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Shattering the Pan: How Fenty Beauty Set the New Standard

The Serial Shopper is Salute Magazine’s weekly column authored by Fashion Editor Money Jensen. The Serial Shopper is a weekly look into the mind of our quirky and eclectic Fashion Editor and her thoughts on the state of the fashion industry, fashion influencers, and controversial topics within.

Make-up becomes a part of our lives during puberty and stays with many of us throughout our adult years. We always remember the first color lipstick we fell in love with, the brand we started using when we tip-toed into the waters of creating a full face (mine was Covergirl), and we remember and sometimes re-live, the unyielding frustration of not being able to find a foundation shade or powder that matches our skin.  Many of us, far too many of us, have spent many occasions mixing colors through trial and error to find our exact match.

Sadly, far too many of us have pictures stored away of events, nights out, and family functions where we look back and wonder “Who told me that foundation color was okay?” or “OMG, I look like an orange crayon?!” and my personal favorite “Why do I look SO ashy?”

For years, the beauty industry has stayed silent and stagnant, never wanting to change the shade ranges that were offered because the consensus within the beauty industry was that to create more shade ranges would be too futile and costly for the “small” amount of women who didn’t find their colors in the already offered range.

Well, this month Rihanna not only proved that thought wrong, but she also shook up an entire industry with her first collection out of the gate. While many of the drugstore and high-end ranges only offer 12, 15, and sometimes 20 foundation colors, Rihanna offers 40 different shades. 40 shades with different undertones that beauty influencers like Desi PerkinsJackie Aina, Patricia Bright, Thomas Halbert, Jaime Genevive and fans alike have been raving over.

The false notion that WOC, or women, in general, all fit into a minute and basic range of colors reminds me of the bias within the fashion industry that has slowly been peeled back over the last several years. When designers like Christian Siriano stood up and decided that he wasn’t just going to design for waif-thin models but a myriad of shapes and sizes, he recognized the lack of diversity within the industry and filled the gap. A few seasons later, and many brands, after seeing the large demographic they were missing out on cashing in on, have plus models like Ashley Graham walking their runways.

Although there have been other celebrity makeup collaborations and brands launched, like Kim Kardashian’s KKW Beauty, Rihanna’s has set the bar for what is to come. The thought and preparation, over two years of planning, more than paid off, not only for the singer but also the millions of women who now have their perfect match.

Although this is not just a win for women of color but all women, it took a woman of color, who understands the struggle of not being able to find simple products to create something truly inclusive. Even the advertising for the brand (below), showed a broad range of models of different ethnicities.

The most beautiful thing that I have seen about this brand was featured in Allure magazine. A young Albino woman, Krystal Robertson (below), raved on her Instagram feed about how she finally found a true match for her skin tone with Fenty Beauty.

Makeup, as well as fashion, is supposed to help enhance us and help us to feel like our best, and most flawless selves. The confidence the right makeup or clothing can give a woman, or a man is something magical. I sincerely hope that all brands going forward realize they need to include everyone because all shapes, sizes, and colors are beautiful.

To those who continue to sleep on the “non-basic” kings and queens living their best lives wearing Fenty Beauty; Don’t get left during the “glow up.”

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