Color cosmetics line Fenty Beauty is changing the rules for celebrity brands

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

(images courtesy of Kendo Brands)
(images courtesy of Kendo Brands)
The long-anticipated makeup collection from singer, actress, and business woman Rihanna launched globally late last week and is a real entrepreneurial departure from both the indie-startup approach and the one-off celebrity business strategy that’s been so common in the fragrance category.

Rihanna created Fenty beauty in collaboration with the beauty development firm Kendo Brands. That brand and product incubator, as it were, is owned by LVMH and has been integral in the bolstering of several beauty brands like the Nordic skin care line OleHenriksen, which relaunched earlier this year​.

The Kendo Beauty Group has its headquarters in San Francisco, California, and hopes to embody a positive, can-do outlook. ‘Can-do’ — hence, the name Kendo.    

Strong from the start

In a single day, Fenty Beauty launched globally: in 1,600 doors and 17 countries. And the brand launched will a full range of SKUs across color categories, including foundation, highlighter, eyeshadow, and much more.

“The Fenty Face is the key to unlocking all of makeup's limitless possibilities,”​ explains a press release from Kendo Brands. “This process is at the core of this 91-sku line, which includes 40 shades of Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation; 1 universal Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Primer; 30 magnetic Match Stix Skinsticks, in both matte and shimmer finishes to contour, correct, conceal, highlight and blush; 6 cream-powder hybrid Killawatt Freestyle Highlighters for face and eyes; Invisimatte Blotting Powder and Paper; 1 universal lip gloss known as Gloss Bomb; and a variety of application tools.”

The extent of the collection and its retail launch in stores and online is unparalleled and sets the bar high for any such celebrity cosmetic ventures that may follow.  

No consumer left behind

Many a new color cosmetics brand has launched in recent years with a range of complexion product colors meant to be more representative of the global population. Legacy brands are addressing the wider market as well.

When L’Oréal scientist Blanda Atis helped the company formulate foundation for dark skin tones using ultramarine blue pigment, it was very big news—both in the consumer space and in trade media (of course, Cosmetics Design​ reported it). Plenty of other big players have debuted more colors as have indie brands like Clove + Hallow, which offers 14 shades of its vegan mineral powder foundation.

With her new line, Rihanna took this concept even further, developing complextion and color products that are meant to be suitable not only for a wide range of skin colors but also products that are meant to work well with an array of skin types. “Rihanna was inspired to create Fenty Beauty after trying to find products that worked across all skin types and tones,” ​affirms to the release.

“With Rihanna's mandate of inclusivity, Fenty Beauty offers a wide range of products for traditionally hard-to-match skin tones, creating formulas that work for all skin types, and pinpointing universal shades.”

Related topics: Brand Innovation, Color Cosmetics

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