What can I say? Rihanna has set the beauty world alight with her range of foundations in 40 shades, and her killer glow highlighters. The rest of the range consists of a primer, a lip gloss, concealers, blotting paper/ powder, and brushes… but the foundations are the real stand-out items. After all the hype and glowing reviews, I had to try it for myself…


The Fenty range is exclusive to Harvey Nichols and so I popped in to my local store in between appointments a few days after the launch.


Pro Filtr (£26 | 32ml)

My shade in the Pro Filtr Foundation is 280, and I had this applied to half my face. The other half I wanted a light touch with concealer where I needed it, and blended out. The woman at the counter struggled with light application and it was much heavier than it needed to be. I’m not sure if it was just her application or the concealer itself being heavier texture. I’d like to go back and try it out myself.


The foundation itself is great coverage, albeit a little heavy for me. I’ve got pretty clear skin these days so only need a light layer of foundation, well blended. I also like more of a dewy finish. I don’t mind the texture, as I wanted to get the right shade and right undertones for my skin. I can adjust the finish using facial oils mixed in with the foundation as I apply, or by mixing with a moisturiser to make a BB cream.


The oxidation is a major issue for me. The sales assistant said that it would oxidise and after 10 minutes it would settle to the shade it will stay for the day. She applied the primer all over my face and then selected a few foundation shades and concealer shades. She tried a few shades of Pro Filtr on my cheek and waited a few minutes for it to set, and oxidise. We picked a shade that matched after 10 minutes and then she applied that to the left side of my face.

It looked and felt great when I left the store. I had a bit of time on my hands before an appointment in town, and so did a little more shopping. By the time I’d had lunch and headed to my appointment, the left side of my face was much darker than the right, despite having left the store with them looking the same shade. Out came my makeup wipes and off it all came.

A few days later,  I tried the foundation again, for a day at the makeup studio. I used the Hourglass Mineral Veil primer, and then the Pro Filtr foundation over it. It oxidised as expected within a few minutes, however it didn’t settle down at the same shade as in store. It went orangey after about 15 minutes. I had to wash it all off and go with my regular foundation instead. There was no way I was walking out like an Oompa Loompa.

This was a huge disappointment. I finally find a great shade, but it won’t stay that way on my skin. That’s a design flaw and really should have been picked up in product testing. The oxidation is not a localised issue with just a few people or a few shades, it’s pretty universal. The fact that the brand did not address the issue before launch shows poor judgement. I wanted to return it but held back because I am determined to crack the oxidation issue… watch this space for an update and a post on oxidation causes and how to minimise it.

Match Stix Matte Skinstick (£21 | 7g)

The Match Stix are designed as concealer, corrector, touch-up kit . I wanted to try out both the Pro Filtr and the Match Stix, so the right side of my face was the Match Stix side. The sales assistant didn’t really understand the type of coverage that I wanted, when I said light touch of concealer just were needed… instead of lightly applying in centre of face and on a few red patches, she applied all over… that is way too much for such a pigmented concealer. I then gave in and told her I’m a makeup artist, she gave me the brush and I blended it out myself with a spritz of rosewater (I always keep it in my handbag for a quick skin refresh during the day). The resting finish of the concealer side was then a much lighter, dewy finish. I really liked that.


The best of the rest

I bought a couple of powder highlighters as well (RRP £26), of course Trophy Wife, but also the rose gold shades Ginger Binge/ Moscow Mule. I like a nice gold highlight on deeper skintones but haven’t ever used a rose gold one. I can see the rose gold looking amazing on blue-toned ebony skintones.

Here are the shades swatched on my hand with a brush. A finger swatch just isn’t a true reflection of the pigment. The highlight seems a little eye-shadow-y in texture. It does translate much better on the cheekbones than on the back of the hand though. I’m really happy with the highlighters and these are going straight in my kit.


The verdict

Pro Filtr Foundation: Definitely try a sample. Take the sample home and try it again yourself. If it still works fine with your skin, then great.

Otherwise, hold off until advice from teh brand about minimising oxidation. It is near impossible to get a match that settles to the same shade every time. It just isn’t good enough for me. 40 shades are of limited benefit if what you see isn’t what you’re going to get after a few hours.

Match Stix Matte Skinsticks: These give better coverage than others on the market like Bobbi Brown or Mac. I definitely think these are worth the price point but you need to buff them in very well for a natural finish or blend with a touch of facial oil. I wish I’d bought this rather than the Pro Filtr foundation to be honest, and I am going back to match myself and pick one up.

Match Stix Shimmer Skinsticks: These are stick highlighters with a difference. You don’t just get the pearl and bronze shimmer shades, they also have a rose gold, lilac, and a gold stick highlighter. I am more of a stick highlighter fan for myself as I prefer a dewy finish to my skin. For my kit I prefer powder highlighters (for sanitation reasons), and Fenty delivers on quality with powder highlighters too.

Killawatt highlighters: These powder highlighters are expensive for consumer use but well worth it for your pro kit if you have a lot of deeper toned women of colour. Only use a little bit for a warm glow atop the cheeks. The pigment is really good and the powder is  finely milled.

If you want quality and value, coupled with ease of use, I’d choose the Match Stix Trio set (concealer, contour, highlighter). As far as I can tell, the Contour Stix are only available in the trio sets, along with a concealer and highlighter. If you’re into a full contour/ highlight routine, then this is definitely worth getting. The contour shades are cool toned (as they should be) and blend beautifully so that all you see is a chiseled bone structure. How contour should be!

Have you tried anything from the Fenty range? What did you think? Hit me up on the socials.


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