Disney’s The Lion King Limited Edition Collection by Sir John x Luminess will finally be available June 15th, and like Simba, we just can’t wait. Who better to create this royal collection than someone well-versed in working with queens (not to mention his name is Sir John)? If you don’t know Sir John, one of the most sought after makeup artists in the industry, let me run you some of his roster: Gabrielle Union, Joan Smalls, Naomi Campbell, Kelly Rowland, Serena Williams, and Erykah Badu to name a few.
He’s most know for being Beyoncé’s makeup artist, and the man behind some of Queen Bey’s most notable looks, including her glittery festival appropriate beat for her Coachella shutdown. He’s been on the teams of cosmetics giants such as Pat McGrath and Charlotte Tilbury, and has partnered with several prestige beauty brands.
So we’re excited to get our hands on his latest collaboration, a collection of treats from Luminess Cosmetics inspired by the movie The Lion King. Releasing just one month before Jon Favreau’s live action version of the classic film, which stars Beyoncé as Nala, the collection includes matte and liquid lipsticks, highlighter, a tinted lip balm, a sculpting palette, and an eyeshadow palette with shades named after characters in the film (Zazu, Mufasa).
But this isn’t your run-of-the-mill collab where the brand taps a designer, influencer or artist to create a new line for them. Sir John was the powerhouse that spearheaded this project. It took him almost two weeks to decide on a brand to partner with after Disney made the call to him. But once he decided on Luminess, a brand he says he trusts, he never looked back. Inspired by the film, but also the strong women he has surrounded himself with, the collection is a love letter to queens who challenge the status quo.
“I always see that proverbial glass ceiling, so I just love and am inspired by strong women who are always pushing against it, and say, ‘That just does not work for me,'” he told ESSENCE.
But that didn’t make it an easy process. There was a lot of pressure, and there were times in the process that he doubted that he and his team would finish on time–attempting to do in six months what takes most brands at least a year. But as someone who remembers seeing the original of The Lion King in the theater as a kid it was necessary, whether he ran or was dragged across that finish line, to complete it.
“I love to make people feel good. I need to make the janitor feel just as impactful, as beautiful, as cool as I make Beyoncé,” he said. “I just want [women] to feel like their vibration has been raised a bit because how we see ourselves is attached to our mental health.”
The collaboration is also a testament to how far Sir John has come in his career, evolving over the years from a fledgling artist to a true influencer. Referencing a time when he even had to omit photos Beyoncé (hold your gasp) from his look book to showcase that his talent translated beyond women of color, he considers projects like this an opportunity to open a door.
“I know when I represent, I represent a lot of brown people all around the world. I’m compelled to stand up for people, stand up for myself, stand up for my community. This is for someone else who possibly doesn’t have a celebrity clientele, who is not Google-able, but is credible, and should be respected nonetheless.”
Spoken like true nobility.
The Sir John x Luminess Disney’s The Lion King Limited Edition Collection is available at luminesscosmetics.com/disney on June 15th, ulta.com and disney.com on June 16th, and at select ULTA Beauty stores on July 1st.