Written by Beauty Interns

There is no doubt that 2017 took the beauty industry by storm with the singer, and now a businesswoman, Rihanna stepping to the forefront in September to launch Fenty Beauty, her debut makeup line. Fenty’s aim is to “focus on a wide range of traditionally hard-to-match skin tones, create formulas that work for all skin types, and pinpoint universal shades” With a whopping 40 shades from the line’s most talked about product and generally positive feedback on social media, Fenty has certainly spurred the interest of bloggers and the beauty industry alike.

Life before Fenty

As a woman of colour, picking cosmetics to wear was a near impossible task. From the struggle of breaking the bank to find the perfect shade, or having to mix two or three foundations for a suitable match, we have all been there and can totally relate.

There have always been brands specifically pointing towards diversity. Take Fashion Fair as an example. This company is on its way to becoming the largest black-owned cosmetic company in the world. Offering five foundations with varying coverage and finishes, their shade range promotes diversity and inclusivity and has answered the black women’s needs since 1973!

But why have the other high street and easily-accessible brands been so slow to offer an alternative? With Rising comes great responsibility

Introducing, Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Foundation. With 40 shades from the lightest of colours to the deepest of tones, this matte full finish foundation has rewritten the rules on beauty and changed the conversation in an industry to one of diversity and inclusivity.



Ranging from 110 to 490 and at a fair price of just £26, us black women can find our perfect shade online or from exclusive stockiest, Harvey Nichols.

Nyma Tang, a fast-growing black African You Tuber with a subscriber base of 610,000, reviewed the darkest shade 490 on her channel. Her video went viral gaining almost 8 million views. She gave the foundation a glowing report stating, “it’s amazing to finally see a foundation in my shade as with some other brands to this day I cannot wear their foundation”.

The Queen of Clapback

In September, Makeup Forever caused a social media frenzy showcasing their UltraHDFoundation and posting a huge dig at Fenty. They claimed that “40 shades are nothing new to us – since 2015 the UltraHD Foundation released 40 shades for everyone’s unique skin tone understanding the difference between red and yellow undertones.”



Rihanna commented “Still ashy” underneath the post. Full sass!

Now let us just make something crystal clear, in our opinion, the hype around Fenty Beauty is not centred around ‘having 40 shades’. Instead, the media focus is on what the brand holds dear to its heart. Each shade caters to somebody, somewhere and Fenty has universal products for all.

Brands That Are Now Woke!

Just days after the launch of Fenty Beauty, a lot of brands began to wake up and a new era in the inclusivity of cosmetics was observed.

Some brands are pioneers of this new trend. Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte &Poreless Foundation is an excellent example. Usually, a trip to your local Boots consists of 10 foundation shades with a horrific match for anyone darker than Beyonce. Fit Me now presents 35 shades. So you see Rhianna’s influence has clearly been felt even among mainstream affordable brands so we can say goodbye to the days of that age-old excuse ‘dark shades won’t sell’.


Having said that, it hasn’t been all plain sailing. Tarte Cosmetics caused a massive industry outrage when launching its Shape Tape Foundation. The expectation for all brands to follow Fenty’s suit was real so when they launched in January with just two shades catering to darker skin…yeah…let’s just say that didn’t look so great.

What Next?

So what does life after Fentylook like for black women? Rhianna has certainly set an industry standard in cosmetics. Her status as a powerhouse has transformed the industry. Moving forward, we should consider how women like Rhianna can have a positive impact on the conversation of race. But if one thing is certain, Fenty aims to empower all women and make people feel excited again to get glam.

Perhaps being the ‘angry black woman’ has done us some justice after all? Leave your comments.

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