Fenty Beauty: Targeting women of all colours

October 2, 2017
3 min read

September’s New York Fashion Week saw Rihanna launch her Fenty Beauty make-up line, featuring the tagline ‘Beauty for all’. The line has been launched with the aim to cater to all skin tones as well as undertones, with the foundation collection featuring 40 shades and each shade available in a cool and a warm version. In addition, the advertising campaign has heavily focused on using women of different ethnic backgrounds, featuring more models of colour than white models. The launch has received positive feedback from celebrities such as Mindy Kaling, Gabourey Sidibe and even Naomi Campbell. And not just women of colour; albino women who struggle with lighter foundation shades have also given the range positive reviews.

Targeting more than a trend

Whilst celebrity launches in the beauty sector are nothing new, the difference between Rihanna’s launch and more recent successes from the Kardashian-Jenner empire is the focus on the product and not a trend. Kim Kardashian is known for contouring, and so unsurprisingly KKW Beauty launched with Contour & Highlight Kits. Similarly, Kylie Jenner’s lips are arguably her most famous feature, with Kylie Cosmetics beginning with lip kits.

Fenty Beauty, however, has not focused solely on a particular beauty trend, but instead on inclusivity underpinned by its diverse range of foundations. In addition, whilst Rihanna has made her role in developing the products, she has not been the sole focus of the advertising campaign.

With celebrity brands and collaborations it is natural that the celebrity will be the centre of the brand imagery and advertising; however, Fenty Beauty has shifted the focus by featuring women of all colours in advertising as well as signing on people such as Somali-American born hijabi model Halima Aden. The brand has also focused on ensuring availability by being offered across multiple channels, carrying the message of inclusivity to the end stage.

Focus on the face

Fenty Beauty’s initial launch focused on the face, with a primer, foundation, contouring, concealing, highlighting and blotting products. Mintel research on the UK colour cosmetics market shows that 35% of women use make-up to subtly enhance their natural features, with the trend for natural make-up looks continuing to gain momentum. For the moment, the range includes only one lip product, a nude gloss designed for women of all skin tones, which bucks the trend for highly pigmented matte lipsticks seen in recent years.

 The future is fun

Whilst the Fenty Beauty range currently focuses on the face and creating a natural look, Rihanna uses the website to talk about using make-up for fun and taking risks:

“It should never feel like pressure. It should never feel like a uniform. Feel free to take chances, and take risks, and dare to do something new or different.”

Indeed, just two weeks after the initial launch, Fenty Beauty announced the launch of its holiday Galaxy Collection. The collection features more pigmented products, including an eyeshadow palette, liners and more lip products catering for those who use make-up for self-expression.

Roshida Khanom
Roshida Khanom

Roshida Khanom is Director of Beauty & Personal Care Insights, EMEA.

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