It’s hard to feel confident in a regular job interview, let alone if being hired or not depended on how well you did Rihanna’s makeup. Talk about pressure.
But this is exactly what Hector Espinal did in order to score his dream job as Fenty’s Global Makeup Artist.
A post shared by Hector Espinal(@artbyhector) on Jan 31, 2018 at 6:14am PST
He’s one of only two people to currently hold this position, which involves travelling the world to represent the brand, creating looks for campaign imagery and starring in video content across Fenty’s social channels and website.
Here, he tells GLAMOUR what it’s really like to work with RiRi and the lengthy process that led him here today…
The Fenty Auditions
The competition for Hector’s job was fierce AF, starting with a shortlist of 5,000 makeup artists.
“It was like American Idol but with makeup”, he says. “We auditioned, and it was like a six-month process.”
“We had to do interviews, do makeup, live camera, how-tos and then once we made it to finals, we had the pleasure of doing Rihanna’s makeup and then from there she selected two of us.”
Before beginning his journey with Fenty, Hector spent several years as a Sephora PRO Professional Artist. A Dominican living in New York, Hector’s creativity as an artist and Latin-flavoured looks landed his work in both US and Latin-American Vogue, Rolling Stone, Elle and more.
A post shared by Hector Espinal(@artbyhector) on May 23, 2018 at 4:03am PDT
Working with Rihanna
Hector’s nerves when it came to the final round were perhaps soothed by the fact he had already met Queen RiRi before.
“I met her for the first time in Paris for Fashion Week.”
“I was actually one of the artists for her show and I had the pleasure of doing her touch-ups backstage and I guess we fell in love with each other”, he says laughingly.
“These days she calls me Vivica.”
“If you go through my Instagram page, you’ll see all these random ‘Vivicaaaaaa!’ comments because that’s what we call each other.”
While we might blast Wild Thoughts and Rude Boy when getting ready for a night out, Hector says he and Rihanna bonded over a love for Jazmine Suvillan’s music the first time he did her makeup.
“She was playing a random playlist and Jazmine came on and I was like ‘oh my god I LOVE HER'”, he recalls. “We played old school Jazmine.”
“We don’t listen to her music, I think that would be extremely cheesy. Even when we do events, it’s never her song playing.”
A post shared by Hector Espinal(@artbyhector) on Feb 13, 2018 at 10:07am PST
As for Rihanna’s makeup preferences, Hector says makeup for her is all about mood, “it depends how she’s feeling.”
For example, if she’s feeling flirty, he’ll use pink, but if she’s feeling like a bad b*itch, he might choose to put PMS or Clap Back on her lips.
The future of Fenty
If you were hoping Fenty Beauty might extend to skincare, you may be disappointed.
“Rihanna takes amazing care of her skin”, says Hector. “But I don’t think she’ll do skincare, it’s too complicated.”
“There’s so much more that goes into it and I think you’ve got to choose either skincare or makeup and clearly, she chose makeup.”
Get the lewk! Festival season around the corner! Show me your @fentybeauty Festival look! PREP #INSTANTRETOUCHPRIMER #PROFILTR Foundation in shade #220 CONCEAL #MATCHSTIX in “French Vanilla” CONTOUR/ HIGHLIGHT #MATCHSTIX “Truffle” #SHIMMERMATCHSTIX “Blonde” Killawatt “Trophy Wife, Ginger Binge/Moscow Mule” EYES/LIPS #EYES Lid’s “Trophy Wife” #LIPS Mattemoiselle “ClapBack” FINISH #INVISIMATTE @imcydneychristine
A post shared by Hector Espinal(@artbyhector) on Mar 17, 2018 at 9:58pm PDT
Fenty has been a pioneer of inclusivity in the industry, something which Hector is here for, “When you see someone who writes ‘Oh my God I’m albino and I’ve finally found my shade’, or you have Duckie who is such a beautiful shade of deep chocolate and we have a shade to suit her, too. It’s like, look how broad we brought this brand.”
“And it’s not the amount of foundation shades we’ve produced, it’s the undertones, that’s the tricky part. But it’s what we master and that’s our point of difference.”
“We just want to continue the movement and make an impact on the everyday woman.”
Taken from GLAMOUR UK. Read the original here.
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