After two years of development and months of teasing, Rihanna’s debut makeup line Fenty Beauty is finally here. We swatched, swiped, and fawned over the entire collection at the launch party in Brooklyn, where Rihanna herself was on-hand to talk to BAZAAR.com about the launch.
Here’s what we learned: The Fenty Beauty collection is strongly complexion-focused. Sorry eyeshadow and lipstick fans, Rihanna decided to launch without any palettes, eyeliner, mascara, or lipstick. There is one lip gloss, called the Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer. The peachy-bronze gloss is shot-through with flecks of gold shimmer, and feels moisturizing and slick but not sticky. The fruity vanilla scent is subtle, if you like that sort of thing (or you don’t).
To make sense of the collection, Rihanna honed-in on a three-step beauty routine that is not unlike her own. It all starts with a soft matte base. For that, she’s dropping a soft-focus primer and a liquid foundation in a groundbreaking 40 shades. ”The biggest challenge was making sure that each product covered all skin tones, and it was a challenge I was up for,” she told BAZAAR.com. “I didn’t care how long it took, I was going to make sure that we covered most skin tones. Diversity and inclusivity are important to the brand. I hope that fans, makeup lovers, and makeup artists feel that.” Rihanna describes the Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Long Wear foundation as buildable, but as someone who wears medium-coverage foundation every single day, I can attest that this stuff is intense. It’s medium-coverage right out of the tube, and within minutes of applying it, it will not budge. Go ahead and try. It’s one of the most sweat and humidity proof foundations we’ve ever put to the test, yet it still looks decidedly skin-like.
The second step is shimmer, because Rihanna loves to glow. We’ve known a highlighter was coming from Rihanna for over a year, when she teased that the flushed pink cheeks at her spring 2017 Fenty Puma collection were a Fenty Beauty creation. She’s launching six wet-or-dry powder highlighters, four duos and two singles. The duos have one subtle shimmery shade and one more intense shade, but if you’re a total magpie, go for the singles. The shade Trophy Wife looks like it’s basically freshly ground gold chunks fresh out of Fort Knox. It’s by far the most glittery golden highlighter we’ve swiped-on in the flesh, and it’s ideal for darker skin tones. If you’re pale to ghostly—like me—then you’ll love Metal Moon, an iridescent pearly-white shade that makes skin look lit-from-within.
Powder not your thing? Rihanna is also dropping 30 Match Stix, which are basically do-all complexion tubes. There are 20 matte shades that can be used to contour, highlight, correct, conceal—you name it. They’re soft, creamy, and buildable. Then there are 10 shimmer Match Stix, which hold the only pops of color in the entire collection. Use these as blush, highlighter, lipstick—get creative. We also like these as a sheer eyeshadow option, since Riri isn’t giving us any…yet.
The third step is to blot, because you only want to shine in the places you’ve just expertly applied highlighter, not all-over. For this, she’s launching two shine-busting options: a translucent powder with a soft puff included and the chicest blotting papers we’ve ever seen. The packed translucent powder is impossible to overdo, and blends seamlessly into skin without looking too flat. You can also buy a magnetic mini brush that attaches to the powder’s case if a puff is not your thing, but that’s sold separately. The blotting papers roll out like aluminum foil from a tube that could be mistaken for a lipstick…purposefully. The idea is that you won’t be ashamed to blot in public, and the mini mirror on the side of the tube makes the work, work, work, work, work stupid-easy (sorry, we had to).
And since Fenty Beauty is all about the face, she’s also launching a set of tools. In addition to the mini brush for the blotting powder, there's a sponge that looks like a Beautyblender with a chunk taken out of the side and a flat tip. There’s also a synthetic highlighting brush designed after a shark tooth to hug the curves of your cheekbones, and a small synthetic foundation brush.
The entire Fenty Beauty collection will go on sale at midnight tonight in 17 (!!!) countries around the globe—a massive feat that not even Kylie or Kim could pull-off. It’s one of the largest beauty launches in recent history, and one of the most hotly anticipated. While fans hoping for wild lipstick shades might find themselves disappointed, anyone who loves easy, glowy, healthy skin will fall in love with Fenty Beauty.