It’s impossible to talk about the year in beauty without immediately thinking about Fenty Beauty — Rihanna’s eponymous makeup line. When Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty this September, each part of the brand’s meticulous rollout felt different from other releases this year.
With an all-star group of muses like Duckie Thot, Paloma Elsesser, Halima Aden, and Slick Woods and a comprehensive palate of 40 distinct shades, Rihanna set a new industry standard for what a deeply considered beauty line should look like. Not only has the line become quickly beloved by dedicated stans and seasoned makeup gurus alike (even being memorialized as a costume this past Halloween), Fenty Beauty has been dominating sales. After just one month out on the market, Fenty Beauty was valued at 72 million dollars.
It was recently announced that Fenty Beauty landed a spot on Time magazine’s annual list of the 25 best inventions of the year for its quality and dedication to inclusivity. In a recent interview with the same magazine, Rihanna explained how she built her empire.
We’ve taken notes so you don’t have to.
Anchor your idea in something you’re passionate about
Rihanna admits it: she got it from her mama. “My lifelong obsession with makeup started with watching my mom put her makeup on. I always loved to watch her, and all the funny faces she was making in the mirror. I never understood it until I got older and fell in love with makeup myself and really started becoming obsessed.”
Focus on something specific and do it really, really well
Rihanna knows the struggle of ongoing and daily upkeep. Naturally, Fenty is inspired by the way that people actually use the makeup itself. “Texture is the most important part of the Fenty Beauty brand. The highest priority is in the texture, from the foundation to Match Stix, to Killawatt, to Invisimatte Blotting Powder – it’s all about texture. It was really important to me that each product is made to easily build and layer with lightweight textures that are flexible even when you want to re-apply.”
Get your nose in the dirt
There’s a reason why the Fenty line looks and feel so close to Rihanna’s personal aesthetic — every bit of it is her. “I have 100 percent involvement in this process, which is what makes this so special and very fun. I have so much creative freedom from products to packaging, and that’s really the only way this brand will stay true to my vision for it.”
Never stop innovating
For Rihanna, the future of Fenty beauty is as far as she can take it. “The options are pretty much unlimited in the world of beauty, and I love challenges, so I’m going to continue to have fun and push the boundaries in this industry.”