Fenty Beauty: How Rihanna is showing up for PoC

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By Nwabisa Mazana

Robyn Rihanna Fenty recently dropped the most diverse and inclusive make-up line I have
ever seen in my entire 20 years of existence. The make-up line consists of primers,
foundations, concealers, contour sticks and highlighters. But the most groundbreaking item
out of the whole make-up line is the Pro Filt’r soft matte long wear foundation, that comes in
40 shades. This is unheard of in the make-up community, as most brands just drop 10-20
shades. At the launch of Fenty Beauty Rihanna said, “Fenty Beauty was created for everyone:
for womxn of all shades, personalities, attitudes, cultures and races. I wanted everyone to feel
included” (Fenty Beauty, 2017). And this is exactly what she did, she included everyone.
The ad for Fenty Beauty which dropped before the make-up line, caused headlines because of
how diverse it was. People of Color (PoC) were represented in different shades and this was
honestly unseen before. We waited in anticipation for the whole line to be released and
Rihanna did not disappoint. Fenty Beauty delivered an amazing line filled with amazing
make-up (The reviews confirm this).

It would also be incorrect of me to say that Rihanna’s make up line is the first to bring an
array of different shades and hues to make-up. We have had black opal, urban decay, MAC,
etc. But despite all of the different shades of make-up from the differing brands, there was
always a general consensus that certain skin colours did not get catered for. People with dark
skin and people with albinism would often complain that make-up lines did not put them into
consideration when making colours of foundation. Evidence would be a well-known
YouTuber named Nyma Tang, who started a series on her channel called #TheDarkestShades. She takes the darkest shade of different make-up brands and sees if they
will match her skin perfectly. With most of the ones she tries, it is always an epic fail or she
would need to mix different shades to get the right foundation. But when she recently tried
Fenty Beauty’s darkest shade, it blended perfectly and looked natural. This is diversity!

The amazing thing about Rihanna’s make-up line, especially the foundations, is that all PoC
are finding perfect shades for their differing skin tones. From black womxn with albinism to
womxn with dark skin, queer bodies, femmes and even trans womxn of color. It is amazing to
watch PoC being able to go to a store and be able to purchase make-up from a well-known
brand and not being excluded. Diversity in make-up should be a normal thing in 2017.
Make-up lines need to start being more inclusive to differing skin tones. They need to do
better…

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