This day one week ago, we were blessed with a true gift from the heavens: Beyonce’s September Vogue cover and article reveal. Praise be! The Queen has spoken! Many splashy cover articles can be impersonal, but this story was quite the opposite. It was Beyonce in her own words, sharing all her shining, inspiring glory and blessing us all with her growth, wisdom, and beauty.
“I am accepting of who I am,” says Beyonce to Clover Hope in the September issue of Vogue. “I will continue to explore every inch of my soul and every part of my artistry. I want to learn more, teach more, and live in full.”
Inspired, we summarize just a few of the glorious beauty and wellness takeaways from the as-told-to story.
Last year, Beyonce and Jay-Z welcomed twins Rumi and Sir. In a moment of bold honesty, she talked about the birth experience, and even her weight (“I was 218 pounds the day I gave birth”) and body acceptance. In this modern world, where some mothers can feel the need to get back in ‘shape’—whatever that means—immediately, Beyonce addresses her body acceptance in such a beautiful, open, and powerful way.
“During my recovery, I gave myself self-love and self-care, and I embraced being curvier. To this day, my arms, shoulders, breasts, and thighs are fuller. I have a little mommy pouch, and I’m in no rush to get rid of it. I think it’s real. Whenever I’m ready to get a six-pack, I will go into beast zone and work my ass off until I have it. But right now, my little FUPA, and I feel like we are meant to be.”
Beyond just having a black woman on the cover of a September issue, which is already incredible and powerful, B took the momentous occasion one step further, by requesting to work with the black 23-year-old photographer Tyler Mitchell. In a world where covers are almost always shot by seasoned, usually white, photographers, this is a huge deal!
“It’s important to me that I help open doors for younger artists. There are so many cultural and societal barriers to entry that I like to do what I can to level the playing field, to present a different point of view for people who may feel like their voices don’t matter.”
Instead of just having the cover and photographer credit speak for itself, she addresses the need for diversity in hiring in a powerful, direct way:
“If people in powerful positions continue to hire and cast only people who look like them, sound like them, come from the same neighborhoods they grew up in, they will never have a greater understanding of experiences different from their own. They will hire the same models, curate the same art, cast the same actors over and over again, and we will all lose. The beauty of social media is it’s completely democratic. Everyone has a say. Everyone’s voice counts, and everyone has a chance to paint the world from their own perspective.”
(No, you’re crying right now.)
Glow On, Girl
“I think it’s important for women and men to see and appreciate the beauty in their natural bodies,” says Beyonce. “That’s why I stripped away the wigs and hair extensions and used little makeup for this shoot.”
That’s where Beyonce’s long-time makeup artist, Sir John, steps in. He used Marc Jacobs Beauty to create Beyonce’s ethereal glow. “Beyonce loves a ‘no-makeup’ makeup look,” Sir John says. “She’s all about being confident in your skin and owning your natural element. This look was all about redefining glamorous as a state of mind. We focused on enhancing her natural brows, skin, and structure—and bringing out that inner glow.”
To get that natural, glowing-from-within look, he utilized a few tricks. First, he massaged in the Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer ($44). (A good primer will leave your complexion moisturized and make sure that no-makeup makeup actually last all day.)
Then, to get that lit-from-within glow, he grabbed the bronzy, rose-gold finish Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter in Fantasy ($44)—but with a twist. First, he applied the highlighter to the highpoints on her face (browbones, cheekbones). “Always avoid shimmer on the front of the face,” says Sir John. “Apply it to your angles for sexiness,” he says.
Growing Older, and Wiser
The 36-year-old (soon to be 37 come September 4) appreciates her wisdom with age, too.
“Through it all I have learned to laugh and cry and grow. I look at the woman I was in my 20s and I see a young lady growing into confidence but intent on pleasing everyone around her. I now feel so much more beautiful, so much sexier, so much more interesting. And so much more powerful.”
Keep on feeling inspired:
Inside the Creative HQ of Cleo Wade and Elaine Welteroth
Reese Witherspoon’s New Venture Is All About Empowering Women
The Feel-Good Beauty Brand You Probably Haven’t Heard Of Yet