I Tried Rihanna’s Entire Fenty Makeup Collection. Here’s How It Looked.

September 20, 2017

I may never wear another foundation again…

When I first heard about Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty collection, a revolutionary inclusive makeup collection, I got that familiar “take all my money” tingle.

Revolutionary? Inclusive? Makeup? Need!

So I decided to do a little beauty experiment and try the whole collection. Because, well, journalism. And my editor agreed (*silent internal gleeful cry*).

Fenty Beauty was created after the controversial pop star and beauty icon became frustrated trying to find products suited to her darker skin tone. Not just foundations, but complementary contour tones, blushes, and even universal lip colors, which are all near impossible to find if you’re a woman of color.

Tackling the issue hands-on, the 29 year-old celebrIty just released 40 individual foundation shades to cover everyone, literally.

As a fully fledged member of the near-translucent pale skin club, I did a mini celebration. Would I finally find a formula that provides coverage, isn’t too pink or warm, and doesn’t oxidise on contact with my pasty skin? Would I actually discover contouring shades that didn’t make me look like I smudged dirt on my face? Could the collection’s highly-anticipated ‘universal lip color’ really suit everyone in the world? Like, is that even possible?

I decided if I was going to do this makeup experiment, I couldn’t half-ass it. No, I needed to full-ass it. I would do my whole face in Fenty, using as many of the products as I could get my mitts on.

As someone who normally does my face in a hodge-podge of different brands and products, I was greatly excited by the idea of streamlining with the one makeup family…

Before the magic. I woke up like this. Really.

Turns out there are set rules in order to create the ‘Fenty Face’. Riri says I need to start with her Soft Matte Filt’r Primer, because, “no matter what your skin type, adding glow on glow = unwanted shine.” But… But… my normal primer is illuminating, to make me radiant. Is Rihanna telling me I looked more shiny than fine-y? Apparently so.

I put some of the Invisipink primer on and marvelled at how a universal color could possibly work on all skin types. I was convinced it would be much too pinky for my yellow-toned skin but it works, and how. My pores were less visible, it glided right on and actually feels moisturizing. Tick one for Riri.

Next was the Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation. It took me a few color-matching tries to confirm formula 170 was almost an exact match for my porcelain white face.

Now you see my pimples, now you don’t!

When I went to apply it, I fretted over how watery the formula looked when dispensed. I decided to use one of Rihanna’s gorgeous Fenty brushes (in her signature millennial pink) to apply it, and my mouth dropped open.

You can see in my ‘before’ pic I very clearly have blemishes after a hormonal breakout visible on my cheek. A few quick swipes, and they were gone. And I’m not talking sort of covered, I’m talking no concealer, no color corrector applied and my zits were gone gone. I may never wear another foundation again. It’s matte, smooth and looks like I’ve Photoshopped my face, but in real life.

Next it was contouring time. Confession: I’m usually completely crap at this. My efforts to carve out chiseled cheekbones invariably end up looking like I just haven’t washed my face after playing in the sandbox. But Fenty Match Stix are said to be both inclusive and idiot-proof, so I was hopeful. And whoever designed the packaging needs a medal, because these honeycomb shaped color sticks magnetize together and it’s so satisfying.

Each product in the Fenty collection belongs to a ‘color family’, so once you have your base, you simply choose other products from the same family for perfect matchy Match Stix hues. Until that moment I’d just been picking up any old bronzer, but I was oh-so wrong. The Sephora girls had directed me towards the Matchstix Trio in Light, which has a highlight/concealer, a contour, and a shimmer stick (it’s cheaper than buying individually). The ‘Light’ trio features the shades Linen (concealer/highlight), Starstruck (shimmer) and Amber (contour).

This is the part where it usually goes wrong.

I followed expert advice and applied the highlight/concealer everywhere the light should touch: triangle shapes under my eyes and on my forehead between my eyebrows, brow bone, down the bridge of my nose, my cupid’s bow and my chin. I then drew stripes of contour everywhere there should be shadow or tan: either side of my forehead, under my cheekbones, along my jawline and either side of my nose.

My freshly striped face looked ridiculous in the mirror; like some kind of demented makeup clown. But then I blended, and blended and blended… (The Fenty Beauty foundation brush is blend-tastic, featuring a high bristle density and functional rounded end.) And all of a sudden, POW! I had cheekbones! And my face looked thinner! And I no longer looked like I hadn’t slept for a week because of dark circles under my eyes!

Blush and shimmer highlighter, or as I like to call them, speed stripes!

Polishing off my newly glowy face, it was time for color and a little bit of shimmer. I grabbed a blush Matchstix in Sinnamon because of its natural tone, and used the Starstruck for my highlight, drawing two more lines of blush stick on my cheeks, with highlight on the tops of my cheeks, bridge of my nose, cupids bow, forehead and brow bone, and blended some more. And shut up if I don’t start looking damn ravishing…

Lastly, it was time for the ultimate test: can the so-called ‘universal lip color’ Gloss Bomb possibly look good on everyone? Since I don’t have everyone, I try the lip gloss on just me, feeling cynical but willing to give it a go, and it’s perfection. Natural, but glam at the same time.

My whole look was pretty darn close to perfect. I don’t think I looked this flawless since… well, I don’t actually know when I’ve looked this flawless. Just look.


In the next couple of days I mixed it up and used the Killawatt Freestyle Highlighters in both Metal Moon and Lighting Dust/Fire Crystal Duo as my highlighter and even my eyeshadow. The cream-powder hybrid glided on so easily with the help of the special Fenty face hugging blush. Again, the hues fit in amazingly well with my base, and adding some of the Killawatt highlighter on top of my shimmer Stix gave a nice dimension to the look.

And since I don’t like wrecking my pretty brushes by letting them rattle about in my handbag so I’ve got them on hand for touch-ups, I might have also bought the on-the-go portable brushes, which come in the same genius packaging as the Match Stix. They all magnetize together in my bag so I don’t have to hunt around like a madwoman when I think I’ve lost one. SWOON.

I was hyped before I tried Fenty Beauty range, but now? I know the hype was justified.

This is an incredibly well thought-out range; the Fenty Face theories are solid, and better still, they work. The design of the brand is incredible and it’s so easy to use that even complete klutzes like me can manage it. My final review? Five stars. Run, don’t walk, to go get your hands on it now.

Comment: Have you tried any of the Fenti range? What did you think?

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