We Tried Fenty Beauty’s Universal Red Lipstick on 7 Different Women
If there’s one thing Rihanna’s made damn well clear about Fenty Beauty, it’s that her makeup brand is for everyone. Since Fenty’s launch three months ago, it’s set the bar for what an inclusive line really looks like—and it has the numbers to prove it. (Those figures, by the way? They go to the tune of $72 million in earned media value in a single month. Those are the kinds of sales the major beauty companies of the world dream of.) So it should be surprise to absolutely no one that when Rihanna announced she had a “universally flattering” red lipstick on the way, she wasn’t kidding around. From the teasers we’ve seen on models like Duckie Thot (shown in the clip below) and Slick Woods, Rihanna’s Stunna Lip Paint holds up to its lofty claims.
Still, it’s one thing to watch Rihanna deliver the coolest lipstick tutorial the Internet’s ever seen. It’s another to put it on yourself. So ahead of the lipstick’s launch at Sephora on Thursday (November 23), we got our hands on a tube, braved passing it around during flu season (it’s what you do when you have access to Fenty), and complimented each other to the point it was almost ridiculous.
Watch in the video below, and read on for what our staffers thought.
“I’m a little self-conscious about my lips (people mention their size all the time), so I normally shy away from bright, punchy colors, but this one is fantastic. It went on so easy and has so much pigment that you don’t have to do a ton of layers. It feels good on your lips, not drying, and it’s so light I kind of forget that it’s on.” —Khaliha Hawkins, digital administrative assistant
“I’m honestly not bad at putting on lipstick. I can swipe even the trickiest formulas on in the back of a cab without a problem. But putting this on while standing still in front of a mirror proved unusually difficult. I had to go back over spots with concealer to sharpen up the line. It was time well spent, though. I mean, look at the finish! The other downside is that it came off on literally everything my lips touched, and yet, somehow, you couldn’t actually tell the difference on my face. The formula isn’t quite the gamechanger that was hyped—the color, however, is. For $24, I’d throw down for it.” —Lindsay Schallon, senior digital beauty editor
“It’s so different from what I was expecting. Since it’s matte, I thought it would have that chalky feel right away, but it went on so smoothly. Once it’s on, it feels creamy and light, again, very much unlike a matte lipstick. You know that feeling at the end of the day when you take off matte lipstick and your lips feel awful? Not the case here. And the best part is that even without a liner, it doesn’t look like I just threw red lipstick on my mouth. It stays crisp and sharp.” —Blake Newby, beauty assistant
“The color is so pretty on everyone—it’s this really flattering blue, almost neutral red. A lot of bluish reds veer very pink on me, but I didn’t get that problem at all. It reminds me a lot of a more forgiving MAC in Ruby Woo. The dry down is matte, but not that super-drying finish we all know and love (or hate). I don’t know why it looks so vinyl-y in the bottle, because it really quickly becomes this soft, flat color on your lips. The flipside of that is you do have to work with it to get the shape that you want, but it’s worth it. Just have Q-tips ready.” —Rachel Nussbaum, beauty writer
“I have never said this before, but I need Rihanna to step it up. Only because this lipstick is fantastic, and I want it in every color. The applicator is almost a deer hoof, but a little flatter on the end and delivers a really crisp edge. The color is magnificent, and the finish is visually a true, true matte—totally flat and smooth—but it feels like a satin-finish lipstick or even a tinted balm. Also, it makes my teeth look like I’m paid to promote tooth-whitening products, so yeah, I’m in love.” —Amber Rambharose, beauty editor
“Because I’m so pale, a lot of times I’ll think I like a red, but when I put it on it’s too dark. I love this color, though! It was a little more liquid-y that I’m used to, but the applicator was great—it’s a really unique and interesting shape—and made the application process easier.” —Emily Geraghty, senior producer
“I want to preface this with saying that I am not a lip expert. I usually don’t wear anything on my lips, so I’m coming at it from a very beginner level. The shape of the applicator was cool, but the lipstick itself was really runny so I had to do a lot of touching up, and ended up staining the skin around my mouth a bit. That said, the formula feels really good on, and I loved the color.” —Nina Bahadur, Women of the Year lead
Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint in Uncensored, $24, goes on sale in stores and online at sephora.com and fentybeauty.com on November 23.
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