Not gonna lie, recently I lost my enthusiasm for makeup. I’ve got so much of it, that even after a major downsize a few years ago I’ve more than had my bases covered. I stopped reading as many beauty blogs and took my finger off the pulse of what new products were coming on the market. Over the last year my focus has definitely been more on fashion. When it came to beauty I was all about skincare having finally discovered a proper skincare routine. Make-up definitely fell off my radar.
That is, until recently, when a couple of things have changed and given me renewed enthusiasm for makeup again.
Going back to platinum blonde hair instantly made me feel like I wanted to be bold and fun with my makeup. Hot pink lips were once again calling my name and I was rummaging to the bottom of my makeup drawers to find long lost products only to find that my old favourite shades (hello MAC Girl About Town) were not in the matte finish I favour these days.
I’ve also recently started to feel that it’s time to make the commitment to be known as a cruelty free blogger. I’ve only been buying cruelty free products for a while but I have been blogging about old products and I think that sends out a mixed message. So even though I’ll continue to use up my old products in private, from now on on here I’ll only be championing cruelty free products so that I can show what’s available and be part of a movement to reject animal cruelty and vote with our wallets.
So I was thrilled to be invited down to Harvey Nichols Bristol this week to preview the Fenty Beauty Collection by Rhianna which is 100% cruelty free and paraben free.
In a week where Victoria Beckham also released her collection with Estee Lauder which featured a £72 illuminating creme and £38 lipticks, I was relieved to see price points on this collection at a much more realistic level.
What these collections do have in common though is that both Victoria Beckham and Rhianna are women who have worn a lot of makeup and I trust them to know exactly what works and what doesn’t.
Rhianna has been spotted carrying samples from this collection around for over a year, road testing it in both her own makeup bag and professionally on shoots and performances. If anyone knows how to create a line of makeup that’s going to give you an incredible glowy complexion that lasts, it’s gonna be Rhi Rhi.
This debut collection focuses on achieving a great base “The Fenty Face”. With 40 foundation shades women of all skin tones and undertones can find a match.
The collection features the Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer (£24) that although primarily a mattying product, felt really cooling and refreshing on the skin and gave that pepped up, diffused finish. I’m not usually a primer girl but recently I discovered the benefits of just wearing primer by itself and I think this could be a really nice product for no makeup days.
The foundation is billed as a Matte Longwear foundation which if I just came across that name on a shelf without trying it, would definitely be something I’d avoid as I go for much lighter, more dewy bases these days. However it sheers out nicely and I actually ended up really liking the finish. It’s matte but not powdery or cakey and didn’t settle into my lines. It lasted a good 12 hours on me, even surviving soft play with the kids. So if durability is important to you then this one passes that test with flying colours. It’s also a very reasonable £26.
But the real stand outs to me were the Match Stix (£21) of which there are two types – the matte ones are designed for colour correcting, concealing and contouring. The shimmery ones are for highlighting and blush. Packaged in classy little hexagonal bullets that are magnetised and can be carried as clusters. They’re also available in pre-bundled trios according to skin tone, each with two matte and one shimmer shade.
Like the eternal magpie I am, I was instantly driven to Confetti, one of the shimmery Match Stix which is a pearlescent, lilac shade that reminded me of the Becca Prismatic Amethyst highlighter that I’ve been wearing all summer (until I shattered it to smithereens a couple of weeks ago R.I.P).
You can see here how insane it looked. They go on creamy but dry down, so they’re more of a cream to powder texture which helps with the staying power. Also worth noting was that it didn’t emphasise my pores as some shimmery products can.
My look was finished off with a dusting of the Kilawatt Freestyle Highlighter (£26) in Metal Moon which is a really finely milled powder highlighter in a whitey/gold shade that reminds me a lot of Becca Moonstone (£32). These highlighters are very shimmery, which I’m all about, but probably won’t be to everyone’s taste. My highlight was still intact and poppin’ after 12 hours wear.
The collection features just one, supposedly universally flattering lip product which is the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer (£16). I’m definitely not a wearer of lip gloss so although I can appreciate it looked good on the Fenty girls in store, this one’s not for me.
The other signature product is the Invisimatte Blotting powder.(£13) It comes in a nifty little dispenser that’s also magnetised (and can be refilled – £8) that looks like a mini version of my Lakeland clingfilm dispenser. I would have been all over this in my younger, oilier days. Apparently Rhianna is trying to make blotting sexy. Jury’s out on that one.
There are also a bunch of cute retractable brushes that are made of synthetic hair in the signature hexagonal magnetic packaging. I really liked the look and feel of them but for me the Match Stix are something I’d either use fingers to blend if I was on the go or a beauty blender at home.
I’ve seen quite a few beauty influencers be a bit snobby about this collection, I’ve even seen a tweet saying the price point put them off. I presume because they thought it was too cheap? Personally I’m happy to see a big, new, celebrity brand come in at a sensible price point. It’s pitched around the same price as MAC. I think we’ve become too used to seeing luxury brands sell makeup in the eye watering £40-50 range so I welcome a range that brings us back down to earth.
I really enjoyed playing with these products, so much so that I’m heading back down to Harvey Nichols next week to see their makeup artist for a full face makeover. I can’t see myself leaving empty handed…