Rihanna Throws Shade On Other Makeup Brands With The Launch Of Her Fenty Beauty Range

Imagine if every beauty and makeup brand in existence launched in the same inclusive way Rihanna’s new Fenty Beauty line just did. It’s only in recent years that we’re seeing a decisive move toward brands creating campaigns that feature women of various shades of skin as well as body types and ages. And it’s not as if makeup geared toward dark-skinned women hasn’t existed before, especially smaller brands or those created by celebrities such as Iman.

It’s just that major brands haven’t exactly been the leader when it comes to marketing toward a wider range of customers. Enter Rihanna, who launched her line on Sept 8th in Sephora stores and the darker shades sold out almost immediately. The collection boasts 40 shades of foundation for a range of skin colors from light to dark, and the singer said inclusivity was intentional.

“I wanted things that I love. Then I also wanted things that girls of all skin tones could fall in love with. That was really important for me. In every product I was like: ‘There needs to be something for a dark-skinned girl; there needs to be something for a really pale girl; there needs to be something in-between.’ There’s red undertones, green undertones, blue undertones, pink undertones, yellow undertones — you never know, so you want people to appreciate the product and not feel like: ‘Oh that’s cute, but it only looks good on her.'” she said during her launch event.

According to Refinery29, its a common refrain to hear other brands say they don’t have a large selection of darker shades available because they apparently don’t sell. Well Fenty Beauty just put every brand, product developer and marketing executive who uses that excuse on notice, and the reaction has been glorious.

A number of media publications shared what happened when RiRi’s product became available online through Sephora. The Cut reported 7 out of the 13 darkest foundation shades were soon out of stock on the Sephora website after they launched.

Jezebel praised Rihanna’s inclusion of darker skin tones amongst a “frustrating cycle for women of color in search of beauty products.”

“Sharing on social media, fans and even employees at Sephora have posted photos of empty racks of Fenty Beauty–especially foundations catering to women of color. With most brands releasing two shades for women of color, the singer has shed light on black buying power,” Vibe reported.

Affinity Mag shared an image of proof of the popularity of the darker shades, and it has been retweeted over 23,000 times.

When makeup brands don’t market to a demographic of black women who reportedly spend $7.5 billion annually on beauty products, they’re making a huge financial mistake. And they clearly know it because the Twitterverse shared how many other competing brands suddenly thought it was timely to promote their own dark shade options soon after Fenty Beauty launched.

The media has taken notice of the swift reaction from Rihanna and Fenty Beauty fans.

“Naturally Kylie Jenner, the reigning queen of celebrity makeup lines, got swept up in this narrative when her Kylie Cosmetics social media accounts shared a promotional shot for their ‘Brown Sugar Matte’ just two days after the Fenty launch. Since the photo featured a black model—a relatively rare occurrence for Kylie Cosmetics, with the last example being an Aug. 6 post—it was quickly assumed that the two events were related,” writes Amy Zimmerman at The Daily Beast, who also added context about Kyle Jenner’s problematic appropriation of black culture through her product line and social media presence.

And it should be noted that Fenty Beauty’s inclusivity is not just about the darker shades. As Popsugar reports, the lighter foundation shades have made a Mississippi-based woman with Albinism very happy.

“I had a small freak out today…my neck and face finally match each other. Didn’t realize I was this light….loving the feeling of the foundation so far tho. Also I’m albino I have no pigment so it be hard to get a nice match…always end up orange. Now, I’m rethinking all those times I went orange,” wrote Krystal Robertson on a private Facebook group with an image of herself.

“It actually means the world that she not only made diverse shades for all women of color but she brought us all together. When I was in Sephora all the women were doing their swatches and complimenting each other — all skin tones — and giving advice,” she told Popsugar about using shade #110 of the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Foundation and Instant Retouch Primer.

Rihanna and Fenty Beauty both shared Krystal’s post on their respective Instagram stories. Let this be a message to the beauty industry – widen your standards or risk losing customers to other brands that are willing to cater to a diverse demographic. Watch the Fenty Beauty promo video below and behold the glorious shades of melanin featured.



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