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How Fenty Beauty is Pushing Boundaries

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at San Francisco chapter.

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Throughout history, women of color have been mocked for their phenotypical features and are often not considered in the creation of makeup products. With the notion of “beauty standards” in America and most of the world, women with darker skin complexions do not meet these standards due to colonial-based foundations. For centuries the general public has idealized White women and their features, putting them at the forefront of the definition of “beauty.” But what is beauty? As the old cliché saying goes, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” and because White men dominated this country, they were the beholders setting these standards. While they uplifted White features, they completely dismissed the beauty that came with ethnic culture along with the facial characteristics that defined them. 

Makeup in America surged in popularity in the 1920s. A cap was created on the range of colors produced in the makeup industry making it difficult for women of color to enjoy makeup products the same way White women did. Years passed and this problem remained very prominent for women of color. However, when world-renowned musician, Rihanna, launched Fenty Beauty in September 2017, she changed the makeup game. With the 40 foundation shades, she provided an inclusive market of cosmetics that catered to Black women. Fenty Beauty was created after Rihanna noticed “a void in the industry for products” that were supposedly “performing across all skin types and tones.” Upon its release, the deep foundations were amongst the first to sell out. Rihanna’s eye became one of the beholders of beauty, allowing for women of color, specifically Black women of darker skin complexions, to fully enjoy makeup products that are fitting to their pigmentation.

The success of Fenty Beauty has granted her the opportunity to expand and create other beauty products outside of its foundation. With her new volumizing mascara Hella Thicc in the shade” Cuz I’m Black (True Black)” we see how she even recognizes her Blackness in naming these products to show that she shamelessly prides herself in it. Rihanna’s goal with this mascara was to have the tapered brush separate the lashes to bring a fuller and thicker look, and it does just that! The mascara holds a lasting lengthy effect in comparison to other mascaras, its formula was intended to be lighter so that it would not weigh the lashes down. Fenty Beauty’s Hella Thicc mascara was tested amongst various lash types, ensuring that it would work for everyone. You can get yours on the Fenty Beauty Website for $19 at fentybeauty.com.

Molly Gutierrez

San Francisco '24

Hi! My name is Molly Gutierrez and I am currently a 3rd year at San Francisco State University majoring in Ethnic Studies with a focus on Race and Resistance, and a double minor in journalism and marketing. I am on the writing team at the San Francisco Chapter, and extremely grateful for the opportunity to be apart of this community! I am passionate about subjects such as MUSIC, pop culture, social justice, media, and self-care. I hope to relay my knowledge of these topics to whomever is willing to read it.