Pop icon Rihanna launches one of the most successful celebrity-created beauty brands in history
So maybe RiRi is your favorite pop goddess and you can’t get enough of whatever she’s giving, whether it be music, fragrance, fashion or beauty gear. Or maybe you just love make-up and couldn’t help but notice the must-have highlighters, lip glosses, foundations and body glitter gels that Fenty Beauty has been putting on the market. No matter how you look at it, there is no mistaking that Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty line is one of the most successful celebrity makeup launches of all time. And she’s just getting started.
Fenty Beauty just launched in Italy, with great fanfare, and coming soon: Saudi Arabia. The nations that Rihanna has already conquered, such as The United States, Mexico, France, Spain, and England, can expect new product debuts on the regular as Fenty ups its inventory and increases its product lines in response to its overwhelming popularity since premiering in September 2017.
Whether you already own a Fenty arsenal or you are still mulling over your inaugural Fenty Beauty purchase, here are 7 things everyone should know about Fenty Beauty.
1. Don’t expect to pick up a Fenty lip gloss at your favorite department store makeup counter when you are shopping for a pair of Fenty Pumas.
Fenty Beauty is available at select Sephora stores, Sephora.com, and the FentyBeauty website. In the UK and Ireland, you can shop Fenty Beauty at Harvey Nichols and HarveyNichols.com. Sephora and Fenty Beauty both have lots of user reviews, so you can read what others think about the products. Sephora has an extensive customer loyalty program with infinite options for point rewards.
(In case you were wondering, Fenty Puma and other Rihanna merch are NOT available at FentyBeauty or Sephora, but you can shop NeimanMarcus.com instead.)
2. ALL Fenty Beauty products are cruelty-free, and most are vegan.
So the good news is that Fenty Beauty does not test its products on animals, so that’s a relief. But if you are a strict vegan, you should be aware that some Fenty Beauty products do use ingredients of animal origin, in particular, beeswax and a red pigment known as carmine which is derived from insects native to South America and Mexico. It is generally regarded as harmless, but in very rare cases, has elicited severe allergic reactions.
If you are vegan (or just creeped out by the thought of crushed, dried up bugs in your lipstick), rest assured that all Fenty Beauty brushes and tools are vegan. And so is the Soft Matte Longwear Foundation, Match Stix Matte Skinsticks, Invisimatte Blotting Powder, and the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer.
Match Stix Matte Skinsticks ($54, sephora.com)
Invisimatte Blotting Powder ($32, sephora.com)
Soft Matte Longwear Foundation ($34, sephora.com)
Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer ($18, sephora.com)
3. The foundation of Fenty Beauty is FOUNDATION!
Rihanna’s main inspiration for creating Fenty Beauty was to encompass a wider range of skintones than is typically available from make-up manufacturers. Her initial offerings when the line first launched only included a single lipgloss (it has since increased), but there were always 40 shades of foundation. Repeat: FOURTY! Being of mixed ancestry herself (her dad is Afro-Barbadian and Irish, and her mom is Afro-Guyanese) Rihanna often struggled to find make-up in her shade, so she wanted to be sure that Fenty was ethnically inclusive. Mission accomplished.
4. Sure, Fenty Beauty sells dozens of makeup products, but it’s really a part of the “No Makeup” Makeup Trend.
Rihanna is as celebrated for her bold, feminine fashion sense as she is for her innate natural beauty. She loves to play around with her makeup, sporting a bold matte periwinkle lip one day and a shimmering cat eye the next. But her makeup is never a costume or a mask. It is an enhancer. Similarly, Fenty Beauty encourages women of all skin tones and ethnicities to embrace their natural beauty as they experiment with different products to play up their features. The “No Makeup” makeup trend was started by Bobbi Brown in 1991 when she launched a line of 10 brown-based lipsticks, which instantly sold out. Glowing skin, full brows, and a natural, glossy lip are the hallmarks of the “no makeup” look. Over the past few years, Glossier turned the “no makeup” look into a booming trade, and RiRi’s version is a more diverse, shimmery, glam version of “no makeup” for women who want to enhance their natural beauty and “shine bright like diamonds” at the same time.
5. Fenty Beauty NOW has a 14-shade eyeshadow palette.
Emphasis is on the NOW part of the previous statement. When Fenty first launched last year, there was NOT A SINGLE EYE SHADOW in the collection (although the highlighters were presented as versatile products to be used on cheeks and eyes). The plan all along was for the line to premiere with a focus on foundations and contouring, and the lip colors and eye colors would follow afterwards.
In late 2017, Fenty Beauty launched its first limited-edition eye shadow palette, the Galaxy Collection, which consists of 14 “celestial-inspired” shades which Rihanna describes as “glitter on glitter on glitter.” The colors are designed to have a shimmery 3-D effect, and range from sheer to smoky. ($59, fentybeauty.com)
6. Fenty Beauty NOW has 17 lipsticks, one gloss and a lip paint.
Again, emphasis is on the NOW because in the beginning, there was only the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer in “Fenty Glow.” But Rihanna had always dreamed of a matte lipstick with a smooth, long-wearing application in a range of bold colors. If you know what she’s talking about then there is a very good chance that one or all of the 14 shades of Mattemoiselle Plush Matte will have your name on it. ($18, sephora.com)
If Lip Paint is more your thing, Fenty Beauty’s long-wear soft-matte “Stunna” is flattering on every skin tone. ($24, sephora.com)
For those in need of a shimmery lip to go along with their Galaxy eyes, the Starlit Hyper-Glitz Lipstick is as glittery as you might expect a so-named product to be. It comes in Supanova (orchid), Gravity (hot pink) and Sci-Fly (garnet). ($19, fentybeauty.com)
7. When it comes to celebrity cosmetic companies, Rihanna is The Only Girl In The World.
Last Year was a banner year for celebrity make-up and skincare lines. Madonna’s MDNA SKIN, Kim Kardashian West’s KKW Beauty and Gigi Hadid’s Maybelline collection all generated major buzz on social media and serious scratch in the coffer.
But Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty was on a whole different level. Product launches in each country were celebrated like an album drop, with a release party, red carpet, frenzied fans and major social media action. And beauty bloggers, make-up artists, and fans are all giving the products mostly favorable feedback for quality, price points, performance and packaging.
Sales figures haven’t been released by the company, but anecdotal evidence points to Fenty Beauty’s inaugural year as a phenomenal success. A lot of this has to with Rihanna’s enthusiastic social media following. And a lot of it has to do with Rihanna’s partner, Kendo, a global beauty brand that is owned by LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy), the largest luxury brand group in the world, which is also the parent company of Sephora. Although RiRi once sang about an unfortunate individual who better have her money, it’s safe to say that when it comes to the beauty business, she’s definitely “ballin’ bigger than LeBron.”