Fenty’s Summer Beauty Stumbles, In A Daze

Published on June 3, 2018 by   ·   1 Comment

Unpopular opinion: Fenty Beauty wowed the world with their give-no-fucks launch of 40 foundation shades to cover all skintones – and they’ve been riding that buzz for more than it’s worth while putting out mediocre, sometimes terrible, products.

Unpopular-er opinion: Most of us have been letting them get away with it.

Seriously, what was up with that holiday collection?  That eyeshadow palette was straight up trash, and the lip and eye products were only interesting in the fact that they helped push us toward the return of neons and iridescents and duochromes (buh-bye boring warm nudes!).  The Mattemoiselle Plush Lipsticks were a solid launch, though I’m still not sure if they’re sticking around or not, and they are kinda tiny.  But the color is gorgeous.  Plus, the Stunna Lip Paint is absolutely one of the best new liquid lipstick formulas I’ve tried (I liked it much more in practice that I did when I swatched it for the review!  It’s one of those products that needed time to grow on me).

Now, let’s talk about summer.

The first part of her summer collection launched about a month ago with two products: The Fairy Bomb Glittering Pom Pom, a $42 powder puff with glitter inside, and the Body Lava, which has inexplicably sold out and now disappeared from Sephora’s website.  The Body Lava was $59 – seriously, FIFTY NINE FUCKING DOLLARS! – for a liquid body highlighter that you could easily dupe for less than $10 by adding some glitter to baby oil.  How did that shit sell out?  We are living in the end times…

But now we have round two of Fenty’s summer collection, and while it’s not terrible it’s still a little bit perplexing.

Fenty 01

First up there are 2 lip gloss collections, Summer Daze and Summer Nights, with 3 colors each for $32 – not a bad price at all, putting each full size gloss at just a few cents over $10 each.  These are described as “lip luminizers” which is just the new fancy way to replace “lip topcoat” as an annoyingly unnecessary way of saying lip gloss.  I was tempted to pick up both collections, but for the Sumemr Daze set I was really only into that mint green shade, so I showed a little restraint (for once) and let it pass.  We’ll see if I end up with it eventually…

I did pick up the Summer Nights set which was glittery and shimmery but also has a sort of gorgeous duochrome to it as well.  There are three shades: Snake Skin, Mermaid Thighs, and VayCray.

Fenty 02
Snake Skin is a brown base with a green/gold shift.  This is such a lovely color, and easily the most unique in the collection.  I’ve seen shadows that look like this, but never really seen it translated into a lip color.  Mermaid Thighs is bluish purple with a bright teal/blue shift, really lovely!  I’m sort of over the mermaid trend, but I’ll let this one go because it’s so lovely.  VayCray is the most “normal” of the shades, but it’s still pretty: a bright pink with peachy/gold shimmer, like NARS’ Orgasm translated into a gloss.  They are all nice and pigmented and apply nicely without being super sticky.  You can wear them alone and get a sheer wash of the color with tons of great color shift, or layer it over a lip color to change and transform it.  The smell is pretty basic, a light vanilla that smells exactly like the vanilla in MAC’s lip products.  Especially at this price point, if you like the colors I think these are pretty good collections.  Like I said, I may still end up talking myself into the other collection as well…

Now onto the “highlighters,” which is where I really have some problems with this release.

I’ve complained before about the lack of eyeshadows in the Fenty line; true, they say the Match Stix highlighters can double as highlighters, but the only dedicated shadow release they did was the tragic Galaxy palette for holiday.  But look at these “highlighters”…I can’t be the only person who sees these and immediately sees that they are eyeshadow duos, right?  Am I crazy?!  Well, yes, but I also think I’m not wrong.

If you look at the pics on the Sephora site, the swatches on all of the skintones look like eyeshadows.  The image on the gondola header in Sephora shows Rihanna wearing the pink and orange duo as eyeshadow.  I understand the argument that deeper skintones need darker, more saturated colors, but even on the model with the darkest skintone, these read like shadows.  So why not just sell these as shadows?

Because it’s 2 shades for $36, that’s why.  Fenty Beauty has got a lot of brand loyalty from their amazingly inclusive foundation launch (people still reference it Every. Damn. Time. any other brand puts out a new line of foundations), but even that brand loyalty has limits, and eyeshadow duos for $36 is a pretty tough sell for anyone.  So why not just make them in the highlighter pans, label them as highlighters and just tout the fact that they “can be used all over the face!” and let the money come rolling in.

The bummer here is that if Rihanna had made a mini palette with these 6 shades in it, I think it would have been absolutely STUNNING!  These shades are all lovely, and I think they look great together.

Just to try out the formula and see how I felt about the highlighter vs. eyeshadow thing after getting my grubby little hands on them, I picked up the Sand Castle/Mint’d Mojito duo because 1. it has a green shade in it (duh) and 2. because it seemed to be the duo that seemed most likely to work as highlighters on my skintone.

Fenty 03

Sand Castle is a gorgeous taupe/champagne mashup that is really lovely and would make a unique addition to your favorite cool-toned look.  And Mint’d Mojito is a lovely mint green with silver shift and some really subtle opalescent finely milled glitters.  They are both stunning colors and I don’t regret adding them to my collection.  I wish I had had the green to wear with my mint and black spiderweb outfit from Days of the Dead Charlotte.

Linda Blair

With a light enough hand, I could wear these as highlighters.  But I’m sorry – these are eyeshadows.  The level of pigmentation is on par with Juvia’s Place, which makes some of the most vibrant, beautiful shimmer eyeshadows in the game.  That’s not a bad thing, but it still just makes me feel like I’m paying way too much for what is essentially a shadow duo.  I would love to add all 6 shades to my collection, but I already paid $59 for that holiday palette, so I refuse to pay $108 for 6 pans of eyeshadow.  It ain’t my job to pay RiRi’s light bill this month, no ma’am!

The last product in the summer release are the 2-in-1 Island Bling Liquid Eye Shimmers.  These are currently sold out online, and since these are limited edition I don’t know if they will be restocked, so if you have your heart set on these you’d better start checking your local Sephora to see if they’ve got them laying around.  I wasn’t really interested in either of the duos, and I rarely like liquid eyeshadows so they tend to get decluttered from my collection really quickly.  $26 for two shades doesn’t seem like a bad price, so if liquid eyeshadows are your jam you may want to give these another look.

Tell us what you think: are you living for these stuntin’-in-the-sun summer shades, or are you in a daze yourself trying to figure out what exactly Fenty Beauty is doing?  Would you rock those highlighters on your eyes, or do you think they would look gorgeous on your cheeks?  How are you feeling about all of the fabulous iridescent and duochrome launches we’ve been seeing?  Let us know your thoughts down in the comments!

As for me, I didn’t think this was a terrible launch, but I don’t feel like they’ve really had any launches that really captured the energy and excitement that surrounded that amazing foundation launch, and while their complexion offerings are amazing, their color cosmetics are really inconsistent.  I love those Killawatt Foils, but since they are basically just eyeshadow duos, I just can’t justify spending that much on them.  Overall, I’m disappointed.  I was hoping RiRi would sweep me off to a tropical paradise, but instead I’m stranded on a deserted aisle.

Let’s hope she can get it back together before holiday…

Now Go Forth & Get Painted!

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Readers Comments (1)
  1. Brida says:

    I felt the same way about the “highlighters”, unfortunately I LOVE the look of the duo you bought. Ive been trying to convince myself I don’t need it though, and trying to dupe it in my collection. I would wear them both as eyeshadow and the pale green as highlight / inner corner highlight and possibly both as lip toppers. I don’t know – $36 seems painful though. Plus tax let’s not forget so basically $40. I don’t think I can do it.

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