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Rihanna’s make-up artist on how to achieve a sweat-proof summer glow

Picture: Rihanna, Instagram/@priscillaono
Picture: Rihanna, Instagram/@priscillaono

Recreate that signature Fenty radiance this season.

Before Priscilla Ono was Rihanna’s personal make-up artist, she worked at Sephora as a sales associate, and before she was a Sephora associate, she was watching her grandmother apply make-up. Most lifelong passions start simply. “My grandmother worked long hours, and was always tired because she had to cook, clean and take care of [us],” Ono recalls.

“But when she put on make-up, I’d see her transform, from not feeling her best, to this powerhouse.”

Make-up as metamorphosis—that was the idea that led Ono to Sephora and beyond. Seven years Ono spent honing her craft, before meeting Rihanna on the set of her music video for S&M, and catching wind of Fenty Beauty shortly after. Thousands flew in to compete for a position as a global artist for her label—but Ono got the job. “We were all in a room, and they called us in one by one,” Ono tells Vogue. “We each had about an hour to do Rihanna's makeup. I remember being so nervous—the stakes were so high!—but she loved it.”

Nowadays, those high stakes are just the everyday for Ono, who along with a position as Fenty Beauty’s global make-up artist and Rihanna’s personal MUA, counts Megan Thee Stallion and Normani amongst her regular clients. The last few years have seen Ono develop a signature for both the Fenty label and her own oeuvre, defined by bold colour and dewy skin. A perusal of her Instagram page and you’ll be acquainted with what all in the beauty industry know to be true: if you’re looking to glow from the inside out, there’s no better authority than Ono herself.

Here, Vogue chats to Ono about the ins and outs of summer foundation, from the mistakes in application that everyone makes, to how to sweat-proof your skin for the season ahead.

What are the biggest mistakes you see people making with foundation application?

“I think one of the biggest mistakes I see is the use of too much foundation,” Ono says. “You really only need one pump of the Pro Filt’r Soft Matte foundation for light-to-medium coverage or two pumps for full coverage foundation. Much more than that and your makeup can start to look cakey. I also recommend applying foundation in light layers and building coverage only where you need to so you get the smoothest application that looks most skin-like!”

How do you like to prep your skin before applying your foundation? Does this approach change during the summer, for a sweat-proof result?

“Before applying any makeup, I cleanse my skin, apply a moisturiser, and apply SPF if it’s not in my moisturiser already,” Ono advises. “The first step of your makeup routine should always be to apply a Primer. Depending on the season, your skin may be more dry or oily, and in the summer months, I find myself using a mattifying primer to counterbalance my skin’s natural oils. I use either the Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch or Mattifying Primer, and this also helps to extend the foundation wear so it lasts all day and withstands the summer heat.”

“I also recommend applying Invisimatte Blotting Powder, especially on areas of the face that will get more oily like the T-Zone. You can set this after you’ve applied your makeup and continue touching up throughout the day because it has a translucent finish.”

What are your favourite products to use on the skin?

It’s difficult to choose a favourite and depends on the skin finish I’m going for,” Ono says. “My go-to staples are:

Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation. It is the perfect soft matte foundation that gives you instant coverage but ensures that your skin still looks like skin. You can use it for a light or full coverage makeup look, and it is extremely long-lasting, as well as sweat and humidity resistant, so it won’t budge in any climate.

Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint. This is a lightweight skin tint with buildable light-to-medium coverage that blurs and smooths out your skin. I love that I can apply this in seconds for a beautiful natural look that lasts all day—it’s so easy!

Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Powder Foundation. My secret weapon for quick touch-ups. It comes in the perfect portable compact for on-the-go, adds extra coverage, and mattifies your skin without it making it look dry or cakey.”

Do you have a go-to make-up look for the summer?

“Cream bronzer and blush are my go-to products for a summer glow. A creamy formula is easy to apply and melts into your skin. Fenty Beauty’s Cheeks Out Cream Bronzer and Blush are sweat and water resistant, which is perfect for hot summer days. Cheeks Out Cream Bronzer gives you that effortless sun-kissed bronze and can add dimension to your features, while looking really natural. Cheeks Out Cream Blush will give you such a natural wash of colour, and my current favourite shade is Petal Poppin’, which also can look incredible on your lips!”.

Written by Gladys Lai.

Thsis article originally appeared on Vogue Australia.

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