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The 5-Second Hack for Finding Your Undertone, According to Rihanna’s MUA

Plus, the secret to long-lasting lip color.
Image: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Fenty Beauty.

How did the world of beauty exist before Rihanna graced it with her presence? From sold-out highlighters and daring lip colors to easy-to-follow beauty tutorials, there’s not a product or tip the singer has shared that we don’t instantly embed into our makeup routine. And since we can’t look like her IRL, though we might as well die trying, we perk up when Rihanna’s makeup artists share insider tips we can adopt into our day-to-day regimen.

Hector Espinal has not only highlighted and perfected the faces of stars like Rosario Dawson and Cardi B, but was also hand-picked by RiRi herself to be titled Fenty Beauty’s Global Makeup Artist. Take a quick glance at his Instagram page with over 57K followers and you’ll agree it’s no secret that Espinal knows his way around a makeup beat. So whenever he spills his go-to makeup tips, we’re quick to listen. After all, if he stands by these rules, they must be Rihanna-approved, right?

In an interview with Bustle, he shared two vital tips to finding your perfect base makeup shade: Identifying your undertone and swatching the color on the correct area of your body. And guess what? It’s not your jaw-line. Before we get into that, let’s talk undertones. According to Espinal, undertones typically fall into three categories: warm, cool or neutral. If you’re snagging a Fenty Beauty foundation, don’t be overwhelmed by the extensive range.

First, find out which color family you’re in (100-400) and then start swiping on hues. According to the makeup guru, an easy way to discover your undertone is to press down on your wrist (with your thumb) and the first color that pops up is your undertone.” I know, mind. blown.

The second step to finding the perfect base is picking the color that’s closest, if not identical, to your skin tone. No ashy, gray film wanted here. “Because your face is sometimes lighter or darker than your body, I always match the foundation to the chest,” Espinal shares. As for concealer, the Fenty Beauty pro suggests using the back of your wrist since it’s the lightest part and doesn’t get much sun exposure.

Now that we’ve got the base covered, let’s dive into tools. Espinal doesn’t believe all tools are created equal. While most of us have a preference (RiRi’s all about a brush), Espinal recommends using a tool that’s tailored to your skin type. For oily skin, he recommends a brush or sponge, but for drier textures a dampened sponge is your best bet. If you have a skin condition like rosacea, avoid using tools that require lots of motion since they can create additional flushing to your complexion. As for fingers (which I’m guilty of using), Espinal says to avoid using them. “I don’t think it’s hygenic,” he shares. “You’re messing with your pores and it’s going to make you break out.” Whoops. Looks like buying a makeup brush is in my near future.

And his final tip is all about the perfecting the pout. Because no matter how subtle or glam your makeup look, having long-lasting lip color is essential. His tip for keeping the color on your pout all-night long? Translucent powder. “If you’re having a problem with it wearing off fast, take a tissue on the top of your lipstick and put translucent powder on top,” Espinal suggests. “It will set it and filter though the tissue to create a soft matte base.” The secret’s out. Now we know why we’ll never catch Rihanna with a fading lip color.

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