Rihanna’s make-up line, Fenty Beauty, has garnered rave reviews since its launch in September, both for its quality-to-affordability ratio and its emphasis on inclusivity. (It launched with 40 shades of foundation and an ad campaign featuring a diverse array of models.) Now that Fenty Beauty has been named one of TIME‘s 25 Best Inventions of 2017, Time Magazine caught up with its superstar creator to talk about how and why she’s building a beauty empire, and what’s in store for the future.
TIME: What’s your earliest memory of beauty?
Rihanna: My lifelong obsession with makeup started with watching my mom put her makeup on. I always loved to watch her, and all the funny faces she was making in the mirror. I never understood it until I got older and fell in love with makeup myself and really started becoming obsessed. The first time I remember having my makeup done was for this beauty pageant that I did in school. I was 15, about to be 16, just before I got signed. I had my full face done for this pageant — my mom actually did my makeup. And ever since then, ever since I saw foundation on my skin, I could never look at my skin without foundation again. Makeup, it spoiled me.
Why do you wear makeup now? What role does it play in your daily routine?
Makeup is like a secret weapon. Depending on my mood, my look, or the occasion, makeup can go from very subtle to a complete transformation, and that’s the fun in makeup: being able to play and create in endless ways.
You’ve said that you created this line so that all users could have a product that looked good on them, no matter the shade. Did you have difficulty in the past finding products that worked for you? And if so, how did you use that experience while creating your own line?
I’ve had my makeup done thousands of time, and when it comes to foundation, you just never know how it’s going to turn out. I think foundation should look like great skin, so it was important to me that the Pro Filt’r foundation had a soft matte finish because you want a dewy look, but never shiny! It was also important that every woman felt included in this brand. We are all so different, with our own unique skin tones, so we started with the 40 foundation shades out the gate.
What were the most important factors that you considered while creating Fenty Beauty?
Texture is the most important part of the Fenty Beauty brand. The highest priority is in the texture, from the foundation to Match Stix, to Killawatt, to Invisimatte Blotting Powder – it’s all about texture. It was really important to me that each product is made to easily build and layer with lightweight textures that are flexible even when you want to re-apply.
How involved were you in the process of creating the products?
I have 100 percent involvement in this process, which is what makes this so special and very fun. I have so much creative freedom from products to packaging, and that’s really the only way this brand will stay true to my vision for it.
What has surprised you the most about the response to Fenty Beauty?
I never could have anticipated the emotional connection that women are having with the products and the brand as a whole. Some are finding their shade of foundation for the first time, getting emotional at the counter. That’s something I will never get over.
Do you have a favorite product from Fenty Beauty?
I’m obsessed with Gloss Bomb. It never gets old. Everything about it from the XXL wand, the texture, scent and feel. But funny enough, some of my favorite products aren’t even out yet.
What’s next for you and the world of beauty?
The options are pretty much unlimited in the world of beauty, and I love challenges, so I’m going to continue to have fun and push the boundaries in this industry.
A Look At Rihanna’s Acting History, From ‘Bring It On: All or Nothing’ to ‘Ocean’s 8’
The trailer for the highly anticipated Ocean’s Trilogy sequel/spin-off, Ocean’s 8was released today (Dec. 19) and features an all-star cast of numerous badass women — including everybody’s favorite Barbadian triple-threat, Rihanna.
The iconic superstar has proved time and time again that she is a force to be reckoned since her early days, through her music, fashion and beauty ventures, but also her various acting roles, which have truly showed her versatility and superb talent.
From early work such as Bring It On: All or Nothing to this past year’s sci-fi adventure Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Rihanna has proved she has what it takes to make it in the acting world. Here’s a look back at Rihanna’s roles in both film and television.
Bring It On: All or Nothing (2006)
The cheerleading comedy finds a transfer student trying to join the cheerleading squad of a rough high school, where she not only faces off against the new school’s head cheerleader, but against her former school in a cheer competition as well. Rihanna makes a cameo appearance in the film, where she announces the cheerleading competition and declares that the winners shall appear in a music video with her. A small role, yes, but as good a starting place for Rihanna as any.
In this sci-fi action film, we find Rihanna far from the comforts of the stage, thrust into a war filled with uncertainty. The 2012 film based off the board game of the same name follows a fleet of ships that battle a series of unfamiliar foes, where Rihanna stars as Cora Raikes, a weapons specialist aboard one of the ships. Director Peter Berg stated in an interview with GQ that he came up with the idea to cast Rihanna after he realized she could act when she performed a skit on Saturday Night Live. Rihanna later went on to state that she accepted the role because she wanted to “do something badass.”
This Is the End
The 2013 end of the world comedy directed by Seth Rogen features a hilarious appearance from Rihanna, who is attending a party at James Franco’s house where she and numerous other celebrities are faced with the doom that will be brought on from the impending apocalypse. Though brief, Rihanna’s cameo showcases her comedic chops and versatility as an actress.
Starring in a movie-within-a-movie, Rihanna plays the villain of “MoonQuake Lake,” the flick that Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhané Wallis go to see together in the musical adaptation. The fake film also co-stars Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher.
This 2015 film from DreamWorks finds Rihanna cast in the lead role as Gratuity “Tip” Tucci, a teenage girl who befriends an alien on the run from his own people. During a round of press interviews for the film, Rihanna and her costars Jim Parsons and Steve Martin were asked about the possibility of life on other planets — to which Rihanna suggests keeping an open mind.
On the hit A&E series, Rihanna starred as Marion Crane, the troubled secretary who played an iconic role in the 1960 horror classic Psycho, which the series is based off of. Taking over the character from Janet Leigh, Rihanna brought a modern and more relatable version to the screen for viewers to identify with. Viewers who were hoping for a remake of the infamous murder scene were out of luck, however, as Rihanna’s version of Crane survived and her lover, Sam Loomis, meet his untimely demise instead.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Meet Bubble, the shape-shifting burlesque dancer portrayed by Rihanna in this fantasy film about two special operatives who must race to identify the evil that threatens the future of their home and the universe. Director Luc Besson contacted RiRi’s manager to offer her the small but crucial role, to which she accepted, and shot around her jam-packed touring and promotions schedule.
Set to be released Summer 2018, Ocean’s Eight will find Sandra Bullock’s character, Debbie Ocean, attempting to pull off a heist at New York City’s star-studded Met Gala, following in the footsteps of her infamous family. Rihanna will star as Nine Ball, a computer genius and hacker who aids Debbie in her quest, and will star along other such acting stars as Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling and Sarah Paulson.
Rihanna for Vogue Paris (December 2017)
Check out all the scans from the latest edition of Vogue Paris!
Rihanna is December’s special guest editor and she graces not one but three 3 covers. The three photoshoots were shot by 3 different photographers (Juergen Teller, Inez and Vinoodh, and Jean-Paul Goude) with 3 editorials. The magazine is out on newsstands now! Don’t miss it and view all the photos at RihannaVault.com
So we got to ask…
— RihannaDaily.com (@RihannaDaily) December 1, 2017
To black women, Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty launch is personal
Via Chicago Tribune: Worokya Duncan is the director of inclusion for a private school in Manhattan, so her embrace of diversity is a no-brainer. She’s also a big makeup person frustrated over the years by cosmetics companies that don’t seem to get how important it is for women of color like her to be serviced, too.
“No line really had what I considered my shade of foundation,” she said. “There was always like an orange line somewhere. I would have to have my hair down so you couldn’t see where the foundation color and my actual skin color separated. Why is it so hard? Because people still find it novel that there’s beauty found in black and brown bodies in the first place.”
Enter one doozy of a beauty: Rihanna. She launched her Fenty Beauty line earlier this month to raves from industry media and consumers alike.
The superstar spent two years developing her products, which include 40 shades of matte foundations, from the palest of pale to deep, deep brown with cool undertones.
“We’re all just, like, giddy over here,” said Julee Wilson, the fashion and beauty editor for Essence. “I knew that she was going to be thoughtful. You expect that from a woman of color coming out with a cosmetics line, but I was honestly shocked at how inclusive the line is.”
The cruelty-free collection has been selling out since Rihanna launched it online and in Sephora and Harvey Nichols stores Sept. 7 across 17 countries. Darker shades of foundation went first, challenging the notion that the consumer market in those colors isn’t worth it to the bottom lines of beauty brands.
Wilson and Cat Quinn, the beauty director for the millennial-focused lifestyle site Refinery29, were in a small group of beauty editors who met with Rihanna before the launch to hear her explain her vision.
“I think the thing that people are connecting to most, and why this is doing so well, is because you can really feel the passion and the purpose behind this line,” Quinn said. “It’s not another celebrity makeup line that sometimes people feel a little disconnected with. For her, she saw a gap in the market. She saw women not being represented.”
In addition to foundations, the line includes a range of palettes and sticks, all developed with help from a prestigious beauty brand incubator called Kendo (it helped launch Kat Von D and Marc Jacobs in cosmetics, too.) Launching such a vast range of shades at once in so many countries is unusual in beauty, Quinn said.
Television host Hilari Younger, in Bethesda, Maryland, was first in line on launch day at a Sephora in a mall in her hometown. She spent $270 on Fenty Beauty.
“My skin tone is on the mocha, clove side. I’ve tried custom blends, very exclusive lines. The beauty industry is not here for the dark-skinned girls. Either they put too much red in the makeup or it’s too yellow or it’s too oily or it’s just not available,” she said. “This makeup is magical. I was completely skeptical but pleasantly surprised.”
Shavonne Fagan, the manager of a New York clothing store, was in the crowd at a midnight launch event featuring Rihanna at a Sephora in Times Square, but Fagan’s foundation shade quickly sold out, so she hit up a different New York store several days later and dropped $150 on Fenty Beauty.
“Before Fenty came out there were only three foundations I could find that matched my skin and only one that got my undertone right,” she said. “It’s terribly frustrating. One girl started to cry in the Sephora when the person put the foundation on her skin and it matched.”
Rihanna herself told the AP in a recent interview she relied on friends of all colors to help test the line, “because I feel horrible excluding people from things that I created for them.”
The beauty editors said quality was key for a splashy launch of this kind.”You know, you can match everyone with a foundation, but if the foundation sucks then it doesn’t really serve its purpose,” Quinn said. “It’s actually a really amazing foundation. It’s super long wearing. It’s lightweight but it has really good coverage. Rihanna told us she wanted something that’s sweat proof and life proof and it really is.”
“You know, you can match everyone with a foundation, but if the foundation sucks then it doesn’t really serve its purpose,” Quinn said. “It’s actually a really amazing foundation. It’s super long wearing. It’s lightweight but it has really good coverage. Rihanna told us she wanted something that’s sweat proof and life proof and it really is.”
Instagram with albinism who grew up never having a foundation shade that was light with peach undertones, or a woman with really dark skin who could never find the right undertones. You’re seeing buzz that’s really moving,” Quinn said.
Celebrities of color have also taken notice. Gabourey Sidibe posted a photo of support wearing Fenty foundation and a 2-year-old girl having some sparkly Rihanna makeup fun has popped up on YouTube.
The product packaging is magnetized, so the cases stick together in a cosmetics bag, and there’s plenty of room for the line to grow. There’s only one lip product, a universal tube called Gloss Bomb, for instance, and there’s no mascara, dedicated eyeshadow or eyeliner, though some of those will be coming Oct. 13. There’s a blotting paper dispenser with a little mirror inside, because Rihanna hates shine, and the line includes brushes and a sponge. One brush she specifically designed in the shape of a shark’s tooth, angled for more precise application of highlighter.
“I’m hoping that other brands take notice and see that speaking to women of color is a key to success,” Wilson said. “It’s smart in a business sense and it just should be done because we are part of this world and we have money to spend and we’re spending it when companies are speaking to us.”
Rihanna, who first competed in a beauty pageant at age 15, often does her own make up in three steps and set up her collection along those lines, with plenty of sparkly and shimmery options for fun and neutrals for every day, Quinn and Wilson said. She played right into warm, rusty colors for fall, Quinn said, and many of the highlighters can be used on the lip and eye along with cheeks.
“It shouldn’t be groundbreaking but it is,” Quinn said.
While other companies have added to shade ranges in foundations over the years, including Lancome and L’Oreal, most don’t bother, she said: “You mostly see these launches with five shades of nude. People are saying that’s not OK.”
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