With all this talk about inclusivity in the world of make-up today, it’s pretty hard to skip over the mention of the legendary game-changer that is Fenty Beauty. This star-child of Rihanna’s is a true examplar of what embracing diversity in the beauty industry should entail; its fierce and loyal following in the millions is proof that the brand’s philosophy resonates with and reflects the all-embracing outlook today’s creatives adopt in life. And what better way to show a more heartfelt appreciation for this revolutionary movement than through a heart-to-heart with one of Fenty’s Global Makeup Artists and RiRi’s friend, Hector Espinal (@artbyhector ), who we were able to catch on his short visit here to promote the new Beach, Please! Summer 2018 collection. Down-to-earth, bubbly, and blessed with one of the most luscious set of eyelashes, the Dominican and native New Yorker reveals how he landed this industry and what makes him proud to be part of the loving Fenty Beauty family.
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How did you end up in the beauty industry?
I was quite the rebel back in the day. I never liked anything that had to do with school, growing up. I’m the youngest of four with Dominican parents, so when my parents decided to move back to the Dominican Republic after I graduated from high school in 2009, I had to figure out a way to survive on my own. Sephora was the only one that called back and took me in as a cashier, so that was my first job ever in the industry.
Becoming a makeup artist however, was a chance that I took when Sephora proposed the idea of turning me into one after learning that I, besides getting wasted, also had an interest in graffiti. Within 6 months, I had acquired one of the highest certifications as an artist, and within a year, I had become Sephora’s event coordinator. When an opportunity to become senior artist came round, I thought I would just aim for that, but Sephora made me into a national artist instead, and in the blink of an eye, I’m a Sephora PRO artist that has been in the company for 8 years and counting. Being sent to work with Rihanna at Paris Fashion Week was what led me to Fenty Beauty, and this is only my second job.
How do you think Fenty fills the gaps in the beauty industry’s market and consumer knowledge?
Fenty Beauty’s 40 foundations have made such a huge buzz in the industry because our foundations are of the same colour, only just in different undertones. From olive, warm, and neutral to cool, this is what really differentiates the right foundation shade from the wrong one, and what differentiates women who wear Fenty from the rest.
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What are some of the fail-proof makeup tips that we can use to achieve Rihanna’s signature look?
The Fenty face is basically a simplified version of Rihanna’s own makeup routine because its impossible to look like someone who changes her look on a daily basis. The closest thing you can get to her look is via this signature stamp one we have come to settle with over much thought about who Rihanna really is: a soft matte base, a thoroughly blotted T-zone, highlighter and gloss, and finally some colour that you can play with for good measure.
Now about the new collection: if you could pick a beach vacation to represent this, what would it be?
This would probably be somewhere very tropical, very Carribean, and very true to Rihanna’s roots. Fun and bright colours like the pink and orange remind one of sunsets and sandcastles, and the names of the products themselves have a very Carribean feel too.
What advice would you give for those who want to master the application of the Beach, Please! Summer 2018 collection?
When colour is involved, I would start off with something softer so that you can amp up the intensity if you feel up to it later on. Women usually feel more encouraged to experiment with their lips, so these holographic glosses are a good way to introduce the collection into your everyday look. For those who are more bold, try using the Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighters on your lips, eyes, cheeks, or anywhere else you deem appropriate. Rihanna has never believed in singular purposes, so trust your instincts and get creative; they are freestyle for a reason!
Fenty Beauty Beach Please! Summer 2018 Collection
In ‘Mimosa Sunrise/Sangria Sunset’
In ‘Sand Castle/Mint’d Mojito’
In Snake Skin, Vaycray and Mermaid Thighs
In Single, Bilingual and Ready To Mingle
In ‘Mamacita/Tini Kini’ and ‘Summer Fling/Reignbow’
Is there such a thing as too much highlight?
Putting too much in the wrong places can make you look oily instead of glowy, which is not cute. A better way to play with highlighters is to actually layer them, which is why these Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighters come as a duo. Rihanna never does just one, she usually goes for two or three and with tons of layering.
If you had to take one product from this collection to a deserted island, which would it be and why?
I would take the Fenty Beauty Sand Castle/Mint’d Mojito Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter Duo. I feel like it’s super wearable, and if I’m going to get lost in the middle of nowhere, I’ve got to at least look super good while at it.
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