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First, some good news. Rihanna’s beauty collection, which was confirmed last spring, is now entering its six months of social media teasing phase, meaning that it is almost certainly coming to fruition.
Glamour reported over the weekend that Fenty Beauty, which is due to launch next fall, now has an Instagram page. And, as has become the norm for any much-anticipated launch, it’s started showing sneak peeks of products.
Rihanna debuted the first, a pink iridescent lip product, on a model on her spring 2017 runway. According to Fenty’s Instagram page, “this holographic lip color is set to be the first product released under the long-awaited makeup label Fenty Beauty by Rihanna.” The brand posted a close-up yesterday. UPDATE: This account was a fan account and has since been deleted. See details below my rant about holographic makeup.
I am pretty excited for Rihanna’s line because 1) she can wear the shit out of any lip color, so I have pretty high expectations for the offerings, and 2) her line is being produced by Kendo, a beauty incubator that also produces Kat Von D, Marc Jacobs Beauty, and Bite Beauty. The products and innovation are all pretty top-notch. But I’m disappointed that a holographic product will be first, because I’m afraid it’s going to be a letdown.
Holographic products are all the rage in beauty right now. Fenty’s sister brand at Kendo, Kat Von D, just released the Alchemist Holographic Palette, which she reportedly worked on for seven years. Buzzy new brand Milk Makeup has its Holographic Stick. (Glossier’s version, the Haloscope highlighter, flirts with holography.) Indie brand Sigma sold out of its holographic Lip Switch lip glosses when they first launched a few months ago, and they still have a wait list. I’ve tried them, and the color looks much cooler in the tube than it does on your lips, where it reads as muted sparkle.
My complaints about this category are twofold. First, what the heck does “holographic” even mean? And second, they’re all gorgeous in the pan (and also in the inevitable Instagram picture), but they are a bit disappointing on.
According to Merriam-Webster, a hologram is a 3D image. This makeup, however, would be better described as “iridescent” or “opalescent.” In the ‘60s through the ‘80s, this was called “pearlescent” or, simply, “frosted.” It has a rainbow, sparkly sheen to it that changes in the light a bit. But the beauty industry cannot resist the opportunity to call something by a new, high-tech name (see: strobing). I prefer the honesty of Bite Beauty’s Opal Lip Gloss (which totally could have squeezed into this holographic trend).
As far as payoff, holographic powders look more like chalky pastels when used alone. If you layer them, you’ll get a shimmery effect, but again, if you’re trying to look like a sexy 3D glowing android from the future, it won’t help. Cream highlighters, like the super inexpensive ($15) Ultra Strobe Balm Palette by Makeup Revolution, a UK brand, give you a nice blue- or purple-toned shimmer if you’re into that, but I expect something more dramatic when I see the word “holographic.” Magic! Unicorn dust!
Beauty is all about fantasy, but calling something holographic might be a little too fantastical.
Update Monday February 20, 3:30 pm:
So apparently that Fenty Beauty Instagram account is just a fan page. Its owners posted a clarification post this afternoon. I’ve reached out to Kendo for clarification and will update when I hear back.
Update 4:25 pm:
Now the Fenty Beauty Instagram page has been totally removed. Well, maybe this means that Rihanna is (thankfully) not launching a holographic thing after all. One thing that is certain, however, is that Fenty Beauty is doing a search for a global makeup artist to represent the line, as well as an international team. Per makeup artist James Vincent’s Instagram, the brand will be holding interviews in New York, LA, and Dallas to search for a “diverse team of beauty experts.”