Make me look like Rihanna

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Having a look at the new ‘Fenty Beauty’

By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor


If you’re a makeup lover, you’re probably aware of the recent launch of Fenty Beauty, a new high-end cosmetics line from pop super star, Rihanna. As of now, the line is fairly minimal and concentrated mostly on perfecting the base—i.e. your foundation and contouring—as opposed to eye shadows and other colour cosmetics. In a public release, Rihanna explained the reasoning for this.

“These steps are key to starting your makeup, no matter the look you are going for.”

One of the main selling features of this line is its inclusivity: The Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation is available in a whopping 40 shades, with a spectrum that will cater to everyone from extremely fair individuals to people of colour with extremely deep-toned skin.

As a longtime makeup hoarder and serial sample junkie I was eager to try out this line. That, and I had a secret hope that it might work miracles and somehow super impose Rihanna’s face onto my own. Sadly, that didn’t occur—but I can say with confidence what the hits and misses of this launch were.

Starting at the very beginning, Fenty has the Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer. This is meant to go on under the foundation, and it claims that it will prevent shine and reduce the look of pores. I can’t say that I’m a big fan of this primer. Honestly, it has more of a lotion consistency, and compared with other primers I have used it doesn’t diffuse the look of pores at all. As for the claim that it reduces shine, that’s hard to tell. I have combination skin, so I only get oily in certain areas, and while those areas remained matte throughout my day, I’m not sure if that was the work of the primer or the foundation. The primer is $32, so if you’re looking to save a couple of bucks I would say take a hard pass on this and try something else in the line.

As I said before the Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation comes in 40 shades, so colour-matching was pretty quick and painless. This foundation is a bit of a buyer beware—when they say matte, they mean MATTE! The foundation will literally dry down to an almost chalky finish. This makes it perfect for people who have oily skin, but not so great for people with dry skin. It also tends to settle into any fine lines and will crease around the eyes. Unfortunately, because it is so matte, using setting powder is an impossibility if you want to avoid cake-face. At $42 it is a bit expensive, but if you have a hard time colour-matching your skin, this might be a saving grace for you, and it does wear a long time before you have to touch up or reapply.

My favourite product of the line are the Match Stix, especially the Match Stix Trio, which comes with a cream highlight, contour, and blush. I am very pale, and I wear heavy eye makeup—because of this, I tend to go very minimal when it comes to my contour and blush, and these are perfect for that. I had no trouble blending them and they looked super natural, which I appreciate. In singles the Match Stix are $31, or you can get the trio for $67.

Many people agree that the Killawatt Freestyle Highlighters are the prize of this line. As someone who likens herself more to Morticia and less to J.Lo, only two of the available highlighters were fitting to my aesthetic (not to mention my skin tone): The single pan Metal Moon, which is a stark silver, and the duo Mean Money/Hu$tla Baby, which is more natural. Both were beautiful and blended perfectly. If you’re looking for a single item from Fenty to try out, definitely make it this one. Both the single pans and the duos are available for $42, expensive… but super worth it!

There are a couple of items that I tried in store, but I didn’t buy. The Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer was pretty, but it’s not anything special. It is really similar to both the Smashbox and Buxom glosses, and the product is only 9 mL for $18. Similarly, the Invisimatte Blotting Powder works, but it’s no different than Urban Decay’s De-Slick Mattifying Powder. Both are $32, but the Urban Decay is 11g to Fenty’s 8.5g.

All in all, there are some definite hits to be found in Fenty Beauty, but there are also some overall misses.