FENTY diversifies makeup industry

Madison Muszynski, Advertising Manager

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From the Black Lives Matter movement, to the first openly transgender state legislator to win a seat in the House of Delegates, to mainstream clothing companies using plus size models, it’s clear to see that moments of 2017 were dedicated to inclusion. While there are a lot of things that society as a whole still needs to work on with diversity, one of the many successes was when singer, songwriter, and actress Rihanna released her first cosmetics line called FENTY Beauty on September 8, 2017. The products, especially the foundations and face products, were received with positive responses through media platforms because of the high number of options to match skin tones more precisely they offered.

For years, women of color have been asking about when makeup would finally match their skin tones. In a short interview with the British Broadcasting Company (BBC), women ranging from pale to dark skin talked about how it was difficult, if not impossible, to find the most accurate shade of foundation. Rihanna herself expressed how discouraged she felt when makeup wouldn’t match the her own skin or others’.

When scrolling through the official FENTY Beauty Instagram page, there’s nothing but diversity. Women of different ethnicities, religions, and weight are the main focus for the page’s aesthetic. No model looks identical to the last one posted, and the company also seems to support the idea of “perfect imperfections.” Models with freckles, birthmarks, teeth gaps, and other flaws that most cosmetic or fashion companies would not seek in models show up in FENTY Beauty’s showcase video which was released on September 1, 2017.

Other brands, such as L’Oreal or Too Faced, show not nearly enough variety in model types. While they do have models of color, they appear to be white-washed or of the lightest shades, which is the exact opposite of what you find on FENTY Beauty’s page.

Alongside the variety of shades that are presented, price is another factor. By comparing FENTY Beauty’s Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear foundation to Too Faced’s foundation named Born This Way, there’s only a $5 difference, FENTY’s product being the cheaper of the two. With this in mind, Pro Filt’r Soft Matte comes in 40 different shades, while Born This Way has only 24. To me and other makeup enthusiasts, it makes more sense to buy a foundation that would be more accurate to your own skin tone for a lower price as well.

It’s a huge victory for women of different colored skin that FENTY’s sole purpose is diversity, pushing other companies to do the same. It is a bit annoying that it took so long for this type of revolutionary discovery of varied foundation tones to occur, but it has been led by a woman with a great and powerful influence.