Fenty On The Brain
I am pretty sure Fenty Beauty is all you see on Instagram these days. And frankly - I don't remember being this excited about a make-up launch in a long while. Knowing Rihanna and her serious attitude towards everything she does (be it music, beauty or fashion), I was convinced that this launch would explode the beauty community and... wasn't wrong. Rihanna's brand is edgy, feminine and fun all at the same time. In this post I am going to review (+swatch) most of Fenty Beauty products and if you're curious, then just keep on scrolling!
Rihanna wants her line to be about everyone (no matter what gender, race or colour) and it is amazing to see such a diverse and "inclusive" line being available around the World at Sephora (+Harvey Nichols in the UK). Fenty Beauty is cruelty-free and currently offers: primer, foundation, concealer/contour/bronze/blush/highlight sticks, powder highlighters, blotting powder, blotting paper, universal lip gloss, make-up sponge and a few face brushes (both portable and regular).
Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
I guess a product, that everyone was mostly interested in, was Pro Filt'r foundation. First launch, 40 foundations shades. Just let it sink in. Most [high-end] brands we know release around 15-20 shades at a time, but not this girl.
Claims: medium to full coverage/ longwearing/ light/ smooth, pore-diffused, shine-free finish.
Packaging: let's just say, I feel this packaging. Actually, almost every product I am about to mention has an amazing look and feel. Pro Filt'r comes in a matte glass bottle and contains 1.08 fl.oz/ 32 ml. The bottle itself has a nice [high-end] weight to it and comes with a pump. This foundation is made in Italy, which is no surprise, because according to a few beauty sources - Rihanna is a fan of Armani's Luminous Silk. Rumour has it, she wanted to create something just as beautiful and lightweight, yet with a "soft matte" finish.
Formula: I have tried a lot of foundation in my blogging days, but this is something I haven't seen before. Pro Filt'r has a very thin, liquidy/runny texture, yet it is quite concentrated and rich in pigment at the same time. Water is a number one ingredient here, which I am quite happy about. I know some might think "ah, that's a ripoff", but seriously speaking - water-based make-up products are some of my old-time favourites for a number of reasons: they look natural on the skin, feel comfortable, don't clog pores, don't "cake" and are very forgiving (especially if you have texture or are a beauty of a particular age). Foundation is also infused with pineapple and papaya fruit extracts.
As per usual - these swatches are unedited and raw (so that you guys can see what everything looks like in real life).
Once applied, this foundation almost sets itself, drying down to a semi-matte/ satin finish. I would say it is not as matte/powdery as most well-known oil-free matte foundations on the market; it still feels very soft. It has a very very faint tropical scent to it, which you might not even notice, unless you push the pump up your nostril (things you do for your readers).
Colours: having 40 shades to choose from might feel somewhat overwhelming at first, so I definitely recommend going to the store to find a good match right there and then. Apply some to your neck and jawline (better if you have no foundation on); step outside so that natural daylight hits your face and you can see what this product (or any other foundation) looks like in real life. Now, some people have experienced slight changes in colour (a few say this formula oxidizes, some say it actually becomes lighter).
Since I was one of a lucky guests at the Fenty Beauty launch here in Dubai - I actually had a chance to swatch as many foundations as I could and since I brought my trusted Tom Ford with me (shade Cream 1.5) - friendliest Sephora employee and I managed to find a match in no time at all. So, my shade is 150, described as: light skin with neutral undertones.
Application: since this is a very liquidy formula, I find it glides on like a dream. Both brushes and sponges work well with it; I prefer my Beauty Blender. My tip would be to apply one pump to the back of your hand and then dip your finger in it and dot foundation over your face (I start from the center outwards). Work one step at a time (apply, blend, add more, blend). From my experience, you can wear it sheer (if you only use half of the pump and blend it out) or add as much as you want for a true medium-full coverage finish. It is quite versatile and layers easily. I don't think it hides an appearance of pores though (at least not so much on my nose), so I would typically apply some concealer to those areas.
Wear: thankfully the shade I use doesn't change colour on me (it doesn't get darker or lighter, stays the same). Although some say that Pro Filt'r sets to a very matte finish - I have to disagree. I have quite dry skin and even on me it looks like a beautiful, natural satin finish. It is a little bit more in terms of coverage than I would normally wear, but! My skin looks flawless whenever I wear it. Pro Filt'r covers my tiny spots, bumps and glides over drier areas, without accentuating them. I do set it with a loose powder (something like KVD or Becca) and funnily - it looks more dewy as I wear it. So say in 4-5 hours, I still look fresh. No cake, no separation, no blotches - pure perfection in a bottle. It might have something to do with humidity here in Dubai, but even then - the product doesn't transfer or come off. I even wore it to my training one day (I am a swimmer) and it was still there after an hour of intensive workout. Result!
Verdict: although I only got this product on Sunday, I can't stop wearing it. I've been wearing it to work, meetings and events - it didn't fail me. I am honestly shocked, because "dry skin" and "matte" never go along. Typically, I would stay 100 miles away from anything that sounds drying, but Pro Filt'r is exception. It photographs beautifully, is versatile and if you desire - you can make it more matte with something like Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Primer. Definitely go ahead, ask for a sample at Sephora and give it a shot. If you have dry skin and want a good full coverage option, this one is amazing. I think this formula should work for nearly every skin type out there.
Match Stix Trio
Fenty Beauty have a great selection of Match Stix (30 to be exact), which come in two finishes (matte, shimmer) and can be used for everything starting from concealing all the way to highlighting and contouring. You can get a set of three colour-coordinated sticks as well (for light, medium, tan and deep skin tones).
Claims: light as air/ long-wear/ flexible.
Packaging: these little guys are magnetized, so they do "stick together", almost forming a mini honeycomb. Packaging is lovely: smooth matte outer packaging, beautiful holo-logo of the brand on the side and colour-coordinated sticker at the bottom. The cap is not magnetized (FYI). You do get quite a good amount of product in each stick - 0.25 oz/ 7.10g. I think these are quite portable as well.
Formula: unlike many other stick contours or highlighters I have tried, these feel a bit harder in texture. You do get around a minute to play around with these; Match Stix set pretty fast and when they do so - they almost feel like a powder (matte shades in particular).
Match Stix Trio in the shade Medium (from left to right: Mocha, Trippin, Bamboo)
Application: Match Stix are quite pigmented, so little goes a long way. I prefer to use a synthetic brush with these; something like a contour brush. I take a small amount of product onto my brush and only then apply it to my face. I find that this way you can work quicker and it won't move foundation underneath it. Since Match Stix set matte and don't remain glossy or dewy on your face - I would advise you guys to work one step at a time (apply, blend, move on). On a good side note - you won't need to set these with extra powder. Contour and bronze shades in particular last a really good time on me.
You can use the brand's Portable Contour & Concealer Brush 150 with these. Personally, I love how soft and petite this brush is; I would probably take it with me on the go, as you can easily powder with it too. It is magnetic as well, so it will easily click with your Match Stix.
Wear: very long-wearing indeed and can go up to 6-7 hours on me before beginning to fade; I must say that I tend to wear shade Mocha as my bronzer/contour a lot more than the other two. I guess it has something to do with my skin tone. Bamboo is a good all over the face shade for me (but it is a bit dry for my undereye), which is why I tend to use it through the center of my face when I am in a rush and have no time for foundation. Works really well, but might accentuate drier areas. Shade Trippin would really pop! beautifully if I had darker complexion, so it actually migrated to my mom's make-up bag (she is Ivory Fawn in Tom Ford or NC35 in MAC if you were wondering). Although Trippin looks like NARS Orgasm, it translates as a sheer, yellow-toned gold when swatched.
Match Stix Trio in the shade Medium; please click on each image to zoom in.
Verdict: although these are lovely and are well made, I am not too crazy about them. I am curious to try Yacht Lyfe as a blush, but if I could choose one - I would definitely go with contour/bronze sticks; those are amazing and there are so many shades to choose from (for every skin tone). I do prefer powder highlighters (we will talk about them next) and really hope that Rihanna comes up with beautiful liquid concealers soon.
Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter
Rihanna ain't playing when it comes to the glow.
I knew that we'd become one right away, oh right away...
Rihanna is known for her highlight on fleek and she has six Killawatt highlighters: two of which are solid colours and the other four are duos (which actually means that there are 10 shades in total). Again, these go from light to dark and are equally stunning. It just depends on your complexion.
Claims: creamy/ long-lasting.
Packaging: these babies come in octagon shape; the compact is quite slim and although it looks white when you first look at it, in reality it reflects blue and lavender. Almost like a duochrome. Now, I have an issue with these. While one compact is really hard to open, the other one opens too easily (so I kept the box in case I decide to travel with it). And these are brand new, so I guess Fenty Beauty could work on these a little bit more.
Formula: from my experience, there are three finishes/formulas here. Subtle: very fine, buttery smooth with a daytime appropriate sheen. High-Shine: still very smooth, but more concentrated with a higher amount of finely milled glitter. Queen: shade Trophy Wife is the most unique highlighter I have ever seen. It is not for the shy ones and has a very intense glow with a ton of glitter, which loves to flirt with the light. The formula reminds me of Natasha Denona's glittery eyeshadows - very gorgeous indeed.
As always, swatches are unedited. Click on each image to zoom in.
Application: there is a unique brush for these little guys in the collection (which is really nice), but any highlighting tool would do. These layer really well, so you do you boo!
Wear: these wear on me for 5-7 hours, before I start noticing any fading. They do so gradually anyway, which is something I appreciate (no blotchy spots of highlight here and there). I should warn you guys though: these are very intense. Even the subtle shade - very impressive and not sheer in the slightest (although you wouldn't guess from the swatch). So, if you love your glow - these are amazing for that. Now, of course Trophy Wife is a special occasion kind of gal. It works so well as an eyeshadow. Plus, you can sheer out easily and wear it on the body - it will distribute these cute little specks of glitter so beautifully. Or - you can just stare at it. It will make you happy anyway (especially if you are a magpie like moi).
Verdict: I love these. Especially the duos - I think for the price, they are really amazing + you get two options, which is an extra bonus. I typically use subtle shade all over my face (nose, brow bone, inner corner etc.) and high-shine shade on my cheekbones. Most of these do have glitter, but a very sophisticated one. So do check them out in store for a better idea. They are very smooth and blend heavenly. Definitely a favourite!