Rihanna’s look for the 2023 Super Bowl halftime show is going to be legendary.
In an exclusive interview with Page Six Style, the singer’s go-to makeup artist, Priscilla Ono, teased what fans can expect from Rihanna’s game day glam.
“It’s going to be an iconic look, that’s all I have to say,” said Ono, who will be glamming the “Diamonds” singer for her highly anticipated performance at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Feb. 12.
“I want a makeup look that you can look back at, at any point in time, and be like, ‘That look? I want that on me now,’” she added.
“I just want it to look super iconic. Nothing trendy, like no micro trends. Nothing that’s like, ‘OK, that was done in the 2010’s, 2020s.’ I want it to be super timeless.”
Ono told us that what Rihanna is secretly preparing for her performance has also been inspiration for the beauty look.
“Seeing everything come to life is so cool. I’ve actually been going to rehearsals and watching everything, so everything kind of inspires me,” she teased, adding that she’s spent “weeks” creating mood boards and face charts with color patterns.
“I think when you take your time and really care about something, it’s going to come out really good. This is kind of a proud mom moment for me. I’m really proud of Rihanna and I can’t wait for her to go out there and show everybody what she got!”
Although Ono has been working with Rihanna for over 19 years, the Global Makeup Artist for Fenty Beauty told us that she found out about the Super Bowl gig just as the rest of the world did.
“When Rihanna posted that picture with the football in her hand is when I found out. And the crazy thing is, I was just with her the day before,” Ono recalled. “So I was like, ‘Wow! She really did a good job at keeping this a secret.’”
“Then, about an hour after the picture came out, I got an email from her team being like, ‘Hold these dates for Arizona.’ So that was a really cool moment for me,” she continued. “I don’t think I ever realized how bad I wanted to do the Super Bowl until it was offered to me. This is, like, epic.”
Ono told Page Six Style that while she’s undeniably “over the moon excited” about getting to display her work with Rihanna on “the world’s biggest stage,” the gig has certainly required a lot of preparation in advance.
“I’ve been preparing for the last couple weeks, now until up to the date. I’m packing my makeup kit and just making sure I have everything I need, all my essentials,” she said.
“I’m going to be as prepared as possible but want to try to have fun, too. I’m trying to make it seem like it’s just another day at work … and freak out after when it’s over.”
The Secret Deodorant ambassador also gave us the scoop on how she’s bulking up the glam squad for game day.
“When it comes to creating a look, I’m not only responsible for Rihanna’s makeup but also for the dancers and background vocalists,” she revealed. “On the day of, I’m only doing Rihanna’s makeup and I want her to look and feel her best. So I have a team of 25 makeup artists who are going to execute the look that I set for all the dancers.”
She added, “I’ve been working with them for a long time, so they kind of know my deal. It’s always, ‘Give 100 percent, do your best and hustle, hustle, hustle.’”
As for how Ono and Rihanna will pump themselves up as they spend hours together in makeup on Super Bowl Sunday? It’s all about the good vibes.
“When she’s in my makeup chair she’s not like the Rihanna that I see on TV. She’s like a girlfriend, like a homie. I don’t feel all this pressure when I’m with her,” Ono gushed.
“She’s very down to earth and cool. We just talk about normal things and we have the TV and music on. It’s almost like we’re hanging out and I love that. It’s awesome.”
Page Six Style also spoke to Ono about her ongoing partnership with Secret. The brand’s Weightless Dry Spray is a staple in her on-the-go makeup kit – and is already packed and ready to go for Super Bowl.
“I have been using Secret deodorant since I was a kid. I remember my grandmother putting a Secret deodorant stick in my backpack when I was like 12 on my way to school. And it’s kind of like that core memory moment where you’re coming of age,” she recalled.
“My grandmother kind of instilled that preparation kind of mentality [in me]. So in my makeup kit, still to this day, I always have Secret Weightless Dry Spray,” she added.
“With the spray, I love the shareability aspect, because if someone on my team or a client needs it, boom, there you go. Plus, it’s not going to get on any clothes, which is the last thing you want for a red carpet or big event.”
Other items Ono simply can’t travel without?
“A no-color powder. Usually I go for Fenty Beauty’s Invisimatte,” she shared.
“I would also say a really good moisturizer. It’s always essential in my kit.”