Billy B's Unforgettable Night with Tina Turner
February 10 2008
Our dear friend, WLB Celebrity Stylemaker and makeup artist to the stars, Mr. Billy B had quite an unforgettable evening last night at the 2008 Grammy Awards. Billy was asked to created the beauty look for the one and only "Queen of Rock," Tina Turner. The superstar 68 year old, came out of retirement to make her first public live performance in eight years performing with Beyonce at the Los Angeles awards show. Billy was kind enough to share with us his personal story on the unforgettable evening.
Billy tells us his story:
The night was very emotional and inspiring for Billy B as an artist. The late legendary makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin had been Tina Turner's personal makeup artist for many years. Aucoin also happens to be one of Billy B's long-time idols. Billy confides that he is completely self-taught as a makeup artist and as a young artist in the industry, he would often study Kevyn Aucoin and his process in creating the beautiful faces of Hollywood. When Kevyn Aucoin's unforgettable first book "Making Faces" was published, Kevyn dedicated it to all the makeup artists who inspired him. Even though Billy B had never met Aucoin, his name was one of the artist's listed. He tells us, when he saw his name among his colleagues, it was "one of the most validating moments in his career." Billy felt, Aucoin was so generous to include him in his dedication.
As a thank you for including him in the book, Billy B sent Aucoin a thank you letter along with Casablanca Lillies. Kevyn wrote a very thoughtful note back. He wrote that Billy's letter and the flowers made him cry and smile. Of course, Billy still has the letter today.
Kevin Aucoin had been Tina Turner's personal make-up artist for many years, which made Billy's experience of creating her Grammy look all the more special and emotional. Billy tells us when he first arrived to do her makeup last night, he wasn't nervous at all. He says she was so unbelievably nice. He felt very comfortable.
When Turner first sat down for makeup, she showed Billy a photo of herself where she liked her makeup. It was a black and white photo from the Kevyn Aucoin era. They both got to talking about Kevyn and they both became emotional. Billy says, it put her at ease that Kevyn had acknowledged his talent. She told Billy that he could do whatever he felt was best for her makeup and that when he was ready, she would look in the mirror and they would discuss.
At this point, her manager came into the room with a laptop. Her manager wanted Tina to look over a past performance on the computer. It was at this moment, Billy realized how amazing this night was. He exclaimed to WLB, "As I watched her perform on the screen and then saw her sitting right next to me, I realized: 'I'm doing Tina Turner's makeup!! This is Tina Turner sitting right next to me!! How did this happen?!'" He tells us, it felt so unbelievable and surreal.
After he completed her makeup, she looked in the mirror and only had one note: that her eyes be smoky. She also wanted a red pout. Billy added that he did not use false eyelashes on her because she doesn't wear them. Billy thinks "that's the best. And the truth is, no one missed them either." Not using false lashes was inspiring to him. And made him wonder, "Does every makeup artist use fake lashes just because they think they should?" Billy also mentioned, that Tina taught him a trick to use a touch of bright orange color in the center of her bottom lip, which he did.
After her hair was done, Tina departed to the venue for the performance. This is when Billy became an absolute nervous reck. He was worried about how Tina's makeup would look on film and in photographs. But, he said regardless, it was a huge learning experience. Billy feels he gained so much from this experience. He says its his "most rock star moment to date."
As soon as Tina had completed her performance, she walked off-stage with a towel around her neck and she said "thank you" to Billy. "I'll see you again," she informed him. She then immediately walked out of the venue to the car and straight to the airport to go back to Europe. Billy said all he could do was stand there frozen. He tells us again, Tina is the most "respectful, sweet, absolute doll like you can't believe." No doubt this will be an amazing night never forgotten for the talented Billy B.