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Rihanna at the Fenty Beauty launch


In brief, it’s a great range, beauty journalists are going crazy for it and ‘Trophy Wife’ is the only gold highlighter you need to know about. And if you were happily living your life labouring under the misapprehension that you didn’t need to know about any gold highlighters, please look at the product below in all of its gold, shimmery glory and re-think things.


So, strong launch, great products and my word Rihanna looked good in her canary yellow dress at the launch. These are all, of course, very good things in the world of global beauty launches. However, unless you’re Rihanna, who I’m pretty sure doesn’t read this blog, or are really into beauty, maybe you’re still wondering why you should care.

Here’s why: most of the leading beauty brands still launch their first collection with a relatively small number of core foundation shades – the ones that they think will be best-sellers. If the range does well, they’ll gradually add in more shades. However, Rihanna has taken the highly unusual step of launching her debut collection with 40 shades. Why? “So that women everywhere would be included”, she said. The star was determined that her collection would be inclusive.

If this doesn’t sound like a big deal, sadly it should do. Earlier this summer, Boots got on the wrong side of their customers on Twitter when the brand described white skin as ‘normal’, listing ‘fair’ and ‘normal’, followed by ‘olive’, ‘brown’ and ‘black’ on a skin chart. Here’s how that went for them.

Rihanna’s spoken about wanting all women to feel represented when they visit a Fenty Beauty counter, stating on social media: “Gotta represent my girls and we come in all shades!” I’d like to think that you’d find that approach on every single beauty counter in 2017, but although we’ve come a long way, we’re not quite there yet. So kudos to Rihanna for defying the conventional wisdom that says that you should wait until your cosmetics range is established to start offering customers a full selection of shades. You reeled me in with your showmanship and your shimmer, but I’ll stay for your inclusive, 21st century approach to beauty!

Update: Since posting this blog a few days ago, all of the darkest shades of Fenty Beauty’s foundation range have sold out almost everywhere in the US. They have been the first products in the range to go, despite the fact that the product line was launched with vast reserves of stock to prevent popular products like these selling out within days.

It looks like Harvey Nichols still has us covered (as it were) here in the UK, with most foundation shades still available online at the time of writing. If you’re planning to snap up a darker shade, it doesn’t look like they’ll be hanging around for long, though.

Hopefully the brand will have new stock available soon. In the meantime, it’s really exciting to see Fenty Beauty proving that creating a foundation shade for almost everyone is much better for business than catering for a small niche market.

*Picture from Rhianna’s Instagram account. With thanks to the Beauty Bazaar, Harvey Nichols, for the opportunity to attend the Fenty Beauty launch. There aren’t many launches I’ll skimp on beauty sleep to attend, but this one was well worth setting the alarm for!

Fenty Beauty is available at the Beauty Bazaar and at Harvey Nichols stores nationwide.

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