Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Rihanna’s make-up artist Karin Darnell, she popped into ELLE HQ to share her top make-up tips and tricks with us.
“For black skin you can’t beat Iman’s foundations for texture and colour. To avoid your complexion looking too flat use a foundation a shade lighter than your skintone to add highlights to your cheekbones, nose and brow bones. One shade will just blank you out” says Karin. “Apply foundation with your fingers and remember the key word is blend!” she adds.
“Also, don’t over-powder your complexion. Moisture in the skin is a sign of youth. Simply blot excess oil with a tissue and dust lightly with powder”
“If you want to add a bit of shimmer to your complexion, I like to use Benefit’s Bathina Body So Fine, £24.50 as a highlighter.”
On getting a smoky eye right
“On Rihanna I like to blend a smoky shadow out under the lower lash line to enlarge the eyes up and out towards the temples. Again, blending is key to getting this right” says Karin. “I hadn’t used this look for a while, but dipped back into it for the Rude Boy video”.
“For me smoky is a haze, it doesn’t have to be black it just needs to be a wash of colour. Dark lilac can still appear impactful once mascara and liner is applied. On the Rockstar video I warmed black, smoky eyes with claret and burnt orange shadows”.
On the perfect lip colour
“I use a lot of rich berries on Rihanna. For the Ti Amo video I used a deep, dark berry lipstick. I then applied a berry gloss in the middle of the lip to break it up. Light in the centre, whether it’s a clear gloss or a hint of pink or red, will give dark lip colours warmth” explains Karin.
“For the new Rockstar video I used a black lip colour and warmed it up with a purple gloss, try by Diorkiss in Blackcurrant Cream, £16. Tough looks still need to be feminine”.
“I like Tom Ford’s Bruised Plum, £35, it’s really wearable” she adds.
On coloured mascara
“I’ve used coloured mascara on Rihanna before – a modern way to wear this is to colour match the mascara to your eyeshadow. Go for a dark blue, green or purple and pair with a similar eyeshadow shade. It’s a great look for a night out”.
On working with Rihanna
“It’s a collaboration, she understands fashion and trend and knows that, at the end of the day, it’s just make-up” says Karin. “She loves the Twiggy look”.
On Rihanna’s new hair
“She has been dying to go red for ages. It’s a fun change for the summer, she's young so she likes to experiment with new looks. At the Capital Summertime Ball I used a bright red lipstick, Dior Addict in Red Desire, £21.50. I also love Tom Ford’s Cherry Lush lipstick, £35”.
On her favourite make-up artist products
Gloss Appeal in Crystal by Clarins, £14.01 “it makes lips look like glass but doesn’t feel sticky”.
Lipcote, £3.25 at Boots “this really does keep lipstick in place. Load on your lip colour, blot, then load again. Apply the lipcote and leave it to dry – don’t rub your lips together. Once dry just apply gloss”.
Mac Irridescent Loose Powder in Golden Bronze, £17 “I use this all over the body; it adds a sheen to the skin”.