These highly rated Fenty Beauty products changed my mind about the brand
Read before you shop Rihanna's makeup line.
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Fenty Beauty has taken the cosmetics world by storm since its 2017 inception. The brand, created by singing superstar Rihanna, exploded onto the scene with 40 shades of its Pro Filt’r Foundation. Praised for its inclusive shade ranges and its push for genderless beauty, it’s safe to say that this brand made a mark in the industry.
When Fenty Beauty launched, I was excited to see such an inclusive collection of complexion products, but that excitement was short-lived, as its star Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation wasn’t a hit for me. It felt too drying for my already dry skin, and I suspect it caused the breakouts I saw shortly after use. While proud and in awe of what Rihanna and Fenty Beauty have done for darker complexions in the beauty sphere, I admittedly took a back seat to purchasing the brand's products after the one everyone praised fell flat for me.
Still, as the Fenty Beauty empire expanded, there were a few products—blushes, skin tints, and lipsticks that catered to brown and dark skin people like myself—that caught my eye and made me want to give the brand a second chance. After reading several reviews, watching Youtube videos, and hearing my best friend rave about her favorite lip gloss, brow pencil, and highlighter, I decided to give Fenty Beauty a much-needed do-over.
How did I test Fenty Beauty?
Fenty Beauty is sold exclusively at Sephora, on Sephora.com, or on FentyBeauty.com. I purchased all of the products I tried off of Sephora’s website and I ditched all of my usual makeup products in favor of these ones once they arrived. I applied each product as I normally would—either with brushes or my fingers—unless the products’ instructions specified otherwise.
Over the next two months, I used them either separately with non-Fenty products or all together to create a “no-makeup makeup” look. I made sure to use the complexion products, like the Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint, on hot summer days to see how well it would hold up, too. Before you go fill up your Sephora cart for a Fenty Beauty haul, check out the list of products I tested—ordered below from my favorite to least favorite—along with whether they lived up to their claims.
1. Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer
What it claims: This lip gloss claims to be universally flattering, non sticky, shimmer-free, and buildable up to a full-intensity color payoff. Fenty Beauty also claims that the wand is big enough to hold enough product to coat the lips in one swipe. The Gloss Bomb is Fenty Beauty’s best-selling lip gloss product and claims to make the lips appear smoother and more voluminous. The formula contains vitamin A to moisturize the lips and it has a peachy vanilla scent. This product also comes in five colors ranging from soft pinks to dark brown—I put the color “Hot Chocolit” (a true chocolate brown) to the test.
What it’s like to use it: This is hands down my favorite product out of everything I tested from the brand. The Gloss Bomb in "Hot Chocolit" is my new favorite lip gloss (and that’s saying something because I'm a gloss fanatic) and I’m already thinking about purchasing backups because I refuse to run out of it. The pigmented, sparkly brown is the first thing that caught my eye because I’ve been on the hunt for a nude lip gloss to keep in my purse.
The doe-foot applicator on this product is bigger than others (about the size of the tip of my pinky), which makes application quick and easy because I don’t have to dipp it back into the tube for an adequate amount. This is also a plus because I’ve found that swiping layer upon layer to create the pigmented, juicy look with other glosses makes my lips feel sticky and weighed down.
This lip gloss is a true deep chocolate brown and is so pigmented that the color shows up intensely with just one application. There are also tiny flecks of glitter in the formula that give off a beautiful shine that complements the base color without looking like glitter on the lips. This product has a sweet fragrance to it that I don’t mind, but it is something to keep in mind for those who are sensitive to fragrance or prefer fragrance-free products. The scent isn’t overpowering or long-lasting, but I noticed it when opening the packaging and applying the product to my lips. This lip gloss is creamy and lightweight and felt good on my lips throughout the day. I can’t say that I noticed that my lips looked drastically more voluminous when using this lip gloss, but they looked fuller when I applied two coats. One thing to be aware of: This lip gloss transfers onto everything—a face mask, drinking straws, glasses, and water bottles.
2. Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush
What it claims: The cream blush claims to be lightweight, non-greasy, and natural-looking when applied to the skin. It’s supposed to melt into the skin and give off a “fresh-faced flush” and a youthful glow with blush colors that aim to complement a range of different complexions. The Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush also claims to be easy to use, sheer, sweat- and water-resistant, and easily blendable without disturbing the other makeup products on your face. Fenty recommends you apply and build color intensity by using a fingertip to tap the product into the skin. This blush comes in 10 shades, ranging from pale orange to mauve brown, and I put the shade “Summertime Wine” (a berry tone with shimmer in it) to the test.
What it’s like to use it: I’m typically not a blush person, thanks to my fear of looking clownish, but this cream blush changed my mind. When I first opened the super tiny compact, the blush looked very creamy and pigmented. I followed the instructions and pressed my fingertip into the formula and tapped it onto my cheeks, which confirmed that it’s as sheer and buildable as Fenty claims. This blush feels super lightweight and smooth against my skin and deposited a beautiful soft berry color onto my cheeks. One swipe of my finger in the pan per cheek is enough to get a natural flush, so this compact will last me a while. The “Summertime Wine” color suits my medium brown skin tone so well, unlike other pink and red blushes that can look exaggerated or clown-like on deeper skin tones. I love the way it brightens up my face and adds some color, especially on warm summer days when I want a glowy, rosy finish on my cheekbones.
Get the Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush on Sephora for $20
3. Brow MVP Ultra Fine Brow Pencil & Styler
What it claims: The Brow MVP retractable brow pencil claims to have an ultra-fine tip that helps to create precise, hair-like strokes when filling in your brows. It also claims to be creamy, waterproof, smudge-resistant, and long-lasting. This brow pencil is double-ended with a paddle brush on the other end to help blend and style the brows while filling them in. The pencil comes in 14 shades ranging from light blond to black—I used the dark brown shade.
What it’s like to use it: I love a brow pencil that comes with a spoolie on one end because it makes shaping your brows much easier and allows you to blend the product out so they’re not too thick-looking. I was surprised to find a mini paddle brush with short, dense hairs when I removed the cap from this pencil. This discovery made me skeptical of how this brow pencil would work out. The color I chose was spot on for my brows and it created thin, hair-like lines as promised. The trick with this product is to flick your wrist lightly and swiftly when filling in your brows to get a result that mimics hair. Because the pencil itself is very thin, too much pressure can snap it in half—you also don't need the pressure because the formula is pigmented and creamy. The paddle brush on the other end is super-soft but sturdy enough to brush the brow hairs in place, as well as blend out the formula.
After using this brow pencil a couple of times and finding my groove with it, I love how the pencil tip is angled because it helps to fill in any sparse areas without making them too chunky or bushy. The product isn’t ashy in the dark brown color and matches my natural dark brown eyebrow color. This brow pencil easily earned its spot in my arsenal and is now my go-to brow pencil.
Get the Fenty Beauty Brow MVP Ultra Fine Brow Pencil & Styler on Sephora for $20
4. Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint
What it claims: The skin tint claims to create a smooth, blurred effect that’s buildable from light to medium coverage. It's supposed to be humidity-, sweat-, and transfer-resistant and Fenty recommends you apply it with either your fingers or a brush, as a sponge may soak up too much of the thin formula. It's formulated to “layer well with primer and skincare,” meaning it should play well with most products you apply underneath it. The tint comes in 25 shades, ranging from fair to deep, and I put shade 19 (medium-deep with warm undertones) to the test after taking the shade finder quiz on Fenty’s website.
What it’s like to use it: I will most likely not use another skin tint or foundation for a long time after discovering this product. I’ll admit, I was hesitant to try another complexion product from the brand after my negative experience with Fenty Beauty’s Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Foundation, which received the same amount of hype as this skin tint from reviewers. Putting those feelings aside, this skin tint caught my eye for the summer because I wanted something lightweight that could also cover my hyperpigmentation and acne scars. Eaze Drop is amazing at achieving a subtle makeup look that’s breathable and flexible with coverage. Its standout attribute is that I do not feel it on my skin when I wear it, which is an issue I had with the foundation.
I applied the product using both an Anastasia Beverly Hills Domed Kabuki Brush and a Beauty Blender and the final products were similar, so you can stick with whatever application method you prefer for complexion products. The skin tint blended seamlessly into my skin and I was able to build up enough coverage to cover my dark marks without feeling like I had caked on a bunch of foundation. This product didn’t dry out my skin nor did it break me out, which is amazing for someone like me who has fairly sensitive skin. I plan to purchase this product again because I struggle to find complexion products that really suit my skin and this exceeded my expectations.
5. KillaWat Freestyle Highlighter
What it claims: These highlighter singles and duos claim to be cream-powder hybrids that can range from a subtle sheen to a super-bright glow, depending on how much you apply. The shades aim to be flattering for every skin tone and Fenty claims that the formula should last all day on the skin. This highlighter also claims to melt and blend into the skin with minimal effort, thanks to a smooth and creamy texture that can be used on the face, eyes, collarbone, and anywhere else you might want to glow. It comes in nine shades, ranging from white gold to champagne colors. I tested the “Afternoon Snack/Mo' Hunny” shade, which consists of a champagne tone and a peachy gold.
What it’s like to use it: In the song “Diamonds,” Rihanna sings “shine bright like a diamond,” and that’s exactly what you’ll do when you apply the highlighter. A little bit goes a very long way with this buildable and unique formula that feels almost fluffy like a powder but blends into the skin like a cream. While I haven’t tried it on my eyes as an eyeshadow, I can see how this highlighter would look just as stunning on the lids. If you’re someone who loves to glisten in the sunlight or indoors under lights, these highlighters will dazzle you. With its high-intensity color, one swipe in the pan with a brush or your finger can add ample shine to both cheekbones, meaning this compact will last a long time for someone who likes more of a subtle glow.
6. Bright Fix Eye Brightener
What it claims: This eye brightener claims to hydrate, brighten, and conceal the under-eyes with sheer but buildable coverage. It also claims to be a crease-, humidity-, and sweat-resistant formula that blurs and corrects under-eye circles. Fenty describes the formula as lightweight with a serum-like texture that feels comfortable and melts into the skin. It also contains jojoba oil that claims to “condition delicate under-eye skin.” This product comes in 16 shades, ranging from soft pink to brighten to neutral for deep skin tones, and I put the shade “Almond Butter” (a medium tan) to the test.
What it’s like to use it: I haven’t used an under-eye concealer in a while, as I’ve become one of those “less is more” makeup lovers, but I was interested in giving this a try. The shade range for this product gave me pause while I was ordering, as some of them looked ashy yellow or very orange and more akin to a color corrector than a concealer. I’m happy to have chosen a color that works well with my complexion and subtly brightened my under-eye area. I don’t have very dark circles to begin with, so the sheer coverage this gave worked well to add brightness and make me appear more awake while feeling like I was wearing next to nothing.
One thing I really like about this product is the packaging. It looks like a lip gloss—instead of having a cylindrical tube with a doe-foot applicator, it has a nice rounded tip from which you squeeze out the product and apply it to your under-eyes. Thanks to the squeezability and the small hole in the tip, I felt like I was able to control how much product I was using and avoid overdoing it. The eye brightener is also super easy to blend and pairs well with the Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint to create a fresh flawless “your skin but better” makeup look. I even used this product without a skin tint or foundation to quickly brighten my eyes before I went out and it works well on its own. The product dries down to a semi-matte finish that looks just like skin and can be applied with a concealer brush or a finger tip— both of which gave me great results.
7. Flyliner Longwear Pencil eyeliner
What it claims: This retractable eyeliner pencil claims to be creamy, easy to use, and water-resistant. The brand says that this pencil is very pigmented and “glides effortlessly across the lids with a simple flick of the wrist” for a bold, smudge-proof eye look. The triangular tip and slim packaging should create precise lines, helping you avoid accidentally over-applying and getting a thicker strip of eyeliner than desired. This product comes in 20 colorful shades in matte, shimmer, glitter, and metallic finishes. I tested the shade “Grillz,” a yellow-gold metallic.
What it’s like to use it: I love this eyeliner because it's pigmented and creamy, and makes it easy to add a pop of color to the lash line. Thanks to the great color payoff, I did not have to keep going over the lines I created to ensure that I had applied enough product for it to be noticeable. There are even small specks of glitter that make the color pop even more and I noticed that it made my eyes seem like they were sparkling under certain lights.
The eyeliner pencil is slim and angled so it makes getting into the corner of the eyes and creating a sharp winged liner look easy. A while ago, I abandoned eyeshadow for colored eyeliner, as it’s much easier and faster to apply, remove, and play with, so this pencil was right up my alley. I’m interested in trying other colors and building my eyeliner collection because this pencil did not budge or smudge any time I used it.
8. Pro Filt’r Hydrating Primer
What it claims: This hydrating primer claims to be made for normal to dry skin with a silky smooth formula that improves and extends the wear of foundation and other complexion products. The brand also claims that this primer is lightweight, rich with moisture from grape seed oil and hyaluronic acid, and can instantly hydrate the skin without weighing it down. Lastly, Fenty Beauty claims its primer can soften skin, smooth away dry spots, and create a blurred base for its other complexion products.
What it’s like to use it: The hydrating primer wasn’t that impressive to me the first time I used it because I noticed that the dry patches on my forehead were still visible after applying the Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint on top of it. I continued to use the primer and applied more formula than the first time with hopes that it would give me a moisturized and blurred base for the rest of my makeup.
After using it several times, I can say this primer made my skin feel soft and did not cause any breakouts, but I’m not running to the store to stock up on it. There is a slight difference in the way the skin tint looks on my skin when applied on top of the hydrating primer in comparison to applying it without any primer—my skin appears a bit more matte, textureless, and smooth as compared to a bit of texture showing without the primer. I wish this product was as moisturizing as it claims to be, but I like the way it dries down to a very soft matte base for my complexion products.
9. Stunna Lip Paint
What it claims: The Stunna Lip Paint claims to be a weightless, soft matte lipstick that’s very pigmented and long-lasting. It comes with a doe-foot applicator that is designed to deliver a precise and lip-defining application in one stroke. Unlike with other lip products, there should be no “immediate feathering,” meaning the formula won’t extend past where you apply it, and your lips will stay smooth-looking as it dries down to a finish that’s so weightless “you might forget you're wearing it.” This product comes in nine shades, from red to black, and I tested the shade “Uncensored,” a “universal red.”
What it’s like to use it: I felt super excited about this product before trying it because I’d seen great reviews saying how pigmented it is and how beautiful the colors look on different skin tones. Unfortunately, the Stunna Lip Paint was my least favorite product out of this entire haul because the formula was too drying for my lips. When I first applied the lip paint, it looked very wet and shiny, but it dried down to a full matte finish and I was not a fan of the final result. It felt like the product had sucked the moisture out of my lips and I felt it sitting on my lips rather than sinking in for a weightless feel. I don’t typically have dry lips because I’m a huge lover of lip masks, balms, and glosses to keep my lips moisturized, but this lip paint felt like it reversed the work of every lip mask I ever used.
I found the claim of this product is weightless and a soft matte to be false because it was very drying and it felt more like a matte liquid lipstick to me. On the other hand, the lip paint is highly pigmented (a little bit of formula goes a long way) and the red color was beautiful inside and out of the bottle. And for better or worse (the latter in my case), this lipstick can last a long time. Beyond the formula itself, I liked the quirky packaging and the precise doe-foot applicator, as it made it easy to carve out my cupid's bow and define my lips while applying it. If matte liquid lipsticks are your go-to, you might consider trying this.
Is Fenty Beauty worth the hype it gets?
After trying out these nine products from Fenty Beauty, I’m now a fan of the line and have dubbed many of these items as my new holy grails. This is major for me because I shied away from Fenty Beauty after trying and not loving its foundation, and I figured that the other products in the line just weren't going to suit me.
In fact, I actually want to give Fenty Skin a try next. I no longer leave my house without the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer and I’ve abandoned my other lip glosses for this product.
If you’re not sure where to start with the brand, the Lip Luminizer could be your way in, but I also think that any of the products listed above would be a great lineup for a flawless “no-makeup makeup" look. If you’re anything like me and feel hesitant to try makeup products like blush or new complexion products, I think Fenty Beauty is a good place to start for a wide range of buildable shades and colors. I admire the brand's shade inclusivity in all of its products from complexion to lip glosses and think everyone can find a product in a color that blends and complements their skin. Now you may shop the line.