Rihanna’s Makeup Artist Reveals All Her Top Tips and Tricks

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Priscilla Ono Rihanna
Photo: Courtesy of @PriscillaOno

If you’ve ever wanted to know the secret to Rihanna’s flawless face and always-progressive makeup, you’re in for a treat. We spoke to her go-to beauty queen and Fenty Beauty’s Global Makeup Artist, Priscilla Ono, to uncover her top tips and tricks.

From what products you should be investing in to how to pick the right foundation and the tips you need to fake fuller lips, she’s answered your biggest beauty questions, right here. Read on to find out more.

Priscilla Ono
Photo: Courtesy of Fenty Beauty

Where’s the craziest place you’ve done someone’s makeup?
On a private plane with lots of turbulence!

Who is your ultimate beauty icon?
Growing up in the late 90s, it was Gwen Stefani. Her thin eyebrows and classic red lip were my staple throughout high school! I still look back and think, “wow, she was so cool”.

Who would you love to give a makeover to?
Right now – at this moment – I’m working my dream job and get to glam the most influential woman of our era, Rihanna! I’m having fun thinking of future looks and she’s really the only person I’m thinking of when it comes to creating!

What are your tips for adding structure and definition?
My most helpful tip would be not to do every step when contouring. Just because you see everyone else doing it — especially on social media — doesn’t mean you need to! Really try to understand your face shape. For example, if you have a smaller forehead, you want to avoid contouring it. Most people just contour the entire face because they think it’s a step that has to be done, but that’s when things become overdone. Only contour areas that you need to recede and pull back.

What about making small eyes look bigger?
For smaller eyes, you want to stay away from heavy makeup – especially in the water line. I like using shimmer shadows on the eyelids to make the eyes pop! Lately I’ve been using the Fenty Beauty Matchstix in ‘Sinamon’ and ‘Rum’.

And to make lips look fuller?
A glossy lip will always make lips look fuller. The Fenty Beauty ‘Gloss Bomb’ always does the trick and is a great universal shade, so I know it will look great on everyone!

What’s your favorite beauty trend at the moment?
Understated, clean makeup. And shimmer for the holidays – I’m loving the Fenty Beauty ‘Galaxy Collection’.

What’s the biggest makeup mistake you see women make?
Contouring the jawline – it drives me NUTS! Jawlines should appear more prominent, and contouring the jawline actually recedes the jaw, making it look like one with the neck. You want to apply contour underneath the chin and jawline only.

What do you think will be a big makeup trend next season?
Lots of COLOR!

What’s one makeup trend you wish would be banished from the beauty world?
None! I embrace them all. I feel that what works well for you might not work well for others and vice versa. We need to embrace all trends and support the makeup community.

For people with problem skin, what is the best way to cover up blemishes without the need for caking on the makeup?
Skincare should always be first. Prep the skin to make sure that there’s no dead skin lingering, and then apply foundation in thin coats. Only layer where needed, and not all over the face, to avoid looking cakey.

Are there certain shades or colors people should wear depending on their eye color or skin tone?
I don’t believe in that at all. I feel there are some shades that make your eye color or skin color stand out more, but not necessarily colors you should stay away from. My favorite go-to colors that always look great are blue eyes with orange bronzy tones, green eyes with pinky coral tones, and brown eyes with purple tones.

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What three makeup products will we always find in your kit?

  • Fenty Beauty’s ‘PRO FILT’R Foundation’. The color range is insane, so I feel confident that I’ll have a shade match no matter who my client is.
  • Fenty Beauty ‘Gloss Bomb’ is hands down the best universal lip gloss shade.
  • Fenty Beauty ‘Match Stix’, because I can do so much with them. I use them for contour, concealer, blush, eyeshadow, lip, and even foundation!

The cat-eye flick is still the bane of many women’s lives. What’s a simple way to get a flawless flick, every time?
Drawing the flick while the eye is open. That’s the only way you can know what it really looks like! Also, it’s much easier if you draw it with pencil first and go over it with liquid liner after.

What’s one ‘beauty rule’ made to be broken?
One rule that was made to be broken is if you wear bright eyeshadow, you can’t wear bright lip – not true!

What are your top tips and product picks for getting beautiful bold brows?
Never trim the beginning of your brows, let them grow longer and brush them upward with clear mascara. This creates the illusion of fuller eyebrows. Also, clear mascara works better than brow gel, as it’s much stronger and will hold.

Why is prepping skin before makeup so important? What products/steps do you use for this?
Prepping the skin is so important because it creates a clean canvas for makeup to apply with ease! I like using the Bioderma ‘Micellar Water’ on a cotton pad to make sure there’s absolutely no makeup residue left on the face.

I also make sure I moisturize the lips and under eyes as well as the face. A lip scrub is great too, especially now that we’re getting into colder months. Lips tend to be a little more dry, and there’s nothing worse than a beautiful lip color over dry flakey lips!

Rihanna’s Makeup Artist Reveals All Her Top Tips and Tricks

Bioderma ‘Sensibio H2O Micellar Water’

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All Leading Pharmacies

If you could invent one new makeup product, what would it be and why?
Hmmm… it would actually be a skincare product and it would be a under-eye cream that de-puffs and instantly gets rid of dark circles! But I guess we have under-eye concealer for that, haha!

What’s your favorite beauty look to create?
Smokey, smoldering eyes – it’s just such a gorgeous look!

What’s your top tip for women in the Middle East who have to deal with heat and humidity?
I would definitely recommend using the ‘Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer’ and the ‘Long Wear Foundation’. They were made to be humidity resistant and really help your makeup last without having to touch up so much throughout the day.

Finding the right foundation is a daunting task – what’s your advice when it comes to finding the right formula and shade?
You have to know your skin type in order to choose your perfect formula. If you’re oily, you want to use a matte finish foundation, and if you’re dry you want to use a creamier finish or I recommend mixing it with your primer or a moisturizer. If you’re combination, you can use both a matte and creamy foundation!

To find your shade, you first identify your shade range – light, medium, tan, or deep. Then you determine your skin’s undertone, which you can figure out by how you react to the sun. If your skin burns easily, you’re likely a cool undertone. If you tan easily, you’re likely a warm undertone. If you burn first and then tan, you’re most likely neutral. Once you’ve narrowed down to your shade range and undertone, you can use the online or in-store shade finder tools to help identify your exact shade.

Gorgeous, glowing skin is still so in – what are your top tips for getting a flawless face?
Using a face mist once your face makeup is complete puts moisture and luminosity back into the skin.

What’s your ultimate makeup trick?
I apply the Fenty Beauty ‘Killawatt Highlighter’ on the face and spray with a mist before applying another round of highlighter, then another round of mist. It gives a super glowy effect without looking grey or cakey!

Complete the sentence: To me, beauty is…
Being confident!

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