It’s hard to imagine Rihanna looking anything but flawless and camera-ready, but the powerhouse performer, clothing designer and beauty boss would beg to differ. And that’s what we love about her. In an era where social media is breeding ground for bullying and unnecessary comparison, the 29-year-old is here to remind us that everyone, including her, deal with everyday beauty struggles.
In an exclusive interview with InStyle Magazine, she reminisced on some of them while dishing on her earliest makeup memories, most of which are way tamer than what you’d expect. For starters, she wasn’t even allowed to wear makeup in her teens, despite having a lifelong obsession with cosmetics.
“Lipstick in Barbados? Not unless I was a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding,” she said. “My mom wasn’t flexible. I wore no makeup.” And although Rihanna’s mother kept strict rules, it was her work as a makeup artist that partly inspired everyone’s new obsession: Fenty Beauty.
“She worked behind a cosmetics counter at a department store in Barbados, and she did makeup for weddings. That’s where my obsession for cosmetics and perfume came from,” Rihanna said. “I wanted to do a line for years, but it needed to be credible, something that industry pros and girls around the world would respect.”
With over $72 million in media value (aka free advertising from social media exposure) and countless positive reviews across the Internet, we’d say RihRih has more than reached her goal. And now that the dust has settled on her first drop, Rihanna admits her favorite Fenty product is the Killawatt highlighter, due in part to its multi-functional use.
“I put it on my eyes, cheeks, and body. It goes on smooth, and the texture is superfine, almost like liquid—plus it’s extremely high-shine. There’s a ton of different colors,” she said.
Fans and industry insiders are also enamored with the brand’s 40-shade (!) foundation range, which Rihanna revealed is the first product they worked on, while also sharing that foundation is the first makeup product she fell in love with.
“When I was a teen back in Barbados, I was in a pageant, and my mom did my makeup for it. I will never forget the feeling I had after seeing how even my skin looked when she put foundation on my face,” she said. “And I remember my brother being so upset. He was like, ‘You’re gonna put that on every day?’ I loved it. It’s like Photoshop. I like my makeup to look like skin—really good skin.”
We can only hope Rihanna will continue to expand her Fenty beauty empire in 2018. Until then, we’ll be perfecting our highlight with the Killawatt lineup.