During a mid-day session at Saturday’s Beautycon Festival Los Angeles, former Vogue editor, Sarah Brown, center, moderated a fireside chat with supermodel, Adriana Lima, and international makeup star, Sir John. The trio serve as judges on Lifetime’s upcoming reality competition, American Beauty Star, also hosted by Lima. Speaking about her professional influences, Brown cited Anna Wintour and Jean Godfrey June as her mentors, describing June as “my first boss, brilliant writer, my most important mentor to this day, one of the best people I know.” Brown also noted that when she began in beauty, during the 1990s, it was without a beauty influence. Why? Because at the time, nobody actually looked like her. This gave Brown the opportunity to develop her personal style and look. Today she admires unique beauties such as, Tilda Swinton and Cate Blanchett.
Sir John’s mentors have included superstars, Pat McGrath and Charlotte Tilbury, for whom he started working as an assistant. Speaking to aspiring makeup artists in the audience, he shared, “if you want a career in beauty, you can’t lead until you effectively follow.” Translation: be an intern, be an assistant, and learn on the job. Calling today’s youth the “we don’t want to to learn, we just want to be a star” generation, he shared some of his earlier credits, which including working at the MAC Cosmetics counter and doing makeup in a strip club (while still working at Vogue) to make ends meet. “Don’t be afraid of assisting, don’t be afraid of learning,” he emphasized.
Brown also noted that when Lima began her modeling career, she, too, looked like no one else. While she did have beauty influences, she quickly embraced her singularity. “Everyone is unique. You just have to embrace that uniqueness,” she urged. Lima is the first to acknowledge that she is not perfect. “I am just myself. I get out there, I have fun,” but, most importantly, “I love what I do, I love being here.”