Priscilla Ono is a creator, trend-setter and the global makeup artist for Fenty Beauty. And to top it all off, she's Rihanna's personal MUA. She's the creative mind behind some of the most stunning makeup looks from this century. Remember Rihanna's golden lava lips at the Fenty Beauty launch in Milan, that was Priscilla. Or Rihanna's sultry Pope-look at the 2018 Met Gala - yes, that was Priscilla too.
We were given the chance to sit down with Priscilla - over Zoom of course because it's 2020 - and ask her everything we've wanted to know about makeup tips, hacks and trends. And of course, we asked all about the brand new Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Foundation Powder, the latest standout product from the brand, which hits shelves December 26.
Priscilla shares her favourite makeup looks, her tips for hooded eyes and why you're going to want to add the new powder foundation to your beauty bag ASAP.
Can you tell us a little bit about the new powder foundation? What do you love about it?
I think the thing that I love most are that, obviously I'm a full coverage kind of girl. I love flawless beautiful skin. Rihanna does as well. And I always have been that way. But Rihanna and I also share the same view where your skin must look like skin. You never want to look cakey or overdone. Yes, you want flawless skin, but you still need to have that skin-like look. This powder foundation I think is so different from others because you're always going to get that look. You're going to get beautiful flawless skin, but again still with your skin looking like skin. You're never going to cake up, you're never going to crepe up.
And I also love the colour range. The foundation powder is in 50 shades - that's unheard of. You know you've never really seen that before. So I love that we have all shades that you can choose from and you'll always be able to find your colour and the actual finish itself is always going to look really beautiful and flawless and very similar to - I don't know if you've ever tried our Invisimatte Powder? But that powder is kind of like this blurring powder that we have that's universal, just one colour. And I love it because it really does blur on the skin and it makes your imperfections kind of fade away. That powder reminds me of the foundation powder. It has that same blurring technology, but yet it's also going to give you some coverage. So, really great worn by itself, but also really great when you layer it overtop foundation fora full-coverage kind of look. And it's just a beautiful powder. I'm really excited for everyone to finally see what Rihanna and I have been working on for over a year now. It's very exciting.
When would you choose a powder foundation over a liquid?
It really just depends, not so much on your skin type because I feel like you could wear both liquid or powder depending on your skin, it's more so time. Like if you're in a rush and you're in a hurry, I would suggest using foundation powder because it's just so much faster and quicker and straight to the point. You don't have to be there with your liquid foundation and your brush and then your damp sponge. Blending foundation powder, you literally just dip in with either the sponge or the brush, boom, boom, boom you put it on and you're good.
It's like something that's really quick and easy to do. If you wanted more full coverage, for Rihanna when I do her makeup most of the time she wants beautiful, flawless skin, so I usually do a liquid first and then I do a powder on top. That's going to give you your full coverage and make you look really flawless, which is great. If you wanted more of like a dewy, glowy look and you don't want to apply too much product on your skin, I would recommend just using like our hydrating foundation by itself with like a sponge all over your skin. It's going to make your skin just look really glowy and dewy and it's not going to look overdone.
I guess it just depends on the occasion, like if you're doing beach day I recommend maybe just liquid foundation by itself if you're doing like a party, you're going out, you're going to be taking photos maybe you want to be full glam? So, you're going to do your liquid and your powder. But then if you maybe are in a hurry and you have to do quick, quick, quick makeup. You know you only have 15 minutes to do your makeup, then I recommend just using the powder by itself so just really depending on the occasion.
Is there a particular skin type this new product is designed for?
This product can actually be worn on all skin types, it really just depends on how you prep your skin. If you're more dry like I am, I always strongly suggest using obviously moisturiser. Taking care of your skincare first and then using a hydrating primer before you apply the powder. So that's to ensure that your skin is going to be hydrated underneath and you're not going to ever feel uncomfortable or feel dry. If you have oily skin, powder foundation is great because it's going to help so that you never have to worry about getting greasy or oily throughout the day. Again, you still want to prep. I would still suggest using moisturiser and using a mattifying primer just to help especially T zone area.
So yeah, any skin type can wear the foundation powder, which is great because it's pretty universal. I think that when it came to developing this product, because Rihanna is very mindful of not only skin tone and skin type, but she's also more mindful on time. I think the reason why this product was developed was because she knew that she had customers and fans and friends out there that don't have too much time to apply foundation. She needed a go-to for less time, which is a powder foundation. So that's essentially why this is created. But again, it's for any pretty much any skin type.
What’s your favourite kind of makeup look? What do you like doing on Rihanna?
There's not just one, I mean I personally love when we do super-glam makeup. When we can go full on and do a beautiful eye and beautiful skin and a beautiful lip and just kind of something that really stands out, those are always my favourite looks.
But a go-to look that I think that we do a lot of - which is actually not very often because Rihanna doesn't really like doing like the same look twice. Like if I ever recommend a look and it's too similar to something we've done she's like, "no, we've already done that". Even if it was like two years ago, like she still wouldn't do it. But kind of a go-to look, I would say something that we've kind of gravitate towards. If we don't have a lot of time and we have to be in a hurry, we always like to do like a neutral eye and a red lip. And we always do like Stunna Lip Paint Uncensored. It's kind of like the go-to because it's long wearing, you get that instant gratification full-colour pigment. It's like the perfect red, the red just goes with any outfit. It's jut the best red.
That's kind of like the go-to, like neutral eye and red lip. That's like the number one if we don't have too much time, but favorite. Yeah, again, favorite look? I feel like we don't have like one. I just really love super glamorous. I feel like that's always my favourite.
What are your favourite makeup trends right now?
I'm really into really thin eyebrows. I was super into like a feathered bushy brow. But I feel like right now, especially in the last month, I've seen a big shift into having thinner, more precise brows. I'm really excited for that, I'm really contemplating waxing half of my eyebrow off right now. Like, I'm not even gonna lie, I just really want thin eyebrows.
I've been doing it a lot on Rihanna and other clients. And it's just like, I'm excited. Like, it's very 90s. And I think that it's just like coming back in. I do love a full feathered eyebrow. But I'm really excited for like this thing. I feel like it's going to be a big hit.
When you’re creating new looks, where do you get your inspiration from?
Oh my God! I get it from so many places, I feel like there's not just one anything will inspire me. Even for me, a lot of my inspiration comes from travelling. I feel like when I travel. When I used to travel, I used to always go try to go to like the local museums or any kind of like monuments in those countries that really stood out. And now we get a lot of inspiration from that. Also, fashion from the past. I always get inspiration from that. It can be really anything.
I have this little iPad and everyone makes fun of me. But I kind of just accumulate photos. Like, I take photos if I'm in a museum or in a special place. I'll take a photo of something, whether it be like a colour pattern. Or for instance, like when I did Rihanna for Met Gala three years ago, and we did that Pope-look for makeup, I was inspired by stained glass from the Catholic Church. And she loved that idea. I had like all these photos in my iPad of stained glass from churches that I saw in Madrid when we went to Spain. I just mimicked the colours that were in that in her makeup. I do that a lot.
It doesn't have to be makeup looks per se, and I don't usually like to get inspiration from other makeup looks because I don't want to replicate the same thing. I always want to do something new and something different, something fresh. So yeah, my little iPad. I've had it with me for years. There's tonnes of photos in there. It can be anything even like a hair spray bottle. I've taken photos of like weird hair spray bottles, one had these cool two colours on there that I'm like, "oh, those colours look good". Like that would be a good colour for eyes. And then that can be the lip colour. Like that just makes sense.
I'll just take photos of anything and it's in my little iPad. Rihanna always makes fun of me. She's like, "okay, what are we going to do for this?" Like, "oh, Priscilla, where's your little iPad at?" She just knows, haha. I come out with my iPad and I just scroll and scroll until I find something that makes sense, that she loves it and I love it too. That's usually how I get my inspiration.
What’s the one essential makeup-wearers should never leave home without?
If you already had your makeup on, and you were leaving and you could only choose one thing to take with you, I would recommend Invisimatte from Fenty Beauty because it's the best touch up powder. It's like a no colour powder. One colour for all skin tones, it takes away your shine, and it makes things a little blurred out. It will blur out imperfections, it will take away your shine, it never makes you look cakey and you can layer layer layer layer and it's never going to cake up. It's the best powder. So I would recommend that and I personally and Rihanna never leave home without it. So that would be like the number one.
What’s your favourite makeup hack?
There's so many that I love. I mean, my favourite I think in the last couple years has been this soap brows technique. Using glycerin soap to like stick your brows up. Instead of using like a brow gel like the conventional way. I just feel like it really like makes your brows really, really stick. That was for me a big thing like when I when I like realised oh my god we can use glycerin soap and it works so well. It was a huge thing for me. That's probably been my makeup hack.
I also really love another thing that I do when I ever have a client that has like really straight eyelashes and their eyelashes don't take a curl. I usually take my my eyelash curler and I have a mini blow dryer that I carry with me in my makeup kit and I just warm it up. And I wait for it to get pretty hot, not hot enough to burn their eye but pretty hot. And I curl their lashes with it when it's hot. And what it does is it makes the lashes curl tremendously and it keeps the curl all day. So like that's my little hack that I always do. And they're always like so surprised like wow, just a little bit of you know, heat on your eyelash curler it gets it makes a world of a difference. So that's one of my favourite things to do. That's a cool one.
What’s the best beauty advice you’ve ever received?
Probably from Rihanna it would be like, don't be afraid to use makeup in unconventional ways. As a makeup artist, I think I've always kind of been that way but I think she kind of made me realise it more. Sometimes we'll use lipstick as eyeshadow or we'll use a highlighter as a lip colour or we'll use eyeshadow was blush or as contour and like I said I always had done that before in the past. But I never really made it like a point. Now I feel like I do it a lot, especially with Fenty Beauty. I think that when Rihanna is creating her products, I think she always has in her mind, I want this to be able to be worn in multiple ways not just one way, like I want to be able to use this in so many ways.
I always try to do that now. Why not? I mean pigment is pigment, so why can't we use it everywhere? And that just helps you know certain looks really come to life. I remember for the Fenty Beauty Italy launch, I did this full on like beautiful body lava look on Rihanna and on her lips I did like this golden bronze shimmer lip, but it wasn't glossy. It was intense and beautiful. And everyone was asking and asking. I have tons of comments, what did you use on her lips? What lipstick is it, like it's not a lipstick it's actually one of our matchsticks which is like a highlighter stick for the face. But I used it on the lip and everyone was dying because they were just like that's so genius. That's beautiful. That showed me you don't have to always just use a lipstick. Like just think like what else will give you that that look that you're looking for. Just using makeup in any way that you want to use it to actually make something beautiful.
We get a lot of questions about this. What's your professional opinion on how to do makeup for hooded eyes?
Well, I do have some tips know. If you don't too much time I suggest just applying one neutral tone all over your eye and then wearing lots of mascara or false lashes, anything to kind of divert attention from your eye being hooded. But if you do have more time and you want to play with your eye shape, I suggest doing like a cut crease eyeshadow application because that's going to create a crease where you don't have it.
Usually when I do that, I like to apply the colour a little bit above your actual crease. So kind of like on the skin fold almost. And I just use a very dark shade, and I kind of just make that really thin and pronounced. And then I blend - like you have to at least blend two shades over it. If you just do that one line, you're not going to get the effect, it's just going to look very awkward because you're just going to have a line in the middle of your eye, you have to make sure that it's always a very dark shade, very, very thin. And then you go a medium shade to that, like let's say you were doing like dark brown, medium brown and then a very light brown. That's going to create a crease and fool people to thinking you have a crease that's much higher. It's going to open up your eyes and make your eyes really big and beautiful.
It's probably one of the best things you can do for a hooded eye, but you need the time - because it does take time. Either way, they're both great and they're both gorgeous. My grandmother has very hooded eyes and I do her makeup a lot. So usually when we do like holiday looks I always tend to do neutral shadow and I just do tonnes and tonnes of eyelashes false lashes, mascara and a bright lip and it just really turns everything up.