There are those who take to the natural tricks or hail Clean Girl Beauty as part of their everyday routine, and then there is Rina Sawayama. Since breaking out into stardom, the Cambridge University graduate has never ceased showing off her dauntless nature—whether in song or her personal style. It’s no surprise how the British-Japanese star swiftly became the Internet’s muse.
The Londoner first marked her fresh beginning with a debut single, Sleeping in Waking, in 2013 before returning full force in 2017 with a self-titled debut EP, Sawayama. Recently, her sophomore album Hold The Girl struck a slightly more personal chord—unleashing a series of pent-up emotions through her powerhouse vocals and transformative aura. While her music dances around various genres, from hip-hop, to heavy metal and avant-pop, one thing remained constant: her bold aesthetic, which translates from her outfits to her distinctively bold beauty looks. From rocking a neon red bob to wearing a head full of feathers in her 2018 ‘Cherry’ music video, we find ample reasons to call ourselves Pixels (the fanbase name dawning from her glitchy pop era).
Of course, her spirited style does not go unnoticed. Since her debut, the singer has graced the front row at numerous events, from Paris to New York Fashion Week, and now–the cover of Vogue Singapore.
With her signature wet hair aesthetic to make-up looks that won’t look mislaid on the red carpet, Sawayama proves that she owns her beauty, her way. A bewitching vision made only possible with trusted make-up artist, Mona Leanne, and long-time hair stylists, Jake Gallagher & Aaron Carlo.
Below, we revisit the most outstanding beauty looks from reigning pop queen Rina Sawayama.
1 / 5
Bleached, bold brows
Eyebrow pencil? Who is she? Sawayama’s loyal return to bleached brows has convinced us to pick up our concealer instead. Spiced up in a pink and red ensemble for her album launch party, our attention is drawn to her cheekbones with a mid-tone blush applied upwards for that snatched finish. Her cut crease pays a spectacular tribute to Marilyn Monroe’s signature white eyeshadow look, with stacks of pearls to tie the look together.
2 / 5
Dripped in silver & gold
Of course, this beauty is no stranger to glitz and glamour. In place of eyebrows and contour, Sawayama adorns her face instead with jewels of silver and gold—bringing our attention to her sultry eyes in masquerade mannerism. This surrealistic and innovative look, which saw itself front row at the Schiaparelli show, reminds us yet again that glam make-up can be unabashedly sophisticated too.
3 / 5
Who else to give the ‘90s favourite eyebrow slit a modern twist, than the queen herself? Bringing a new definition to the flick, Sawayama executes the fishtail eyebrow look perfectly by winging it upwards and onwards. With a smoky eyeshadow featuring various blues, she brings a sensual depth to her eyelids. The result? A selfie that we’ll be safeguarding in our Instagram saved folders for inspiration.
4 / 5
The pop icon demonstrates her approach to gothic beauty in her latest music video, ‘Frankenstein’. Black eyeshadow starts from the inner corners of her eye and finds its resting place on her temple while diamonds protrude from her nose bridge in horn-like glory. To tie it all together, there are highlights in her hair, faux piercings, and nails dripping in chrome and silver—just the right ingredients for a perfect Halloween party look. This piece of art brings us right back to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein quote: Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful—and truly, powerful, she is.
5 / 5
All that glitters
In her rendition of the Euphoria aesthetic, Sawayama’s trusted make-up artist, Mona Leanne, went bold yet again. This time, it’s with rhinestones and glitter—sparkly enough to join Jules in the hallway. While well-known for her stellar eye looks, Sawayama’s signature also includes her lips–coated in nutmeg nude every time. When recreating her looks, consider paring other elements down to allow the eyes to speak; light blush and subtle lips could be key to creating a cohesive show.