Backstage With Britney and Billy B!


Billy B for Britney Spears Fantasy Twist, October 2012

We recently caught up with makeup artist Billy B on set of the commercial for Britney Spears' newest fragrance, Fantasy Twist. He created four distinct makeup looks for Britney, and had a lot to say about the experience and working with the reigning princess of pop.

It’s interesting when I meet pop stars or actresses because the public has no idea of what they’re like, so they project their idea of who the celebrity is.

"[Britney] is like your sister, then the camera comes on and it’s like ‘holy mother of god, that was kind of amazing.’ This is the way she is wired. She is best when she gets to play a character. That’s what she loves. Britney enjoyed it, and that makes it fun for me.

We had a template of the fragrance on set—a bottle from the lab that wasn’t finalized. The fragrance is a dual blend of Britney’s different characters. Ellen von Unwerth directed the commercial with an agency, and they totally nailed it. The intent was exploring the way you perceive yourself. No one else sees what you see in the mirror—no two people think exactly the same thing of you. Britney is the biggest star in the world and has these legions of fans that all see her in a different way. Guys think she’s super sexy, and everyone else wants to be like her. In the commercial, she walks down the hallway and embodies these different personas based on other people’s perspectives. When you watch it, you want to make up your own story. Nothing was choreographed, no one was there coaching her. We did hundreds of takes and every single time it was on point.

We shot over two days on the Queen Mary in Long Beach—it’s exactly like the Titanic. A little bit eerie. The creative team gave direction for four distinct makeup looks. Actually, one was kind of like the feature I did with [Beautylish] and Nicole Fox as Marlene Dietrich.

It’s about finding the magical point between the right hair and costume where it's just over the edge without looking like a sideshow. It evokes what you want it to say, but it’s also about a makeup artist showing restraint—we want it to be young and modern."

As told to Beautylish

BRITNEY SPEARS™ fantasy twist, available at Kohl’s October 2012 EDP 100 ml/3.3 fl. oz. $59.50, EDP 50 ml/1.7 fl. oz. $49.50, EDP 30 ml/1.0 fl. oz. $39.50