Rihanna’s makeup artist Priscilla Ono is dishing on the inspiration behind the singer’s 2023 Super Bowl glam and the moments leading up to her history-making performance.
In an interview with People magazine, published online Thursday, the makeup pro said the planning for the look “begins with the stage and the production.” Ono added, “We consider the moment, the lighting and the set, as a jumping-off point to determine what looks will elevate and celebrate her in that environment.”
The Grammy-winning artist and her baby bump, which was a surprise for viewers, took the stage glowing in an all-red outfit on Sunday. One notable feature was her fiery red lips, which Ono said the look was centered around.
“When we did rehearsal and tested the red lip for the first time on the big screen, there was no question after that,” she explained. “It popped so beautifully against her skin both on stage and on the screen, so we just knew it’s gotta be a red lip.”
Rihanna is not just a global superstar but a clever businesswoman who saw an opportunity to promote her popular inclusive makeup brand Fenty during the show. Not only did her lips, wearing the brand’s lipstick, grab the audience’s attention, but a moment in her performance when she touched up her face with a Fenty beauty powder made for a buzz-worthy clip.
Ono added that it was important that the singer’s makeup held up through her entire performance. “Rihanna is not only such a creative visionary, but she’s very meticulous,” she said. “The Halftime Show isn’t just about creating a beautiful look, the look’s gotta be put to work to perform. The rehearsals were really key to finalizing everything.”
In the moments leading up to Rihanna’s return to performing, which featured her making history as the first pregnant woman to headline a Super Bowl Halftime Show, Ono said it helped that the singer tends to have a “very chill vibe to her.”
“She’s a go-with-the-flow kind of woman and we take our lead from her,” she explained. “It’s such an honor — and so much fun — to be a part of this process with her. Even when the stakes are so high, like the Super Bowl, it’s a really happy and relaxed environment. We listen to music, we joke around. It’s an all-day hangout session with our colleagues who are like friends and family at this point.”