Rihanna did not only host a private Fenty Beauty launch party in New York on Thursday (Sep 7th), but also stole the keys to the Sephora store at Times Square to celebrate her products officially hitting the shelves at midnight.
Just as she did with the launch of the pop-up shop for her Fenty x Puma collection before, the pop star jumped behind the cash register to start ringing up her fans, yelling to the cheering crowd, “This is my very first Fenty Beauty customer, this is the very first purchase of life,” before turning to the Sephora employees and the customer and thanking each of them, adding, “I will never forget this.”
Inside the store, Sephora staffers wearing branded “Perfect” shirts were buzzing about, yaaaaas-ing when “This Is What You Came For” blared over the speakers and Instagramming their best booty pops and shoulder shimmies set to “Wild Thoughts.” There was electricity in the air on both sides — fans outside straining for a peek of the pop star inside the building, and store employees looking out at the impending wave of hysteria about to descend on the floor.
What happens when Rihanna throws beauty’s biggest party?
A secret venue in Brooklyn, New York, set the scene for the launch of Fenty Beauty by Rihanna, a make-up range about to be released simultaneously in 17 countries around the world with the star herself kicking off the party on the night.
When the one and only Rihanna hosts a party, you know it’s going to be off-the-hook huge.
Little wonder then, that the launch extravaganza for the iconic singer’s new make-up line, Fenty Beauty, proved to be just that. Held in New York on Thursday night at Duggal Greenhouse – an appropriately cool industrial-vibe venue on the waterfront in Brooklyn – guests joined in the countdown to Fenty’s official global launch.
Amid tight security and secrecy (the location was only released to attendees at the last minute) and the inevitable media hoopla, 400 party-goers gathered in the sprawling space in an atmosphere of escalating excitement.
At 7.30 the music cut and the crowd surged towards the front of the room with phones aloft, before a huge cheer greeted the star of the night.
Rihanna took to the stage with a huge smile and glowing visage wearing a dazzling golden yellow top and billowing skirt. She welcomed everyone along, explained her desire to create a make-up brand that would suit women of every colour, and urged all on the night to play with the products.
The surrounding screens then erupted into Fenty Beauty’s campaign video clips before being pulled back to reveal a host of rooms dedicated to make-up artists set up to showcase the entire range.
DJs kicked the party off again, bar staff kept the cocktails coming (each named after shades of Fenty Beauty products) and waiters delivered platters of mini-sized bites including burgers, fries and arancini balls.
“I wanted a color that looked good on all skin tones … it’s really important for me in every product,” the singer told reporters at the event. “There are so many different shades and undertones. You just never know so you want people to appreciate the product and not feel like ‘It only looks cute on her.’ ”
Rihanna spent an hour circulating the room, posing happily for photographs, relaxed and happy – despite being mobbed!
While befittingly the stand-out of the night in her extravagant ensemble, it was the artist’s free and adventurous spirit that dominated the dress code for everyone else: meaning there was dress code! The result was a dazzling array of styles from street to glam and everything in between.
Models from the campaign, diverse in ethnicity and captivatingly beautiful, posed for photos too, while New Yorkers mingled with guests who’d flown in from all corners of the globe.
Everyone took their turn in the make-up stations to be colour-matched by the experts and the night ended on a high just as it had began, with every guest gifted with a personalised Fenty Beauty selection.
The Fenty Beauty launch was live streamed on the new brand’s Facebook, watch the full stream below!
Let’s just call Rihanna what she is: the coolest woman on the planet—with beauty, talent, attitude, and personal style to spare. Here, the global megastar answers questions from a cross-section of her famous fans.
Somewhere between releasing her debut single “Pon de Replay” (to blitzkrieg effect) in 2005 and sitting down to discuss international education with Emmanuel Macron in 2017, Rihanna has become much more than a pop star. The music is still absolutely vital, yes—her eighth album, Anti, which has been kicking up dust on the dance charts since it dropped last year, was deemed by Forbes to be one of the most successful recordings of all time—but as an icon, she represents something far greater: what a woman can achieve when she tackles her career, and her life, on her own terms. Rihanna is always fearlessly, unapologetically herself, whether she’s making maverick fashion choices on the red carpet, calling out body shamers, or adding yet another unmistakably RiRi-stamped endeavor to her string of (singer-actress-designer-entrepreneur-philanthropist-etcetera-etcetera) hyphenates. We can now add beauty mogul to that list.
The singer has poured her uncompromising attitude into a much-awaited makeup line, Fenty Beauty by Rihanna, poised to launch with a big bang of 91 products on September 8 at Sephora (expect lines) and on the brand’s website (Internet = broken). Its focus, perhaps surprisingly from a practiced maquillage peacock who has been known to rock vivid blue and ink-black lipstick with defiant flair, is gleaming, satiny, flawless skin, built around an assortment of user-friendly highlighting and contouring sticks, and a whopping 40 shades of foundation.
“The biggest void I’ve found in the industry is the lack of variety in foundation shades,” Rihanna tells us. “That’s one of the things that was most important to me—to make sure everyone was included.”
It’s a nod, too, to the complexion-perfecting gateway drug that ushered the Barbados native into beauty in the first place: “Foundation was the first product I ever owned,” she says. “It was like magic, and I’ve been in love with makeup ever since.”
Avidly hands-on throughout the collection’s development, Rihanna helmed everything from the playful name selection (there’s a gold powder highlighter, for instance, dubbed Trophy Wife) to the packaging, which, like its creator, is multifaceted, with tough, graffiti-inspired outer boxes opening onto sleek, streamlined, sweetly pretty individual products.
“There are plenty of options out there when it comes to makeup,” Rihanna says. “My approach with Fenty Beauty was just to do things my way.”
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