5 things we learned from Rihanna in Dubai

Grazia bagged a front-row seat at the first Fenty Beauty Artistry & Beauty Talk With Rihanna. Here’s what went down…
5 things we learned from Rihanna in Dubai

Two hundred of Dubai’s Fenty Beauty obsessives and Rihanna super fans alike were out in force at Armani Hotel in all their sequin-strewn, artfully glossed glory to celebrate the world’s first Fenty Beauty Artistry & Beauty Talk with the songstress herself and Fenty Beauty global make-up artists, Priscilla Ono and Hector Espinal.

Guests were invited to pick their foundation match and choose their favourite products from the Fenty Beauty Bar before Rihanna emerged on stage in a slinky trompe l’oeil silk trench dress from Riccardo Tisci’s debut collection for Burberry. Charming, funny, and impossibly stunning IRL, when she wasn’t being fired with questions from an audience who knew all the answers already, Rihanna was joined by four models to recreate the Fenty Face included hijabi catwalker Halima Aden, and even put her own make-up skills to good use demonstrating her Cheek Hugging Highlighting Brush.

Rihanna then celebrated the success of the inaugural Fenty Beauty Artistry & Beauty Talk with a shimmering after party at the Burj Khalifa, with influencers including Grazia Girl Gang member Zahra Lyla Khalil, Natalia Shustova, and Sheida Fashionista, make-up artists such as Samira Olfat, and front-row ticketholders where pros were on hand to recreate Fenty Faces ready for our close-ups with Rihanna. This is what we learned…

1. The real reason she created 40 foundation shades
Fenty Beauty’s 40 shades of foundation has led to major beauty brands including Dior following Rihanna’s lead, but her inspiration came from closer to home. “The first person I ever saw put on make-up was my mum and she’s even darker than me,” she admitted. “So the thought of making a range where she wasn’t included – I couldn’t do it. She was the first image of beauty that I’ve known. It was a no-brainer for me. It’s a shame it took this long for everyone, but I hope everyone can expand and wake up.”

2. Make-up is her therapy
“I always used to do my own make-up for my tours. Doing my own make-up actually helped me learn. I made a lot of mistakes, but you practise, you figure your face out, whether my skin tone’s changing or I’m having a fat day. Make-up’s like therapy for me,” Rihanna confessed. “You can get lost and keep doing the same thing over and over because it looks so good, then you step back and look at it. I do that.”

3. Why a new launch might not make the shelves
Don’t be surprised if you don’t find a new Fenty Beauty release in Sephora after you’ve seen it hyped on Instagram. “Make-up is made to play with but I also take formula really seriously. I do not play with that,” she insisted. “I will send back something a thousand times to the lab. I will promise to put something out but if it’s not perfect, it won’t come out.”

4. We’ll soon be fluttering Fenty lashes
Not content with dominating the foundation market, Rihanna has her sights on a range of lashes, developing Fenty Beauty mascara formulations and launching a range for brows. “I plan to leave no stone unturned,” she teased.

5. How to party like Rihanna
“The best way to turn up to a party is uninvited,” Rihanna revealed before dropping a brand new shade of Stunna Lip Paint – an inky black with a glow-in-the-dark packaging – of the same name exclusively for the Dubai audience in attendance, and giving each guest one to take home, before making a star appearance at her own party.

  • Don't miss this week's issue of Grazia to discover what's in Rihanna's make-up bag

Photos: Getty Images for Fenty Beauty