Do you ever feel like packing it all in and retiring from society to become a little goblin in the woods?
Between Hungary ending legal recognition of transgender people, the bizarre idolisation of the North Korean leader Kim Yo-jong (Kim Jong-un’s sister) and NikkieTutorials being forced into a premature coming-out that gave her PTSD, we are drowning in 2020. Not to mention you know… that other thing. When the world is dark, there’s nothing wrong with turning your face to the light. And by light, I mean Rihanna.
As well as championing inclusivity as a non-negotiable for beauty brands with her eponymous Fenty Beauty, Rihanna has also been making headlines for her work in coronavirus relief efforts. Her Clara Lionel Foundation donated five million dollars in grants to a number of causes, including the World Health Organisation, Direct Relief and Feeding America. She’s also just… delightful.
You know how sometimes just merely watching your friends gas each other up, hang out and be stupid together is the most heartwarming thing in the world? Even though nothing is really *happening*? That’s kind of how I feel when I watch Rihanna do her makeup.
In a new video uploaded to the Fenty Beauty By Rihanna YouTube channel, the IRL angel shows off the new Fenty Beauty Cream Blushes and Cream Bronzers. The adorable claps and her spoofing of ‘YouTuber beauty guru voice’ are so charming to me? Like, the mannerisms could very well be insufferable on someone else on Rihanna it’s cute.
As I watch her explain the products I think a lot about where exactly my affinity and affection for the Barbadian legend came from. Rihanna explains the new cream Fenty products are really intensely pigmented looking in the pan, but they can be built up in a sheer wash. Much in the same way as my adoration for this woman has. I don’t think there’s a single catalyst moment, but like a gentle blush application, layer on layer of interest was added.
For so many Rihanna fans, the music first came first. More than 15 years later Pon De Replay still slaps, but the rest of her catalogue has won her eight Grammys and 32 nominations. Then her public persona, there’s something inspiring about the grace n attitude she carries herself with. Her formidable work ethic is also something to behold.
Rihanna basically had three consecutive years of launching critically and commercially successful ventures: Fenty Beauty, her makeup line, Savage X Fenty, her lingerie brand, and finally, her ready to wear fashion line Fenty. Please note, she was the first black woman ever to inaugurate a fashion house at the luxury conglomerate LVMH (the home of Louis Vuitton, Dior, Sephora, Fendi and Givenchy.)
I think a lot about one quote from her Time interview from last year. She’s talking about being early in her career and having to suddenly reckon with fame. Thinking about whether dealing with the fever around her because of Pon De Replay was worth it, she was actually galvanised by the people who dismissed her: “Then the one-hit-wonder comment came straight out of the gate and that put a fire under my ass, and I just never stopped working. Every time it was about challenging myself: I have to do better, I have to do better.”
And she fucking did it. Watching her joke with her team (who clearly adore her) is such a delight. I haven’t worn makeup in a month, but she made me pull out a Fenty Match Stix just for the fun of it. The comments section is a bath of people enjoying her simply feelin’ herself.
Just… take a five-minute break, and bask in the light of Rihanna’s tutorial okay?