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Rihanna – autumn 20214
Cotton mesh baseball cap Louis Vuitton, earrings Rihanna’s own.Skincare products Fenty Skin, beauty products Fenty Beauty.Photography Rafael Pavarotti, Styling Ibrahim Kamara

A step-by-step guide to recreating Rihanna’s rainbow Dazed cover look


TextAlex Peters

Reporting from Dazed Live’s masterclass, where a Fenty make-up artist taught us everything we need to create the bold, multi-coloured eye look at home

Last weekend, the Dazed community came together to celebrate 30 years since Jefferson Hack and Rankin first founded the youth culture magazine. Taking over London’s 180 The Strand, Dazed Live featured a jam packed schedule of live performances, DJ sets, screenings, exhibitions, talks, workshops, and, naturally, plenty of beauty tutorials and treats. 

Alongside workshops with wig maverick John Allan and make-up artist Lynski, and a drop-in barber shop with London’s most in demand barber, Dat Barbar Nat, Dazed teamed up with Fenty Beauty for a live make-up masterclass on Rihanna’s recent Dazed cover look, originally created by Daniel Sallstrom.

With writer and editor Dominic Cadogan playing host, Fenty Beauty make-up artist Deborah Coffi guided the young – and very enthusiastic – audience step-by-step through how to recreate a slightly toned-down version of look for themselves. If you couldn’t make it in person to the event, here’s everything you need to know about what went down.

LESSON ONE: SKIN

“Great make-up starts with great skin” was the opening lesson from Deborah. Prior to the masterclass, she had prepped the model’s skin with Fenty Skin’s trio of cleanser, toner, and moisturiser. The Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer, in particular, works great under make-up, providing a glowy base on which to build your look. 

LESSON TWO: BROWS

Next up came the brows, which, as we all know, are the scaffolding of any great face. The brows Rihanna wears for the cover are stylistically graphic – perfect for editorial, but a little much for an everyday look. So, Deborah interpreted the look in a more modern, wearable way.

First, she went in with the Brow MVP Sculpting Styler, Fenty’s take on the lamination trend, running the wax through the model’s brows in an upward motion. Following a quick shout-out to a member of the audience with toxic waste green eyebrows, Deborah brushed up the brows with the attached spolie for a fluffier look and then filled them in with Brow MVP

To finish off the brows, she mimicked the brightness that Rihanna has on the cover by carving out underneath the brow with a lighter concealer, the Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Concealer in the shade 310. Focus the concealer – which, as Deborah told us, Rihanna has nicknamed “the cure” thanks to its ability to hide bad decisions – under the arch of the brow to create height. 

LESSON THREE: PRIMING

The next step was to prime the eyelids, which Deborah did with some more concealer. Asked if priming is really necessary, she said she does highly recommend it since it will help prolong the longevity of your eye look and make the colours of the shadows pop.

She then set the concealer with Fenty’s Invisimatte Blotting Powder. Rihanna’s favourite product, it is said that if the powder doesn’t fit in her bag she changes the bag – it's that important to her.

LESSON FOUR: EYES

Now comes the fun part. To start creating the colourful eye look, Deborah used the Flypencil Longwear Pencil Eyeliner in the shade ‘Sea About It’ to mimic the colour blocking style Rihanna wears on the cover. First keeping close to the lash line, she then began to build up the shape in the corner of the eye, making sure to keep a pencil brush on hand to move the product to where she wanted it.

Deborah’s tip with the pencils is that once they set they are not moving an inch, so be sure to move quickly. She also said when you are looking to create a precise shape, you can put the product on the back of your hand first, and then apply with a brush. Another important tip is to go back and forth between applying make-up while your eye is open and closed. This will ensure the make-up looks good and can be seen when you open your eyes at the end. 

After creating the shape she wanted, Deborah went in again with the pencil to intensify the colour. Then it was time to move onto the powder eyeshadows. Taking an emerald green shade from the Snap Shadows Mix & Match Eyeshadow Palette in ‘Money’, she applied the colour all over the middle and inner sections of the lid. She then took two other greens from the palette into the centre of the lid to add dimension.

Finally, add a pop of pink with a bright shade from Fenty’s Snap Shadows in ‘Rose’. Using a fluffy brush apply to the outer corners of the eye and blend it out softly so there are no harsh lines.

LESSON FIVE: MISTAKES

Voicing a question that every one of us has thought about before, one member of the audience asked Deborah how to fix a mistake when you’ve already applied several layers of make-up. Deborah’s top tip is that rather than removing the mistake with make-up remover or micellar water, try using a face primer or a moisturiser. This will help remove just the first layer where the mistake is, instead of getting rid of all your hard work.

If you are worried about going wrong with your eyeliner after you’ve already blended all of your eyeshadows, Deborah suggested applying your eyeliner first. Alternatively, if you are using darker shades, simply apply some more eyeshadow on top of where you have made your eyeliner mistake.

LESSON SIX: EYELINER

After finishing the eyeshadow, Deborah moved on to eyeliner. Taking Flyliner Longwear Liquid Eyeliner in the shade ‘Cuz I’m Black’, she started right in the inner corner and kept the product very close to the lash line so as not to take over the whole look. The shape of the eyeliner is similar to those triangular pencils you learnt to write with at school, designed in this way to give you a steadier grip and so that it doesn’t roll in your hand while you are trying to be precise.

Deborah’s tip for eyeliner is to use the length of the liner and apply it with the product flat to your eye so that it does all the work for you. After cleaning up some of the shadow fallout under the model’s eyes with micellar water, Deborah lined the bottom lashes using an angled brush and a stamping technique to apply the shadow. This keeps it looking crisp. She started with a brown shade before applying a black for definition.

LESSON SEVEN: COMPLEXION

Moving on to skin – which Deborah had already prepped with Fenty’s foundation, the Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in shade 350 – she then applied the corresponding 350 Pro Filt’r Concealer in the centre of the face to brighten it. Rather than blending in the concealer straight away, she let it sit for a while to let it thicken up.

She then contoured the model’s face with the Match Stix Contour Skinstick in the shade ‘Truffle’, keeping the placement of the contour quite high (Rihanna’s placement of choice) to give a lifting effect. Deborah also applied the contour close to the model’s hairline. Her tips for the Match Stix products is, firstly, that less is more – don’t go too crazy with applying a lot of product. She also likes to warm up the product on the back of her hand before applying. When it comes to applying it to the face, tap it on and then always remember to blend with a fluffy brush in an upward motion, never downwards, to keep that high lifted effect.

LESSON EIGHT: BLUSH

Another question from the audience concerned the best placement for blush. The answer is that it depends what kind of aesthetic you are looking to achieve. For example, if you want a lift follow the upward contour lines of your face. But if it's a fresh faced, plumper look you are after, go for the apples of your cheeks and even across your nose.

The Fenty blushes are all cream products which means they blend very naturally on the skin and can be kept sheer for a natural look or built up to create a bigger statement. They can be applied with just your fingers, or a brush or beauty blender.

For this look, Deborah used Fenty’s Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush combining two shades, ‘Daiquiri Dip’ and ‘Strawberry Dip’. Although the blush on Rihanna is quite strong and bold, Deborah decided on a more subtle, wearable look. Rather than applying the blush to the apples of the model’s cheeks, she placed the product higher, using a tapping motion, to lift the cheeks and then she blended it into the eye look to create a more harmonious feel.

Since all the products in the Fenty line are designed to be layered over top of each other, Deborah says she often applies the cream blushes over powder – a combining of textures which would usually end in disaster.

After finishing with the blush, Deborah took a clean brush and buffed out the under eye concealer with Invisimatte Blotting Powder. The powder is incredible, creating a notice difference and giving a blurred but still glowing effect. Asked about baking by an audience member, Deborah recommends using a damp sponge and being very specific with your placement. For example, rather than baking the whole of the under eye, she likes to keep the powder to the inner and outer corners for definition and a brightening effect that’s not too drying.

LESSON NINE: LIPS

Next, it was time for the lips. Rather than using a lip liner to create dimension, Deborah used two different shades of lip gloss which gives a similar effect without the harsh lines. Taking Gloss Bomb Cream in the darker shade ‘Cookie Jar’, Deborah lined the model’s lips before applying Gloss Bomb Dip to the centre of the lips. 

LESSON TEN: HIGHLIGHT

The final step, and Deborah’s favourite part, is highlighter. Taking the Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Duo in the shade ‘Mean Mny Hustl Bby’, she applied it to the highpoints of the model’s face, down the nose, and on the cupid’s bow. The brush Deborah used was the Cheek Hugging Highlight Brush, which she explains was created when Rihanna was shown a selection of brushes and, seeing nothing she was happy with, she took a pair of scissors and cut a brush into the shape she wanted.

After a last finishing touch of highlighting under the brow bone, the look was finished and the model was ready for a night on the town Rihanna would be proud of.

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