How Rihanna is run­ning this town with Fenty Beauty


It girls through­out his­tory have sold dreams via cos­met­ics, but Rihanna is dif­fer­ent. For one, she’s among the great­est pro­fes­sional makeup wear­ers, putting in far more hours in full paint than any em­press, so­cialite, or, let’s face it, beauty ed­i­tor. No, se­ri­ously. Think of how many times a day Rihanna puts on a fresh face of makeup. Now think of how of­ten Rihanna has to make de­ci­sions about makeup, whether for her never-end­ing ap­pear­ances, mu­sic videos, films, Fenty X Puma mod­els or backup dancers. There’s no per­son­al­ity more right for start­ing a beauty em­pire than some­one who’s chameleoned her way across eight stu­dio al­bums, just as many Grammy awards and a bud­ding film ca­reer.

“I’ve had my makeup done thou­sands of times,” the star says. “And when it comes to foun­da­tion, you just never know how it’s go­ing to turn out, es­pe­cially on cam­era. Is it go­ing to be too chalky, or too heavy, or too oily? I think foun­da­tion should look like sec­ond skin.” Rihanna is talk­ing about the Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Foun­da­tion (RM145), Fenty Beauty’s stand­alone foun­da­tion that has, oh, 40 shades. This rad­i­cal pitch for in­clu­siv­ity means the brand is one part beauty line, one part man­i­festo for a new kind of beauty brand, cham­pi­oning ease and sim­plic­ity along with the kind of free­dom pre­vi­ously only af­forded by back­stage col­lec­tions. “I’m mak­ing makeup that I dream of teenagers to wear, women of all ages, all sizes, all skin tones, all re­li­gions, all cul­tures.”

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