Last weekend was a big weekend for beauty in Toronto.
The Glossier pop up was in town, the Estee Lauder sale was on, and all around the world women were getting excited for the launch of Fenty Beauty. My own social media was abuzz all of Friday with Fenty swatches and when I passed by Sephora while I was at the mall it was just jam packed with people.
While watching influencers review the entire line was great, what got me more excited were the reviews by real women.
I’ve had my fair share of shade matching troubles, mostly back in the Philippines. In a country that’s obsessed with whitening products and being mestiza, morenas (darker skinned women) really got the short end of the stick. I only wore tinted face powder back then, but even that was a struggle in itself and I usually left empty handed. My beautiful friend Anishah told me a story about how our local MAC counter didn’t carry her foundation shade because apparently her colour was not ‘popular’ enough.
If that was the case with the shade selection from MAC, imagine how lacking our local brands were.
Case in point, here is the shade range for a local cosmetic brand’s line of foundation.
I was watching this vlog by Hannah Pangilinan where she does a 500 Peso ($12Cdn) Makeup Challenge using only local products and she made a very valid point. While trying on the ‘darkest shade’ of concealer from a local brand, she said “Maybe this is why Filipinos want to be lighter.. because maybe they can’t find any makeup that suits their skin tone.”
As someone who’s been there and done that, I fully agree with that statement. I don’t want to be lighter, I just want to find makeup that I wear.
Thankfully, I haven’t encountered that problem since moving to Toronto. While I do still have to mix foundation shades every so often, it’s mostly because I’m in between shades from being too pale or too tan from the previous season.
So imagine my surprise when I realized so many women were still having such a difficult time finding makeup to suit their skin tone in the most diverse city in the world.
This is where Fenty Beauty enters the game and completely changes it.
In one of the makeup groups I’m a part of, I watched as woman after woman excitedly proclaimed they had finally found their foundation shade without mixing or a highlighter that made them glow rather than make them look ashy.
I asked a few lovely women to share their Fenty selfies and tell us why they love it so much. To prove inclusivity of the brand, they’ve graciously included their background.
Alyssa, Guyanese (of Indian descent)
Shimmer Stix in Yacht Lyfe, Killawatt in Trophy Wife
Shimmer Stix in Yacht Lyfe and Gloss Bomb
Shimmer Stix in Confetti
Shimmer Stix in Yacht Lyfe
Shimmer Stix in Rum & Gloss Bomb
“Foundation was either too light or too dark, I ALWAYS had to mix. And coverage always came with the price of heaviness, not this one though!”
Foundation in 350, Killawatt in Girl Next Door
“I love that there’s so much variety in shades and Riri took undertones into consideration. Also, the highlighters all look amazing on PoC and the price points are ridiculous/she’s not playing marketing gimmicks.”
Killawatt in Metal Moon and Matte Match Stix in Truffle
Killawatt in Mean Money and Matte Match Stix in Truffle
Killawatt in Hu$tla baby
“I love Fenty because I love Rihanna. I’m a white passing Arab woman so I haven’t struggled anywhere near as much as other women of colour when looking for a foundation shade. I just love supporting a black-woman owned business, and feel so strongly that darker foundation shades have been hugely neglected by most major beauty brands. I love seeing how excited everyone is about the brand and just being able to find their shade. I know the shade range is still looking to expand and I can’t wait for even more people to be able to freely find their shade. I’m a huge fan of Rihanna in general because she is unapologetically herself and I love seeing how happy this launch has made people, specifically poc! I also just think, so far from the things I’ve tried, that the products are really good quality.“
Foundation in 240 and Killawatt in Mean Money / Hu$tla Baby
“I am in love and so grateful for Fenty Beauty because we finally have a mainstream makeup brand that caters to undertones of people of colour. It focuses on brown skin in a way that I was able to match a foundation that is true to my skin tone, without having to settle for the closest, and usually lighter, shade. The quality of the products is brilliant, and I love that the overall brand focuses on glowing and radiant skin in a way that empowers the people that use it.”
Primer, Foundation in 340, Match Stix Trio in 300 Tan, Killawatt in Trophy Wife, Gloss Bomb
“It’s not exactly difficult for me to find a foundation match, but I still do often need to mix to get my perfect shade. There’s always a huge jump between shades and undertones for me and even brands that boast “diversity”, like NARS, have huge jumps. At first, I was trying not to get swept up by the hype of a brand by a celebrity but the more I saw the marketing images, the more I felt that this was a genuine endevour and not just a money grab (cough cough) like some other recent celebrity beauty launches.”
Killawatt in Chic Freak
“I don’t think the foundation is good for my skin type but it’s really exciting that I can probably find my proper shade, or at least something that’s close. And I can only imagine how exciting it is for darker skin tones which are so poorly represented. And it’s amazing that the brand is headed by such an outspoken and celebrated member of the black community which is so heartening. Rihanna is simply a bad ass and it feels like she put true effort and thought into this line. It feels like she was very involved, especially hearing that this was a project 2 years in the making. After seeing the packaging and the models and stuff, I was very intrigued and super happy to grabbed some stuff.”
Shimmer Stix in Sinnamon (on cheeks and eyes), Killawatt in Chic Freak, Gloss Bomb
Shimmer Stix in Sinnamon, Killawatt in Girl Next Door
While I personally haven’t partaken in the Fenty Beauty mania (my budget has been temporarily taken hostage by the Estee Lauder sale last week and the L’Oreal sale next week), I’ve definitely got my eye on the Killawatt in Mean Money/ Hu$tla Baby. Have you bought anything from the Fenty line? What would you recommend? Let me know!