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Rihanna On The Y2K Beauty Trend She Cosigns & Her “Rebellious” Maternity Style

“There’s nothing more fun than a challenge for me.”

Rihanna on her "rebellious" maternity style and Y2K beauty trends.
Rich Fury, Edward Berthelot, Robert Kamau, Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images
By Angela Melero

Seventeen years. That’s how long ago an infectious bop titled ‘Pon de Replay’ first hit airwaves and when the world collectively fell in love with Rihanna — myself included. Since then, I’ve hung on every lyric, word, ensemble, and beauty product the Barbadian singer-turned-business-mogul has bestowed upon me and the rest of her adoring fans.

Most recently, the precious gift that keeps on giving is undoubtedly her maternity style, which has delivered iconic fashion moments from wintery Harlem to the hectic streets of Paris Fashion Week. Whether it’s a sheer black babydoll negligee or an electric teal bodysuit, no look is off limits for Riri.

“It’s been me personally saying, I'm not going to buy maternity clothes. I'm not gonna buy maternity pants, jeans, dresses, or [do] whatever society told me to do before,” Rihanna tells me in the middle of an after-hours ULTA Beauty store in Los Angeles, celebrating the March 6 distribution launch of Fenty Beauty at the mega-retailer. This particular evening, for instance, is another style moment for the books: The star is wearing a long-sleeved cutout crop top, low-rise silver sequin skirt, belly chain, a high pony, and silvery winged eyeliner that reads very early aughts. Iconic.

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Perhaps it’s her impending motherhood that has turned dressing and her glamorous beauty routine into particularly celebratory acts? Or perhaps it’s just par for the course for Rihanna’s already impeccable style sense and ability to turn any occasion into a moment.

Whatever her strategy or secret maternity style sauce, I needed answers. Below, Rihanna reveals her unique approach to pregnancy style, the key to her constant glow, and how she feels about stepping into this new maternal role.

How has pregnancy impacted your beauty routine?

I definitely have been paying more attention to the amount of moisture that I have on my skin. Your skin goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy, and I've been having dry spells where my skin just starts to shed, and I have to over-moisturize. So, protecting my skin from the sun and the environment is huge. Instant Reset, my night cream, is a big one, especially when I'm having super dry days. That has helped me to revive my skin. Also, Butter Drop —I can’t say it enough because it’s the God honest truth, I go nuts with that. I go through so many jars of that. What else? I hydrate with coconut water and everything just has to be super high in moisture to keep my body hydrated. That's been a big thing for me.

You’ve mentioned in previous interviews that, often, when a woman is pregnant, society tends to make them feel like they have to hide their sexy, and you’re trying to change that perception. So, how would you describe your maternity style?

Maybe… rebellious? When I saw women dress during their pregnancy [in the past], I’d think that that was the only way. So I challenged myself to push it further and really just have fun with [maternity style]. Because there's nothing more fun than a challenge for me. Like that's where I get creative. That's where I'm forced to come up with new ideas and new ways to make it work.

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Have you learned any styling lessons you think you’ll carry over even after your pregnancy?

I think [in terms of] having fun and being creative, I've had a little extra boost of that. And now I don't want it to end. There's going to be the other side of pregnancy, which is like your ‘snap back’ body, and that's going to be a challenge in and of itself. So I'm looking forward to being creative in that [stage] as well.

The Y2K aesthetic is taking over beauty as well as fashion. Is there a specific throwback beauty trend you’re loving right now?

Yes! The silver eyeliner I’m wearing right now is very Y2K! It’s definitely where I’m at with beauty as well. I love that era.

How are you mentally preparing for motherhood?

I'm trying not to overthink it. I'm trying to embrace the journey as it comes, because there's so much unknown. And if I hype myself up about it right now, I'll just get too anxious and get overwhelmed. And, today is already enough for me to deal with, right? Getting up off the couch, figuring out what I'm going to wear, wearing heels, getting dressed. Everything that seems simple is such a task right now, so I'm just going to go step-by-step. And it's not like I could run from any of what's to come. When I'm faced with it, I'm going to handle it like I know best. The one thing I’ve learned the most during pregnancy is no one can truly prepare you. No matter how many stories you hear, your journey is so unique to you and you could never be prepared enough. You just have to embrace the journey.

What are you most excited about?

Meeting my baby! Are you kidding me? I got all the 3D scans and ultrasounds, and I can’t wait to meet them. And, you know, the diapers and whatnot will follow.