I have (more than once) wished I could be a fly on the wall of Sir John's bathroom. Okay, that sounds creepy. Perhaps I should clarify: I've wished I could be a fly on the marble-topped exterior of his vanity. Or his makeup chair. Or really, any safe surface in close proximity to where he preps his or his beautiful clients' skin. Can you blame me?
Not only is Sir John regarded as one of the top makeup artists in the industry, but he might also have the coolest A-list clientele—from Serena Williams and Karlie Kloss to Beyoncé and Joan Smalls. (I've also had the pleasure of meeting him in person, and he's impossibly poised and kind.) Anyway, my longtime dream recently came true when Who What Wear asked Sir John to take us inside his bathroom for a tour featuring all of his must-have beauty essentials—a fun, skincare-spun riff off our #WhoWhatWardrobes IGTV series. Not surprisingly, the eight-minute sneak peek into his treasure trove of fragrances and glowing skin elixirs did not disappoint.
Watch the footage for yourself just below, and keep scrolling for a product-by-product breakdown. Because yes, some of his quotes are too good not to see in print. (I too could fry an egg on my oily forehead, Sir John. I too…)
"I've been using this enzyme cleanser from Dr. Barbara Sturm. I like it because it's for darker skin tones, for people who have a bit of melanin. It's actually a powder that emulsifies with water, and it's not too harsh with chemicals. So this is a win."
"I'm loving this oil, and I've been using it for a while. I first discovered this when I was at the Qatar airport in the Middle East, and it's this Korean skincare brand called AHC. It has these beautiful gold flakes which just disappear into your skin and give you a beautiful, radiant complexion. The serum does the same thing. It's also very light-reflective, and as a guy who doesn't wear makeup, (special occasions only) this is really, really good for me."
"I love Tata Harper. She owns her own farm in Vermont, she grows all of her own ingredients, it's organic, and her products come in beautiful glass bottles. This is a mattifying moisturizer that works really well for me. I get so oily you could fry an egg on my forehead, so this is good for anyone who has a lot of shine."
"Another product I like to use from Tata Harper is the body oil. This body oil smells like the most organic… I can't even describe the scent. It's just so good. It leaves your body moisturized all day. I use this at night, and in the morning my body feels extremely soft and hydrated."
"But when I want to be sexier and when I want my body to really glow—like a high-watt, sexy South Beach situation—this right here. It photographs like a dream, looks great on campaigns, editorials. This is what I use for work a lot."
"When it comes to acne, I do have trouble skin at times. I've been using this U.F.O. Oil from Sunday Riley, and this is really good for me because it decongests my pores, it has black cumin seed oil amongst some other things, and it really gets in there to funnel out any dirt or debris you have in your pores. I use it at night. I don't use it around my eyes—only my face. Sometimes I'll even put a little on my back."
"I have an amazing facialist named Melanie Grant, who recommended this product from Chanel. It's really great for sensitive skin, for dry skin, or for anyone who needs a really calming moisturizer."
"I'm a huge, massive fan of rose everything—rose fragrance, rose lip balm—and Chantecaille has this pure rose-water spray. Now, mind you, I don't know if this necessarily gets rid of wrinkles or tightens my skin, but it makes me feel good. I spray this every day, everywhere I can just to envelop myself in the flower that I love most."
"Okay, so I just discovered this—Ren Clean Skincare's Overnight Glow Dark Spot Sleeping Cream. It's really great for uneven pigmentation, discoloration of the skin. You just apply it in the evening and then wash it off in the morning."
"Sometimes eye patches can be a dime a dozen, but these ones from Peter Thomas Roth are gold. When I get to a job, and I see my clients, the first thing I do is smack these babies on their eyes. Then, I'll go and make them a green juice or do something else while I let them marinate and work their magic. They're great for reducing swelling, and they can help reduce redness from broken capillaries."
"I want to talk about plumping. This is a hyaluronic acid moisturizer, and this really, really hydrates. It brings a lot of water to the skin and is a great prep for makeup. It's also really great for guys who shave. I travel with this everywhere."
"If I'm going out for the day and want to look more matte, I use this primer, just in the T-zone, almost as makeup even though it's completely invisible. What this does is it kind of resets my complexion, so if I take a photo or a selfie, it gives this nice blurring effect."
"This is one of my favorite products to use in the world. Whenever you're looking for a loose powder, make sure it's lightweight enough that it floats in the air when you blow on it. If it sinks down immediately, it's too heavy for your eye area."
"When it comes to fragrance, when it comes to the way you smell, the way I smell, I take it so seriously, guys—the utmost importance. This is one of my guilty pleasures, and I don't believe in any kind of sexual restrictions when it comes to fragrance. I think they're genderless. This is Sun Song by Louis Vuitton, and this is one of my jams. This reminds me of spring. It smells like a summer's day, you know."
"This is just one of the rose fragrances I have. I have like eight."
"This is the Ambre Nuit by Dior, and it smells so good. If you had some kind of way to smell this through the camera, I think that you just would be so intoxicated right now."