Billy Be Good
Posted On Oct 17, 2016
Get the inside scoop from brilliant makeup artist Billy B, who has created jaw-dropping beauty for the biggest names in Hollywood.
By Betsey McLain
Billy B’s list of glittering clients reads like an encyclopedia of Top 40 divas—Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Pink, and Britney Spears, just to name a few. Think of any major ’90s pop video and chances are the fabulous Mister B was behind the beauty. It’s not just the musically inclined who are clamoring for his creativity, either—from red-carpet looks to high-fashion editorials, Scarlett Johansson, Sharon Stone, Sandra Bullock, and Cindy Crawford have enlisted his brilliant brushstrokes.
A resume of this caliber is rare for someone with zero professional training, but Billy B is a bona fide makeup superstar. Hailing from Mississippi with no experience, Billy B cut his teeth at the Macy’s makeup counter in Manhattan’s Herald Square. “As much as I had no idea what I was doing, I had the opportunity to discover my talent there and people started noticing,” he says.
Through some fateful chance meetings—like the time when a Macy’s counter client gave a ring to Elite Modeling Management on his behalf—Billy began making a name for himself. Early on, he dolled up Mariah Carey’s first album cover—a gig that put him on the music and celebrity fast track. Years later, he took note of Lady Gaga’s myriad talents and fast-rising star and helped present her to the world, earning him even more name recognition. “I did everything—from The Fame Monster cover and the “Born This Way” video, to the pearls on her face for the amfAR gala,” Billy recalls. “It was an amazing opportunity, and the most high-profile project I’ve ever worked on.”
After years of hard work in the celebrity sector, Billy was ready for a new adventure. He has since become the consulting makeup artist for superbrand L’Oréal Paris. He’s also created his own line of sought-after makeup brushes and tools. “I love the art of transformation,“ he says. “Makeup is supposed to be fun. That’s why it’s not permanent. Rules are made to be broken. I was never deterred because someone said, ‘That way is wrong.’ I taught myself. It’s whatever works!”
Get the Look
Start with an all-in-one moisturizer, primer, and smoother to minimize the look of
lines, wrinkles, and pores while smoothing skin and creating a soft, matte finish. Curl the lashes and apply black mascara, then apply a blush with a hint of sheen high on the cheekbone, all the way to the corner of the eye. The sheen reflects light and looks fresh and dewy, while masking any texture around the eyes. Finish with a nude or clear lip gloss.
L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Miracle Blur
“Sharon has great skin and I don’t ever like to cover it up. So, I will apply RevitaLift Miracle Blur and then spot-conceal where it’s needed.” ($25, lorealparisusa.com)
L’Oréal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara in Blackest Black; Billy B Beauty Eyelash Curler
“Place curler near the lash base. Close firmly but not hard. Repeat out to the end of the lash.” ($9, lorealparisusa.com; $15; beautylish.com)
YSL Gloss Volupte in Pure
“Keep lips simple with a clear gloss. Most women search a lifetime for the perfect nude lip color and it’s right under their nose. Clear gloss reflects light, making lips appear fuller.”