a limited edition 8-piece capsule collection, and it's essentially what my makeup dreams are made of. The collaboration makes a lot of sense: Beyoncé is the voice of Nala in the forthcoming remake (in theaters July 17), and Sir John has been the mastermind behind her makeup for years.
From the packaging's intricate illustrations to the intentional shade ranges, each product pays homage to Africa. "There are no humans in the Lion King movie, so I was inspired by the landscape of Africa," Sir John told me in an interview. "In Johannesburg, I went on safaris and got to see what real soil looks like. And it doesn’t look brown, it’s so rich and red, which created these color stories in each of the products." From daytime neutrals to dense jewel tones, the tones span the spectrum and work for all women.
The man himself stopped by the Marie Claire offices and showcased what a full face of his collection looks like on me. Keep scrolling for a 10-minute makeup tutorial for women who consider time a luxury (*raises hand*).
Step 1: Sculpt Your Skin to Define and Accentuate Your Face
Sir John began by sculpting my forehead, cheekbones, and jawline with a fluffy brush using his Sculpting Palette ($42). The powder-based palette comes with six cool-toned shades inspired by the Sahara. I'm obsessed with how this palette accentuated my features, and made my entire face look three-dimensionally snatched.
“Sculpting is different from contouring," Sir John explained. "All of these colors have a cooler undertone, which gives your skin that depth of feel and allows your cheekbones and eye sockets to receive it. These shades are all super super-matte, void of any shimmer, so they really do sculpt. Using a brush when your skin is slightly wet from foundation is the best way to apply this."
Step 2: Highlight for a Lit-From-Within Glow
A smooth, finely-milled highlighter ($40) wins me over every time. This velvety formula is buildable, with a golden finish inspired by that unforgettable sunset scene in The Lion King. "I wanted to be sure the highlighter translated well on all skin tones," Sir John told me. "It doesn’t matter how fair or deep you are in complexion, there’s a spot on your cheekbones that this will work for. It’s so finely-milled, so there aren't any large particles that will create that chunky highlighter look, which is never the goal."
Step 3: Apply the Most Perfect Nude Lipstick
The perfect nude for deep skin tones does exist—you're looking at it right now. Many women of color share the same struggle when it comes to finding neutrals to complement deep complexions. This liquid lipstick "Trouble" ($24) paints my lips in a gorgeous wash of neutral, and dries down in seconds without sucking the life out of my lips. It's my match-made-in-heaven and has already traveled the world with me. “This is a ‘90s matte brown," Sir John described. "It's the perfect nude and looks so different on everyone. There’s lots of vitamin E and humectants in the formula so it’s hydrating."
Step 4: Apply the Same Lipstick On Your Cheeks and Eyes for a Monochromatic Moment
I'm never not in the back of an Uber doing my makeup. And when there's two minutes left until I reach my destination the last thing I want to do is search for blush and eyeshadow. Life hack: Use this lipstick as blush and eyeshadow. It creates uniformity and only requires your fingers—a win-win. Sir John applied this lipstick on my cheeks in tapping motions and swiped it onto my lids in literally one minute. The shades instantly enriched my skin with a warm glow. "These are all convertible colors," he explained. " You can also use the highlighters as eyeshadows, the sculpting palette as a daytime eyeshadow, and of course this lipstick as cream blush." This is what I call magic, baby.
To complete the collection Sir John created a blue-based red lipstick "Romantic Atmosphere" ($24) that'll make your pearly whites pop, an orange-based red lipstick "Lion's Mane" ($24) that'll make your skin look super-healthy, a creamy matte nude lipstick "Pounce" ($24) that works on all skin tones, a tinted balm "Hakuna Matata" ($24) to enhance your natural lip color, and a do-it-all eyeshadow palette "Can't Wait to Be Queen" ($42).
The Finished Look:
Touched by an angel.
Shop Sir John's The Lion King Collection
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Maya Allen is the former Digital Beauty Editor at MarieClaire.com where she covered makeup, skincare, haircare, wellness, you name it! She has a 15-step skincare routine, owns over 200 red lipsticks, and enjoys testing the latest and greatest in beauty. On most weekends, you can find her at her happy place, which is her makeup vanity. There, she’s usually blasting her speakers while singing along to lyrics at the top of her lungs, and making sure her highlighter is on point.
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