Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty Gets A Little Lippie…But Limited? Maybe?

Published on January 18, 2018 by   ·   3 Comments

Months later, people are still so shook by Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty launch that we are still hearing about it – just a couple days ago tarte tried it, releasing their widely anticipated Shape Tape Foundation with the most disappointing range of shades since the truly pathetic Too Faced Peaches and Cream collection Peach Perfect foundation launch.  Seriously:


That’s 50 Shades of Beige.

Before we leave that controversy to focus on the products at hand, I do feel it has to be said that Fenty Beauty isn’t the first brand to have a wide range of shades in their foundations; MAC’s been offering a bazillion shades across the spectrum for so long that for many YouTubers, it’s customary when showing off foundations to give their MAC shade number for comparison.  Also, Fenty Beauty isn’t some indie startup; it’s part of the Kendo Beauty Group that includes brands like Kat Von D, Marc Jacobs, Bite, and more, so it’s not like they don’t have the resources to hit the market with a full range of shades.  But it was so surprising for a new brand to hit their launch with such an inclusive message, putting out no less than 40 shades from palest pale to darkest dark, and a wide range of undertones throughout the line, so what’s not surprising is that Fenty gets mentioned by name as people criticize this tarte launch.  After all, tarte has been in the game for a while and their presence at Sephora has been growing, so they definitely have the capital to launch a full range of shades rather than promising darker shades as an afterthought.

RiRi 02I bring all this up because it almost seems like a necessary disclaimer when I’m about to get a little bit critical of RiRi and her color offerings…which I have certainly done before.  It’s not that I have a problem with the quality (unlike that glitter monstrosity she served us this holiday season!), but rather with the neglect her line is still showing to the lip products.

I love a good lip product.  When I’m feeling down and I need a little retail therapy, my go to is always a gorgeous lipstick, usually red.  I have tons of liquid lipsticks, glosses, tube lipsticks, and other various colors and concoctions to get my DSLs gorgeous and ready to face the world.  So as I noted in my original review, I was more than a little disappointed when Fenty Beauty launched with 40 shades of foundation…and one lip product.  One.  And a gloss, at that?!

During the holiday release, they put out four shades of Starlit Hyper Glitz lipstick in a limited edition, but the shades were kind of odd and being limited edition they won’t be sticking around forever (though they are still currently available as of this writing – perhaps because of lackluster sales?).  There is one new permanent addition to their lip line, the Stunna Lip Paint in Uncensored (a bold true red), but still not the range of shades they support with their complexion products.  I’ll be reviewing that lip paint below as well, but first I want to introduce you to our “main event”: the Mattemoiselle Plush Lipstick.

The lipsticks come in a somewhat incoherent collection of 14-shades, with a fairly good mix of nudes/neutrals and vivid statement colors.  What concerns me is that I’m not sure where they all fit in with the brand as a whole – when they first launched, I read a couple of articles that referred to them as limited edition, but that tag isn’t visible on the Sephora site like it is for other LE products, like the Starlit lipsticks.  Are they hanging around?  Will they be here for 4, 5 seconds and then gone?  Who can say?  I just hope that Rihanna starts showing just as much love to the color side of her brand as she has to the complexion side.

Enough kvetching – bring on the colors!


No surprise here – I was drawn to the brightest and the craziest colors!  I picked up three shades, Candy Venom (bright hot pink), Ya Dig?! (cornflower blue), and Midnight Wasabi (jade green), in the full size and then had the opportunity to pick up a 4th shade, Griselda (reddish berry purple), in a deluxe mini on an online order.  I figured 4 out of 14 shades would provide a good representation, even if I didn’t pick up any of those nude shades.  If you like nude lips, you’ll have to go swatch those yourself – it’s the middle of goddamn winter in North Dakota and I need some COLOR!

All 4 shades applied nicely, though Griselda is a little inconsistent in places (this is not uncommon for that sort of red/purple shade).  I got pretty good one-swipe coverage, but for the swatches I did give it a couple of passes just to make sure the coverage was full and as even as possible.  It’s a very soft formula, so I found it to be even more prone to transferring than a regular tube lipstick but I also found that having transfer didn’t affect the wear on the lips as much (you couldn’t see patches or light spots until quite a bit of wear was present).

RiRi 01Now this is hardly the first lipstick to abuse this word, and it certainly won’t be the last, but these lipsticks are anything but matte.  They have a velvety smooth application with a subtle sheen that reflects a little bit of the surrounding light.  I don’t know if the proliferation of liquid to matte lipsticks has made the situation worse, but I feel like it’s been 100 years since I’ve seen a traditional lipstick described as matte that was even remotely matte in its application.  Flagrant misuse of that word aside, I do love the finish on these lipsticks, and the pigmentation is gorgeous.  That cornflower blue is stunning to see on a full lip and Midnight Wasabi is the perfect cool-toned green.  Griselda is not a color I probably would have picked up on my own, but I’m surprised at how much I liked it, and the inconsistency actually didn’t look that bad.  When I applied it, i found that it tended to look darkest on the outer edge and sheer out in the middle, which gave it sort of a subtle ombre effect that was actually kind of gorge.  Candy Venom is a strong pink, not for the faint of heart, but it’s lovely and cool-toned and Barbie-approved!

As for the Stunna lip paint, a friend of mine messaged me and told me she was “pretty fucking happy” with it, and while I love the color (it is seriously like that perfect red – when Taylor Swift sings about red lips and you know she’s talking about sex, these are the red lips she means!) I didn’t love the wear.  I haven’t tried it out on my lips, but I feel like I would put a powder over it to help set it.  The swatch that I painted never completely dried, even after almost half an hour.  It had a fair amount of transfer even just lightly running my finger over it.  It’s good, but when you have as many liquid lipsticks as I do, it’s one that’s pretty easy to replace.  That color though…there is something pure about it that I don’t often see in a red lipstick.

So while Fenty Beauty still has people chirping about their amazing foundation range, and rightfully so, I really hope that 2018 is the year that RiRi and crew decide to get serious about some color cosmetics and give us all of the gorgeous rainbow hues we need in our lives.  And let us know whether these lipsticks are here to stay or doomed to take a bow.  We definitely need more permanent lip and eye color products under the Fenty umbrella…ella…ella…

Now Go Forth & Get Painted!

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