6 mins read

What Rihanna Has Taught Us About Beauty

Emily Turner
Photography by Getty Images

In anticipation of Rihanna’s performance on Super Bowl Sunday — and how she’ll do her glam — we’re analyzing her tried and true beauty principles for clues.

At the Super Bowl halftime show on February 12, you can expect Rihanna to play by her own beauty rules.

With the Fenty Beauty mogul’s return to the stage just days away, we couldn’t help but wonder what she’ll do for glam. Is there a hint of what is to come in her football-inspired collection of Fenty Beauty Game Day essentials?

Igniting our curiosity even more, Rihanna’s go-to makeup artist Priscilla Ono revealed in an interview with Page Six Style that the star’s glam on Super Bowl Sunday will absolutely be one thing: iconic. “I just want it to look super iconic. Nothing trendy, like no micro trends. Nothing that’s like, ‘OK, that was done in the 2010’s, 2020s.’ I want it to be super timeless,” she shared.

Never one to shy away from an unorthodox shade of lipstick or a head-swivelling hairdo, we have some ideas of how Rihanna will do glam for the Super Bowl. There’s a lot to learn from this Bajan beauty about how to approach makeup and hair, so follow along as we analyze her tried and true beauty principles and dream up what a “timeless” Rihanna beauty look could be.

Skincare comes first

One thing Rihanna understands is the importance of a solid skincare routine before you get into glam (and allthe time!). Back in 2020, the “Lift Me Up” singer gave her Instagram followers a look at how she preps her skin for makeup with three easy steps using a trifecta of her own Fenty Skin products: the Total Cleans’r, the Fat Water toner and the >Hydra Visor moisturizer. “I always say good makeup starts with good skin,” she wrote in the caption of the post. Noted!

Embrace the unconventional

If you’ve ever landed on #BeautyTok, you’ve probably heard the viral audio clip of Rihanna explaining her take on doing a bold black lip. “I love black lipstick. I think it’s daring, it’s bold. There’s a way that it can be really, really beautiful. It’s one of those colours that people shy away from a lot, but if you do the right balance of make-up, I think black is such a beautiful colour,” she says. And she’s living proof that thinking outside the box when it comes to playing with pigment can pay off big time. Case in point: her iHearRadio Awards money pout from 2014 and her onyx lip look at an Anti album release event in 2016.

Establish your signature

Your makeup trademark may be a razor-sharp swipe of liquid liner or a brave brow, but a cool-toned, cherry red lip constitutes a signature Rihanna beauty look. To declare her love for this cult classic hue, she even launched her own signature red lipstick with a retro matte finish in collaboration with MAC in 2013, long before the birth of Fenty Beauty and its universal red Stunna Lip Paint. The MAC shade, a reimagined version of the beauty brand’s iconic “Ruby Woo” lipstick, was called “RiRi Woo;” Rihanna had reportedly worn the OG prior to collaborating with the beauty brand. With her never-ending admiration for a red lip, RiRi proves there’s comfort and confidence in owning a look that feels like you.

Glow for it

With one of her most recognizable lyrics being “shine bright like a diamond,” it’s only right that Miss Fenty is a makeup glow-getter. Whether it be a swoosh of glitter on the inner corner of the eye or a little metallic lip drama, rest assured Rih will light up any room with her glowing glam. And it doesn’t stop there — in a Vogue Beauty Secrets makeup tutorial, she shows fans how she takes her glow beyond the face and down to her décolletage using Fenty Beauty’s Body Lava. The product was reportedly inspired by the oil and crushed pigment concoctions that RiRi used to make herself to achieve an all-over island glow.

When in doubt, switch up your hair

For some, the thought of switching up a hairstyle you’ve had for years can be intimidating. If you can relate, we invite you to consider Rihanna’s shape-shifting hair to help you overcome your fears. There was that time she embraced a head full of cherry red locks during her Loud era. And that time she went on her Last Girl on Earth tour with a side-shaved head. Lest we forget the half box-braided hairstyle that divided Twitter last fall. All the while, the Unapologetic album singer has been just that. Unapologetic. So you should be too.

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