Rihanna's Makeup Artist Shares the Ways Beauty Helps During These Uncertain Times

Fenty Beauty's global makeup artist shares his best makeup and self-care tips, especially as we all navigate this new normal.

By Alyssa Morin May 11, 2020 10:00 PMTags
Hector Espinal, FentyCaroline McCredie/Getty Images for Fenty Beauty by Rihanna

When you look good, you feel good!

At least, that's a motto Hector Espinal—the Fenty Beauty global makeup artist and Rihanna's go-to for all things glam—can get behind.

Considering we're all still navigating this new world with the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the makeup artist understands the power of beauty. That's why he tells E! News that sticking to his routine has lifted his spirits during these times.

"Wear your fragrances after you shower, put a little makeup, take some selfies," he shares. "I feel like it's so easy to go into a rabbit hole and that's not the goal here. The goal is that we look and feel blessed to be alive."

He adds, "I will wear makeup everyday if you let me. I think I spend more time on taking off my pile of makeup."

With that in mind, it also helps that Fenty Beauty recently released two products that are perfect for glam sessions at home and the warmer months ahead.

Every Time Rihanna Was a Big Mood

The latest addition to the beauty brand's lineup: the Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush and the Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer.

To get details on Fenty's new cream products, Hector's best makeup tips for your video chats (or for when you're just relaxing) at home, read our interview with the makeup artist below!

Plus, he breaks down why it's important to block out some self-care time.

E! News: What are your best tips and tricks for people who don't use cream products?

Hector Espinal: With cream products, less is more. When people think cream, they automatically want to dive [into the product]. If you have dry skin, this is definitely one of your most go-to products. Because it's gonna make the skin look youthful and very fresh.

For dry skin, I like to apply the product with a damp sponge, especially with cold water so it can tighten up the pores. If you have oily skin, and you still are addicted to cream products like I am, I like to use my brush. Cream products should always go first, then layer and set with a translucent powder.

E! News: How are Fenty's new cream products different from the Match Stix?

HE: Rihanna already set the skin-tone conversation, so now it's all about skin type. The Match Stix is a cream-to-powder formula, which really caters to a lot of people no matter the skin type. But with the cream bronzers there's a sheer-to-medium coverage and that formula is really just to bronze. It has a little sparkle to it, a nice sheen as opposed to the Match Stix, which are completely matte and a little bit heavier.

E! News: How does Rihanna like to use these new products? Are there any special ways she applies them?

HE: Everything you see with Fenty Beauty, Rihanna puts her hands in it first. Everything goes through her, so she loves playing with the products. I recently did her makeup for her birthday, where we used the cream bronzers, and she bronzed up the whole skin and body with that. I saw her once using it as an eyeshadow, there's really no restriction with the product.

E! News: What are some easy makeup hacks people can learn and try from home right now?

HE: Earlier, I was getting prepped for a Zoom call, and I was like, 'How is the everyday woman doing this?' Because as a makeup artist, sometimes we tend to struggle, 'cause we look tired or we're just lazy. At home, the best thing is: less is more.

You really don't need foundation as much as you did before. A good concealer, something peachy to color correct any dark circles, and something to warm up your complexion to give you that nice, youthful, fresh look. And a blush! Without a blush, you look flat. So concealer, a little bit of bronzer, blush and then most importantly, to seal the deal, mascara. Mascara makes you look fresh and awakened.

E! News: In what ways do you think beauty helps during these uncertain times?

HE: In many ways... it prevents you from getting depressed. We're so used to doing our regular routines and stepping out. One of the things I've been doing that I've been telling people is to continue your routine. For me, I love getting my manicures, I love wearing a lot of cologne. Every single Friday, I'm doing my at-home manicures and pedicures. There's no ifs and buts. Sometimes I don't want to do it, but it makes me feel better.

E! News: Has this time in quarantine made you feel more creative?

HE: It has definitely made me more creative in a sense where I'm thinking about how to use a product in multiple ways. It's like: how can I use this one product and make multiple uses of it... and I really enjoy that. Even going on Live and talking to you right now makes me feel good because it feels like I'm continuing to help anyone with their makeup tips and tricks.

E! News: Are there any makeup looks you're excited to do on Rihanna once things start going back to normal?

HE: With the new collection, I feel like you can explore more. I really want to do a no-makeup makeup, fresh skin with the new bronzers and blushes. I feel like I can do more with that and just overall, trying out our core products more.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.