We’ve seen big launches in the beauty world, but honestly, very little has been on par with the Fenty Beauty debut. It could be that it’s Rihanna, and gorgeous, outsize spectacle is just her bread and butter, but more likely, the huge response has been thanks to the fact that right off the bat, Fenty Beauty treats women of all colors as equally worth representing. It’s 2017, and that should be normal, so Rihanna’s pioneering the way. And after spending two years developing the line, she did us right: From the 40 foundation colors to the sole all-you-need lip gloss, the products are beautiful.
And the thing is, Rih understands how products play. After 12 years in the spotlight, she knows foundation needs to be a spot-on match, and she knows highlighters need to pop—which rang loud and clear at her Fenty x Puma fashion show last night. (According to our fashion editor who was there, models’ cheeks could be seen across the room.) Available as powders and in creamy stick form, they’re stunning to look at. But it’s one thing to see them in the pan or on Slick Woods’ cheekbones. It’s another to see how they live on us mere mortals of varying skin tones.
There was only one way to find out. We got our hands on the Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter duo in Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal (a pearlescent shimmer duo on the more natural end of Fenty’s highlight spectrum) and put it to the test. Below, three Glamour staffers weigh in.
Khaliha Hawkins, digital administrative assistant
Skin tone: “Medium dark.”
What she thought: “I feel like for my skin tone, Fire Crystal was a bit too light. But Lightning Dust was perfect, which is shocking, because I thought it was going to be the other way around. I’d wear Fire Crystal when I go out, because it’d be darker and I’d want that pop of color to stand out. But Lightning Dust would definitely be an everyday kind of thing. The brush is really cute, and it was honestly very accurate. Everyone always says a fan brush is best for highlighter, but the Fenty one seems better, and it picks up a lot of product.”
Jessica Militare, assistant editor
Skin tone: “Light olive.”
What she thought: “I really liked the consistency of the Fire Crystal powder. There was an instant shine that was really pretty. You have to be daring enough to want to wear it to the office, but I think you could totally get away with it, especially saying it’s Fenty Beauty. Like, this is Fenty—leave me alone. Lightning Dust is lighter, but it’s that pale, brightening feel, so it still gets the job done. For me, I prefer Fire Crystal because I want my highlighter to really show. That’s the problem that I find with highlighters—I have to coat it, I really want to see what this is doing. And sometimes with certain highlighters it takes longer, but this is an immediate effect.”
Rachel Nussbaum, beauty writer
Skin tone: “Very pale, with neutral undertones”
What she thought: “When I first brushed Fire Crystal on, I was a little wary—it’s a lot of glitter, and I’m not here for a My Little Pony sitch. The champagne color is maybe just a touch too dark for my skin, but after a minute I loved it. The powder has such a creamy consistency that once you give it a second to settle, it melts right into your skin. Lightning Dust is way more subtle, which isn’t what I typically look for in highlighter. But I’m super into it! A light, slightly matte powder feels really modern, and it’s great for places you want to highlight while being under the radar about it. Like definitely, Rihanna, help me weave that illusion.”
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal, $34, sephora.com
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