Sooo, big news in makeup community – RiRi has entered and seemingly, monopolised the “hot new product” market. (Or so we thought…) I thought the launch was cool, she dropped it so nonchalantly and effortlessly and I thought that was cool too. She is gorgeous, tanned, unpredictable and sassy so I KNEW I was going to spend some dollar on Fenty Beauty and the utter chaos it has caused.
I waited a while, because I naively thought the ridiculous queues outside Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge would fade as the buzz died down. How wrong I was!! I went on a weekday, a Monday in fact, because who wants to trek to Knightsbridge in the midst of Hurricane Ophelia and 70mph winds after work, to wait outside for some makeup?! Yeah, apparently like 50 people wanted to do that so I had to wait outside in the storm for like 67 minutes. Yes, I counted. I didn’t even have headphones to listen to the hot fire that is Jhene Aiko’s new album.
Anyway, time trickled on. I get inside and I am greeted by a makeup artist. She explains a little. She is a legit makeup artist, and not a sales rep that you would ordinarily find on a makeup counter. They have been trained to pick the best match out of 40 shades for each skin tone. She asks me what I’m after and I tell her it’s the foundation but I’m interested in some other stuff too. She sits me down in a very cramped Harvey Nicks surrounded by boisterous women who on one side are trying to break into the enclosed Fenty scene to avoid queuing, and on the other, knocking over products and giving the staff hell.
The girl picked up a shade swatcher aka a reel of different shade cards and held a couple to my face before disappearing off to collect some sample bottles. She wasn’t gone long. Maybe a minute. She came back with 3 bottles: 260, 290, 300. Now, I’d done a little research online and assumed I was in the 300 range as this shade on all the models is what seemed most similar to my skin tone. Turns out I was wrong. She shuffled the neckline of my jumper slightly and said “yes, this is why I bought 260.” Basically, my neck and chest is approx. 2 shades lighter than my usual face shade. I never try to match it because when my face is the same colour I look ill. It reminds me of a not very nice time when I was very sick and didn’t have my thyroid under control. I avoid this look and pile on bronzer like it’s going out of fashion.
However, she was adamant that this was the right shade. I did ask to try shade 270 but she said she didn’t bring it out because I’m not the right undertone for it. Ordinarily I would just go up a shade BUTTTTT you can’t do that in Fenty Beauty BECAUSE the shades don’t go up chronologically. They go up in undertones that are (loosely) in groups of two. So, 260 is neutral, followed by 270 which is pink, 280 which is pink, 290 which is yellow and 300 which is yellow. Annoyingly, there are no real olive shades in the range. My undertone is super neutral but yellow always looks more flattering than any other shade on me. Then we tried 290. I liked this! But it dried down in about a minute and the difference between the foundation and my face was too stark. My artist said no, basically. So we put 260 all over the face. And then I bought it. I probably will purchase 290 as the summer months roll around again. My advice is to trust these women! They literally have matched thousands of people with your skin tone to the foundation. They are experienced and trained.
I also bought the highlight duo in Girl Next Door and Chic Phreak, and the Mocha contour stick. The highlight duo is the less popular one, it’s slightly more peachy than the gold sister duo but it’s so unique!! I don’t have any highlighters like it and I have A LOT of highlighters. My artist kind of sold it to me as a blush topper but tbh it wasn’t dark enough to be a blush topper. It just melted into my skin and gave me the warmest peach glow I could imagine. Definite new fave.
The Mocha contour stick is from the Dark matchstix trio, it’s cheaper to buy the trio instead of the sticks individually but I didn’t care for the highlight stick or concealer stick. The “correct” match for the shades in the 200 range is the medium matchstix trio which has a very cool undertone but it wasn’t strong enough for me (ya girl needs to draw on her cheekbones ygm). I got this one from the dark trio instead. I like contour sticks. I used to use and love the smashbox ones back in the day! For the last year or so, the morphe concealer in the dark brown cool shade has been working really well. But now I’m happy to try a new one!
I always think it’s hard to review foundations without at least a week’s trial but I’ve worn it for a few days and do have some general thoughts. Firstly, it’s pretty full coverage, but atypically. Usually, fuller coverage foundations are quite thick as there is more pigment in the formula so thicker binding agents are needed. (Science, bro). However, this is super liquid. Not unlike the nyx total control foundation! Main difference is that it dries within seconds and dries COMPLETELY FREAKIN’ MATTE. This is my only matte foundation. I am a dry skin gal. I do not do matte anywhere. So once it dries, and the colour settles (it dries a TAD darker than it’s liquid form), it is completely touch/transfer proof. It’s BIZARRE. I actually really like that aspect as I am always touching my face for some reason or the other (ew). It doesn’t need setting or anything and my even my t-zone stays matte. Importantly, the foundation doesn’t oxidise. Everyone throws round the word oxidise but that’s only the case when it carries on getting darker during the day as it’s exposed to, you guessed it, oxygen. Once Fenty Beauty has dried down a bit darker, it stays that colour. An example of an oxidising foundation is Mac, or Nyx total control. Not a bad thing, just something to bear in mind.
I’m okay with it, it’s reasonably priced and not gimmicky. I wish the shade range pulled more yellow instead of neutral/pink as I feel a lot of olive skinned people might struggle to find a perfect match.
- Pigmentation – 9/10
- Texture – 7/10
- Longevity – 9/10
- Price – 10/10 (£26)
- Overall – 8/10
(The rating is for the foundation, the other products get 9/10 from me because they are great).
Huda next, guys!