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Why Rihanna's Fenty Skin and Fenty Beauty products are a hit

How did Rihanna become a reported billionaire? Her foray into the beauty and fashion industry is a notable contributing factor, according to Forbes.
Fenty Skin by Rihanna 2020 launch includes a face wash, makeup remover, toner, serum, moisturizer and sunscreen. Fenty Skin Total Cleans'r Remove-It-All Cleanser, Fat Water Pore-Refining Toner Serum and Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF
Rihanna’s unisex skin care line is 100 percent cruelty-free and infused with gentle yet effective ingredients — and its products start at $14.Fenty Skin

Rihanna’s Fenty Skin brand turned one at the end of July, and this week, Forbes reported that the Bajan popstar, philanthropist and business mogul has amassed a casual net worth of $1.7 billion, making her the second wealthiest female entertainer after Oprah Winfrey. But how did Rihanna become a reported billionaire? While Rihanna initially made a name for herself in pop music, that isn’t where she’s made a bulk of her money, according to Forbes. (“Anti,” her most recent album, dropped in 2016, and she’s sold 11 million copies over the last five years, according to Billboard.) Instead, the majority of her fortune comes from her reported 50 percent stake in Fenty Beauty, which made waves in 2017 for its shade-inclusive product offerings. Forbes claims her Fenty Beauty ownership is valued at an estimated $1.4 billion. Both Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin are popular brands among Shopping readers and the lines are currently available for purchase at Sephora locations across the globe. You can also order products directly through each brand’s site.

Rihanna is also known as a fashion innovator, and regularly rocks attention-grabbing looks that have been chronicled by luxury fashion publications as well as fan sites and Instagram accounts, like Haus of Rihanna. Beyond her former Dior ambassadorship (she was the first-ever Black ambassador for the French fashion house, reported Essence) and her high-end fashion partnership with luxury conglomerate LVMH in 2018, Rihanna has also added to her empire with her SAVAGE X FENTY lingerie line. Forbes reports the brand, which has expanded into men’s undergarments and sleepwear, is valued at nearly $270 million. Last October, the SAVAGE X FENTY fashion show debuted on Amazon Prime Video — you can order the full line on Amazon or on the official SAVAGE X FENTY site. In comparison to brands like Victoria’s Secret, which is known for its roster of svelte spokesmodels called Angels, Rihanna’s SAVAGE X FENTY line promotes body and racial diversity as well as models with disabilities, including Mama Cax. (This year, Victoria’s Secret introduced new spokespeople, including actress Priyanka Chopra, Olympian Megan Rapione, plus-size model Paloma Elsesser and more).

Rihanna launched her eponymous skin care line last July with just three items: cleanser, toner and sunscreen. At the time of her beauty brand’s release, Rihanna said Fenty Skin is her “vision of the new culture of skincare” with a lens toward creating “easy to use” products “everyone can apply.”

Her collection of 100-percent cruelty-free skin care products grew with the only two additions in 2020: Flash Nap Instant Revival Eye Gel-Cream and Instant Reset Overnight Recovery Gel-Cream. The entire suite of products costs anywhere from $14 to $40 — bundles cost up to $140. This year, she introduced two products designed specifically for the body: Fenty Butta Drop and Buff Ryder Exfoliating Body Scrub. Her entire skin care line is available on Fenty Skin and online and in stores at Sephora. And given the popularity of Fenty Skin and makeup line Fenty Beauty, we put together a guide on everything you should know about Rihanna’s beauty offerings.

SKIP AHEAD Fenty Skin products and Fenty Beauty products

Fenty Skin products and ingredients

The hero products from Rihanna's line are dubbed Fenty Skin Start’rs and include three 2-in-1 products. They're infused with good-for-you ingredients, including hyaluronic acid for moisture and niacinamide, also called vitamin B3, which is gentle enough for those with rosacea. There’s also Barbados cherry — Rihanna was born and raised in the Caribbean island — which is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants and can help brighten dull complexions. According to Fenty Skin, all of the products from the line smell tropical, clean and warm thanks to other ingredients like coconut, sun-kissed fig and desert melon.

1. Fat Water Pore-Refining Toner Serum

Fat Water Pore-Refining Toner Serum is a hybrid toner-serum, which the brand says will help minimize the appearance of pores and dark spots, improve texture and brightness, prevent shine and rebalance your skin. Alongside antioxidant-rich green tea and fig, Australian lemon myrtle and witch hazel water will regulate your oil production, and Japanese raisin tree will detoxify and cactus flower will hydrate your skin. This cleanser boasts a 4.7-star average rating from more than 9,000 reviews at Fenty.

2. Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen

Hydra Vizor is an oil-free, lightweight sunscreen that hydrates your skin with a combination of hyaluronic acid, aloe and baobab. Kalahari melon is rich in vitamins and antioxidants and helps hydrate your skin further while niacinamide prevents shine and fades dark spots. Hydra Vizer received a 4.6-star average rating from more than 8,280 reviews at Fenty.

“I wanted to create a moisturizer with SPF that was totally invisible — that means no chalky residue and no flashback. We created this pink hue that works on all skin tones, allowing it to blend in effortlessly and leave a healthy glow on skin,” Rihanna said in a statement.

3. Total Cleans'r Remove-It-All Cleanser

Total Cleans'r is a creamy, 2-in-1 makeup remover and face wash the brand says will help remove oil, dirt and longwear makeup without drying out your skin. Gingko biloba, which is a Chinese tree, helps control oil and clarify skin while green tea has antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. There’s also fig extract, rich with antioxidants and quince that helps condition your skin. Fenty Skin’s Total Cleans’r received a 4.7-star average rating from nearly 6,450 reviews on Fenty.

4. Fenty Skin Start'rs

Fenty Skin is also offering a Start'rs set, which includes all three products for $75 ($88 value).

5. Instant Reset Overnight Gel Cream

Instant Reset Overnight Gel Cream is designed for nighttime use after cleansing and toning. It is comprised of hydrating ingredients — hyaluronic acid, baoab and aloe — and niacinamide to help fade dark spots. Green tea, Japanese raisin tree and Kalahari melon oil are all rich in antioxidants that help reduce wrinkles and discoloration. This eye cream earned a 4.7-star average rating from more than 6,400 reviews at Fenty Skin.

6. Flash Nap Instant Revival Eye Gel-Cream and Eye Massage Tool

Rihanna called her newest product a "top secret weapon" to "fake a full night's sleep." The combination of green tea and horse chestnut, a tree native to southeastern Europe, helps depuff tired under eyes. It also boasts hyaluronic acid to restore moisture and Persian silk tree extract to help fade the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. You can order the eye cream by itself or opt for the package which includes a bonus eye massage tool with a cooling roller tip to help massage your delicate under eye area after you apply your gel cream.

7. Butta Drop

Notably, the Fenty Skin Butta Drop is formulated with shea butter and glycerin, both of which are known for hydrating the skin — the ingredients are found in everything ranging from lotions to soaps. There is also a blend of moisturizing sunflower, baobab and Kalahari melon oils. Butta Drop boasts the same tropical fruit and floral scent as Fenty Skin’s Instant Reset Overnight Recovery Gel-Cream for the face, according to the brand.

8. Fenty Skin Buff Ryder Exfoliating Body Scrub

Rihanna’s most recent Fenty Skin release is a body scrub that combines sugar, sea salt and avocado powder exfoliants to buff the skin. The inspiration for this drop is the beaches and “natural beauty” of her native Barbados, which is why this scrub also includes sand. It also contains skin soothing fruit enzymespapaya, pineapple and pomegranate — as well as hydrating coconut oil, shea butter and Barbados cherry.

More on Fenty Skin

Fenty skin is unisex — Rihanna brought along musical peers ASAP Rocky and Lil Nas Xfor the initial campaign. Rih also selected licensed esthetician Sean Garrette as a Fenty Skin Ambassador.

The brand incorporates refillable products and uses post-consumer recycled materials in its packaging. For example, the sunscreen is refillable and coral-reef safe, according to Fenty Skin. Fat Water also isn’t wrapped in shrink wrap, doesn’t arrive in a box and both the bottle and cap are recyclable. The brand claims that Total Cleans'r is made from 40 percent post-consumer recycled material and it does not arrive in a box or shrink-wrapped.

Before Fenty Skin: Fenty Beauty

The beauty mogul debuted Fenty Beauty in 2017 with 40 foundation shades that catered to all three undertones — cool, neutral and warm. The colors fall between 498, the deepest shade for melanin-rich skin, and 100, the fairest shade in the line. Rihanna garnered praise from the beauty community in reaction to this notable range. In 2019, she expanded the foundation line to include 50 shades along with 50 concealer colors.

While other brands had plenty of shades to choose from, those companies didn't necessarily have clear brand messaging that highlighted the diversity of their products, nor did they emphasize diversity in their model selections. As NBC Asian America previously reported, other popular cosmetics brands looked to capitalize on the increased demand for a high quantity of shade options after the launch of Fenty Beauty. But, consumers were ultimately disappointed with the lack of diversity in shade ranges from competing brands.

On August 10, Rihanna will expand her beauty empire with the launch of her first-ever fragrance — Fenty Eau De Parfum — which will be sold exclusively on Fenty Skin’s website. Rihanna flew to Grasse in the French Riviera and worked with LVMH master perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud to create the spicy-meets-sweet perfume, according to the brand. Fenty Eau De Parum features notes of tangerine, patchouli, Bulgarian rose, geranium and incense and it is housed in a “rich” transparent brown bottle, which happens to be Rihanna’s favorite color.

1. Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Primer

After you finish your full skincare routine, apply a pump of Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Primer to your face to create a smooth canvas for your foundation. The primer blends with ease, helps blur the appearance of pores and leaves behind a soft-matte finish to your complexion. If you have dry skin or just appreciate a dewy look, then try Pro Filt'r Hydrating Primer, which helps prevent dry patches and caking.

2. Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation is the inclusive hero makeup product. It’s lightweight, yet offers medium-to-full coverage, and it works as both an everyday and special occasion liquid foundation. Above all, the foundation is long wearing, even during the humid summer months in Miami. Use a makeup sponge, a foundation brush or even your fingers to blend, stipple or buff this foundation onto your skin.

3. Flypencil Longwear Pencil Eyeliner

The pros say if you wear makeup while wearing a face mask, emphasize your eyes. Flypencil Longwear Pencil Eyeliner is available in 20 shades, including Lady Lagoon, an electric blue with a matte finish, She a Problem, a rose gold shimmer and Grillz, a metallic yellow gold. Even beginners can nail perfectly winged cat eyes with these long-lasting eye pencils. It’s also creamy enough to scribble over your eyes as a base for a dramatic eye moment and long-wearing enough that you don’t have to worry about looking like a raccoon after a few hours of wear. Flypencil garnered a 4.6-star average rating from 870 reviews at Fenty.

4. Stunna Lip Paint

While the makeup artists we previously spoke with say you can skip a bold lip while wearing a face mask, if you want to sport a statement lip, you’ll need one that’s long wearing. Stunna Lip Paint, is kiss-proof and doesn’t rub off while drinking and eating. There are also night shades to choose from, including Uncensored, a universally flattering, blue-based red liquid lipstick. Stunna Lip Paint earned a 4.3-star average rating from nearly 4,990 reviews at Sephora.

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