7 Simple Makeup Tricks That Give Rihanna Her Glow, According To Her Artist

Photo by James Devaney/GC Images/Getty Images.
If you've ever wondered why Rihanna's skin always looks so amazing, we can confirm it's not all down to good genes or expensive facials. Whether she's serving jaw-dropping red carpet looks or more of a natural vibe, it's Hector Espinal, her longtime friend and Fenty Beauty global makeup artist, who is behind her glow.
With nightlife on hiatus, it's safe to say most of us aren't wearing as much makeup as we used to, but but there's no denying the uplifting power of a touch of mascara and highlighter here and there. Ahead, Espinal reveals the tips and tricks his celebrity clients (including Rihanna, of course) swear by for enviable everyday makeup in just a few moments. Oh, and they're all face mask-friendly.

Start With Skin Care

"When people tell me they want 'celebrity skin', I tell them to start with skin care," says Espinal. "Without skin care, I can't do a makeup look. It just doesn't work. If you really take the time to moisturize, everything you apply on top will look great. The minute you don't do that, though, that's when you'll see a little more texture."
Of course, skin texture isn't a bad thing, but if you want to minimize the appearance of pores, spots, or dry patches, moisturized skin is key. "A nice cleanser, toner, and moisturizer followed by eye cream, and you're done," says Espinal. He recommends Fenty Skin Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer SPF 30 for moisturizing skin and protecting against UV rays.
For even-toned skin in a flash, Espinal combines a pump of foundation with primer or moisturizer. "I mix it up with my fingers or a sponge and that's it," he says. According to Espinal, Rihanna loves building up thin layers of foundation to achieve a natural and radiant end result. Her favorite is the Pro Filt’r Hydrating Foundation, which gives skin a nice, dewy effect when applied with a damp sponge.

Three Steps To Natural Makeup

While Espinal thinks the no-makeup makeup look is actually one of the hardest to do (he tells us it often involves around 20 layers), there are three products he looks to for speedy, natural makeup — and foundation isn't involved. "I go straight in with concealer, usually Match Stix Matte Skinstick, which melts into the skin with just your fingers," says Espinal. "Concealer is the quickest cheat product for achieving this look, because it's like you're faking hours of sleep. Then I apply cream blush to the apples of the cheeks and lots of mascara for that truly awake look." TikTokers are going wild for Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara right now, while Espinal likes Full Frontal Volume, Lift & Curl Mascara.

Apply Concealer Strategically

Lots of us were brought up on YouTube makeup tutorials, where loading on concealer to cover dark circles or "bags" was a thing. But Espinal believes a little goes a long way, and product placement is important. Instead of applying concealer in swaths or triangle shapes, Espinal targets the inner corner of the eye and up into the socket to blanket any darkness. He then blends the concealer downwards to conceal any dark under-eye circles. "Less is more," he says. "Fingers are a great tool for blending concealer, or you can use the tip of your sponge. But I always have a fluffy eyeshadow brush on hand because it gives that nice, buffed airbrush effect. I prefer this over a flat concealer brush because it's much softer."
Espinal also has a great tip for finding your perfect concealer shade: Instead of testing on the back of your hand, test concealer on your inner forearm just underneath your wrist for a much better color match.

The Quickest Hack For Gleaming Skin

Espinal says there's a fine line between looking oily and dewy, and it's all down to the T-zone — essentially your nose, forehead, and chin. "I make sure the T-zone is nice and matte," says Espinal, who likes Invisimatte Blotting Powder for absorbing shine.
Espinal loves a multipurpose product, and often uses a lip gloss (namely Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer) as highlighter on cheekbones. "Put a little bit on the back of your hand and blend it in with your finger, so it'll give you the perfect dewiness without looking oily," he says. "If you want to look really natural, take a hydrating facial spray and spritz it on the sides of your face to create a nice dewy effect."

Monochrome Makeup Suits Everyone

Rihanna's signature everyday look is monochrome makeup: matching your cheeks to your eyes. You only need one product, which is bronzer. "I feel like monochromatic makeup is in right now," says Espinal. "Using your bronzer, subtly sculpt your cheeks, and use it on your eyelids instead of eyeshadow, too. It really is the easiest look for everyone and all you do is finish with mascara and a touch of lip gloss." Espinal says to avoid whipping up a monochromatic makeup look using blush. "You have to be really mindful here," he says. "If you put blush on your eyelids, you have to be prepared that it might look like you're having a bad reaction." So stick to your favorite warmth-enhancing bronzer.

Powder Foundation Is A Game-Changer

Not only does powder foundation feel a lot more comfortable under a face mask, but it will make your skin look seamless in seconds, says Espinal. "I like to take a big bronzer brush and apply powder foundation all over my face for an airbrushed look. It doesn't feel heavy or transfer, which is great if you're wearing a mask," he explains. Espinal says he also sometimes ditches concealer for a light layer of powder foundation to blur blemishes and uneven skin tone, as it looks a tad more natural. Putting back a little sheen with either lip gloss or highlighter on top of cheekbones is a must to ensure skin doesn't appear flat.

Use Blush To Sculpt Cheekbones

When it comes to blush application, Espinal has a great tip for lifting and sculpting cheeks. "Place two fingers directly at the sides of your nose and using the width, you'll know where to start applying blush from," he says. Basically, keep the space where your fingers are resting free from blush. "Otherwise, you'll look like you’re flushing too much," says Espinal. "Then, work from the apples of your cheeks upwards." Apply your blush too low, and it could drag your cheeks down. Espinal also sometimes skips bronzer entirely and contours with blush for a more subtle look. Just suck in your cheekbones and apply to the hollows of your cheeks, working your way up towards your temples.
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