“Beauty for all” – this is Fenty Beauty’s vision,
It began with a simple thought. In a Fenty Beauty Instagram video, Rihanna said, “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 for someone in-between. You want people to appreciate the products and not feel like, 'Oh, it's cute, but it only looks good on her.'”
Introducing diversity to the industry
Fenty Beauty is shattering makeup standards everywhere because of one thing—inclusion, especially for people of colour. In 2015, Rihanna announced a cosmetics line that promised to shake up the beauty industry, and it’s doing just that. Beauty gurus within the YouTube community and makeup fanatics everywhere cannot stop raving about Fenty Beauty. So what’s all the hype about?
The cosmetics line boasts a wide range of makeup products for every skin tone, featuring an impressive 40 shades of foundation, highlighters, primers, concealers, tools and a universal lip gloss. Fenty Beauty products are sold at Sephora locations across the globe, and also on the Fenty Beauty website.
Positive reviews have been pouring in since the line’s release. But it raises the question, why was Rihanna’s first-ever makeup line such a hit when other celeb-endorsed beauty products seem to fall by the wayside? Kim Kardashian West’s KKW Beauty, and younger sister Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics, while still successful, pale in comparison to the impact Fenty Beauty is making in the makeup industry.
A new way to advertise
Marketing may be one of the reasons. Celebrities have had to find new ways to promote their products. Kim K worked alongside YouTube’s most famous makeup gurus (Jaclyn Hill, PatrickStarrr, Desi Perkins) to promote KKW Beauty in the form of makeup tutorials. Kylie Cosmetics, which targets millennials, advertised their products exclusively on social media—Kylie’s personal Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. Rihanna, however, took a much more traditional route. She went on an international tour promoting Fenty Beauty in Paris, London, Madrid and New York. Ads for the makeup line were mainly on Fenty social media accounts.
Fenty Beauty ads not only emphasize diversity, they celebrate it. Fenty Beauty ambassadors include South Sudanese model Duckie Thot, British model Leomie Anderson, and Chinese model Huan Zhou. This is where KKW Beauty and Kylie Cosmetics have arguably failed. People are flocking to get their hands on Fenty Beauty not because of the superstar’s name attached to it, but because it’s filling a void in makeup. One Sephora customer was reportedly even brought to tears because it was the first time she matched a shade on the deeper end of the spectrum.
Expansion is the key to success
Production is another reason why Fenty Beauty has risen to the top. Rihanna partnered with Kendo Brands, a beauty developer who has worked with the likes of Kat Von D Beauty, Marc Jacobs Beauty and Bite Beauty. By doing so, the company brought production to a larger scale, making Fenty Beauty products available in 1,600 stores as well as on multiple Sephora websites. Because of this, Fenty Beauty products are still available weeks after their initial launch.
The same can’t be said about Kylie Cosmetics and her Lip Kits, which sold out within mere minutes. Jenner also worked alongside Spatz Laboratories to create her products, and it’s possible they couldn’t produce higher volumes due to the lab’s limited 80,000 square-foot facility.
Fenty Beauty is doing exceptionally well both in-store and online, and more exciting things are on the way. Rihanna recently announced plans to launch a Holiday Galaxy Collection with Sephora, to be released on October 13. She’s also working on a skincare line called “House of Fenty,” which includes makeup bags, brushes, toners, creams, gels, cleansers, temporary tattoos and artificial nails.
As a fashion icon, and now a beauty mogul, Rihanna is on her way to creating an empire. She’s already proven to be a reliable businesswoman, partnering with Puma to launch Fenty x Puma, an exclusive collection that features shoes, apparel and accessories designed by the singer. Fenty x Stance socks have also been a tremendous success, with celebrities like Drake donning a stylish pair.
Fenty Beauty seems to be living up to Rihanna’s high standards. As she says on the company’s website, “Feel free to take chances, and take risks, and dare to do something new or different.”
Aileen Ormoc | The Edge Blog