August 14th 2020
We tried Fenty Skin for a week – here's what we thought
July 28th 2020 / 0 comment
The collection is launching with a cleanser, toner-serum and a moisturiser
It's been two weeks since Rihanna sent Instagram into meltdown with news of the launch of Fenty Skin; available from tomorrow (July 29) she teased us with quick glimpses of the products and superstar filled promo videos (featuring ASAP Rocky and Lil Nas X) but revealed little else about the products. Desperate to know more, I had a Zoom call with the Fenty Skin team to get the full lowdown on the collection.
Three products arrived in the post ahead of my meeting with the team, all packaged in airtight containers to help keep ingredients stable. The lineup included cream cleanser Total Cleans'R, £20 for 145ml, toner/ serum Fat Water, £25 for 150ml and SPF moisturiser Hydra Vizor, £30 for 50ml.
First impressions of Fenty Skin
You'd be forgiven for rolling your eyes at the news of yet another celeb jumping on the skincare bandwagon - what do A-listers know about skincare, after all? But you just know Rihanna doesn't put her name to anything without being sure that it really works. The team revealed Ri was involved at every step of the way, right down to the lilac / grey packaging, which was inspired by the colour of a vintage car she spotted. The product and packaging team actually went to see the car, took paint chips and replicated it for the bottles you see today.
The collection is launching with just three products to help consumers establish a core skincare routine that isn't confusing. Rihanna said that over the years she's been completely overwhelmed by all the products out there to choose from and didn't want the same for her fans. Instead, Fenty Skin aims to simplify our skincare regime rather than packing it full or products we don't actually need. The three products are multi-taskers; the cleanser removes every scrap of makeup as well as dirt and oil, the toner has a gel-like, serum texture making it a hybrid of toner and serum. The moisturiser also has SPF 30 in it.
So what is Fenty Skin actually like?
All three products have a tropical, cherry scent thanks to the inclusion of vitamin C rich Barbados Cherry, which Rihanna told her product development team she drank all the time when growing up on the island. The collection is all gluten-free and vegan.
The packaging clicks open meaning you don't need to put your fingers in it and air doesn't get in to destabilise the formulas.
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I've been using the Total Cleans'R morning and night for a week now and can confirm it removes every little bit of makeup in one cleanse. It comes out of the tube creamy and lathers up into a fairly thick, pillowy soft foam. I put it all over my face and even on my eyes and didn't feel even a tiny bit of stinging. Pre-product reveal a fan commented on the teaser post on Insta: "I hope this is great for sensitive skin! My skin is sensitive AF!" to which Rihanna replied "Same! I get so scared to try new product! But I made this with love for my sensitive skin gang!"As well as the Barbados Cherry, the formula also has ginkgo biloba to clarify the skin and green tea and fig to make the skin soft and prevent it from feeling stripped. My skin did feel a little bit tight after using, but following with the serum toner sorted that right out.
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Fat Water – which is Rihanna's fave in the range – named because of the texture, is unlike anything I've tried before. It merges together toner and serum for a heavy water / light-gel feel. It clarifies the skin, fades dark spots and refines pores thanks to niacinamide and it has witch hazel in too to clear the skin along with Japanese raisin tree which is used for recovery to help detoxify and refine pore. Cactus flower is in the mix too to hydrate. Rather than applying to a cotton pad this goes straight onto the face and absorbs almost instantly - no product wasted on the pad!
It gives an instant glow to the skin and promises to work hard overtime to keep the glow going. After seven days I definitely look dewy every time I use this and despite it having a thicker texture than my normal toner, it doesn't weigh my skin down in the slightest.
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The final product, watermelon scented Hydra Vizor, has been created to encourage us to wear SPF30 every day - it even has a sassy line on the box: "use every single day - no excuses!"
As someone who is photographed constantly, Rihanna wanted the formula to have no flashback in pictures and to be non-ashy on darker skin tones, so this product took a long time to perfect. The team first created the moisturiser which claims to improve elasticity and even skin tone (complete with niacinamide, wild watermelon, hyaluronic acid and aloe to instantly hydrate, baobab to help with longterm hydration), then tested different types of SPF to incorporate, ending on chemical SPF as this was the only type that allowed it to work well with makeup but they removed oxybenzone and octinoxate to keep it reef-safe. I often find adding SPF to my skincare routine a bit of a chore, but this is a pleasure to use and feels more like a moisturiser than a chalky SPF.
Is Fenty Skin eco-friendly?
It was important to Rihanna for the range to be as eco-friendly as possible, so two of the products don't have external packaging. The third product only has secondary packaging because it's a refill - which makes it eco in itself.
Available exclusively on fentyskin.com, RiRi said the range will be "the new culture of skincare" and will be suitable for all genders; when a fan asked if there would be a skincare collection for men, she replied: "Whoever told you that skincare has a gender lied to you."