18 Women Of Color Share Their Thoughts On The Power of Fenty Beauty

 
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The beauty world was turned upside down on September 8 when Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty released her debut cosmetics collection. But what does Fenty Beauty mean for the women who've since started using it?

Rihanna's proved that she knows exactly what women want, with a line that offers 40 shades of matte foundations, 10 highlighters, 20 matte sticks, 10 shimmer sticks, a neutral colored lip gloss, blotting powder and paper, retouch primer, and other tools.

Despite all of the global hype, the collection didn’t sell out instantly—and that was seemingly all a part of Rihanna’s plan for total (beauty) world domination of the Sephora-partnered line. Twenty days have passed since the launch and almost all of the dark shades of foundation are reportedly sold out. On October 13, Fenty Beauty will be dropping the Galaxy Collection, exclusively with Sephora.

Fenty Beauty is marketed as “the new generation of beauty.” In a press release, Rihanna stated that she was inspired to create a cosmetics collection “so that women everywhere would be included."

From the moment that the brand unveiled its first commercial for the collection, starring a diverse cast of women including Paloma Elsesser, Duckie Thot, Halima Aden, Leomie Anderson, Slick Woods, and Selah Marley, it was crystal clear that Rihanna was making a huge push for inclusivity.

Girlboss recently spoke with 18 women of color, to learn more about the significance of Fenty Beauty and an honest take on the products themselves. Read all of their responses below.

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Name: Michelle Kim
Age: 20
Location: Maryland

What did you buy from the collection?
The Killawatt highlighter in Trophy Wife and the Gloss Bomb.

Why did you decide to purchase Fenty Beauty products?
I've grown into more and more of a makeup junkie, and I knew that the Fenty Beauty launch would be something that everyone wants to talk about, review etc. So although I usually don't like to buy high-end beauty products (I get all my stuff from the drugstore), I knew I wanted to try some items from the collection to be part of the conversation. I had no problem supporting Rihanna due to her diverse and inclusive marketing, but I needed to know if the quality of the products lived up to the hype.

Also, I just saw Trophy Wife on the website and gasped...that highlighter is incredibly unique and I knew that I wouldn't be able to find a drugstore dupe!

How is this makeup line different than other cosmetics that you've used in the past?
What I noticed from looking at the range is that there is a real consideration for people with deeper skin tones and a wider range of undertones. That's why I got so excited about Trophy Wife, because I knew it would pop on people with deeper skin. I was actually a bit nervous that it would look unflattering on me, but it actually ended up looking wonderful on my complexion.

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Full Name: Jourdan Ash
Age: 25
Location: NYC

What did you buy from the collection?
Gloss Bomb, Trophy Wife, and the highlighter stick in Chili Mango

Why did you decide to purchase Fenty Beauty products?
The makeup artist in Sephora was extremely helpful while making my decision, but it was the quality of the products that completely sold me. The foundation was the most surprising match for me!

How is this makeup line different than other cosmetics that you've used in the past?
Typically, most foundations don't work with my skin, unless I color correct first. I got a sample of the foundation in 420 and the primer and the match was literally flawless.

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Name: Farah Pink
Age: 29
Location: New York City

What did you buy from the collection?  
I purchased the primer, foundation in shades 330 and 350, Killawatt highlighters in Girl Next Door, Chic Phreak and Trophy Wife, Match Stix Trio in Tan 300—Caramel, Truffle, Rum and of course, the Gloss Bomb.

Why did you decide to purchase Fenty Beauty products?
To be honest, I got so excited to see a makeup line created by a woman of color that’s my age. I felt like it would align with my taste and I knew Rih Rih wouldn’t put her name on a mediocre product.

How is this makeup line different than other cosmetics that you've used in the past?
I don’t know who’s behind these other big makeup brands, so I definitely feel more connected to Fenty Beauty. I love seeing women make boss moves!

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Name(s): Sabine and Carine Lavache
Age: 22
Location: Brooklyn, NYC

What did you buy from the collection?
We brought the Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation, the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer and the Full-Bodied Foundation Brush 110. 

Why did you decide to purchase Fenty Beauty products?
We were already excited for the products because we're big Rihanna fans, but once we saw how inclusive the first advertisement was, we knew we had to try it.

How is this makeup line different than other cosmetics that you've used in the past?
Rihanna has a huge platform, so her dropping this line is really a form of education for brands that neglect women with darker skin tones. I (Sabine) once had an employee at a makeup store tell me I couldn't contour because of my complexion, which is completely untrue.

In terms of the product itself, the foundation is incredible. She wasn't lying when she said she wanted it to feel like skin. It's so light and there's no mixing and matching happening to get the right color. 450 is our exact match.

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Name: Megan Tatem
Age: 26
Location: New York City

What did you buy from the collection?
Trophy Wife, #330 Foundation, Cheek-Hugging Foundation Brush, Trippin' Match Stix, and Fenty Glow Gloss.

Why did you decide to purchase Fenty Beauty products?
The commercial was really convincing. Also, seeing Rihanna wear her line in a variety of different ways was a great way to see the product used first hand.

How is this makeup line different than other cosmetics that you've used in the past?
The quality is magnificent. The foundation is thick and long lasting, the gloss is the perfect shade to fit anyone, of any color, and trophy wife provides a shine like no other highlighter I've ever used.

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Name: Anabelle
Age: 21
Location: Sydney, Australia

What did you buy from the collection?
Pro filt'r foundation (440), Shimmer Matchstix (Rum), Killawatt highlight (Ginger binge/Moscow Mule), Gloss bomb (Fenty Glow)

Why did you decide to purchase Fenty Beauty products?
I was super interested in the collection after seeing all the promo on Instagram. Everything looked so fresh and natural!

How is this makeup line different than other cosmetics that you've used in the past?
The quality speaks for itself! All the products are so consistently pigmented and the shade range is super inclusive. Normally brands don't launch with such an extensive shade range, so I was really excited to try everything.

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Name: Clara
Age: 21
Location: Sydney, Australia

What did you buy from the collection?
Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Duo (Mean Money/Hu$tla Baby),
Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick (Chilli Mango) and Match Stix Trio (Tan 300). I’ve been using a tester for the foundation, but I’m definitely going back for 310 Tan Warm. I’ve using my sister’s Gloss Bomb, but I think it’s time to get my own lol.

Why did you decide to purchase Fenty Beauty products?
I’ve always liked Rihanna, but I think more recently I’ve fallen in love with her. I’ve been a fan of her other collaborations with other brands and when I found out she was releasing a cosmetics line, I thought to myself, just take my money! From the moment I saw the Killawatt highlighters, the 40 shades of foundation, along with many positive reviews, I knew I had to purchase.

How is this makeup line different than other cosmetics that you've used in the past?
Fenty Beauty is different to other brands with how inclusive and accessible it is for PoC. A lot of brands, ESPECIALLY in Australia, don’t accommodate for deeper skintones. Even with the campaign, it featured women of different backgrounds. It’s very refreshing to see a beauty brand being inclusive, without the tokenism.

It felt very genuine, like a lot of thought was put into catering to everyone. Because, sometimes I find that deeper tones tend to be ashy, or have red undertones whereas with Fenty Beauty, I can see a lot of thought was put into each foundation as there’s an undertone for everyone.

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Name: Lotanna Obodozie
Age: 23
Location: Washington, DC

What did you buy from the collection?
I bought a shimmering match stix in Sinamon.

Why did you decide to purchase Fenty Beauty products?
I decided to buy Fenty Beauty because I love Rihanna. A whole lot. I also love how she created this makeup line with WoC in mind. It felt very FUBU [For Us, By US] so I decided that it was something I wanted to support. Also, the hype was very real (and deservedly so!)

How is this makeup line different than other cosmetics that you've used in the past?
First off, this is my first time buying from a celebrity-founded makeup line. Secondly, again, this line was created with women of color and black women in mind, which is not something I can say about other makeup and beauty brands. Fenty Beauty seems like a lot of thought was put into its creation, ensuring that there would be something for nearly everyone, and I love that so much. I feel so seen, so of course, I had to buy something!

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Name: Imani J. Jackson
Age: 28
Location: Gainesville, Florida

What did you buy from the collection?
I bought the Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 370, Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife, Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer, and Invisimatte Blotting Powder. (Literally just ordered a Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Chili Mango online too.)

Why did you decide to purchase Fenty Beauty products?
I love Rihanna. I love that she brings multi-dimensional beauty to a global stage. Physically, she is an unquestionable stunner. But, her humanitarian efforts, especially regarding girls’ education, when coupled with her constant production of diverse art, makes me want to study and support her.

How is this makeup line different than other cosmetics that you've used in the past?
The complexion inclusivity is outstanding. She understands that human beings come in broad shade ranges and have different undertones. We can be dark brown with red tones, light brown and golden, extremely fair but bluish and everything in between.

When she released her ads, her choice to open a beauty campaign with Duckie Thot and include so many other visibly black and brown women was captivating. She presented products at a competitive luxury price point, but still made them accessible. This underscores her universality.

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Name: Andrea K. Castillo
Age: 31
Location: BROOOOOKLYNNN (Fabolous voice)

What did you buy from the collection?
I purchased the Pro Filt'r foundation in shade 240.

Why did you decide to purchase Fenty Beauty products?
I read a lot of reviews specifically on the foundation, and what I gathered is that women of all complexions were able to find a match. I took a trip to the Times Square Sephora after work one day to peruse, and was able to find a near perfect match to my skin tone. I purchased on the spot.

How is this makeup line different than other cosmetics that you've used in the past?
This is the first celebrity-founded beauty line that I have purchased from. For foundation in the past, I have purchased from Nars, Laura Mercier, and most recently Maybelline Pure Match Foundation because I had issues finding a proper match. I generally purchase higher end department store brands or drug store brands like Milani.

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Name: Rija Rehan
Age: 21
Location: Boston, MA

What did you buy from the collection?
I bought the Universal Lip Luminizer!

Why did you decide to purchase Fenty Beauty products?
It was an impulse buy and one of the only Fenty products not sold out at Sephora. I was so excited when Fenty Beauty was released and I wanted to get my hands on any of the products, just to be a part of the brand.

How is this makeup line different than other cosmetics that you've used in the past?
This is one of the only makeup brands I know who the actual creator is. I don't usually go for Kylie products or YouTube collaborations, where you know more about the collaborator.  

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Name: Ebony Bryant
Age: 22
Location: Los Angeles

What did you buy from the collection?
Gloss Bomb, Killawat in Moscow Mule/Ginger Binge, and Matchstix in Sinnamon.

Why did you decide to purchase Fenty Beauty products?
1. Because, RIHANNA!
2. She has always been a leader in thoughtful design. She makes what I want, it's that simple.
3. 40 FOUNDATION SHADES. I honestly was so overwhelmed by all of my choices that I accidentally picked the wrong shade. She thought of EVERY woman and it's almost a shame how refreshing that was.

How is this makeup line different than other cosmetics that you've used in the past?
The finish. Very skin-like. My favorite part about the line, though, is that it's so multipurpose. I can use Matchstix on my cheeks, eyes, lips. Killawat can be used as eyeshadow. I like to have fun with my makeup and Fenty Beauty facilitates that!

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Name: Jasmyn Lawson
Age: 26
Location: New York

What did you buy from the collection?
I bought the PRO FILT'R Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in shade 300, the Match Stix in Walnut, and the Shimmer Skinstick in the color blonde.

Why did you decide to purchase Fenty Beauty products?
I honestly just wanted to support Rihanna. She's one of my favorite people and I was excited for a young black woman to be launching a global/inclusive makeup brand. I didn't expect it to be as life-changing as it was for me, but I'm happy I was surprised by the results. I now have a new go-to brand and it's black-owned.

How is this makeup line different than other cosmetics that you've used in the past?
I have a lot of different colors in my skin. There are blemishes, freckles, and of course my noticeable dark circles. It's been hard for me to find a product that helps me take care of all of that. From the first time I applied my Fenty products, everything matched perfectly. It gives a super natural look and as someone who doesn't wear makeup often, it's exactly what I aim for. Rihanna is a gawd.

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Name: Bianca Xunise
Age: 30
Location: Chi town

What did you buy from the collection?
I bought Metal Moon, but I'm also trying out the foundation in 370!

Why did you decide to purchase Fenty Beauty products?
I love supporting black-owned businesses especially the endeavors by black women. Above all things, it was super important to be supportive.

How is this makeup line different than other cosmetics that you've used in the past?
It's very high quality makeup, doesn't make me look ashy, I've never had this type of effect from make up before, I feel like a supermodel haha!

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Name: Sarah Jasmine Montgomery
Age: 22
Location: Texas ----> NYC

What did you buy from the collection?
I bought the lip gloss, rum-colored match stix, Killawatt highlighter in Girl Next Door/Chich Phreak, and the foundation in 260.

Why did you decide to purchase Fenty Beauty products?
Rihanna's career has coincided with my entire childhood/adolescence, from "Pon De Replay" to all of ANTI. I feel like she has ushered me into each new stage of my womanhood. As I grow, I feel like she is growing with all her business endeavors, and I want to support that. Also she has really high standards, so specifically with beauty, I know if it's good enough for her it's good enough for me.

How is this makeup line different than other cosmetics that you've used in the past?
I'm not a big makeup person, so I don't have a lot of stuff to compare it to. I was impressed obviously by the diversity and the breadth of the line, especially for a debut launch.

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Name: Bee Pollard
Age: 26
Location: DC Metro Area

What did you buy from the collection?
I purchased the Match Stix, Glass Bomb and the Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Primer.

Why did you decide to purchase Fenty Beauty products?
I mean, have you seen Rihanna's face? It's literally a dream. If there was anything that woman could sell and sell without hesitation is a beauty line. In all seriousness, I really wanted to support a woman of color who believed in inclusivity, quality and diversity when it came to the world of makeup. It also was great to see so many beauty bloggers of various shades, especially those who look like my sisters and I, gush about finding a product that catered to them.

How is this makeup line different than other cosmetics that you've used in the past?
I'm a low maintenance girl when it comes to makeup. So, I love when a line can give me a glow that's almost effortless. Fenty Beauty makes getting done up so easy.

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Name: Rahnell Branton
Age: 22
Location: Toronto, Canada

What did you buy from the collection?
I bought the Pro Filt'r Primer, Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Foundation, Killawatt Freestyle Highlighters (Hu$tla Baby/Mean Money) duo and Trophy wife), Blotting Powder with mini brush to go with it, and Gloss Bomb lipgloss,

Why did you decide to purchase Fenty Beauty products?
I bought Fenty Beauty because not only am I a Rihanna stan, but the brand was also very appealing to my own values and look choices.

How is this makeup line different than other cosmetics that you've used in the past?
I felt like all the products could be multitasking, and most importantly, I felt like there were not only a lot of darker shades but a lot of different undertones which I think is very important when it comes to finding a match.

Some brands think having one or two dark shades makes them "inclusive" when they have 50 shades of white, with so many undertones. But when it comes to PoC, we have to settle with being too red or too yellow because those are our shades to choose from.

I found that Fenty Beauty came to shut people/brands down with their excuses and let people know it's possible to find your exact match.

Words: Sydney Gore
Photos: Courtesy/Fenty Beauty