I love costumes that require you to shave your head.
To prepare for The Queen's appearance, one must not simply throw on flip-flops and foundation. And no, I don't mean this queen. Or that one. I am referring, of course, to Our Lady of Honey Blonde Beach Waves and Hip Thrusts, Beyoncé Knowles Carter, whose Mrs. Carter Show world tour is currently in progress.
Getting to this preparation stage wasn't easy. After one failed attempt to purchase tickets for what was then Beyoncé's finale at Barclays, I pulled out the big guns. Y'know, I'm a survivor. I'm not gonna give up. I'm not gonna stop. I'm gone work harder. (Let's play a game of spot the Beyoncé/Destiny's Child references. Winners get virtual high fives, glitter, and single ladies waves.) And I wasn't going to let a sold-out show deter me.
So my homegirls and I, all independent women, launched a worldwide operation. And by worldwide, I mean four cities. Each day for a week, we all attempted to purchase tickets for our group to the Atlanta show. And we eventually succeeded... at last.
With all this investment in seeing this show, you think I was going to the concert looking incorrect? Take that thought to the left.
While I may not be able to pay a few bills... bills... bills... after buying tix and airfare, I knew I'd share the same rarefied air as Beyoncé. Sporting a look inspired by Goddess Bey herself, I will provide a few steps on how to look fitting for the queen from head to toe if she graces a stage in your city.
Most folks weren't hip to lace-front wigs until, in a rare moment of Beyoncé imperfection, it was revealed to the masses that Bey rocked them. So an obvious choice for styling your crown is to throw on a lace-front. And throw on a lace-front I did. Wigs in general are especially helpful if you don't want to damage your own hair with heat styling and bleaching.
I used a dark brown wig I already had lying around from an online vendor named RPG show. I then bleached the crown and bangs using Clairol Pure White 40 Creme developer and BW2 powder to model Bey's blonde tresses. Because 40 is the highest developer, it only took about 10-15 minutes. I didn't want to go full on blonde all over the hair since I'm a brown girl/I ran out of bleach powder and had to get creative. It created a sort of backwards ombré effect. An érbmo, if you will. And it came out pretty cool. (For tips on bleaching hair Annie offers a thorough tutorial.)
A few days after bleaching, i.e. the night of the show, I made loose beachy waves since that's WBWD (What Beyoncé Would Do). For these, curl medium-sized sections, like four sections on each side of your head, like you really don't give a crap how it turns out. Tease the curls so that it's kind of flawed and all. We're going for Beyoncé's brand of imperfect perfection, people.
Once you accomplish this hair feat, pat your weave lady, and if no one is around you, look in the mirror and say, "Baby I love you."
I was inspired by B'day-era Beyoncé for my face paint. Think smoky eye, sunkissed shimmer, neutral lip. OK, maybe that's every Beyoncé era, buy why fix what ain't broken?
I started with concealer, pressed powder, and finishing powder (which I used at the very end after eye makeup application) from my fave drugstore brand, Black Opal.
The next step was to get glittery. I mean so much shimmer that Beyoncé will float to the concert stage (obviously she floats) and her halo will reflect from your face, as if you're the moon to her sun. The arena will be filled with so much light from the combined awesome and shimmer that she'll say your name through the concert mic (of course she'll know it), and she'll ask you to be one of Destiny's Children, and then... heaven. Destiny will be fulfilled.
Take some glittery eye shadow if you don't have highlighters and start with a darker shade for your cheek bones. I used the four color Cover Girl Eye Enhancers palette. Then go over that with a gold eyeshadow shimmer, focusing on the apples of your cheeks.
For the full effect, dust a bit of that gold shimmer all over your face. Now you're ready to be a Goldmember--Foxxy Cleopatra, even.
While you've blinded yourself with glitter, hopefully you've maintained enough vision to paint those eyes.
Since we're doing a smoky eye, soft, dark eye pencils work best. Apply liner to the water line and then work your way out, drawing directly on the lower lid. It has to be heavy handed and feel a little ridiculous to have the right effect on camera when you take those flicks. Apply liner to the top lid as well. You want to apply it to the entire lid to give a solid dark base before the eyeshadow.
Once the top lid is fully covered, brush on a dark shadow. I would have preferred black, but I only had a dark gray from my Eye Enhancers palette. I brushed the shadow on my lid, crease, and a little further below the crease than I normally would to really provide the smoky effect. After a heavy dose of mascara, I was ready to move to the brows.
For brows, I applied a heavy amount of my gold eyeshadow under the arch and a smaller amount under the length of the brow. I then applied a whiter shadow under the arch and a small amount to the inner corners of my eyes close to the nose bridge to give my eyes a little glow.
After painting your brow bone, use a narrow brush to dust on powder over your brows. Some may prefer only brow liner, or a combo of liner and powder, but I prefer powder since my brows are already dark and kinda thick and I don't want to look like I drew a stark McDonald's arch on my face.
Just a tip: members of the Beyhive only pretend to be ratchet--we don't do things that actually are.
BODY & EXTRA TOUCHES
Now that your face and hair are done, you're almost ready to face the Carter royalty. I would have been remiss not to use this opportunity to rock a black leotard. I mean Beyonce hasn't worn pants since 2006. Why should we?
I found a black halter body suit with a mesh panel and topped that with a satiny hot pink skirt. Another solid option is some sort of freakum dress. But, unless you're looking to attract another lady, a freakum dress might be a little OD considering the only other concert attendees will be screaming straight women who would be gay only for Bey, gay women who are gay for other gay women, or screaming men who want to be Bey.
For extra credit, if you can't afford to rock Minx on those digits like Mrs. Carter, Sally Hansen and Revlon make awesome nail polish stickers that last for two weeks. I found a black and gold version from Revlon. Some folks find that the stickers are big enough to apply to their toes as well--a plus since the Sally Hansen pedicure stickers have limited varieties.
After putting on my peep-toe stilettos, which, unfortunately, I have not been wearing since I was 15, I was ready to go!
I'd say, given it was just me, myself and I doing my makeup without Beyonce's glam squad and House of Dereon stylings from Mama Tina, the final product wasn't too shabby. Now go forth, fellow Beyhivers, and run the world, one shimmery brow bone at a time.
Oprah said even if I reach for the stars and fall, I'll still land on the moon. Oprah is always right.