On September 8th, Rihanna was able to add yet another title to her name. The singer, actress and fashion icon, has stepped into the world of beauty by launching her very own makeup line. Aptly called, Fenty Beauty, the line features a total of 90 products being sold exclusively at Sephora and the Fenty Beauty website.
(Source: Fenty Beauty Instagram)
We’ve seen quite a few celebrities dive into the beauty industry, either by doing collaborations with established companies or launching their own beauty brands. The Kardashians are the most notable, with both Kylie and Kim launching online brands. These endeavors have seen overwhelming success—products usually selling out in mere minutes of their launch—with a constant release of new products. Though the launch of Fenty Beauty was extremely hyped among Rihanna fans and the beauty community alike, we weren’t quite sure what we were getting. I think it’s safe to say, many were surprised by Rihanna’s initial campaign announcement. Fenty Beauty would be a line focused on skin, with 40—that’s right 40—shades of foundation ranging in shade and undertone.
If you’re unfamiliar with the beauty industry, and the makeup industry in particular, the significance of this launch may be lost. So, let’s put it in perspective. The popular Born This Way Foundation, by the brand Too Faced, has 24 shades. The Nars Sheer Glow Foundation has 20 shades. This is commonplace. Out of those shades, less than half are usually suitable for darker skin tones. Usually it’s 20 shades of ivory and 4 shades of “mocha.” Rihanna did what established beauty brands failed to do; she did her research, listened to her audience, and delivered what they wanted.
There is a lot to be said for truly listening to your audience. Beauty lovers and makeup wearers have been voicing the need for inclusive beauty brands for years. Woman of color have been especially vocal, and in my opinion, rightfully so. As mentioned earlier, most brands offer little variation for darker complexions. It’s easy to assume that Rihanna knew that whatever she would release would sell big, since after all, she is a widely popular celebrity with a huge following. Still, Rihanna and her team took the time and effort to find a need in the market and use that opportunity to not only fill a void, but also fulfill it beyond satisfaction. Whether you love all of the products in the Fenty Beauty line or not, you’ll most likely go back for more when future launches take place due to the impact her message has on you. By catering to her audience, she built a solid foundation of trust that will only benefit her brand in the future.
A message to other makeup brands: take notes.
By: Erin Mena, Creative Content Producer
Twitter Handle: @erin_mena