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Elle: The Totality – Rihanna

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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 Forbesto 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 (singer-actress-designer-entrepreneur-philanthropist-etcetera-etcetera) hyphenates. We can now add beauty mogul to that list.

The 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.”

PVC coat, $3,995, helmet, $895, both, Dolce & Gabbana, at select Dolce & Gabbana boutiques nationwide. Intarsia viscose bodysuit, Givenchy, $1,660.

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.”

“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

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!

Eminem, 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?

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!

Wyclef 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?

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?

On New Year’s Eve, 2016, I bought this costume from 1952 that was worn in the movie Singin’ in the Rain.

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?

Bajan macaroni pie, which is our version of a baked mac ’n’ cheese.

Zac Posen, Designer: What’s your secret family recipe?

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?

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?

Bon Jovi, “Livin’ on a Prayer”; Journey, “Don’t Stop Believin’ ”; Brandy and Monica, “The Boy Is Mine.”

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?

They 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!

Kelly 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?

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?

Dear Laverne, I took advantage of my titties before they go south. I saw my window, and I took it.

Pharrell 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?

I’ve 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?

[Fast-food] Chefette and a rum punch!

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?

Ten minutes before I lost my virginity…and I’m holding you to that offer. LOL.

Emilio 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?

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.

Patricia 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 you.)

Your place or mine?

Metal and leather earrings, Fendi, $495, fendi.com. Mirror-foil PVC neck plate, Gijs Bakker, $10,000.

“RIHANNA BRINGS ‘GLOBAL GUMBO’ TO THE CULTURE. HER VOICE UNITES THE WORLD THROUGH POSITIVE MUSIC VIBES.” —WYCLEF JEAN, RAPPER

“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

Wrap by Y/Project. Earrings by Jenna Fisher. Cuffs by Eva Fehren.

“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 (STARZ)

“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

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 weapon!

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.

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!

Coat by Calvin Klein 205W39NYC. Earrings by Chopard

Dress and bra by Nina Ricci. Cuffs and rings by Eva Fehren. Earring by Repossi. Pinkie ring by Eddie Borgo.

Gold-tone brass earring, $280, sable jersey boots, $995, all, Balenciaga, at Balenciaga, NYC. Gold stud earring, Spinelli Kilcollin, $600. Vermeil rings, Charlotte Chesnais, $1,135 (for set of three). Her own small hoop earring, worn throughout.

Hair by Yusef at Factory Downtown for Rich Hair Care; makeup by James Kaliardos for Fenty Beauty; manicure by Kimmie Kyees at celestineagency.com for Defy & Inspire; produced by Tommy Romersa at Joy Asbury Productions; fashion assistant: Daniel Gaines


This article originally appears in the October 2017 issue of ELLE.

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A Look At Rihanna’s Acting History, From ‘Bring It On: All or Nothing’ to ‘Ocean’s 8’

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The trailer for the highly anticipated Ocean’s Trilogy sequel/spin-off, Ocean’s 8was released today (Dec. 19) and features an all-star cast of numerous badass women — including everybody’s favorite Barbadian triple-threat, Rihanna.

The iconic superstar has proved time and time again that she is a force to be reckoned since her early days, through her music, fashion and beauty ventures, but also her various acting roles, which have truly showed her versatility and superb talent.

From early work such as Bring It On: All or Nothing to this past year’s sci-fi adventure Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Rihanna has proved she has what it takes to make it in the acting world. Here’s a look back at Rihanna’s roles in both film and television.

Bring It On: All or Nothing (2006)

The cheerleading comedy finds a transfer student trying to join the cheerleading squad of a rough high school, where she not only faces off against the new school’s head cheerleader, but against her former school in a cheer competition as well. Rihanna makes a cameo appearance in the film, where she announces the cheerleading competition and declares that the winners shall appear in a music video with her. A small role, yes, but as good a starting place for Rihanna as any.

Battleship

In this sci-fi action film, we find Rihanna far from the comforts of the stage, thrust into a war filled with uncertainty. The 2012 film based off the board game of the same name follows a fleet of ships that battle a series of unfamiliar foes, where Rihanna stars as Cora Raikes, a weapons specialist aboard one of the ships. Director Peter Berg stated in an interview with GQ that he came up with the idea to cast Rihanna after he realized she could act when she performed a skit on Saturday Night Live. Rihanna later went on to state that she accepted the role because she wanted to “do something badass.”

This Is the End

The 2013 end of the world comedy directed by Seth Rogen features a hilarious appearance from Rihanna, who is attending a party at James Franco’s house where she and numerous other celebrities are faced with the doom that will be brought on from the impending apocalypse. Though brief, Rihanna’s cameo showcases her comedic chops and versatility as an actress.

Annie

Starring in a movie-within-a-movie, Rihanna plays the villain of “MoonQuake Lake,” the flick that Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhané Wallis go to see together in the musical adaptation. The fake film also co-stars Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher.

Home

This 2015 film from DreamWorks finds Rihanna cast in the lead role as Gratuity “Tip” Tucci, a teenage girl who befriends an alien on the run from his own people. During a round of press interviews for the film, Rihanna and her costars Jim Parsons and Steve Martin were asked about the possibility of life on other planets — to which Rihanna suggests keeping an open mind.

Bates Motel

On the hit A&E series, Rihanna starred as Marion Crane, the troubled secretary who played an iconic role in the 1960 horror classic Psycho, which the series is based off of. Taking over the character from Janet Leigh, Rihanna brought a modern and more relatable version to the screen for viewers to identify with. Viewers who were hoping for a remake of the infamous murder scene were out of luck, however, as Rihanna’s version of Crane survived and her lover, Sam Loomis, meet his untimely demise instead.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Meet Bubble, the shape-shifting burlesque dancer portrayed by Rihanna in this fantasy film about two special operatives who must race to identify the evil that threatens the future of their home and the universe. Director Luc Besson contacted RiRi’s manager to offer her the small but crucial role, to which she accepted, and shot around her jam-packed touring and promotions schedule.

Ocean’s Eight

Set to be released Summer 2018, Ocean’s Eight will find Sandra Bullock’s character, Debbie Ocean, attempting to pull off a heist at New York City’s star-studded Met Gala, following in the footsteps of her infamous family. Rihanna will star as Nine Ball, a computer genius and hacker who aids Debbie in her quest, and will star along other such acting stars as Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling and Sarah Paulson.

Source: Billboard

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Rihanna for Vogue Paris (December 2017)

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Check out all the scans from the latest edition of Vogue Paris!

Rihanna is December’s special guest editor and she graces not one but three 3 covers. The three photoshoots were shot by 3 different photographers (Juergen Teller, Inez and Vinoodh, and Jean-Paul Goude) with 3 editorials. The magazine is out on newsstands now! Don’t miss it and view all the photos at RihannaVault.com

    

So we got to ask…

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Rihanna on Building a Beauty Empire: ‘I’m Going To Push the Boundaries in This Industry’

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Rihanna’s make-up line, Fenty Beauty, has garnered rave reviews since its launch in September, both for its quality-to-affordability ratio and its emphasis on inclusivity. (It launched with 40 shades of foundation and an ad campaign featuring a diverse array of models.) Now that Fenty Beauty has been named one of TIME‘s 25 Best Inventions of 2017, Time Magazine caught up with its superstar creator to talk about how and why she’s building a beauty empire, and what’s in store for the future.

TIME: What’s your earliest memory of beauty?

Rihanna: My lifelong obsession with makeup started with watching my mom put her makeup on. I always loved to watch her, and all the funny faces she was making in the mirror. I never understood it until I got older and fell in love with makeup myself and really started becoming obsessed. The first time I remember having my makeup done was for this beauty pageant that I did in school. I was 15, about to be 16, just before I got signed. I had my full face done for this pageant — my mom actually did my makeup. And ever since then, ever since I saw foundation on my skin, I could never look at my skin without foundation again. Makeup, it spoiled me.

Why do you wear makeup now? What role does it play in your daily routine?

Makeup is like a secret weapon. Depending on my mood, my look, or the occasion, makeup can go from very subtle to a complete transformation, and that’s the fun in makeup: being able to play and create in endless ways.

You’ve said that you created this line so that all users could have a product that looked good on them, no matter the shade. Did you have difficulty in the past finding products that worked for you? And if so, how did you use that experience while creating your own line?

I’ve had my makeup done thousands of time, and when it comes to foundation, you just never know how it’s going to turn out. I think foundation should look like great skin, so it was important to me that the Pro Filt’r foundation had a soft matte finish because you want a dewy look, but never shiny! It was also important that every woman felt included in this brand. We are all so different, with our own unique skin tones, so we started with the 40 foundation shades out the gate.

What were the most important factors that you considered while creating Fenty Beauty?

Texture is the most important part of the Fenty Beauty brand. The highest priority is in the texture, from the foundation to Match Stix, to Killawatt, to Invisimatte Blotting Powder – it’s all about texture. It was really important to me that each product is made to easily build and layer with lightweight textures that are flexible even when you want to re-apply.

How involved were you in the process of creating the products?

I have 100 percent involvement in this process, which is what makes this so special and very fun. I have so much creative freedom from products to packaging, and that’s really the only way this brand will stay true to my vision for it.

What has surprised you the most about the response to Fenty Beauty?

I never could have anticipated the emotional connection that women are having with the products and the brand as a whole. Some are finding their shade of foundation for the first time, getting emotional at the counter. That’s something I will never get over.

Do you have a favorite product from Fenty Beauty?

I’m obsessed with Gloss Bomb. It never gets old. Everything about it from the XXL wand, the texture, scent and feel. But funny enough, some of my favorite products aren’t even out yet.

What’s next for you and the world of beauty?

The options are pretty much unlimited in the world of beauty, and I love challenges, so I’m going to continue to have fun and push the boundaries in this industry.

A collection! #FentyBeauty

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