It’s hard not to support Rihanna’s endeavors since she utilizes her fame to empower the less fortunate. She does this by providing education to low-income countries across Africa. Her shoe line with Puma sponsors her Clara Lionel Foundation, with its mission statement to “support and fund groundbreaking and effective education, health and emergency response programs around the world.”
Rihanna is unapologetically, herself. She, alongside Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and P!nk, have been encouraging women of all ages to be themselves. This year, Rihanna was presented with the Harvard University Humanitarian Award, which reflected on her influence in modern fashion, as well as her outspoken attitude toward women’s sexuality. Recently, Rihanna has sharpened her focus on the diversity of women’s skin by creating her own makeup line, Fenty Beauty.
Here is what college students Emily Almodovar, Raheal Neequaye and Caylin Phillips have to say about her influence in the makeup industry, considering her influence on women. While Phillips doesn’t own any of her merchandise just yet, Almodovar and Neequaye are proud owners of Rihanna’s Fenty highlighter.
Why buy it?
Neequaye: My love for Rihanna, plus, I just felt like I have to invest in her as a black woman. She has a foundation in Africa, and they provide education for people there. I feel like if she’s doing something good for the community, I will put money in her pockets.
Almodovar: First of all, it’s Rihanna. She has been doing a lot of great things to help people. Her (makeup) foundation has a low-to-medium coverage, which I think it’s good because she’s saying that you don’t need that much makeup to be beautiful. You should feel pretty as your natural self, and that’s what she’s promoting, I feel.
What’s the hype?
Neequaye: I think that because she’s a celebrity and she’s mainstream, everyone knows about her. I think that if her product wasn’t that great, people would still buy it. People that actually love makeup would still buy Anastasia and Urban Decay, but if it’s someone that doesn’t really care about makeup they’d say, “Oh I’m getting the Fenty because it’s made by Rihanna.”
Almodovar: More people are hyped because it’s made by her. But she’s targeting more women of color. Other makeup companies are very limited and don’t have as many shades. There is a Facebook video of an albino girl wearing Fenty, and it’s the perfect shade.
Phillips: I like her line, but I don’t give into the hype. Her humble upbringing doesn’t cater to the people who started just like her— from nothing. Don’t let the media fool you, people are only feeding into the hype because it’s Rihanna. People have to do their research before buying Anastasia or Tarte, but they’ll be quick to spend $150 just because it’s Rihanna.
Pricing, quality and quantity?
Neequaye: My favorite highlighter, aside from Fenty, is from Milani, and I got it for less than $10. It’s the same pigmentation. When I wear my Fenty, everyone says they like it — mind you, it’s the same reaction I get when I wear the Milani highlighter — but the Rihanna one is, of course, overpriced. I think that for her first time, she did an amazing job catering to all skin types. Her highlight is super pigmented but always looks good, and even the feeling of wearing a black-owned makeup is great.
Almodovar: The pricing is actually really good because it’s the same as my Urban Decay highlighter that costs $32 for one color. I bought Fenty, which is two shades, one more pigmented than the other, and it’s $34. I basically got two-in-one. It’s very smooth on my skin. Her brand is going to evolve with her community. I’m sure she has something better in the works.
Phillips: You have to start off basic, but a $34 foundation isn’t basic, however, for the product you’re getting, it’s all right.
Does the line reflect Rihanna’s personality in comparison to others?
Neequaye: After Ruby Woo (Ri Ri Woo) with Mac, I expected her to create her own makeup line. She’s a very bubbly and out-of-the-box person. Rihanna made a yellow for dark skin, and everything about the brand, colors and packaging is her style. It was obvious that Kylie Jenner catered her makeup line to caucasian women and not women of color. I guess she realized that women of color also purchase makeup, and Rihanna is making more money, (so) she decided to take the spotlight back. I will say that I did purchase some of her (Jenner’s) lip kits, and they are OK on darker women.
Almodovar: I didn’t expect her to actually do it or have a makeup line, but I think it’s a good thing that she did. She’s empowering women and a lot of people. She wants us to feel beautiful while wearing makeup. Unlike Kylie Jenner, she’s putting thought into her work and not just dropping random colors. As a human being, she’s made herself relatable.
Phillips: She’s a Caribbean rockstar, plus, her packaging was basic. When you think of a makeup inspiration, Rihanna isn’t the first person you think of. Her project might have been in the works for longer, but it’s the same nude theme that Kim Kardashian and her little sister have. The only thing she has to distinguish herself is being black and having black foundations. I’m proud of her because she just came out, her first time, with 40 shades, but it’s 35 light-to-medium skin tones and five dark skin tones.
What to expect next?
Almodovar owns her freestyle highlighter kit with two shades, Hu$tla Baby and Mean Money. Neequaye owns three slides and two creepers from her Fenty collection with Puma. Although she disagrees with the hype behind the product, Phillips says, “I’m gonna still buy it though — because of the hype.”
Rihanna’s 40-shade variety in foundations is something no one else has done before. Overall, these women agree that her line empowers women, highlights beauty and promotes self-acceptance. Almodovar expects her to come out with better formulas, foundations and even more shades. Both Neequaye and Phillips agree that she may come out with a vibrant eyeshadow pallet.