Lizzo’s Makeup Artist Gave Us the Best Tip for Cloud Skin That Stays Put on Stage

Lizzo’s Makeup Artist Gave Us the Best Tip for Cloud Skin That Stays Put on Stage

Lizzo wearing silver eyeshadow


Ever since Euphoria went off the air, I’ve been missing that weekly hit of colorful, bright beauty inspo. That is until Lizzo set off on her “The 2pecial World Tour,” where we’ve been regularly treated to close-up photos of her ever-changing beauty looks. These looks—which run the gamut yet somehow feel totally cohesive—are the handiwork of her long-time makeup artist, Alexx Mayo, who partnered with Clinique for the tour.

Flipping through Mayo's Instagram—where he graciously catalogs each show—provides all the makeup ideas you could possibly need, from hot purple wings to gunmetal gems. "I feel like I am very fortunate as a makeup artist to have a client that just really trusts me with her look and really allows me to experiment and play," Mayo tells Byrdie. "I always say that we love to play with every crayon in the crayon box. It's really great that she allows me to be an artist and to be creative."

As Lizzo's tour embarks on its European leg, we caught up with Mayo to chat about his inspiration, tips and tricks, and his must-have products.

Lizzo's tour makeup looks


The Tour Inspiration

"It's interesting because I actually didn't consciously think about telling a [continuous] story with the makeup. But I did notice that this leg around, I felt like we had this sort of futuristic, intergalactic feel. That wasn't something that really was talked about; it was just the direction that came to me. When I work, I like to let the colors and makeup speak for itself.

On Staying Inspired

"I think being able to take time for yourself [and] exploring… one of my favorite things to do in each city is going to a garden or a local park to envelop myself in nature. I get a lot of inspiration from looking at interesting color combinations that naturally exist in the world, whether it be flowers or art in museums.

"Really taking time for yourself, and looking after your own body and your own mind, having that mental clarity — that allows you to think quickly on your toes. I never thought I would ever visit half of the places that I've been to, so I'm taking full advantage of that."

Lizzo wearing red gem makeup

Courtesy of Clinique

The Base For Each Look

“I was actually inside of a Boots store in London, and I started playing with the Clinique Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation ($44). I was so fascinated by the texture of it, the coverage, and also knowing that it’s skincare as well as makeup. That has truly been a staple for every look that I’ve done. The way that it performs, how it lasts on stage, and how it still feels very lightweight. And [it also helps improve the skin], which is incredible for a foundation. You don’t really see a high-end performance foundation [that can] hold up for the stage and actually offer skin benefits. So that’s definitely my cannot-live-without.

“The Even Better All Over Concealers ($29), I love those—I use those to highlight and contour the face, whether it be for brightening or correcting. As long as your base really has that flawless finish to it. I think that you can rock anything. So those are my definite must-haves.”

Alexx Mayo's Clinique makeup

Courtesy of Clinique

How He Gets a Soft-Matte (But Not Flat) Foundation Look

"It really comes down to the texture of the foundation. I keep saying this about the [Clinique] foundation because I love it so much. It's really a dream to work with—a little bit goes a very long way. I think that's something that you really want to look for [when doing a soft matte finish] on the skin. And also using more of a fluffy brush! Sometimes I'll use a blush brush or something that has a little bit more of a fluffiness to it and really airbrush the foundation into the skin. I think that that really makes a big difference. And building as you go, I like to start in more of a sheer layer and add on top if I need more."

How He Makes Bright Eyeshadow Pop on Stage

“I think that the most important thing is having a good base for your eyeshadows. So again, I love using the All Over Concealer as a multi-use product and applying that all over as the base. That way, you neutralize any sort of skin tone or discoloration on your lid, and you’re getting that true color—no matter what you use. Also, I love using the Quickliner pencils from Clinique as a base. So using something creamy allows any sort of shimmer colors to really pop and stand out. So whether I’m using a brown for something more natural or using black, I think that’s also very helpful in creating those bold stage looks. When you’re under a spotlight, things can kind of vanish. So having something like the quick liner as a background really helps make them stand out.”

Lizzo wearing black glitter eyeliner


On Glitter

"I think that a lot of people can get intimidated by glitter. And I think that it's such a fun look. Everybody loves something sparkly. When you see it around your eyes, it's just something that anybody can wear at any age. Start off small, and then maybe add as you go. It's always easier to add more than to take away. But have fun with it!"

On Makeup Experimentation

"A lot of the comments I receive [are], 'I love this look, but I could never pull that off,' or 'I don't think that would work on me.' And the truth is, anybody can wear anything. If you're attracted to a color… just like we choose our wardrobe, every day we choose what we wear, and we don't necessarily wear the same color every day. I think that it's really the idea of expressing yourself.

"And I think that no matter what your eye shape is, or what your makeup skill level is, I think there are always ways to incorporate color and to incorporate texture. I think again, start off small. I always say even just by switching your eyeliner color.

"At the end of the day, it's just makeup. It's going to wash off. So, it's nothing permanent. I always encourage people to play: Just go in your bathroom, play around, and see what happens. And you might surprise yourself. Nine times out of 10, you'll realize, 'Oh, hey, this actually looks good.' Open up your mind to the idea of color—we use neutral palettes every single day. But there's so many beautiful colors and textures out there that you would be doing yourself an injustice if you didn't play."

Lizzo wearing brown eyeshadow and red lisptick

Courtesy of Clinique

His Favorite Tour Look (So Far)

“Something that stands out in my head right now is the Phoenix concert, where she had this sort of bright cinnamon-colored hair. I think that it’s interesting because, you know, it was more of a neutral look, but I think it was the overall look with the hair, that color combination. I know that we used the All About Shadow palette ($36) in Teddy Bear.

Using something neutral but playing with the shape really allowed her eyes to look really big, bold, and expressive. Paired with the lip, which is more of that burgundy tone, it felt very timeless, but it also felt very new at the same time. I had a lot of fun with that. And I think that show, specifically seeing her do the Tina [Turner] tribute, was so incredible and so impactful. I have a special memory for that look, definitely.”

The Trends He’s Loving

"I think that trends are something that I acknowledge but don't necessarily follow. But something that I've been seeing—and maybe we might have something to do with—I've noticed a little bit more of that sort of '90s matte skin coming back. I think that people are looking for a little bit more polish and something that also lasts a little bit longer. So seeing that matte skin trend and, I think that that's something we're gonna definitely see more of, which I'm excited for.

"And just seeing more color, I'm just excited to see people playing a little bit more, but I think that we're gonna get to a point where we're going to have more of that in our makeup wardrobe for everyone. So hopefully, that continues to grow."

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