Exclusive to Harvey Nichols, I must admit I was filled with dread with having to trek to the store since I hardly venture to Knightsbridge but one day when I was off from work on annual leave, I found myself in the west end and 10 minutes Harvey Nicks so I decided to take the chance and venture to the store. I slipped in from the side entrance and came across the Fenty Beauty counter but my glee turned to horror when I was told to join the queue outside the main entrance. What?? A shrewd marketing move to have the velvet rope on the main road, which is simply called Knightsbridge where every passer-by will see unlike the quieter Sloane Street side entrance.
With no choice I joined the back of the queue with about 10 people ahead of me, which by Harvey Nichols’ opinion was deemed a quiet day. Half way through the wait a friendly staff member popped out to inform certain shades of the Pro Filt’r foundation were out of stock. I waited for 20 minutes before I reached the front of the line and there was no chance of queue-jumping with the burly, suited and booted security. I was met and escorted by a Fenty Beauty make-up artist who took me to another Fenty Beauty counter (much larger than the one close to the Sloane Street entrance and brightly lit). I wanted to try the foundation which has had rave reviews so I was colour-matched with three different shades before settling on 250. The artist encouraged me to go outside and check how the foundation looked in natural light, which sets quickly with no oxidising. I left almost £100 lighter (eep!) with a foundation, lip gloss, highlighter and highlighter duo. I think high praise is due to Harvey Nichols for the way they have dealt with this huge launch – highly organised, polite, helpful and friendly.
It has to be said the price point of Fenty Beauty surprised me – I expected it to cost more because of Rhianna’s name but it’s been reasonably priced. I mean, £26 for a foundation is decent. Estee Lauder’s Double Wear costs £32.50, Too Faced’s Born This Way is £29, Make Up For Ever Ultra UD foundation is £30 and Urban Decay All Nighter foundation is £29. These are my favourite bases and Fenty Beauty trumps them all at being the most affordable amongst them. Can I just add it also comes in a tall glass bottle with a pump? Let’s hope it stays at £26 for the foreseeable future.
So let’s talk about the foundation. Heralded for having a whopping 40 shades, I am fortunate I got a spot-on match with 250 and I strongly advise getting colour matched at Harvey Nichols because the shade I thought I would be was nowhere near 250 (I thought I would be 330).
The foundation blends and sets quickly, leaving a soft matte finish. It is of a liquid consistency and gives a medium to full coverage. This foundation has fought off the mugginess of the London underground, the warm weather we’ve been having, me power walking from the station to work and 12 hours after just one application, still looks flawless with no need for touch-ups. I was dubious at first but seeing how it performed after being on my face for most of the day, my opinion changed. It also feels wonderfully light on the skin – I’d say I didn’t need more than two pumps to cover my face.
I also bought a lip gloss – Gloss Bomb in Fenty Glow – a sparkly nude flattering for all skin tones which can be layered on top of a lip colour or worn on its own, THAT gold Trophy Wife highlighter and a Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Duo in Ginger Binge/Moscow Mule. I think these were sensible choices and products I can wear on a daily basis, even Trophy Wife which I prefer on the eyes. The packaging is worth a mention too – beautiful, classy and sleek. I do love the slim glass foundation bottle. It may not be travel friendly but it is beautifully designed.
The overall verdict is I am pleasantly surprised with Fenty Beauty. Unlike other celebrities who just endorse products, Rihanna has been creatively involved and responsible for designing this range. I had sworn to myself I wouldn’t get sucked in by the hype but there is truth in the hype…certainly with the products I’ve sampled so far.
Fenty Beauty is available in the UK in store at Harvey Nichols or on their website.