The Revolution of Fenty Beauty
I vividly remember the night that the collection launched: I was sitting on my bed, watching the Instagram live of the Fenty Beauty launch at the Times Square Sephora, barely 30 minutes about from my house. As Rihanna walked out of the store, her Instagram handler videotaped her exit from the store and her subsequently greeting her excited fans. With wild screaming in the background, the camera panned around the scene and focused on the Fenty Beauty Ads, shining brightly and reflecting from numerous big screens around Times Square.
Rihanna’s aesthetic seems to focus primarily on skin. Always sporting a flawless complexion, and almost an anti-makeup attitude, her goal seems to reflect the “your-skin-but-better” mentality, which is what her first launch focused on. Her venture into the land of makeup was not a daunting one for her, unsurprising as she seems willing to take on some of the hardest challenges. “I love makeup” she states, “and I love giving back so it never felt like work, it just felt like exciting times; moving through it, non-stop of course but I enjoy it.” Non-stop she kept going, and of course having her operation a well-kept secret. The operation of Fenty Beauty took over two years to finally land on the shelves of Sephora, and besides what little clues that Rihanna intentionally leaked to the public, the details of the products in the line were kept expertly under wraps.
The general consensus on social media was that Rihanna raise expectations in the makeup industry with her release of 40 foundation shades on her first launch, with about an unprecedented half of them ranging from the medium to deep range.
This is way more than most other makeup products launch with or better yet carry, even after years and years of receiving criticism. This criticism particularly lying in the direction of certain makeup brands only having at max 3 shades for dark skinned women, almost assuming that dark skin women don’t wear makeup and that catering to them would not be a worthy investment.
However, Rihanna’s line took the opposite turn, with her goal being to celebrate inclusion and diversity within every single product that she released. She stated to reporters, “I wanted a color that looked good on all skin tones… it’s really important for me in every product.” And this seems to have been achieved receiving very positive reviews from beauty gurus, such as Alissa Ashley and Jackie Aina, who have been known for critiquing brands for their lack of diversity and inclusion. Rihanna seems to have perfected color scheme, shade, and finish, ranging from her universal gloss bomb, to all 40 foundation shades, to the matchstix, which can be used for various purposes. Even more recently, Rihanna has launched the Galaxy collection, which features shimmery and brightly colored lip glosses, lipsticks, eyeliners, and an eye shadow palette, which arguably appears to swatch well on almost any skin tone. Scrolling through Fenty beauty’s Instagram, one can easily see how her goal has been met, through the diversity of individuals who have been reposted using her products.
There is no need to elaborate on Rihanna’s success as both a pop star and a business woman. With many successful albums and business ventures, I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical of her makeup line at the launch. Hearing about the line as a makeup lover myself, I was eager to try the products and give them an honest, bias free judgment. All I will say from my own experience is that she truly was able to create a multitude of products that will look good on everyone.
Cover Image Credit: Reddit
Slideshow Image Credit (Instagram): @fentybeauty