Rihanna’s bold new venture
40 SHADES OF FABULOUS WORK, WORK, WORK Singer, fashion icon, philanthropist and now beauty mogul – Rihanna slays everything she takes on!
HEAR her name and you’ll think of the international superstar who changed the way we feel about umbrella, ella, ellas. But there’s lots more to Rihanna than being a phenomenal hitmaker who’s had music industry heavyweights fighting to get her to sign – and sing – with them.
Everything the Barbadian touches turns to gold – and her latest venture is no exception. Her new beauty line, Fenty Beauty, was sold out online and in stores across the US in its first month, raking in millions of dollars. So just what makes it – and RiRi – so special? Everyone from ordinary women to A-listers and RiRi’s posse of pals are over the moon about Fenty Beauty.
And the reason for its lightning-fast success is simple: it offers a foundation range – Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation – that includes 40 colours for nearly every shade of skin and undertone across the colour spectrum.
Women who’ve battled to find their exact shade have breathed a sigh of relief. And that relief, combined with a surge of excitement about the product, saw many of the shades sell out almost instantly.
The foundation works for everybody from Krystal Roberts, a nurse with albinism, to actress and director Gabourey Sidibe.
Krystal’s Instagram post about finding a shade that worked for her went viral.
She wrote in the caption, “I’m freaking out! #110 #PerfextMatch #WhatSkin! Rethinking all the times I ended up orange! It’s a new world. Great job, @badgalriri #AlbinoMatch”
“People were saying to me, ‘You’re gorgeous! You go, girl!’ ” Krystal said of the positive response she received online.
At the beauty line launch, Rihanna explained the range’s inclusivity. “It was really important for me. In every product, I was like, ‘There needs to be something for a dark-skinned girl, there needs to be something for a really pale girl, there needs to be something in between.’
“So you want people to appreciate the product and not feel like, ‘Oh, that’s cute, but it only looks good on her’.” Fenty Beauty isn’t the music hitmaker’s first breakaway project. RiRi (29) has been involved in a designer shoe collaboration with Manolo Blahnik, a luxury jewellery collection with Chopard and a fashion line with Puma.
Her beauty range is a collaboration with French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE.
RiRi’s been working since she was 16 years old, so there’s lots we can learn from her.
S She surrounds herself with good people
The most important part of any project is putting the best team together, she believes. “If I can do your job better than you, I can’t hire you. That’s a waste of my mone y and time.
“But if you have something to offer, I know there’s an expertise I can respect and I put people in places based on their strengths.”
S She’s a meticulous planner
Fenty Beauty might be a runaway hit but it wasn’t an overnight success. RiRi spent years researching the venture and “never wanted it to be a rushed project”.
“I always wanted it to be something that was respected and if I feel like I’m not there yet, I’m not even going to try to get it out there,” she says.
S She learns from failures
“I’m always up for a challenge so if I don’t get it right the first time or the first hundred thousand times, I’m going to keep trying until I figure it out.”
DOING IT FOR OTHERS
Rihanna isn’t shy to use her clout – and her 80-plus-million Twitter followers – to get stuff done.
Global Citizen, a New York-based organisation working to eradicate extreme poverty, asked her to help last year after France was slow to commit funds to its #EducationCannotWait campaign to help children affected by natural disasters, poverty and other crises.
The Wild Thoughts singer penned a letter and got on Twitter. “@fhollande [then-French president François Hollande]: Did you see my letter? Waiting on your answer! We need your leadership on #EducationCannotWait.” Within 24 hours, Hollande replied and weeks later he released $2 million (R28 million).
She’s also inspired many with her bodypositive messages. “I think it’s important to make sure you wear the thing that works for your body the best and that’s flattering,” she said.
NOT ALL WORK AND NO PLAY
Rihanna also manages to make time for her budding romance with Saudi billionaire Hassan Jameel (29).
The couple, who were first spotted together in June, recently had a romantic rendezvous in Boston and were seen with friends at restaurants in the city.
“They were super chilled. She was super nice, relatively quiet,” a fellow diner said of the star, who had a small fillet steak dressed in truffle butter and a glass of red wine.
And, of course, our RiRi loves herself some carnival fun too – all those fabulous OTT pics from Barbados’ annual Crop Over Festival earlier this year prove it. Long may they last!