It's fair to say that 2017 was Rihanna's year. From Fenty Beauty's range of 40 foundation shades that set the bar on what it means to be inclusive in the beauty sphere to the holographic Galaxy collection, which landed just in time for party season, Riri sure knows what we want. After Stunna Lip Paint, a universally flattering red, came out back in November, the brand's most recent lipstick offering dropped: Mattemoiselle. The 14 new shades of lip color, from bold to even bolder, encouraged us to experiment — Rihanna-style.
So when Hector Espinal, Fenty Beauty's global makeup artist, came to London, we jumped at the chance to ask him all about them. Below, he tells us the right way to apply the lipsticks, the lowdown on Rihanna's product name choices, and what it's like working for such a game-changing brand.
Hector, talk us through Mattemoiselle...
It's Fenty's latest collection, and we're truly obsessed with it. Rihanna is known for her lipstick, so everyone expected her to come out with a range of lipsticks, which is why she wanted to take her time with them. They're based on your mood, and they're divided into three groups. The first is an array of nudes, like your Shawty, Single, and Freckle Fiesta. Next up we have the shades for when you're feeling bolder and more out-there, like Candy Venom, Saw-C, and Ma'Damn. Finally we have the colors that are very daring, very fashion week, and relate to trends. Clapback is this beautiful navy blue, Midnight Wasabi, which is one of my favorites, and Griselda, this rich, warm burgundy.
What are your application tips for the product?
I love prepping the lips with the Matchstix, our correctors that can be used for contouring or highlighting. If you have discoloration on your lips, you can neutralize it with that and it creates a soft, matte base to apply the lipstick. If you’re the type of person whose lipstick wears off quickly regardless of the formula, I like to set it with Invisimatte, which is our translucent powder. All you need is a light dust with a light, fluffy brush, to ensure durability. To paint, I like to start with the Cupid's bow. We don't have lip liners, so I take the edge of the lipstick and create a perfect line around the lips before slowly going in to saturate. Some people like to overdraw the lips, while others like to keep the same shape, but you really want to make it look defined either way.
How would you describe the formula and finish?
It's a plush matte. It's comfortable, moveable, the creamy texture feels great, and it's not drying. By plush matte I mean the feeling of your head laying on a pillow.
Some of the shades look more matte than others – why is that?
The deeper the shade, the more matte they get, because they have more color. The pigment note will naturally induce a more drying texture. That's why our foundations are so successful, because for deeper skin tones, a more drying formula works best for them due to the natural oils in their skin.
How does Rihanna come up with the names of the products?
They're all personal to her as an individual. One of the Boyz is named that because it's a flirty shade. Midnight Wasabi is when you get hungry in the middle of the night and you order sushi. Then you have Clapback. I love this story. She's known for her social media clapbacks, and her navy [her fans] are always clapping back at haters, defending her and supporting her, so she decided to name this navy blue Clapback for them.
We'd all love Rihanna's confidence, but such bold colors can feel intimidating. What are your tips for wearing these shades?
Own it! Make your lips your accessory – forget earrings. If you are doing a bold color, go for soft, matte skin, with barely anything on the eyes. But, honestly, confidence comes from within – once you have it on, own it. Rihanna is such a chameleon – something's ugly until she wears it, right? But she has fun with it. We've given you 14 colors to play with. Fenty is about wearing whatever you like – be the baddest bitch in town.