Why Rihanna’s ‘Fenty Beauty’ Is Exactly What The Makeup Industry Needs Right Now

When I first heard about the forthcoming makeup launch from the house of RiRi I have to admit I wasn’t all that excited; as an artist I don’t really follow her, even if I do bop along to her tunes on a Saturday night, and her previous collaborations weren’t my personal cup of tea. (The last time I wore Puma it was 2005, and even then it was an ill-advised mistake.) However, in the wake of the L’Oreal race row she released a preview of what was to come and the beauty industry went into meltdown: it showcased a spectrum of colour that’s reflective of any given high street, in an edgy and current way, that left my heart in all of a flutter. Whether intentional or not, the timing of the preview (and later the launch) was impeccable; L’Oreal had proved so well that their attitude towards diversity was certainly not what they’d tried to convey, and here was Rihanna doing it properly and from the heart.

Rihanna herself has said “Fenty Beauty was created for everyone: for women of all shades, personalities, cultures and races. I wanted everyone to feel included. That’s the real reason I made this line.” Diversity and true representation is at the heart of the collection, so it’s no surprise to find forty shades of foundation in the range – ranging from the palest white designed for albino skin, up to the darkest browns developed to offer the most beautifully radiant base. Just looking at the counter you can see that Fenty Beauty has been created to offer high quality cosmetics for every woman (and man) without compromise, something truly refreshing when most brands cater for only about 40% of the population. For so long we’ve been discussing the lack of available shades for women of colour, and little progress has been made; most brands only showcase a handful of shades, even when there’s the space available, as it’s just not seen as financially viable – even though the spending power of these woman is just as great (if not greater) than those of us with milky white tones.

Clearly Rihanna has experienced her own foundation frustrations over the years and wanted to make a difference, allowing anyone to find their perfect match no matter their tone: “Foundation is one of those areas in the beauty industry that has a big void for women at extreme ends of the shade spectrum. And so, I wanted to make sure that women of all skin tones were covered and they could be included in what I created.” Her cosmetics have been designed with every single skin tone and ethnicity in mind, which is reflected within the models she’s used to showcase the line. I feel like I’ve been waiting forever to see a campaign and line such as this, and I’m not the only one.

Fenty Beauty is more than just foundation shades though: there’s a huge selection of beautiful highlighters, contouring sticks, blusher shades, lipglosses and accessories that help make application as easy and effective as possible. The packaging is beautiful and so well thought-through (the sticks are magnetic and actually stick together for dual-application or simply better storage,) while the textures are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever experienced; with the brand being developed by the same guys as those behind Marc Jacobs and Kat Von D’s own makeup ranges, I wouldn’t expect anything less. With so much hype around the launch, I went in with very high expectations – but thankfully I wasn’t disappointed. If anything I was positively surprised as to how great this range actually is, and promptly handed over my card to buy £150 worth of the stuff. (Beware: they have VERY good sales people who will put everything on your face, colour match you without even being asked and leave you thinking that you need absolutely everything that they recommend!)

I’ll delve deeper into the individual products in a future post, but for the meantime I wanted to discuss the impact this range will have on the industry as a whole. So why is it such an important and much needed launch? For what seems like the first time ever, Fenty Beauty is all all-inclusive range focused on the diversity of beauty enthusiasts without limit. It’s been designed to cater for every single skin tone that exists, and not because it’s on-trend to do so; this is a brand that has it absolutely nailed and offers longevity that other celebrity ranges don’t. (Kim and Kylie I’m looking at you.) Every box has been ticked, but because of a fundamental belief that that’s just how it should be done – not because it’s a way to make money. Yes Fenty is selling like hotcakes only days after its launch, but this is a brand that knows exactly what it’s doing and how to cater to the modern beauty consumer.

It doesn’t matter if you’re the biggest RiRi fan out there, or you’ve never even sung along to ‘Umbrella’ in the car, Fenty Beauty is a brand that will appeal to everyone as a super high quality, diverse and exciting collection of beauty must-haves. For the first time in a long time I’m truly excited about a launch and the potential it has in the years to come; this is so much more than just a celebrity makeup line, and more the start of a industry shake-up that will hopefully set the scene for the years to come. Rihanna, you nailed it love.

Fenty Beauty is available exclusively from Harvey Nicols, both in store and online. The foundation is available in 40 shades (find your match using the shade finder,)



Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.  



  1. VacantGirl
    September 11, 2017 / 3:58 pm

    Great post. Like you I'm no huge Rihanna fan so I wasn't particularly fussed about Fenty beauty until I heard about the inclusive shade range. Being a very pale mixed race girl for many years my choices have been MAC or mixing otherwise I look like I've been tangoed or a bit ill. I'm thrilled with my foundation that arrived today. I don't usually gamble and order online but I felt fairly confident when I looked at the shade finder and could see a girl who looked like me instead of falling in between two girls. I'm excited about make up again and hope the industry really takes notice rather than just paying lip service.

    • Hayley Carr
      September 14, 2017 / 4:47 pm

      I've been hearing this a lot – that people are excited about beauty again for the firs time, and getting their perfect foundation for the first time. I'm so excited about the potential for the brand and what the future holds.

  2. Frankly Flawless -
    September 11, 2017 / 4:28 pm

    For no particular reason I don't really go wild at celebrity ranges…if I like the look of something I'll buy it but not because its by a celebrity. This does look interesting and has my attention xfranklyflawless.com

  3. Jennifer @ MrsQBeauty
    September 11, 2017 / 4:41 pm

    I'm also not a Rihanna fan and didn't think I would be interested in her line. I did see the products in Sephora and now I would love to try them. The highlighters were much larger than I originally thought. http://www.mrsqbeauty.com

    • Hayley Carr
      September 14, 2017 / 4:48 pm

      Yeah they're really big and you get SO much product from them!

  4. Emily Miller
    September 11, 2017 / 5:43 pm

    I am a fan of Rihanna and was so excited to hear about Fenty Beauty. I think it's incredible that it represents so much diversity and natural beauty. The products look like really good quality too!https://emilymillerloves.blogspot.co.uk/

  5. SheerBeauty (Kayla)
    September 11, 2017 / 6:17 pm

    Great post. I also wasn't at first excited for this but I did end up purchasing from this brand and I really excited to get my order this week.KaylaSheer Beauty Blog

  6. Violet Hollow
    September 11, 2017 / 6:53 pm

    Although I'm not a huge Rihanna fan I certainly admire her and respect her contribution to the music industry and now the beauty Industry as well. I love the message that this range brings and I think its one the beauty community really needed to hear! I'm excited by the products she has brought out so far and cant wait to see what else is in store.

    • Hayley Carr
      September 14, 2017 / 4:48 pm

      It's definitely come at the perfect time and offers the perfect antidote to the tokenism and attitudes of some brands.

  7. Louise Jennifer
    September 11, 2017 / 7:28 pm

    This isn't a line I would be interested in usually, but I'm so impressed by the shade range and good reviews I've read that I'm definitely interested now! It's great that she's trying to be inclusive of all skintones, and I really hope other brands follow suit. Base products that suit everyone should be the norm, not a rarity.Louise | Lipstick & Luxe

  8. Carolina
    September 11, 2017 / 9:16 pm

    I like Rihanna but this collection doesn't excite me. I don't know, celebrity collections push me away.. xxCarolina's Makeup Life

    • Hayley Carr
      September 14, 2017 / 4:49 pm

      It's not a celebrity range. It's a new brand created for a gap a celebrity has identified due to her work in the industry – and she has the money/connections to make it happen.

  9. Abigail Alice x
    September 11, 2017 / 10:11 pm

    I'm so beyond happy to see an inclusive range, even though ive never struggled to find a match the beauty industry definitely did need this refresh. Fabulous review, ill be checking out Fenty beauty as soon as I get paid!Abigail Alice x

  10. Pam Scalfi
    September 12, 2017 / 7:54 am

    40 shades for foundation is indeed pretty amazing and I'd love to try it, I'm sure I would be able to find my exact match and not have to buy 2 different shades for mixing, like I do for most of other brands.Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

  11. Danielle Alexa
    September 12, 2017 / 6:50 pm

    I cannot wait to get my hands on some Fenty Beauty items, if it suits multiple skin tones, it is already a winner in my book!Danielle xxhttp://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

  12. Vivian Yuen
    September 13, 2017 / 8:32 am

    Fantastic post, can't wait to read more about the products~Vivian | LIVE . IN . LOVEIG | @viviyunn_~

  13. Natalie Redman
    September 13, 2017 / 11:16 am

    I really like the range. I think I'm going to spend some dollar on it as a Christmas treat!www.upyourvlog.com

  14. Jess Athorn
    September 14, 2017 / 11:34 am

    This was a great insight into the range, and I completely agree with you on how important the diversity isJess | http://acornlifefitness.com

  15. Zeynab
    September 17, 2017 / 1:56 pm

    I am so excited for this range. As a woman of colour, I find it so hard to find my foundation shade. The darkest shades are too dark and in the between shades are too light. I don't understand why it has taken so long for a brand to offer this! And it couldn't have come at a better time.Zeynab The Beauty Load

    • Hayley Carr
      September 24, 2017 / 4:41 pm

      I definitely feel like this will be the turning point – brands will stand up and take notice of the hoohah the Fenty launch has caused, realise that there's a lot of £ to be made and finally start providing a better shade collection. We will see!

  16. Mel Eaglestone
    September 23, 2017 / 9:17 am

    I feel like everyone and their sister is onto this range I’ve only come across one negative review so far. Not sure if I will be jumping on the bandwagon though – I’m usually one to let the hype die down first Mel // meleaglestone.co.uk

  17. EyeSpyBeauty Tas
    September 24, 2017 / 11:59 am

    The shade range is fantastic but there is a major issue with oxidation in a lot of the medium shades. It's not as pronounced in the deeper shades but as excited as I was to find the perfect shade and the right undertone, it's too unpredictable. The level of oxidation varies depending on what I'm priming my skin with on a given day, so you can't compensate by buying a shade a bit lighter.

    • Hayley Carr
      September 24, 2017 / 4:42 pm

      That's interesting – it's not something I've heard about until now. Do you have a link to any features on this? My shade is one of the lightest and has been such a good investment for me; but I don't have experience in the mid to dark shade areas to be honest.

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