The boy beat is the ultimate beauty staple - here's how to get the look

Borrow from the boys and sport a polished skin canvas framed by bold features and a slight accent of colour

18 August 2019 - 00:03 By Nokubonga Thusi
Chanel used the boy beat to create a studious, librarian look that was strong, clean and exuded confidence.
Chanel used the boy beat to create a studious, librarian look that was strong, clean and exuded confidence.
Image: Chanel,

The term "boy beat" has been a makeup term open to interpretation for a while and has landed its way into popular music videos such as Beyoncé's Formation video as a way of chiselling out a woman's features to make them more boyish and imperfect.

Elements of boy beats have been seen on the runways with many shows sending models out with super refined skin and strong features such as at Alexander McQueen, to give models a toughened-up grunge look and at Givenchy, where the subtle application of the boy beat gave models a fresh youthfulness. At the Chanel Fall/Winter 2019-20 Haute Couture show, global creative makeup and colour director Lucia Pica used techniques of the boy beat to create a studious, librarian look that was strong, clean and exuded confidence.

"The women are in a library; luxurious elegant readers. I thought it would be interesting to give them a really strong eyebrow with a masculine sense in the inner part and an elongation which gives them a sense of authority and confidence." says Pica.


If there is one feature to focus on getting just right for this look, it's the brow. The aim is to make the brows look bolder and fuller than they normally would look. Steer away from the youthful, fluffy, brushed-up brow look that is the trend at the moment and go for a more straight-edged, clean brow.

  1. Start by brushing up the brow with a spoolie to give the eye area some lift and brush the hairs into place.
  2. Use an angled brush and brow gel or an angled brow pencil and begin to fill in the natural brow shape.
  3. Line the lower edge of the brow and fill in the rest of the brow using light hair-like upward strokes. Fill the brow like this until about the midpoint of the brow, before the arch.
  4. From the arch, line the edges on both sides (top and bottom) of the brow end and fill in with hair-like strokes to form a clean end-point to the brow.
  5. To make the brows appear more masculine; elongate the ends of the brow slightly past the outer corner of the eye to give the impression of a larger, stronger brow. Set the brow in place by brushing a tinted or clear brow gel into the hairs.


When it comes to nailing the perfect canvas, it's important to remember that less is more. The skin should look like its most natural texture - but better. Starting on clean, moisturised skin, use some cream or liquid concealer to add coverage to any uneven areas and blemishes that you feel need coverage and use a little tinted powder to sheer out the coverage and make it look uniform. Using a balmy, sheer highlighter that is shimmerless, create luminosity on the skin by tapping this into the high planes of the face such as the cheekbones, nose bridge and lips.


The masculine feel of this look is created using subtle contouring to give the face strong definition. Women's faces tend to be more rounded and softer while men's faces tend to be more square. Accentuate the jaw line by blending in a deep foundation shade or powder two shades darker than your normal shade along the jaw line to chisel out the jaw shape. Using the same shade, blend into the hollows of the cheeks and forehead. Create the illusion of deep-set eyes by applying that same contouring shade into the crease of the eyes and extend into the inner corner of the eye and sides of the nose bridge to sculpt out.

Image: Supplied


  1. Chanel Baume Essentiel Multi-Use Glow Stick in Transparent R775
  2. Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in Deep R730
  3. NYX Professional Makeup Shine Killer Primer R255
  4. Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil R375
  5. MAC Studio Fix 24-Hour Smooth Wear Concealer R380

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