Rihanna beating the hell out of a piñata version of herself
Sometimes I’m goody goody, right now I’m naughty naughty
Rihanna performing “Lemon” at #TDEXMAS17.
Kendrick and Rihanna performing LOYALTY. tonight at #TDEXMAS17.
There’s no question that 2017 was the year of Rihanna. The just-released trailer for Ocean’s 8, in which she stars alongside Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling and more as a pool shark with waist-grazing dreadlocks named Nine Ball, is just the latest proof.
Never mind that she didn’t tour or release an album, RiRi was still the most-streamed female artist for the third year in the row. As Harvard’s Humanitarian of the Year, she also took her altruism to the next level, from meeting with French president Emmanuel Macron to discussing international education, to blasting out a call to action to President Donald Trump regarding the devastation in Puerto Rico. And who could forget when she shut down the 2017 Met Gala, religiously executing the theme—as only she can—in her rapturously elaborate Comme des Garçons look?
But, in the midst of it all, the pop star also managed to leave an indelible mark on the beauty space, in many more ways than one. Here are just a few of the times Rihanna radically marched to her own beauty beat in 2017.
The Launch (and Slay) of Fenty Beauty
Nearly two years in the making, Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty line bowed with the exact amount of disruption the industry needed. Whether she’s inspiring women to go rogue with shockingly vivid shades or dreaming up an ultra-clever moniker (her new moody brown Mattemoiselle lip shade is aptly named “PMS”), each launch is more statement-making than the next. But most celebration worthy of all is the high premium she puts on diversity, from launching 40 different shades of foundation that cater to all skin tones to casting models and artists of various ethnicities in her campaigns.
The Video That Solidified Sweat as the Summer Beauty Accessory
In DJ Khaled’s “Wild Thoughts” video, RiRi served up endless beauty inspiration while purring over Santana’s infectious “Maria Maria” guitar sample. Embracing the Miami humidity, she opted for glossy curls and dewy skin, as well as tropical turquoise smoky eyes and cherry red lips that popped against her glowing complexion. With less than two days to go before winter break, who isn’t still feeling that heat?
The Feminist Slap Heard ‘Round the World
Queen of the clap back, RiRi had no time for the Internet’s body shaming over the summer. In response to a male blogger who felt compelled to comment on her fuller figure, she posted an Instagram featuring side by side shots of rapper Gucci Mane (ten years and several pounds apart) and captioned it: “If you can’t handle me at my 2007 Gucci Mane, you don’t deserve me at my 2017 Gucci Mane.“ The takeaway? RiRi’s size is always just right.
The Joy and Wonder of Kadooment Day
In the spirit of body confidence, Rihanna attended her native Barbados’ annual Crop Over Festival in her most show-stopping look to date. With electric blue hair and spangling of facial gems, she showed off her hourglass curves in a bejeweled bikini that left little to the imagination to mic-drop effect.
The Head Shave of All Head Shaves
The music video for N.E.R.D.’s high-octane track “Lemon” (which features RiRi spitting bars like the seasoned pro she is) opens up with the singer shaving dancer Mette Towley’s cloud of natural curls to reveal a powerful new buzz cut. Translation: If you want a new lease on life, shearing off your lengths—or helping a member of your girl crew do the same— is a BadGal’s first step. [x]
Rihanna in Ocean’s 8