The answer to this question varies depending on who you’re asking, but Beyoncé’s makeup artist, Sir John, spearheaded the trend in a video with Allure where he revealed his makeup vision for some of Bey’s most unforgettable music videos. When unpacking the look he was going for in “Formation” he explained this new makeup technique: “what we like to call this is a ‘boy beat.’ All it was is giving the eyes a shape, giving the cheeks a shape. I gave a lot of contouring to the sides of the face. You see how much chiseling is happening here? That’s on purpose. I was really looking to just capture her essence and give her tons of structure to the face.”
Sir John’s minimalistic approach inspired YouTuber Sarah Cheung to post a makeup tutorial called “The Boy Beat” where she broke down her take on the no-makeup makeup look. She defined the boy beat as, “accentuating features that we usually would consider flaws, like rosacea, acne, dark circles, while still making it work and adding a lot of structure. It’s kind of a reversal of the Instagram perfect skin look.”
Since Cheung shared “The Boy Beat”, a number of YouTubers have followed in her footsteps in showcasing their interpretation of the trend. Some of these videos are similar to Cheung and keep the number of makeup products to a minimum while others incorporate full coverage foundation, mascara and lip products into the minimalistic look.
Overall the “boy beat” seems to be a twist on the classic no makeup-makeup look. To recreate this look I would focus on the skin, making sure it is even and covering any blemishes with a light to medium coverage foundation. I would skip concealer under the eyes and leave the brows fairly natural, adding a bit of thickness with a brow pencil and brushing the hairs up with brow gel to add some unruliness. Finishing the look, I would apply a natural blush and contour color, one coat of mascara, and chapstick.