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Rihanna Proves That Inclusivity In The Beauty Industry Is Needed
Rihanna’s level of passion for inclusivity is one we hope to see matched by other companies and organizations.
By Ashley Nash
Since its launch, Fenty Beauty has taken the world by storm, causing a frenzy among makeup artists and beauty lovers alike. It’s been one month since Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty’s makeup line became available in stores offering 40 shades of foundation.
Within four days, Vibe reported that the darkest shades of the foundation were completely sold out. A Sephora employee shared in a tweet that she’d never seen so many women of color in the location where she works and that all of the deeper tones flew off the racks. Actress Gabby Sidibe gave the singer-philanthropist-designer props on joining the industry as yet another brand that understands the different undertones that come with melanin.
While Fenty is not the first company to provide products across the skin-tone spectrum, it is the first to be branded and promoted on the foundation of inclusivity. Rihanna shared on her Fenty Beauty website that the real reason she made the line was to include women of “all shades, personalities, attitudes, cultures and races.” Social media users, especially, have come forward to confess their love for the products and everything for which they stand.
Makeup Enthusiast, Alexandra Marquez of Tasmania explained how Fenty Beauty proves that being inclusive isn’t a hard task, “Every woman, no matter their skin-tone, should be able to wear foundation and not just have one or two options.” She also candidly shared that the oil-controlling, Pro Filtr matte foundation (in her shade of 340) provides enough coverage to conceal her hyper-pigmentation. Marquez plans to continue supporting the beauty brand that sells her shade and foundations 12 shades darker than hers. “It’s not like every other A-list celebrity, slapping their name on a few makeup products. You can tell that these are well-thought out beauty products that have the customers in mind.”
Fenty’s philosophy sparked Stephanie Burton‘s interest in the products. Now that she’s actually tried Fenty Beauty, Burton shared that it’s the best foundation she’s used in as long as she can remember. “The coverage rocks and it blends beautifully.” In her shade of 130, she loves the natural look that the Pro Filtr matte provides. This seems to be agreed upon by beauty lovers at all areas of the shade spectrum.
Licensed Esthetician Latika Barmore of Milwaukee commends Fenty Beauty for coming out with a range of shades that make it a lot less expensive to simply and accurately match her clients. Barmore shared that it’s the first product that she could purchase just one shade and didn’t have to mix it with another shade to get her color. “Fenty Beauty really took their time to perfect each formula. It’s like when grandma puts her foot in sweet potato pie!” The affordable glam, as she calls it, is helping “brown women to love the skin they’re in.” In her shade of 420, Barmore looks forward to the other releases of Fenty product and wants other companies to know that “we are more than one shade of brown”.
Well-known beauty brands like Clinique and Makeup Forever have offered products to fair, deep and all of the tones in between for years. Makeup Forever even made a point of reminding beauty-product users, on the day of Fenty’s launch, that they’re not new to this…to which Rihanna responded, reminding them that she is the Shade Gawdess and the Queen of Clapbacks. The companies that refused to embrace and accommodate the deeper skin tones and overall diversity of their audience have lost out on opportunities to broaden their reach. It’s been ten years since dark-skinned women even became a twinkle in the eye of the beauty industry. Add that to years of being discriminated against in other industries and walks of life and you have a market of people who are waiting to be heard and served.
Thanks to the drop of Fenty Beauty’s Galaxy Collection this week, you’ll be able to serve sassy alien, galactic looks for Halloween and throughout the holidays. You should be impressed by the packaging and the loads of shimmer, but if that doesn’t get you, there are already tutorials on YouTube giving you step-by-step directions on how to achieve a beat face that’s out of this world. Makeup artists like Sonjdradeluxe, Patrick Starr & Desi Perkins are showing us just how much versatile possibility comes with the purchase of Fenty Beauty products.
Rihanna is reminding us that she’s relatable, thoughtful and unpredictable. Her level of passion for inclusivity is one we only hope to see matched by other companies and organizations. Her value for difference, seen in the casting for her advertisements, is what makes her a beloved icon. Salute to the Bad Gal changing the world one beautifully inclusive endeavor at a time!
Author Bio: Ashley Nash is a freelance journalist & copywriter from Inglewood, CA. She gained her Masters in 2015 from the Annenberg School of Communications & Journalism at USC. Through writing, photography and videography, Ashley explores beauty, social justice, arts and culture. Her work has been published by Teen Vogue, Blavity, Huffington Post, Neon Tommy and more.