GLOBAL FASHION AND BEAUTY FOUNDER RIHANNA AND RENOWNED ARTIST LORNA SIMPSON COLLABORATE FOR ESSENCE’S JANUARY+FEBRUARY 2021: THE ISSUE CELEBRATES VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT KAMALA HARRIS’ HISTORIC WIN

ESSENCE, the leading media, technology and commerce company serving Black women, kicks off 2021 with a stunning January + February cover art exclusive. Legendary artist Lorna Simpson collaborates with global fashion and beauty founder Robyn Rihanna Fenty (who recently launched Fenty Skin globally in stores in the U.S. and the U.K.) to reinterpret the narrative of modern-day beauty in the gorgeous photographic cover collage, Of Earth & Sky, and in images comprising a 12-page portfolio feature inside the January + February issue. Over the past 15 years of her acclaimed three-decade career, Simpson has created collages that recontextualize images of Black women from vintage pages of Ebony and Jet magazines. Like all of Simpson’s celebrated works, these original pieces are more than what meets the eye.

Simpson channels Rihanna as her muse throughout the spectacular artistic rendering—reimagining the artist in a way that has neverbeenseen before. Rihanna looks ethereal in designer piecesincluding from her signature Savage X Fenty line as well as Prada, Givenchy, Hood by Air, Thelma West, Rick Owens and more.Simpson states:“…I needed to create images of Rihanna to place within the environments of source materials from my archive. For the project to have the same kind of dramatic visual intensity as my collage work to date, I had to consider the atmosphere and lighting of specific source materials before arriving to set. Knowing Rihanna’s charisma and commanding presence, my effort was then to be as present and prepared as possible to capture her exquisite performance for the camera…”

The package also features the piece, Anthems of Possibility, written by Simpson’s daughter, writer and actor Zora Simpson Casebere. She weighs in on how Rihanna helped shape her womanhood at an early age and how serving as a stand-in model on set for her mother was a full-circle moment. She muses:“…At 13, I was deeply grateful that at a formative time in my life, it was Rihanna’s voice and art that became my portals to so many questions about sexuality, sexual exploration and sexual autonomy. Now, on set, I assisted my mother as a model as she explored how she might later place Rihanna within the visual contexts she’d selected from vintage Ebony magazines, old Associated Press photographs and 19th-century lithographs of mineral specimens. When Rihanna arrived at the set—my first time seeing her in real life—I was mesmerized. She was the very definition of grace, charisma and influence. Wearing a magnificent Maximilian black headdress, she requested the song ‘Thick’ by DJ Chose, then met the camera with power and possibility—power in how she moved her body through space, and possibility in how she dismantled and moved beyond institutional boundaries…”

The gorgeous issue will also pay homage to Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris’ historic win with reflections by five influential Black women: Donna Brazile, Leah Daughtry, Karen Finney, Star Jones and Minyon Moore. In addition, the issue features an interview with Barack Obama talking about his new book and journey as the nation’s first Black president. Plus, iconic actress Cicely Tyson shares an eye-opening excerpt from her new memoir.

For more on this issue, visit ESSENCE.com or pick up the January + February 2021 issue on newsstands next week. (Photographic Collages, Lorna Simpson)

Rihanna by Rihanna: First Visual Autobiography Featuring Intimate Moments of Her Life Published

Rihanna is a large-format, lavishly produced 504-page book with more than 1,000 photos featuring intimate moments from her life and creative journey.

Look inside the book here

This first book by Rihanna is an exclusive, inside look into her world. Rihanna, a stunning visual narrative from the international cultural icon, is to be published by Phaidon. From her childhood in Barbados to her worldwide tours, from quintessential fashion moments to private time with friends and family, the book showcases intimate photographs of her life as a musician, performer, designer, and entrepreneur. “I am so excited to share this collection of incredible images. I’m very grateful to the talented photographers and artists who contributed. We’ve been working on the book for over five years and I’m really happy to be able to finally share it with everybody,” said Rihanna. Phaidon’s CEO, Keith Fox, said of the project, “We are excited and proud to publish this incredible book by this extremely talented and influential woman.

Rihanna is such an important and groundbreaking artist, style icon, and entrepreneur and we are looking forward to sharing her fascinating life with a larger audience.” The large-format trade edition book (12-5/8 x 16-1/2 inches) includes more than 1,000 photographs, many being published here for the first time. Impeccably produced, this sumptuous 504-page book also contains 11 special inserts, including a removable poster, and 7 gatefolds.

The cover features a stunning color photograph and wrap-around cloth binding. Weighing in at 15 pounds, the book comes in a printed black carrying case and is available wherever books are sold. In addition to the large-format trade edition of Rihanna (October 24, 2019), Phaidon and Rihanna have collaborated with The Haas Brothers on three limited editions. “This Sh*t is Heavy,” the Fenty x Phaidon edition (October 10, 2019), includes a copy of the book that features a cover with two black and white photographs, a cloth binding, and a custom-designed tabletop bookstand inspired by Rihanna’s hands.

The Luxury Supreme edition (November 20, 2019) is signed and numbered by Rihanna and The Haas Brothers. The book for this edition is bound in a custom-made black fabric with an inset, matte black, laser-cut steel grille, completed with the “Drippy + The Brain” stand, a gold-toned, cast-resin tabletop bookstand covered with a bespoke black vermiculated fabric. The book and stand together weigh 126 pounds.

These editions are exclusively available at TheRihannaBook.com. The three artists also collaborated on an Ultra Luxury Supreme edition, entitled “Stoner,” a custom-sculpted marble pedestal to showcase the Luxury Supreme book. Each pedestal, in the edition of ten, is exclusively designed to cradle the book and is hand carved in Nazaré, Portugal from a unique piece of solid Pele de Tigre marble, with a soft eggshell finish.

Rihanna and Cardi B: Met Gala Hair with Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

Celebrity hairstylists Yusef Williams and Toyko Stylez used the Dyson Supersonic™ hair dryer professional edition ($449.99) to style the hair of top celebrities, Rihanna, and Cardi B at the 2018 MET Gala.

Link to Getty

HOW TO (By Yusef Williams, Rihanna’s hair stylist)

Inspiration: “John Galliano is the inspiration of all inspiration. For this look, I wanted to go back in time and create this Vatican-homage, but with a single finger wave to make it feel modern and more avant-garde.”

  1. Begin with wet hair and blow dry on high heat using the Dyson Supersonic™ hair dryer professional edition
  2. Once dry, I used the Phyto Specific Curl Legend Spray to hydrate before pulling the hair into a pony
  3. I then used the Phyto Professional Workable Holding Spray and Fiber Paste and continued drying the hair
  4. I didn’t need a flat iron because the Dyson Supersonic™ hair dryer professional edition is so good.
  5. From here I created finger waves on either side of her face, using the flat iron to create the flat waves. Then brushed out using a fine tail comb, locking in the shape with the Phyto Professional Workable Holding Spray

Link to Getty

HOW TO (By Tokyo Stylez, Cardi B’s hair stylist)

  1. Prep hair with Avlon Kera Care Foam Wrap-Set Lotion
  2. Blow dry with a round brush on high heat using the Dyson Supersonic™ hair dryer professional edition
  3. Use a ½ inch curling wand to style hair using OGX Shimmering Keratin Oil to give the hair shine
  4. Use a paddle brush to blow try again with the  Dyson Supersonic™ hair dryer professional edition to give a nice flowy kinky textured look
  5. Finish the look with Paul Mitchell INVISIBLEWEAR Undone Texture Hairspray and Pantene Pro-V Hairspray to lock in the style

In-Store Sephora Event | Colonial Promenade

Excited to announce that a Sephora inside JCPenney location is opening at the Colonial Promenade tomorrow, Friday May 4th!  It will be situated prominently in the center of the JCPenney store.

The store will offer:

  • The most sought-after brands including FENTY BEAUTY, Glamglow, Marc Jacobs, Sephora Collection and more
  • Sephora Beauty Studio where clients can receive a 15 Minute Mini Makeover or Mini Facial
  • Foundation matching with the Sephora + Pantone Color IQ
  • Special offers for Beauty Insider members, Sephora’s loyalty program

3 Body Luminizing Highlighter Alternatives for Fenty Beauty’s Body Lava

While we eagerly wait to purchase Fenty products I wanted to share three perfect body highlighter alternatives from the mineral makeup brand, jane iredale the leader in high-quality, professional makeup products, Mehron Makeup; and the world’s first zero-waste beauty brand, Ethique that will give you the same gorge color you’re craving — with clean ingredients!

  • jane iredale Golden Shimmer Face and Body Lotion ($32, janeiredale.comA lightweight moisturizer that imparts an irresistible golden glow, designed to warm and smooth the complexion. Infused with Diamond dust, a unique mineral pigment from Mica delivers significant shimmer while Grapefruit and orange peel extracts brighten and illuminate the skin leaving a refreshing citrus scent.

How to use: Apply all over the face and body with fingers or a brush. To highlight the face, dab a small amount over foundation. To highlight the body, apply to décolleté, shoulders and legs.

  • Mehron Aura Bronzing Gel™ ($25.99, Amazon.com)  A unique, lightweight bronzing gel for all over body coverage. Aura Bronzing Gel™ gives any skin tone a beautiful, even, natural-looking glow that mimics the look of a day in the sun without the damaging effects.  A skin soothing gel blend of hydrating extracts of lemongrass, ginseng, chamomile, comfrey, cucumber, aloe vera and Japanese green tea with a generous helping of golden bronze shimmer will leave skin beautifully radiant. Complements all skin tones. Plus it’s free of oils and parabens.

How to use: Apply to clean dry skin and wait for 1-2 minutes before dressing.  Aura Bronzing Gel™ can be applied with a sponge or fingers.  Wash hands carefully after application.  Use alone or mix into a cream foundation for a natural, radiant glow.

  • Ethique Bombshell – The World’s First Natural Self-Tanning Bar ($32, Amazon.com) The world’s first solid self-tanning bar! Bombshell will leave you with kissably smooth, golden skin with no streaks. Bombshell contains a bronzer for those who want instant gratification in addition to its self-tanning properties. Each bar is equivalent to over two bottles of liquid tanner and comes in a box for easy storage in your bathroom. Color develops from 4 hours and is complete at 24 hours, and will last for up to 10 days if the skin is kept hydrated.

How to use: Ensure skin is freshly exfoliated (within 24 hours). Best results if the skin is moisturized 30 mins prior, or when just out of the shower so skin is still warm but dry. Slide bar several times down each leg (or area to be tanned.) Use less than you need. Massage in well and wash hands after application. Leave on. Color will develop from 2-4 hours and the final result will be present within 24 hours.

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna: The Galaxy Collection

Fenty Beauty hit the makeup airwaves this fall and has been soaring ever since. Rihanna’s officially declared as a new beauty guru and keeps bringing more cosmetics delights.

 

Just in time for the holiday season, The Galaxy Collection is rich in glitter and more glitter! The latest products are titled cute names such as Starlit Lipstick, Eclipse Eyeliner, and Galaxy Eye shadow Palette. 

I can’t wait to  share my personal review of this limited edition collection!