The Celebrity Makeup Line with a Purpose

A closeup up of Rihanna wearing makeup up from her new line, Fenty Beauty. The words "Fenty Beauty by Rihanna" are over her face.
Popstar Rihanna just released an inclusive, empowering makeup line for every womxn.

By Rosemary Anderson

If you’re located on the UI Moscow campus, you may have noticed a beautiful orange beacon pop up in the Palouse Mall nearby. For some, it can be described as a place where dreams come true, where the colors of eyeshadows are just as flashy as the employee’s smiles. For those whose art is makeup and a face their canvas, the new Ulta has been a godsend.

Scampering down the aisles filled with brands ranging from those commonly found in Rite Aid to those found at New York Fashion Week, I noticed a common theme: unless your skin happens to be porcelain, eggshell, snow, or milky cloud white, there’s not much for you.

Only a handful of brands create foundations and other beauty products in deeper shades. Even if a makeup line does come in deeper shades, it’s often difficult to find them in stores. If you’re a womxn with a dark skintone, it’s nearly impossible to make a quick run to Ulta and get color-matched.

For some womxn, going to a beauty store is as miraculous as finding religion. For womxn of color, makeup stores perpetuate Eurocentric beauty standards and colorism.

When I heard that one of my favorite pop stars/feminist icons, Rihanna, was making her own makeup line, I was excited but not surprised.

These days it seems like everyone in the spotlight has dabbled in the makeup business. Both Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian have put out their own popular makeup lines. Even MySpace star turned beauty guru, Jeffree Star, has created his own makeup company. Although I have to admit I was getting tired of the celebrity makeup lines, Rihanna reassured me that her makeup was made with a purpose.

Titled Fenty Beauty, the makeup line is devoted to inclusivity, especially when it comes to womxn of color. Rihanna made sure her products came in a range of colors to celebrate the diversity of all womxn. Her foundation line comes in 40 different shades, focusing especially on those with deeper skintones.

In her promotion pictures alone, Rihanna’s line boasted more diversity than other makeup lines have achieved in their entire careers.

Womxn with all different skin tones model Rihanna's makeup line. The words "Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Coming Fall 2017" over their faces.
Womxn will all different skin tones model for Rihanna’s makeup line.

During the launch party for her new business, Rihanna explained the importance of being inclusive and how her makeup line is made in consideration of every skin tone. In a video that’s gone fairly viral, Rihanna showed why her makeup line is so important to her and womxn around the world.

“There needs to be something for a dark skin girl, there needs to be something for a really pale girl, there needs to be something for a girl in between,” Rihanna said. “You want people to appreciate the product and not feel like ‘Oh, that’s cute, but it only looks good on her.’”

The singer released her line both on her own website and at Sephora, so now womxn of color actually can zip in and out of a beauty store just as quickly as white womxn. Because of Rihanna, there are actually products that accommodate and celebrate every kind of womxn.

White womxn are not the only ones that buy makeup, and it’s about time the beauty industry realizes that.

Hopefully, with the success of Rihanna’s new makeup line, other companies will see the need to release more shades.

The inclusive, cruelty-free makeup line can be found here and here.


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