By Ryan Velez
Last fall, we reported on Rihanna’s plan to enter the beauty market with Fenty Beauty. Some were excited, some wondered why the successful singer would feel the need to bother, already doing well in both the beauty and music worlds. After launching during last September’s Fashion Week, Black Enterprise has revisited Fenty Beauty, and by all accounts, things are going great.
The major headlines that came with Fenty Beauty revolved around its inclusivity, with 40 different shades that cater to women of color. Its dedication to diversity also extended to its advertising. The effects of this approach are summed up when model Slick Woods thanked Rihanna on Instagram for “changing the game” and “reminding every little black girl she is and came from royalty and that all women are beautiful in their own damn way.”
Even mainstream media is taking notice. Fenty Beauty was named one of the best inventions of 2017 by Time. The magazine noted that “makeup companies often cater to women with light to medium skin tones, both in products and advertising, and sideline women of color” but with Fenty Beauty, “almost immediately, the deeper tones started selling out at Sephora; shortly thereafter, brands such as Make Up For Ever and L’Oréal launched campaigns targeting women of color.”
Perhaps the most ringing endorsement of all comes to the bottom line. Fenty Beauty generated $72 million in earned media value in its first month in business. That measure of publicity outside of paid advertising, usually consisting of social media and other digital engagement, is not surprising given that it was one of the most Googled beauty brands of 2017. New insight from online research firm Slice Intelligence reported by WWD shows that it’s currently on pace to beat out similar offering from Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian. In its first month, Fenty Beauty did five times as much in sales as Kylie Cosmetics, a brand which has sold $420 million worth of product in its almost two-year existence.
Notably, the Fenty Beauty audience puts their money where their mouths are, following up their positive, viral reviews with spending an average of $471 yearly on makeup. This goes above shoppers of the Kat Von D makeup line, KKW, and Kylie Cosmetics.