Full disclosure: It’s nearly impossible to pick winners when it comes to Rihanna’s beauty looks. There are, after all, a lot to consider. First, we had to narrow down her best red-carpet moments, from the demure to the daring. Then, there are the looks she sports when off the clock, whether hitting a Clippers game or just running around New York. (Did you really think she just throws on some mascara and pulls her hair into a topknot before leaving the house? Not a chance.)
So after a lot of hunting, we (somehow) landed on 18 that we, personally, love best — just in time for her birthday today. You may disagree with the retrospective, but know that we tried our best to sift through the wealth of gorgeous, striking, edgy, eye-catching hair and makeup that Barbados’ golden girl has rocked through the years.
So without further ado, here is a (small) fraction of RiRi’s awesome appearances.
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Usually it takes feats of engineering and a multitude of bobby pins to create a side sweep that stays put, but Rihanna solved the problem by simply shaving one side of her head. In the process, she sported a style that was impossibly edgy and elegant at the same time. Punk on one side and prom on the other?
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Even when Rihanna keeps makeup and hair fuss to a minimum, she still looks like a woman with a vision. Her close-cropped locks appear as if she ran some gel through them and called it a day but, of course, they manage to look awesome. Mostly, we noticed her envy-inducing glow, which is lightly enhanced but otherwise all her, paired simply with lush lashes and a little liner.
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It would be fair to say Rihanna convinced those who play it safe to attempt blue lipstick...
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By now, you are aware of Rihanna’s affinity for a red lip. She loved it so much she had MAC whip up a ri-vised (get it?) version of its cult favorite Ruby Woo. With her go-to lip, she amped up the sex appeal with a hot side flip and waves that suggested she’d recently had a roll in the hay.
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If you’re going to go monochromatic, picking orange is a bold move. But Rihanna is just that kind of girl. She wore a particularly juicy hue on her lips, a wash of carrot on her lids, and a similar shade on her cheeks — though the makeup isn't particularly brave when you consider she’s basically wearing pasties up top.
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Rihanna accessorized her painstakingly constructed Guo Pei couture gown with a similarly swirly headpiece for the MET Gala last year. Her sleek bob mirrored the curves thanks to upturned ends; and perhaps as a counterpoint, her brows were made stick straight and sharp as a tack by makeup artist Mylah Morales.
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