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Rihanna Fenty

We met Rihanna’s make-up artist and tried Fenty's new concealers


TextNellie Eden

Beauty hacks from Rihanna's right-hand man

To celebrate the latest Fenty beauty drop, we sat down with Rihanna’s make-up artist and Fenty ambassador, Hector Espinal, to discuss the newest Pro Filt’r Complexion launches, applying foundation properly and Riri’s commitment to creating a shade for every skin type.

Hector, who began his career as a make-up artist at Sephora now travels the world spreading the good Fenty word and working closely with Rihanna to innovate and create products, ensuring the Fenty Beauty world is the most inclusive cosmetics brand on the market. And, yes, he guessed my shade just from looking at me.

Here’s what we learnt.

This launch is important because…

“Although we had 40 foundation shades there were still gaps which was surprising. We were going through Instagram comments, DMs and listening to our customer. We wanted to expand the ranges and really cater to everyone. So, we’ve added ten foundation shades, taking it up to 50 total. For every shade of foundation we’ve created a concealer, and then, of course, we had to add eight setting powders just to top everything off, plus tools.”

Rihanna trials everything herself…

“It’s very satisfying seeing how involved our founder is. We’re constantly sending her images and she’ll feedback, ‘No. It looks too warm. Or, no it looks too ashy.’ I was literally shitting bricks when we presented the concealers to her because it was my first project, but she was straight up like ‘this is amazing’ and she tested all the shades.”

Why Rihanna the ultimate beauty icon for this generation...

“One, she’s extremely approachable. Two, I think she’s an amazing trendsetter. If Rihanna wears an oversized coat, everyone’s wearing an oversized coat. Then there’s her personality which means not only does everyone want to look like her, but she’s making make-up an emotional experience.”

SS19 is about healthy looking skin...

“With Fenty Beauty we’re driving this complexion wagon. How can you take care of your skin and make your skin look it’s best? Is it just spot concealing or do you really need a full face or can you just use powder and concealer? All I see is skin. A lot of beautiful, healthy, skin for next season.”

This is the best way to achieve a flawless Fenty face…

“Three easy steps: start priming your skin with the Pro Filt’r Primer. Find your foundation– whether you’re in the 100, 200, 300 or 400 bracket, and then work from there. In each family you have a warm, a cool, and a neutral which really is the point of difference from other brands. Start with your foundation, apply with a damp sponge because it mirrors your skin’s texture. Then try a concealer in the same number – they are created to be a couple of shades lighter than your foundation to create dimension – or one that’s a few shades lighter if like me, you like something a little more dramatic. If you want spot correction try a shade darker than your foundation. Finally, finish with powder. Voila.”

Three products Hector can’t live without…

“Concealer because I have horrible dark circles. Matchsticks in the colour Espresso to warm up my skin and then Glossbomb. I put Glossbomb on my eyes when I go clubbing, for Studio 54 vibes.”

Hector’s motto…

“Less is more.“

Hector used to be a full-time nanny, until...

“I started at Sephora in 2009 as a make-up artist with no experience. Then from there, I opened up the Sephora Meatpacking branch, which was a celebrity store. Eventually, I tried out for the national artistry team, and I made it to the first place. There were only 14 artists who made it that year. Then from there, I became a global artist for them, and that was how at fashion week in Paris I met Ri. She was missing her foundation and I had it on me. Long story short I went backstage, did her touch-ups, came out and I was like, 'Holy shit! I just did Rihanna’s make-up.' A few months later she asked for me to try out for the global team and to do Fenty Beauty.com”

Make-up is for everyone to enjoy...

“My grandmother who’s now 78, still does her make-up every day. My mum does her make-up twice a day. I’m like how the hell have you got time? I feel my best when I pop on ten pounds of concealer, 20 pounds of mascara and 15 pounds of bronzer. And just a light gloss to top it off!“

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