Unless you’re living under a rock, you probably heard that powerhouse Rihanna launched her diverse and sparkly AF Fenty Beauty line this month at Sephora.
Fenty Beauty is the makeup catered toward every skin tone, with over 40 shades of foundation.
Since it’s launch, other brands have been scrambling to play politically correct catchup. Marc Jacobs, KKW Beauty, and Hourglass Cosmetics all flooded their Instagram feeds with glossy images to showcase that they also sell darker shades just a week after Fenty Beauty’s launch.
Nice try, but you aren’t Rihanna.
Notice how the darker shades are mostly sold out?
What sets Fenty apart, other than Rihanna, is that many of the products are not catered to fair skin tones. Both Caspar the Friendly Ghost and Lupita Nyong’o can find solace in finding their Fenty Beauty shade.
I was lucky enough to visit Newbury Street’s own Sephora Studio to get a full Fenty Beauty makeover and here’s how it went:
My first worry is that I have to ditch my usual matte dark red lip for a nude-ish pink gloss. Unfortunately, there is only one lip product in the line right now. I typically hate lip products that aren’t matte or pigmented.
I have a feeling I’ll love the infamous yellow highlighter Trophy Wife, because I already swatched it on my hand. Trophy Wife is lustrous AF.
I’ve never seen a product sparkle so much on my skin. However I do worry that it may be too yellow-y for my face. I have an olive complexion and a feeling this product is made for and looks best on darker skintones. I’ll be so happy if I am pleasantly wrong and will buy it immediately.
The Fenty Face
I arrived at the Sephora studio very excited. I’m a long time believer in the 4 R’s “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rihanna” and I was ready to step a little outside of my comfort zone to see exactly what the hype was all about.
Luckily my makeup artist, Dylan, was very cool. He excitedly prepped me for the “Fenty Face” and tested my shade to perfectly find my match in the collection of 40 foundations.
For the record my PRO FILT’R Soft Matte Longwear Foundation ($34) shade is #240, and I’m a medium with neutral undertones. For this reason, we worked exclusively with the Fenty products made for medium skin. Specifically, when it came to the concealer, contour, and highlighter Match Stix Trio ($54), we used Medium 200. Medium 200 includes the shades Bamboo, Mocha, and Trippin.
I quickly learned that applying Fenty Beauty is very much like applying wall paint; it goes on darker while wet and dries a lighter shade. FB also offers very full coverage with very little product.
Getting the Fenty “F” is an extra touch that some Sephora makeup artists like to add: They draw an F across your face for “Fenty” obviously, and then quickly work to blend because the product oxidizes very fast.
I found this part amusing; I guess you could say I got F’d at Sephora.
After primer and foundation my skin was already looking healthily covered. I will say that I wasn’t necessarily “wowed” in the moment by the liquid skin products (PRO FILT’R foundation, PRO FILT’R Instant Retouch Primer ($32). I mostly think my underreaction was just because I already really like the coverage I get from my Kat Von D Lock It Foundation.
However, later on I was told by multiple people that my skin looked iridescent and amazing, which leads me to believe it had an above average everyday effect in place of my usual routine.
I was “wowed” by the fact that for the entire Fenty face, you really only need to use just two brushes, the Full-Bodied Foundation Brush 110 ($34), and the Cheek Hugging Highlight Brush 120 ($32).
For almost the entirety of look, we pretty much only used the same foundation brush for the concealer, highlight, contour and most of the blending. The Highlight brush was used at the end to brush away excess product and set the look.
Rihanna does sell a Fenty Precision Makeup Sponge ($16), almost identical to a Beauty Blender. In fact, when I asked if it was worth it, already owning a Beauty Blender, I was told no. They work the same, but if you’re into brand loyalty and want it because Rihanna made it; by all means.
From there we moved onto the Match Stick Trio, as I mentioned in Medium 200. We contoured with the darkest shade Mocha, highlighted with Trippin (gold-glazed apricot) and concealed with Bamboo. They are insanely blendable and pigmented, which is sort of an amazing combo. I found contouring with just Mocha to be really easy, especially for those who typically don’t contour (me!)
For a little tint of color to my cheeks and lip, we used the multi-use Shimmer Skinstick ($25) in Ridiiic (I love you for the names, Rihanna. And also, for everything else.) It was a reddish papaya color, that didn’t stand out too much, but kinda just made me look healthier.
By the way, these products are all magnetic and really fun to play with.
A trick: For a bold lip, use Mocha (yes, the contour thing) as a base, and then gently pat on Ridiiic. It made my lips look rosy and like they belonged in a Victorian portrait.
My least favorite part: You all knew this was coming, the lip gloss. The only Fenty Beauty lip product at the moment is Gloss Bomb ($18), a pinkish nude. A fan of everything matte and red, I knew I would have my hesitations. I will say this, it tastes like strawberries.
I immediately wanted my red lip back though. However, I was told that Fenty Beauty is definitely going to expand their lip products, just as Kat Von D did starting out. I will be excited if Rihanna releases a matte red, today was just not that day.
Ending on the highest note possible, the winner of the look was the finishing touch that is Trophy Wife, in the Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter ($34) collection. The yellow-y shine danced on my skin in ways that I can’t even properly photograph. It looked surprisingly natural for a pretty out there color. I said to my makeup artist, ‘It’s pretty extra, but in the best way.” and he agreed.
To enhance the look further, because I’m extra, we used a Marc Jacobs EyePop Stick in the shade Three Shakes ($28) as a base, and dabbed on Trophy Wife gently to the eyelid. I bought it immediately and was told I was so lucky because they’d been sold out for days and only just restocked a few hours earlier.
Phew. I was glowing. The glow lasted for a while, as it set in and stayed looking untouched for a super long time.
I truly think the glow is captured best on video, set to Nicki Minaj’s song “Feeling Myself.”
Rihanna really put in the work. All of the sticks are really blendable. Minimal brushes are needed. The products are very on-the-go natural Glossier type makeup, except you can make yourself look “Rihanna extra” if you want to.
The diversity and inclusiveness in this line are proving to be a major success. Though a little bit on the more expensive spectrum of Sephora, here both darker and lighter skin tones can find representation that other beauty brands cannot offer them at this time. It’s extra, but just the right amount.
Photos courtesy of Taylor Mortell.