Rihanna has always been beauty’s resident disrupter. But with the groundbreaking success of her Fenty makeup line, Vogue’s June cover girl is shattering boundaries like never before—and having more fun than anyone else while doing it.
With a career that’s expanding well beyond her Grammy-winning, critically acclaimed music—think inclusive Internet-breaking beauty launches, a forthcoming body-positive Savage x Fenty lingerie line, and a role in Ocean’s 8 next month—the pop icon is finally pulling back the curtains on her Bad Gal glow. “I want to give you guys a vibe,” she says in her lilting Barbadian accent, clad in a Savage x Fenty pink silk robe and lace-trim bra while on vacation in Los Cabos, Mexico. “And my vibe for summer is more is more.”
For Rihanna, unfiltered is a way of life—and that carries over to her deft use of unexpected pigments or holographic highlighters. “I learned how to contour when I gained weight, believe it or not,” she proclaims as she buffs Fenty’s Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation over her entire face and sculpts her cheeks, nose, and jawline with one of the Match Stix Matte Skinsticks in Mocha. “That’s when it comes in reeeeal handy, believe it or not. Them fat days [when] cheeks looking like baby cheeks.” She continues to dot on camouflage where necessary, warming up a fleshy shade on the back of her red-taloned hand before tapping it under the eyes. “Everybody knows concealer is made for hiding bags, and dark circles, and hangovers, and bad decisions,” she purrs.
After a veil of matte setting powder (“When you get greasy on the fly, honey, it is no joke!”), she brushes bronzer across her face for a hint of warmth, then concentrates the earthy pigment along the eye sockets to enhance her gaze. “I have been watching women do makeup since my mom and [then] I started working in an industry where [it] was going to be a part of my every day basically, so I picked up a lot of tips,” she explains, adding that even when she’s getting her makeup done, there are certain facial features she’ll always do herself. “I’m super, super caught up about my brows and my nose contour.”
On to bringing the full-blown eye drama, she swirls a deep pink shadow that covers all bases—“Summer, sunset, love, drama, bitches!” she says with an infectious laugh—into the lids. But things don’t stop there. After quick dashes of gold glitter liner on the inner corners of the eyes for “a little zest!” she coats her lips in a luminous gloss. But no self-respecting Bad Gal stops at the neck. Growing up in the Caribbean, “I’d make body glitter makeup with oil, eyeshadows that I crushed up, and pigments,” she says, pulling out the Fenty equivalent—her Body Lava Luminizer, which she spreads, sensually, all over her décolleté and shoulders using a kabuki brush, to light up her glossy limbs.
Now that she’s ready, one question remains: Where is she off to tonight? “We going to the clurrrrrb!” she says in full vacation mode. And with a twirl, a hair flip, and a kiss goodbye for good measure, the icon is out—looking savage.