I bet you read "My Weekend With Rihanna......" and shit your pants. I would have too but I got to spend a weekend with the next best thing! Thee one and only, Priscilla Ono.
Priscilla Ono has been Rihanna's lead makeup artist for years and has been Fenty Beauty's global artist since the launch of the mega beauty brand in 2017. Priscilla has worked alongside Rihanna to pioneer one of the first super inclusive brands on the market.
I enrolled in the Priscilla Ono Makeup Course not knowing exactly what to expect other than a weekend I'd probably never forget. I didn't realize I'd be pushing my limits and meeting new lifelong friends along the way. I flew out to LA in late January with a pared down makeup kit and a carry on suitcase full of all black clothing (which is my staple wardrobe anyways). I checked into my hotel, got some food delivered and nestled in for the night so I could be well rested for my first day.
The next morning, I got myself geared up and headed down to Apex Studios in downtown LA. All of us sat in the waiting room anxiously for them to let us into the studio. I had already met a few of the girls on Instagram so I had two familiar faces to look forward to! It definitely helped to ease my nerves and social anxiety.
When Priscilla arrived, everybody was buzzing and you could feel the excitement throughout the room like electricity. She sat down and told us all about her humble beginnings as a self taught artist working in a small beauty store doing makeup in exchange for a $25 cosmetic purchase. She didn't go to a flashy school or get some big break off of Instagram. She HUSTLED from the bottom. One of the large reasons I wanted to learn from her, being a self-taught artist myself.
The first day was a lot of lecture about sanitation, different face and eye shapes, techniques, etc. Priscilla finished off with a graphic eyeliner look on model, Tiana Parker. The second day started off with another demo on model, Lia Liza that was a soft glam look. After the demo, they cut us loose to practice on one another.
I misunderstood and thought we had to recreate the look she did on the model that morning, so I did. The feedback I received was that I needed to flex different skills that I wasn't as comfortable with...noted.
The last day, I went HAM and did something completely out of my comfort zone and it...went...SO...GOOD. I remember at one point, I was carving out the liner and Priscilla was behind me (unbeknownst to me) and waited until I stepped back from my model and she grabbed my shoulders and yelled "THIS IS SO FUCKING DOPE!" and I fangirled inside like the loser I am. I decided to pull some inspiration images the night before and work up a look that was super editorial and not considered "wearable" even though my pal, Sydney, wore the shit out of it.
Another huge perk of my last day was one of the assisting artists, Hayley Kassel. I've followed Hayley on Instagram for as long as I can remember and when Priscilla announced that she was there, I almost crapped my pants. When she came over to me, I had to tell her how much I stan her and she was so humbled by it; you couldn't help but love her. She kept coming over to see how my look was coming along and she got super invested in it which was reassuring as someone who frequently questions themselves. It was an honor to work alongside her and have her guide me along the way.
Once the class was over, we all got our certificates of completion (which will be framed and in my studio for the world to see) and got to take our last pictures with Priscilla. We all said our sad goodbyes and parted ways, making sure to get all of our new friends' contacts before we left. I will never forget my weekend with Priscilla Ono and all of the wonderful people I met along the way.
My tips if you're planning on taking the class?
--Make sure you show up prepared with everything from the list they provide
--Wear ALL BLACK unless you want to stick out like a sore thumb. There's a dress code for a reason
--Connect with people online beforehand to ease any anxiety
--Figure out where your weaknesses are and show up with 2 looks planned to practice with Priscilla's guidance