Is Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty line any good? We put it to the test
Celebrity make-up lines are often a disappointment. Laura Kennedy tests Rihanna’s effort
Rihanna attends the Fenty Beauty launch at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge on Tuesday. Photograph: Getty Images
I approached the range with hope, but scepticism. Most celebrity makeup lines (the notable exception of our time being Victoria Beckham for Estée Lauder) rely on the name and brand of the person behind the range. The products themselves can consequently be rather drab, lacking innovation or comfort in texture, and result in another reputation over quality makeup line that is not worth spending your money on.
This was my fear for Fenty, but to my great delight the product proved me wrong. Here is potentially the ultimate makeup basics brand for women from teen ages to 35.
Of course, you can wear the products at any age, but the hero product of the range, the Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation (€33), is best for oily and younger skin types. The foundation is nothing short of divine and with 40 shades to choose from in different undertones from shade 100 (which matches my own very pale, hard-to-match Celtic skin ideally) all the way to shade 490, the deepest cool-toned brown, you will not leave the counter without a match for your skin.
The brand is far from immune to social media and Insta Culture – Rihanna famously found her makeup artist Lora Arellano via a YouTube tutorial Arellano posted in 2012. The textures are consequently in the Insta oeuvre – high coverage, airbrushed finishes and light reflective textures with fun pops of colour. The foundation, though decidedly matte, is somehow still glowy and light reflective, yet wholly without shine.
The hexagonal Match Stix Trio (€52) magnetically attach to one another for convenient storage, and cover your concealer, contour and highlighter needs. You can buy the products separately for €24. The Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter (€33) is a longwear cream-powder hybrid that works as well on eyes as it does on the face. In the beauty industry “inclusive” usually means that a range has one or perhaps two options for people of colour.
This range champions inclusive beauty. Trophy Wife, a rich gold highlight which can of course be worn by anyone, but might look weird or jarring on paler skins if applied too vigorously. On skin tones from olive to deep, it positively sings. There are several such shades in the range.
Fenty also includes a range of tools starting at €13.50, the most expensive being the Full-Bodied Foundation Brush (€33) which gives a high coverage finish. The range is high end, massively inclusive, exciting, rich in fun and colour, cruelty free and a joy.
It will certainly expand and feature more products with time. For now, there is more than enough there to merit an exploratory visit to Harvey Nichols. Ask for testers to ensure the foundation in particular will work for your skin before you buy, but there is little to criticise in the range. Every kind of makeup lover will find something from Fenty that works for them.