Here's how to get Rihanna-level radiance, according to her makeup artist

Priscilla Ono's guide to glow

Digital Beauty Editor / March 06 2022

If highlighting were an Olympic sport (and we've long thought it should be) Priscilla Ono would get the (glistening) gold.

As Rihanna's long-time makeup artist and collaborator, there's not a highlighting hack under the sun (or that would look good under the sun) that she doesn't know.

And so when we got the chance to chat to her, we did what any Rihanna/Ono/highlighting superfan would: we asked her to illuminate the truth (forgive us) on her personal glow commandments, once and for all.

Here's Ono's four-step guide to achieving Rihanna-esque radiance...

Rule 1: Pick formulas that fit your skin type

Give your glow the best possible chance to stay luminous for the long haul by selecting formulas suited to your skin type, both for and beneath your highlighter. Not sure where to start? Ono has a few ideas.

"For oily skin, start with a foundation that is sweat-proof and oil-free. I recommend a soft matte finish like the Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Foundation ($56 at Sephora)," she advises. "This will help mattify any shine and natural oils on your skin and create a flawless base. For oily skin, I like the original Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter ($59 at Sephora), which has a cream-powder formula. Apply the highlighter to the high points of your cheekbones to create the ultimate glow."

FENTY BEAUTY Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation

FENTY BEAUTY Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Duo

"For dry skin, it’s important to prep your skin with a hydrating primer before applying a hydrating foundation or skin tint to prevent your makeup from clinging to any dry patches," Ono explains. "I love the Pro Filt’r Hydrating Primer ($49 at Sephora) and Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint ($49 at Sephora) for dry skin. [Highlighter wise], I like to use the Liquid Killawatt Highlighter ($39 at Sephora), which will blend smoothly into your skin and give you high-shine radiance without emphasising your skin's texture."

FENTY BEAUTY Pro Filt'r Hydrating Primer

FENTY BEAUTY Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint Foundation

FENTY BEAUTY Liquid Killawatt Fluid Freestyle Highlighter

Rule 2: Select shades that suit your undertones

The next call you need to make? The colour you're after. But rather than just going rogue with rose gold because it's pretty (tempting, we know) Ono wants you to remember that each highlighter's shade's 'flattering factor' is based on your undertone.

"The best way to find your perfect highlighter shade is to first determine your undertone and match that," she explains. "For example, if you have a cool undertone, a cool-toned highlighter will appear the most natural. I love how super user-friendly the shade range in the Liquid Killawatt Highlight is. There are five shades to suit all skin tones, so there’s something for everyone."

Speaking of said shade selection, here's a look at what you're working with. Cooler undertones will be enhanced by pearl or pink hues, and warmer will work best with bronze-y champagne, honey and toffee colours.

FENTY BEAUTY Liquid Killawatt Fluid Freestyle Highlighter in Sidechick

FENTY BEAUTY Liquid Killawatt Fluid Freestyle Highlighter in Vintage Velour

FENTY BEAUTY Liquid Killawatt Fluid Freestyle Highlighter in Hu$tla Baby 2.0

FENTY BEAUTY Liquid Killawatt Fluid Freestyle Highlighter in Honey Hawtie

FENTY BEAUTY Liquid Killawatt Fluid Freestyle Highlighter in Butta Brownie

Rule 3: Time your application perfectly

Once you know what you're applying, it's time to decide on the 'when'. Ono advises taking illuminating products directly over a freshly-applied base.

"Layering highlight and colour is step two of the Fenty Face," she says. "So after you’ve already created a soft base with your foundation, you would apply any contours, blush, and highlights on top."

Rule 4: Play with your placement

The last thing to sort out? Your 'where', AKA where on the face you want to glow. Ono's recommendation won't shock you: "Just apply the highlighter on the high points of the face to create a natural glow," she confirms.

The obvious areas aren't your only options, though. "I love using highlighter on the eyelids," explains Ono. "Killawatt Highlighters are really versatile that way; you can use both the powder and liquid formulas as a highlighter and eyeshadow!"

Another spot Ono thinks looks good luminous? Lips. "Apply Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminiser ($34 at Sephora) to finish off any glowy look," she suggests. "It has a ton of shine and makes your lips pop when you wear it on its own, or you can apply it on top of a lipstick to add extra shine. The shade Diamond Milk is like a liquid highlighter for your lips!"

FENTY BEAUTY Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminiser in Diamond Milk

Main image credit: Getty Images

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