Fenty Inclusion


Amanda Teano, Online Editor

Every girl knows the horror of applying a full face of makeup, only to realize that your face is a completely different shade than your neck. For some, it’s because your summertime foundation provides a warmer hue than your winter skin color. And for others, it’s because no makeup brands carry foundation in your color at all.

Robyn Fenty, more commonly known as Rihanna, released her new makeup line on September 8. The line takes its namesake from her surname: Fenty Beauty. According to the official website, “Fenty Beauty was created for everyone: for women of all shades, personalities, attitudes, cultures, and races. I wanted everyone to feel included. That’s the real reason I made this line.”

In addition to a rainbow of highlighters, lip glosses, primers, concealers, blotting tools and brushes, Fenty Beauty is able to boast 40 different shades of foundation. The wide range of foundations make it one of the most diverse in the makeup world. If you’re looking for other makeup lines with that many shades, turn to M.A.C., who offers 48 shades of powder foundation or L’Oreal True Match liquid foundation which has 33.

The Fenty Beauty line appeals greatly to women with darker shades because it provides shades that they normally do not find in regular makeup and drugstores. Reasons for the lack of makeup inclusion and diversity point to an overly  Westernized culture.

“The problem I and many other women of color face on a regular basis is surviving that experience again and again, in an industry where makeup is predominantly default white,” Clover Hope, a writer for Jezebel, said. “This is not a new dilemma at all, as much as it is a constant cycle of exclusion and expected inefficacy with occasional outliers.”

Since then, slowly and hopefully surely, makeup brands have begun turning their attention towards the black women population. Taking a look at popular makeup brands’ Instagram accounts, you can see more and more posts featuring models of color, a step in the right direction.

These same brands swatch their highlighters and lipsticks on the arms of varying shades of women, another step in the right direction. However, Refinery 26’s Taylor Bryant writes, “It’s not enough to slap Lupita or Kerry or Zendaya’s face on your ad and call it a day — you have to also deliver with the product.”

Photos of the makeup stands in Sephora stores went viral, as The Affinity Magazine tweeted, “The dark Fenty Beauty foundation shades are sold out everywhere! This is for all the makeup brands who think the dark shades won’t sell well.” Attached was a picture where all slots that held darker shades were empty — signs that darker women, are indeed buying darker shades of makeup.

While everyone praises Rihanna’s attention for women of color, she’s also included very pale shades that lighter skinned women can use. Krystal Robinson wrote a Facebook post that commended Fenty Beauty for being able to match her albino skin. “My neck and face finally match each other,” she said, “I’m albino. I have no pigment so it be hard to get a nice match… always end up orange.”

Makeup inclusion is a hot topic, especially in a society that celebrates being yourself and embracing your skin color. People fled to social media criticizing the fact that it shouldn’t have taken a singer to make makeup brands care about shade range. But nevertheless, Rihanna’s genuine celebration for natural skin colors and her influential power over media raised awareness of this issue. She challenges more makeup brands to be more inclusive.

Only weeks after the makeup line’s debut, Rihanna has already teased photos of products to be included in Fenty Beauty’s holiday collection. Rumors of a skincare line have also spread, and people everywhere are ready for it.