Mary J. Blige’s Iconic Super Bowl Performance Was Only Rivaled By Her Bronzed Glow

Blige was Sunday night’s real MVP.

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INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 13: Mary J. Blige performs onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI ...

As thrilling, fun-filled, and nail-bitingly tense as the Super Bowl is, everyone can acknowledge that in general, it lacks some of the aesthetic allure of other major cultural events. There’s no red carpet at the Super Bowl, the celebrities in attendance typically like to keep it pretty low-key, and even the uniforms (outfits?) worn by the players feature some...interesting color combos. That’s part of the reason why the Mary J. Blige halftime show was so exciting — the glitter-powered theatrics are were a welcome change of scenery. For this Super Bowl, Mary J. Blige must have known just how needed a glamorous performance would be, because her jewel-encrusted look was nothing short of legitimately show-stopping. Blige has always been a highly versatile beauty chameleon, but her all-over bronze glow, piercing smoky eyes, and thigh-skimming platinum curls were pure, unadulterated opulence.

To play against her snowy-white leopard print-sequined catsuit and matching thigh-high boots, Blige’s hair and makeup were big and bold — much like the legendary career she celebrated with renditions of smash hits like “Family Affair” and “No More Drama.” Done up with a fleet of Fenty Beauty makeup products, her look featured an exaggerated smokey eye, a pretty pink lip, and plenty of captivating cheek shimmer to match her gleaming costume.


Porsche Cooper, global celebrity makeup artist who regularly works with Blige as well as Regina King and Andra Day, was responsible for the sultry makeup moment. To lay down Blige’s budge-proof, glowing base, Cooper first applied a layer of Fenty’s groundbreaking Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in shade 420 before strategically concealing with two correspondingly-colored Fenty Instant Retouch Concealers.

After carving out Blige’s high cheekbones and jawline with the Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Contour stick in shade Espresso (and subsequently adding some warmth with bronzer), Cooper mixed an alchemic combination of Fenty Diamond Bomb highlighter in Cognac Candy with its liquid counterpart, the Liquid Killawatt Fluid Freestyle Highlighter in Honey Hawtie. The two bronze-copper illuminators lit up Blige’s dewy skin like a spotlight — and that from-within glow was worthy of a ring all its own.

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To nail those extra-smoky eyes, Cooper utilized two Fenty Beauty eyeshadow palettes to flesh out the depth, shape, and color. The True Neutrals Palette's Cumin Get It shade built dimension in the crease while Smoky Palette shade That Deep? — a rich, sooty black — dominated the lids and lower lash line. Finally, the Flypencil Eyeliner and Flyliner Liquid Liner, both in shade Cuz I’m Black, added further definition to Blige’s waterline, upper, and lower lash lines. The luxurious look was finished off by a one-two punch of a Fenty classic and an already-beloved newcomer — the just-launched Icon Refillable Lipstick in Motha Luva gave Blige’s lips a wash of delicate pink color while the Fenty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer in shade Fenty Glow added a shimmery, glossy pink finish.

As Cooper worked on Blige’s gameday makeup, celebrity hairstylist Tym Wallace was busy creating her equally talked-about waves. Blige is known for her style switch-ups, and Wallace is responsible for most of them — he also works with other A-listers like Taraji P. Henson and Mj Rodriguez. Blige’s long, buttery curls needed to hold strong against an intense dance routine, and they did beautifully thanks to Wallace’s craftsmanship and some well-chosen Carol’s Daughter and TRESemmé products, plus Tangle Teezer brushes.


“My inspiration for Mary J. Blige’s Super Bowl look was ghetto fabulous rockstar,” Wallace explained in a press release. To prep the hair for the demanding performance ahead, Wallace coated Blige’s hair — plus 40 inches of extensions from Upgrade Boutique — with Carol’s Daughter Cocoon Mask. Once her hair was ready for styling, Tangle Teezer’s Ultimate Teaser brush helped shape the hair’s part while adding serious volume and height thanks to some back-combing at the roots and crown. TRESemmé’s One Step Texture 5-in-1 Texturizing Mist helped cement the curls Wallace created with a 1.5-inch curling iron, while TRESemmé’s Total Volume Hairspray helped seal the hold. “Next,” Wallace shared in the release, “I used Tangle Teezer’s The Ultimate Finisher brush, which has soft tips that glide through the hair, to create major volume, texture, and shine.”

It’s a testament to Cooper, Wallace, and the incomparable Blige herself that despite an in-person audience of 70,000, a half-time stage full of fellow legendary performers, and a franchise-defining victory, Mary J. fully stole the show.

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