I appreciate that Rihanna took on this endeavor. Entering the multi billion dollar beauty industry is NOT easy no matter who you are. Rihanna has a huge company behind her line but even that doesn’t guarantee success. With that said, these are my honest thoughts.
MY INITIAL THOUGHTS
My first thought when I saw images of the products online was that I HATE the packaging. Like…seriously. When I saw the products in person I still hated the packaging of most of the products. Packaging for the lipgloss, primer, and foundation are okay I guess.
The packaging looks (and feels) cheap…but maybe cheap is a harsh word. It feels unreal…kinda like the toy makeup I played with back in the day. I partially feel like she probably wanted to stand out because makeup packaging tends to be a sea of black…but this was not the best direction. Ugh. It looks and feels like plastic. I mentioned this to the sales rep at Sephora and she said Rihanna drew inspiration from her memories playing in her mom’s makeup when she was little. Unless her mom was using her life sized Barbie’s makeup I don’t see the relation but whatever. I’m not here to judge.
I’ll admit I checked this line out solely on Rihanna’s name alone. I didn’t research her inspiration and intent so I can’t say whether what I was told but the Sephora rep is true. I’m sure that info lives somewhere on the Google if you care to look. I don’t.
As a professional makeup artist I couldn’t really care less about packaging since I depot most things anyway. But packaging can make or break a consumer purchase so it was worth mentioning. I will add that the packaging is super lightweight so if you are a pro and like to keep things in original packaging it may work for you. Another cool thing to note about the packaging is that the shimmer, concealer, etc. sticks are magnetic so they are easy to keep them together and not scattered messily on your work station or vanity.
LET’S GET TO THE PRODUCTS!
GLOSS BOMB: The only thing on my list was the lip gloss (Gloss Bomb). There is only one “universally flattering” shade available called Fenty Glow. It is a dusty rose color with shimmer that’s very pretty. The lip gloss is very thick but not too sticky and smells like red kool aid. It may also taste like it but I wasn’t about to lick the product that came out of the tester to find out.It doesn’t deposit much color but it feels good and something about it (probably fine shimmer particles) makes your lips look so delicious and juicy. I purchased two: one for my personal use and one for my kit.
Surprisingly I really like the packaging of the lip gloss. It fits in with the packaging of the rest of the line but somehow manages to still seem a bit more…grown up. Rose gold has a way of making things seem luxurious.
Gloss Bomb retails for $18/each.
KILLAWATT FREESTYLE HIGHLIGHER (single & duos): In addition to the lipgloss I also THOUGHT I wanted the Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in the shade “Trophy Wife.” Lies!!!! The highlighter is very pigmented AND…glittery. I hate glittery highlighters. Glitter is the herpes of the makeup world in case you didn’t know. I swatched it hours ago and have cleaned it off and washed my hands twice but am somehow still currently suffering a glitter outbreak.
Now, if you (or your clients) love glitter then these are for you! They are even pigmented and smooth enough to be used on your eyes. Note: Y’all need to read the disclaimers for the products and make sure they are eye safe. Don’t go use them on your eyes because I said you COULD…NOT that you should.
The highlighter duos are also pigmented and smooth. I liked the “sheen” side but couldn’t get passed the glitter herpes on the other side so it was a no go for me. Again, as a pro makeup artist I can’t have products that I will not use taking up space.
What’s interesting about the single highlighters is that they are like the duos in one product. When you swatch them there is a sheen in the color of the product topped by…glitter. So for instance, when I swatched Trophy Wife – a yellow gold with a green undertone – you could see the yellow gold sheen underneath the glitter. It’s quite a beautiful and interesting product. I’m just not personally a fan of the chunky glitter highlights. It’s way to disco ball-esque. But man…I’ll admit it looks beautiful as an inner corner highlight. I’m sure it would be equally as beautiful on the lid. But again, be sure to make sure it’s eye safe before using it that way.
Killawatt Highlighers (single & due) retail for $34/each
PRO’FILT’R SOFT MATTE LONGWEAR FOUNDATIONS: Fenty Beauty launched with 40 foundation shades. That is MAJOR especially for a new line. And not the standard 40 shades that breakdown to 37 shades of beige, pale yellow, and barely tan with 3 shades of brown that are too yellow, too red, or literally looks like mud…we have SEVERAL shades that are brown girl friendly with dynamic realistic undertones in this line. As a professional makeup artist I don’t go crazy over new releases like this so I won’t be adding the foundations to my kit just yet, but I am here for Fenty Beauty and Rihanna’s effort to be inclusive right out the gate.
I was impressed by my cursory look at the foundations. I only looked at the brown girl friendly end of the spectrum. I swatched a few of the deeper shades and was happy to see a few neutral tones. I picked up a sample of what I think my shade is to try out. From what I could tell, they dry down to a comfortable, not casket sharp, matte. I prefer a matte foundation so that I can strategically add dewiness where I want it.
The packaging for the foundation was more tolerable because it looks and feels more substantial. It’s a simple frosted glass bottle with a white top. Because of the frost, I would advise against just looking at the bottle to try to get a match. Instead, pump some out and try it – but honestly never eyeball a bottle for a color match. I’ve heard there are issues with the foundation oxidizing (turning darker or warmer) after application, so be sure to let your swatch dry down completely BEFORE deciding on your purchase.
I am still very hopeful for this foundation. I’m going to definitely play around with it. There were so many chocolate women in Sephora excitedly getting color matched. It was pretty amazing to see.
Pro’ Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation retails for $34/each
MATCH STIX SHIMMER SKINSTICK: I didn’t plan to purchase them, but I also ended up walking away with THREE shimmer sticks. Unlike the powder versions, the sticks are not contagious. They remind me more of the “sheen” side of the Killawatt Highlighter duos. They do have a bit of shimmer as well when blended out but it’s not as over powering as the powder products. This is a unique formula in that they are cream products but they lack the emollient feel and texture of most other cream products.
I picked up the brown girl friendly shades: sinamon (coppery bronze), rum (golden bronze – looks very similar to MAC’s bronze eye shadow), and chili mango (bright orange, looks intimidating in the packaging but will be orgasmic on a deep brown girl).
If you planned to pick up the single highlighter in the shade Trophy Wife but was turned off by the glitter, there is a shimmer stick in the shade “Blonde” that just may work better for you.
BTW, I HATE the packaging for these shimmer sticks. I promise this is my last time saying how much I hate the Fenty Beauty packaging. I’m going to depot them anyway, but I can’t stress enough how disappointed I am in the packaging. I like the sticks…a lot. I plan to depot into clear containers and carry them in my kit. Too bad that magnetic packaging will go to waste.
Match Stix Shimmer Skinsticks retail for $25/each
Overall, while I am not a fan of the packaging, I like what I see so far in the line. My biggest disappointment is that no lip colors were released. After Rihanna’s limited edition collection with MAC I was pressed for some vibrant lip colors. Hopefully lippies will be added to the line at some point in the very near future.
So basically, Rihanna and Fenty Beauty snatched a few coins but left my edges.
Love, light, & happiness!
Note: The thoughts and views contained in this post are my own based on my observations of the items at Sephora. Any purchases were made from Sephora with my own money.