7 Minutes with Fenty Beauty’s Global Makeup Artist, Hector Espinal

Summer glow down pat


By Wei Yeen Loh

7 Minutes with Fenty Beauty’s Global Makeup Artist, Hector Espinal

Talk about star power in the beauty industry and Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty easily tops the list as one of the most hyped (and commercially successful) cult beauty lines as of late. Inclusivity was on the award-winning singer and entrepreneur’s mind when she added liquid foundation to her range (available in 40 shades for every skin tone) — a message rang loud and clear with her supporters and beauty lovers alike. Less than a year after Fenty Beauty was launched, the brand is still making waves with its consistency and highly-lauded summer drops. Of course, it helps that Rihanna herself personally reps Fenty Beauty for all her red carpet beauty looks as well.

In conjunction with the release of the brand’s Beach Please! Summer 2018 Collection, Fenty Beauty’s Global Makeup Artist Hector Espinal dropped by in town for a quick introduction to the range. In seven minutes, we gleaned his thoughts on making shimmer work for the beauty novice and his favourite part of his job: 

Welcome to Malaysia! How do you like it here so far?

Thank you! Malaysia is really pretty. I flew in a day ago and it is my first time here. The weather here is actually better than Singapore. It was so hot there, I was dying. Here, I am breathing and so far it’s good.

What is a day in the life for you?

It’s a lot of work, but it’s fun! I’ve been a makeup artist now for nine years, and this is very different from what I used to do. We’re Global Makeup Artists for Fenty Beauty so we travel across the world a lot and we meet many new people along the way. It’s exciting at the same time and I also feel like I am making a difference in what I do.

Is that your favourite part of the job?

Heck yes, and obviously the fact that my boss is Rihanna. How amazing is that? I grew up listening to her music and now it’s like I’m sitting next to her in a meeting. I don’t know what’s better — having her as my boss or traveling the world?

What are your tips for a makeup beginner wants to try shimmer?

So the Beach, Please! Summer 2018 Collection was designed to be very fun and ground-breaking at the same time, especially for that woman who does not wear colour often. It gives a little bit more freedom to experiment, and I think everybody should just try it first before judging it by its colour. It can go from natural to super dramatic, depending on how you apply it. But a good way to start with colour is via the lips. It’s something you can wipe off (in case you don’t like it too much), or layer on if you like a pop of colour.

The Summer Daze Lip Luminizer Trio is beautiful — all tropical hues that you can use for a subtle wash of colour over your lips. And if you’re feeling bored after that, then jump right in with the Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter Duos. But always start with the lips.


How would you work the Killawatts?

The palette comes in two colours — one is more subtle than the other one. Rihanna was actually using this as an eyeshadow in one of her Instagram makeup videos. It’s fun to see because one of the colours is a fresh minty green that’s beautiful on the eyes, and the other is great for the highlight. It can be used in so many ways. One of the things we always emphasize is that there are no rules — there is no right and wrong in using any of Fenty Beauty’s products. It doesn’t matter your skin tone, gender or even race — if you don’t like it, remove it. If you do, rock it.

What is your favourite combination of these products?

There’s so many fun things you can do! Earlier on, I used the Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter Duo in 7daywknd/Poolside — this beautiful lavender and pink duo — as the eyeshadow, with the Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Confetti as a highlighter for the cheeks for a three-dimensional look, which is totally gorgeous. And then I used the Match Stix in Unicorn as a lipstick, with a dash of gloss on top. The lavender matches the eyes and it is super refreshing and beautiful.

What is the biggest faux pas when it comes to highlighting?

Not blotting the centre of the face (the T-zone). It’s so important to do that because if you don’t, your whole face will look shiny no thanks to the oil. You’d want to create dimension to your face — so blot the middle for a matte effect, then your cheeks will stand out and look good with your highlighter. Also, it’s important to set the centre after blotting it down. I’d recommend the Invisimatte Blotting Powder; blotting sheets will work just fine as well. 

What kind of beauty trends are we going to see in the coming months?

The ’90s are so in. A wash of colour on the eyelids and on the lips — all very effortless, fun and chic. Not trying too hard is the main idea. I feel liek we were so used to eyeshadow, cut crease, contour, highlight, blush, this and that. But now it’s all about taking a little product and patting it on with your fingers, a dab of mascara and lip gloss and we’re good to go.



Can you share with us some red carpet beauty advice?

What I love about Fenty Beauty is that it was created by a person who is used to the red carpet, and being in front of the camera. I always tell people, “Try out our products because they have been literally tested out on the red carpet and they showcase wonderfully on camera. I believe in “less is more” when it comes to red carpet beauty. Our Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation gives you a beautiful skin-like finish while blurring your imperfections. We have Stunna, a great lip paint that can be used alone. Mattemoiselle — less is more. It’s universal. You can do beautiful base, highlight and contour with your Matchstix, a pop of highlight and lipstick, and you’re good to go.

Your absolute favourite products?

My absolute favourite classic product has got to be the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer — for a few reasons. Firstly, I personally love it personally; secondly, it looks good on everyone as a universal lip gloss; and thirdly, you can never go wrong with a lip gloss. It’s a quick way to look very pretty and fresh. From the new collection, I like the Killawatt Foil in Sand Castle/Mint’d Mojito — it’s so unique and if you haven’t tried it on, you won’t know how beautiful the finish is. I haven’t seen anything like it.

How do you get inspiration?

I get inspired by a lot of things. Instagram is a great outlet for me because I feel it’s where you can see everything but at the same time, I don’t ever use it as a benchmark because some Instagram trends just don’t work for me. I get inspired by the countries that I visit. I feel like everywhere I go, I see something different, and I’ll be like, “Hmm, let me try this on a different culture and see what happens.” And it is so beautiful because it makes the look one-of-a-kind. 

Below, the Fenty Beauty Beach Please! Summer 2018 Collection:

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The collection is now available at Sephora online and in stores nationwide

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