You can count me in for literally anything Rihanna graces with her golden touch, from music to fashion to makeup. So when I heard that she was launching a new skin-care line called Fenty Skin, I was—like half of the globe—hyped up to try it. Officially launched to the public on July 31, Fenty Skin is a complement to Fenty Beauty, one of the first truly inclusive shade ranges across the beauty industry, which helped move the needle on greater inclusivity within the industry as a result. With that track record, I had a feeling that Fenty Skin would be another area where Rihanna wouldn't miss.
I learned more about the line during a group interview with editors that Rihanna recently conducted, where she discussed her motivations for launching a skin-care line. “Anything I do, whether it’s clothing, lingerie, or skin care, my goal is always to include all women,” she tells us over Zoom. Fenty Skin was partly borne out of necessity, she says, since she’d been overwhelmed by the number of skin-care options to help her deal with specific skin concerns over the years, like acne, hyperpigmentation, and dry and oily patches. A big catalyst for creating her own line was her own skepticism around products (“how they perform, if they’re too harsh”) due to her sensitive skin. “It’s a challenge,” Rihanna says. “I wanted [Fenty Skin to be] simple and nourishing, so that’s the perspective I took when making this line.”
I identified with Rihanna when I listened to her explain the trial and error she’s gone through over the years in search of a solid skin-care routine that actually works. “Whether it’s starting with acne when I was a teenager, or the acne treatment that followed—which led me to really blotchy skin, and stripped it of all the good stuff it already had—it was a tough journey to get it back here,” she tells the group. Acne has also been a pain point for me since I was a teenager (can’t help but notice that we’re practically twins at this point), and I still get random breakouts from time to time as an adult, which usually leave behind dreaded dark spots—things I’ve written about many times here at SELF. One drop of the wrong product on my skin can undo a long streak of a happy, zit-free complexion since my skin is so finicky.
Like Rihanna, these less than delightful skin-care experiences have made me extremely skeptical about testing new products, even though it’s part of my job as a market editor. Let’s face it: No one had to twist my arm to try out Fenty Skin, but I still had a few butterflies in my stomach about the line that had nothing to do with my excitementabout receiving it. Regardless of the brand, my first thought when sizing up a new skin-care product is usually: Will this break me out? For the love of Rihanna, I was willing to see for myself. Here are my thoughts after testing the three new Fenty Skin products for two weeks.First impressions
If you know me, you know I love a stylish product aesthetic and a good two-for-one product, and Fenty Skin absolutely delivers on both. The entire line features understated packaging in a purplish-gray hue: Each tube fits comfortably in the palm of my hand, designed with either a twist or pump top (which means I never have to worry about losing a cap). Plus, each of the brand’s skin-care essentials are created with dual purposes in mind, and while minimal, still stand out from the rest of the beauty products in my collection—in a good way.Total Cleans’r Remove It All CleanserTiffany Dodson
The Total Cleans’r Remove It All Cleanser is a two-in-one wash that breaks down and removes makeup, along with dirt and oil. Its mess-free twist top disperses an even squeeze of product that prevents me from using too much when I wash my face. I only need to combine about a pea-size amount with water to quickly work up a lather that coats my entire face. I tested the product with and without makeup, and my skin felt exactly the way you hope to feel after a good cleanse—squeaky clean and happy. The Total Cleans’r Remove It All Cleanser hasn’t left me with a zit yet and doesn’t make my skin feel stripped or tight once it’s rinsed off, which are two of the most important aspects of a cleanser for me and my combination skin. It also smells so good, thanks to the inclusion of Barbados cherry, a fruit from the star’s native country.