If you’re a gorgeous, massively popular celebrity, launching your own beauty line seems like a no-brainer. The last decade has shown that the billion dollar makeup and skincare industries are relatively recession proof. So when Rihanna, a stunning, Grammy Award- winning triple-threat, launched Fenty Beauty in 2017, its initial popularity wasn’t surprising. But Fenty Beauty isn’t just another celebrity business venture. CELEB explains why Rihanna’s makeup and skincare lines are so groundbreaking and totally worth the hype.
“Beauty for All”
One major reason behind Fenty’s success? That would be Rihanna’s desire to create makeup that works for everyone – every skin color, skin type, gender, and age. Per Fenty’s website: “Rihanna was inspired to create Fenty Beauty & Fenty Skin after years of experimenting with the best-of-the-best in beauty – and still seeing a void in the industry for products that performed across all skin types and tones . . . she launched a makeup line ‘so that people everywhere would be included,’ focusing on a wide range of traditionally hard-to-match skin tones, creating formulas that work for all skin types, and pinpointing universal shades.”
The Fenty Effect
For years the beauty industry fell shamefully short when it came to creating makeup that worked for women and men of color. Not only were there fewer shades to choose from, but often the colors and formulations made for darker skin weren’t flattering. When Fenty Beauty launched and offered foundation in 40 shades AND presented a marketing campaign that proudly celebrated diversity, “It was a call to action for all industries to do more and challenge the status quo.” This phenomenon has become known as the “Fenty Effect” and other makeup companies scrambled to create more inclusive shades in their lines. Fenty now offers 50 shades of foundation to match every skin tone.
Fenty Beauty officially launched on September 8, 2017 in 17 countries. In the US, consumers could purchase the products at Sephora or directly through Fenty’s website. In a little over a month, the company had earned $100 million in sales. In the past 3 years, Fenty Beauty has grown into a billion dollar business. While Rihanna’s star power and bold, fresh marketing campaigns undoubtedly helped to fuel sales, the main reason for Fenty’s wild success is simple: the products are amazing and inclusive. Makeup enthusiasts and bloggers rave about the quality, look, feel, and range of Fenty makeup. Reviews on Sephora often contain adjectives like gorgeous, light, airbrushed, and holy grail. Even the packaging and makeup containers themselves are a work of art – modern and sleek yet ethereal at the same time. And here’s the best part: most of Fenty’s products are under $40. Rihanna managed to create high-end makeup at a reasonable price point – not a feat all celebrity makeup lines can accomplish. Fenty Beauty is oil-free, cruelty-free, gluten-free, paraben and phthalate-free.
In July of 2020, Rihanna launched Fenty Skin. While Fenty Beauty offers several types of makeup with extensive color ranges, Fenty Skin takes a “less is more” approach. At the line’s press release, Rihanna explained that she only released 3 products in order to make skincare “. . . approachable, easy, and to take the pressure off choosing a routine.” As with her makeup line, Rihanna wanted Fenty Skin to work for people of all genders, colors, and skin types. Fenty Skin is vegan, oil-free, cruelty-free, gluten-free, paraben and phthalate-free.
UPDATE – Fenty Skin fans have been begging Rihanna to create a night cream and she delivered! Her brand new product that just debuted on October 20th is called Instant Reset. This gel/cream plumps up skin with hyaluronic acid (see ya wrinkles!), lightens dark spots over time, and improves skin elasticity. Okay excuse us, time to get the credit card out
CELEB’s Favorite Fenty Products
Choosing your favorite Fenty products is a bit like being a kid in a candy store: you want it all and selecting just a few is no easy task. But if we have to pick our favorites…
Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
We had to start with the famous foundation that revolutionized the makeup industry. And yes, the color range is amazing and truly works for everyone. But this foundation is also light, creamy, and stays put all day. A match for both oily and dry skin, we loved how the foundation created an airbrush effect and blurred any imperfections.
Sun Stalk'r Instant Warmth Bronzer
So many bronzers have orange or red undertones that look totally unnatural once applied. Sun Stalk’r doesn’t have this issue with any of their 8 gorgeous shades. We also like that the bronzer is subtle but also buildable for those who want more color. Like the Pro Filt’r Foundation, this bronzer is light, matte, and transfer-resistant. This bronzer is a must-have for achieving a natural sun-kissed look even during the dreary winter months.
Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color
Sorry shrinking violets – this lip paint is definitely not for you. Stunna Lip Paint comes in 9 vivid, “head-turning” shades, and each one would definitely make the wearer the center of attention. Our favorite? That would be Uncensored, a flattering, bold red that is a lot like Rihanna herself: confident, sexy, and unapologetic.
Match Stix Trio
Okay so technically these are 3 different products, but why have just one when you can get all 3 in one extraordinary set? The Match Stix Trio is perfect for anyone who wants to achieve a flawless, contoured look and includes a concealer, contour color, and highlighter. Like Fenty’s other makeup products, these are light, blendable, and buildable.
Fat Water Pore-Refining Toner Serum
Um, yes – we partially picked this one for it’s quirky, awesome name. But it turns out the product itself is also quite quirky and awesome. First, the texture is almost jelly-like but airy at the same time. The toner/serum smells delicious and has an impressive formulation that contains niacinamide, Barbados cherry, cactus flower, Australian lemon myrtle, green tea, and fig. After applying, our pores looked smoother and our skin plumper.
Long Live the Queen
There may be countless celebrity skin and makeup lines out there, but few have totally changed the game like Fenty. Yes, Fenty Beauty/Skin has breathtaking, high-quality products that are actually affordable. But this groundbreaking company has done so much more. Rihanna wanted people of every skin color to feel beautiful and included, and she has done just that. Thank you Ms. Fenty!