The Totality: Rihanna | ELLE MagazineLet’s just call…
The Totality: Rihanna | ELLE Magazine
Let’s just call Rihanna what
she is: the coolest woman on the planet—with beauty, talent, attitude,
and personal style to spare. Here, the global megastar answers questions
from a cross-section of her famous fans.
Somewhere between releasing her debut
single “Pon de Replay” (to blitzkrieg effect) in 2005 and sitting down
to discuss international education with Emmanuel Macron in 2017, Rihanna
has become much more than a pop star. The music is still absolutely
vital, yes—her eighth album, Anti, which has been kicking up dust on the dance charts since it dropped last year, was deemed by Forbes
to be one of the most successful recordings of all time—but as an icon,
she represents something far greater: what a woman can achieve when she
tackles her career, and her life, on her own terms. Rihanna is always
fearlessly, unapologetically herself, whether she’s making maverick
fashion choices on the red carpet, calling out body shamers, or adding
yet another unmistakably RiRi-stamped endeavor to her string of
hyphenates. We can now add beauty mogul to that list.
singer has poured her uncompromising attitude into a much-awaited
makeup line, Fenty Beauty by Rihanna, poised to launch with a big bang
of 91 products on September 8 at Sephora (expect lines) and on the
brand’s website (Internet = broken). Its focus, perhaps surprisingly
from a practiced maquillage peacock who has been known to rock vivid
blue and ink-black lipstick with defiant flair, is gleaming, satiny,
flawless skin, built around an assortment of user-friendly highlighting
and contouring sticks, and a whopping 40 shades of foundation. “The
biggest void I’ve found in the industry is the lack of variety in
foundation shades,” Rihanna tells us. “That’s one of the things that was
most important to me—to make sure everyone was included.” It’s a nod,
too, to the complexion-perfecting gateway drug that ushered the Barbados
native into beauty in the first place: “Foundation was the first
product I ever owned,” she says. “It was like magic, and I’ve been in
love with makeup ever since.”
Avidly hands-on throughout the collection’s development, Rihanna helmed
everything from the playful name selection (there’s a gold powder
highlighter, for instance, dubbed Trophy Wife) to the packaging, which,
like its creator, is multifaceted, with tough, graffiti-inspired outer
boxes opening onto sleek, streamlined, sweetly pretty individual
products. “There are plenty of options out there when it comes to
makeup,” Rihanna says. “My approach with Fenty Beauty was just to do
things my way.”
19 QUESTIONS FOR RIHANNA, FROM 20 OF HER FRIENDS AND FANS
Tyra Banks, Model/Entrepreneur: You’re so
successful and surrounded by people who want to please you. Who gives it
to you straight?
Rihanna: For me, it’s my mama. They all fake, LOL, and fired!
Rapper: You don’t seem like you’re ever thinking about trends when you
go in the studio, yet you end up setting them. What are you looking at
when you start your recording process?
Rihanna: I rarely know exactly what I want to do, but always know exactly how I want it to make me feel. Feeling always leads the sound!
Jean, Rapper: The last time I saw you was at the World Cup. If you
could be any football player in the world, who would it be?
Rihanna: Cristiano Ronaldo. But then again, Beckham did marry Posh Spice.
Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia, Designers, Oscar de la Renta: What’s your best vintage find?
Rihanna: On New Year’s Eve, 2016, I bought this costume from 1952 that was worn in the movie Singin’ in the Rain.
“Rihanna is today’s most fascinating performer, a mysterious amalgam of
amiable warmth and glittering charisma. With her keen creative eye for
line and color, she has become a fashion icon, like Audrey Hepburn. Yet
she is a tempestuous wild child and international adventuress, like Ava
Gardner. Most importantly, as an artist in this overmechanized age, she
bravely draws on deep wells of pure emotion, endearing her to millions
of fans worldwide.” —Camille Paglia,Author/Critic
Tricky Stewart, Record Producer: Do you
remember the first time a crowd gave you goose bumps singing all the
lyrics to your song in concert?
Yes! I was on tour, and the whole crowd started singing “Take a Bow”
word for word…to the point that I couldn’t even sing. They performed the
entire song for me.
April Bloomfield, Chef: What do you cook when you want a little comfort?
Rihanna: Bajan macaroni pie, which is our version of a baked mac ’n’ cheese.
Zac Posen, Designer: What’s your secret family recipe?
R:It’s a secret! LOL. But they make a mean “cook-up” and pepper pot. Both are Guyanese recipes.
Jacquie Aiche, Jewelry Designer: What’s your favorite body part?
R: Well, my favorite body parts on pretty much any woman are the collarbone and shoulders.
Charli XCX, Singer/Songwriter: What’s your ultimate karaoke song?
R: Bon Jovi, “Livin’ on a Prayer”; Journey, “Don’t Stop Believin’ ”; Brandy and Monica, “The Boy Is Mine.”
“Rihanna brings ‘global gumbo’ to the culture. Her voice unites the world through positive music vibes.” —Wyclef Jean, Rapper
Danielle Steel, Best-Selling Author: I love
your shoe passion, especially your collaboration with Manolo Blahnik.
How much of the designing do they let you do?
really give me all the creative freedom I could ask for, but of course I
have this unique opportunity to work with Mr. Blahnik himself, so his
expertise is always more than welcome!
Fields, Chef (Willa Jean, New Orleans): Your preferences in fashion and
art appear to embrace the entire scale of highbrow/lowbrow—which is how
I like to cook. I’d love to know if your preferences in munchies run
along that same scale?
R: You mean KFC on a private jet is not normal?
Laverne Cox, Actress: You’ve had so many
iconic fashion moments and take so many risks. The CFDA Awards Adam
Selman dress in 2014—what gave you the courage to take that risk that
was so perfect and elegant yet daring?
R: Dear Laverne, I took advantage of my titties before they go south. I saw my window, and I took it.
Williams, Musician/Producer: You’re a pluralist in every sense of the
word. Did you always have these dreams to do so many things, in addition
to being an artist? Or have you just figured that out along the way
that there are other things you can do very well?
always been a dreamer…or let’s just say I kept my options open. In my
heart, I knew singing was gonna be in my future, but I considered
psychology, hairdressing, banking, teaching, acting, modeling, aviation,
and philanthropy. I just didn’t know I’d pretty much be doing all of
these things eventually!
Gary Ross, Director, Ocean’s 8: What’s the first thing I should do when I get to Barbados?
R: [Fast-food] Chefette and a rum punch!
“I love Rihanna. I love that she is herself with no apologies. Her sense
of style and self is unique. I love how she transforms herself with
each album, each campaign. Always evolving. A true icon.” —Venus
Williams, Tennis Champion
David Copperfield, Magician: I’m not
kidding, this is a real offer: I can make you disappear and reappear
anywhere in the world. Where do you want to go, and why?
R: Ten minutes before I lost my virginity…and I’m holding you to that offer. LOL.
Vitolo, Restauranteur (Emilio’s Ballato, New York City): What’s the
name of the soup dish that’s the most popular in our region of Italy?
R: It’s my favorite on your menu…pasta e fagioli.
A$AP Rocky, Rapper: Tupac, Bob Marley, and Time: Fuck? Marry? Kill?
Shit, well, we stay killing Time. Fuck Tupac. Marry Bob, duh.
Olivia Wilde, Actress: What’s the most valuable mistake you’ve learned from?
No cheese for Jay Brown before a flight.
Field, Stylist: Would you consider having a cocktail with me sometime
in the near future? I’d like to get to know you better. (Not hitting on
Your place or mine?
“Rihanna’s MTV 2016 VMA performances were groundbreaking, paradigm-
shifting moments in female swag. She represents badassery, positive
self-esteem, and in a great way. She is powerful and vulnerable
simultaneously, which makes her a revolutionary. Yes, she’s sexy, but
once she’s got your attention, I don’t think you can ignore what she’s
saying to you: She is curated and deliberate without feeling staged, and
her intent is as real as anything out there. I respond to her as a
writer, a woman, and a fan.” —Courtney Kemp, Showrunner/Creator, Power
HERE, RIHANNA’S INSIGHT AS THE PROPRIETOR OF FENTY BEAUTY
ELLE: When did you first wear lipstick?
Lipstick always got me in trouble. Whether it was at home as a
kid, or my early teenage years in my career, I always had the urge to
wear it. So I broke all those rules. Now lipstick is like my li’l secret
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done/tried for beauty? Would you do it again?
A corset! I’d do it again, though. I’d wear it every day if I could make it out alive!
What makes you feel dressy/“done,” beautywise?
My finishing touch is usually my highlighter. I love highlighter—it just adds this sense of fantasy to any look.
“What is incredible about Rihanna is that in a world facing a
deadening crisis of leadership and the constant negation of creative
efforts, her music globally moves and inspires us to be completely alive
without restrictions or prohibitions.” —Richard Phillips, Artist
Of all the celebrities you’ve met, who smells the best?
[Photographers] Inez and Vinoodh! Inez smells delicious. She
actually gifted me her scent, because I always asked her about it.
Who’s your hair idol?
This is probably confusing to most, but it’s in between Toni
Braxton from back in the day with all her short haircuts…and Cindy
Crawford. She had the most effortless yet stunning hair.
Who’s your makeup idol?
I have to go with Veruschka. She made makeup look like silk!
This article originally appears in the October 2017 issue of ELLE.
Source: Rihanna music video Hell Yeah Rihanna
28 Sep, 2017
The Totality: Rihanna | ELLE MagazineLet’s just call…
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