I know that there are 50-11 reviews of Fenty on YouTube, but I would be totally remiss if I didn’t write something about the brand. As someone who loves sparkle (seriously, bathe me in it), this line holds a special place in my heart. While I was initially a tad disappointed that it is not a black-owned brand (just stating facts, no shade), I love Rihanna and appreciate that they truly created a brand that has the intention to catering to everyone and making all women feel beautiful. You don’t see that often in the beauty industry (looking at you, L’Oreal), so I can give props to that. As an example, while 40 shades of foundation isn’t exactly brand new, I had never seen such diversity in the shade selector models used. I’ve never been able to match myself with a black woman (it’s usually an asian woman), and the one that seemed to match me even had freckles like me! I teared up a little. I can’t even wear the foundation (ingredients, which is a different story about the cosmetics industry and what they have us putting on their skin but anywho) and I was impressed. And so, I woke up early and headed to my Sephora at 7:45am to wait for the store to open, and I’ve been back two more times. Don’t judge me.
This is what I initially bought.
My swatches of the highlighters:
Killawatt Freestyle Highlight, Trophy Wife
WARNING: If you do not like mega glow, glitter, or sparkle, do not get this highlighter. Luckily, I do. A LOT. You can see from the compact that it’s glittering and shining all over the place. Definitely not for a subtle sheen at work. And it’s a bold yellow gold. When I put it on, I thought I looked like an Oscar or the Golden Ticket from Willy Wonka. Yes please! All of the Killawatts I have are buttery and pigmented, and this one is no different. Also, if you don’t want it AS blingy, you can blend it in more and tone it down a bit. But um, why would you want to?
Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter, Mean Money/Hu$tla Baby
These duo Fenty highlighters pleasantly surprised me. When I saw they were marketed as one side being subtle and the other “supercharged,” I was like…well, I’ll probably never use the subtle side because that’s how I roll. Wrong! While the supercharged side clearly contains more sparkle, the subtle side is still glowy with a beautiful sheen. I have no issue wearing it during the day or going out at night, depending on how I feel at the moment. I really love highlighter (duh), so I’m very happy with these. Mean Money/Hu$tla Baby is a lighter champagne peach-gold that will work on a variety of skin tones. It’s nice and warm and matches other makeup well.
Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter, Girl Next Door/Chic Phreak
I think out of all the highlighters, this one has to be my favorite for a versatile go-to. I love love love peachy pink highlighter shades, and this one isn’t too cool for my skin tone and adds a beautiful glow. I’ve even layered the sides for some extra ka-pow, and it definitely delivered. I think one of the best things about these highlighters is that they don’t sit on top of your skin in a way that looks like you have a random streak on your face. You can go look in the mirror, moving from side to side, and see your face GLOW. Exhibit A:
Literally me wearing these highlighters.
Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter, Ginger Binge/Moscow Mule (I ended up buying this one later)
If you aren’t giving me a side eye right now, you should be. Like, this is not my highlighter shade at ALL. It’s way too dark and ruddy for my skin tone, and on my cheekbone it looks like someone snapped me with a belt. I KNOW THIS. I bought it anyway because it is GAWJUS. I went to Sephora several times and kept swatching it, audibly sighing in the store looking like a thirsty woman. I had a dream about this highlighter. And so, I thought that it would be a great eyeshadow on super-charged side and a blush on the subtle side. As eyeshadow, it’s truly beautiful – my mom hates reddish/pink eyeshadows on people (hey ma!), but I think they make a dope monochromatic look. It reminded me of Kat Von D’s Lolita blush, but more sparkly and buttery (I don’t like the formula of that blush). I still think it may be too red for me as blush, but I need to try it with some other eye colors so I’m not adding too much red to my face. Either way, I don’t have any eyeshadows like this (I don’t think, I’ll check my palettes) so I’m happy I bought it.
I’m keeping it real – I returned the gloss and exchanged it for the Shimmer Match Stix in Confetti (more on that later). It’s very pretty, but it’s basically the same as a Buxom gloss I have as a nude pink slightly shimmery, sheer gloss. From far away, it just looks like clear gloss to me, even layered over lipstick. The formula is nice and isn’t tacky at all (I don’t really mind tacky gloss but I know some people do), and I think the packaging is cute. I’ll probably get it again down the line when I use up some other stuff, but right now I couldn’t justify it.
Match Stix Swatches:
Match Stix Trio in Medium
This initially wasn’t on my list but I’m so glad I got it! It’s a really good price for three of the sticks and the shades work really well on me. Trippin’, the Shimmer Stix, is a great blush on me – note, the shimmers do not glow as much as the highlighters, they’re more matte so it’s not like shine all over your face. Another thing to note is that I didn’t like sliding it across my face over my makeup as it kind of just moves your base around and I couldn’t get a good pigment. I preferred dotting it on my cheek and blending it in. Bamboo, the matte concealer shade, is a near perfect match for my skin tone so in addition to using it as concealer, I can mix it with foundation to blend better. It covers pores nicely and isn’t too drying, although definitely moisturize beforehand. It also isn’t too greasy. This stick really stood out for me and I will definitely rebuy it. Mocha, the contour shade, is just as great. They are so pigmented that you only need a light touch to apply and they blend really well without feeling like you need to beat up your face. This trio and I go together.
Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Confetti
Stop reading this post right now and run to your nearest Sephora if you love glitter and buy this stick. Buy it now! It’s described as an iridescent opal, and honestly that doesn’t even do it justice. When you first swatch it, it reminds me of Milk’s Holographic Stick (which I also have). BUT when you start blending it in, it’s like oh snap, microglitter! And it’s the tiniest microglitter so it isn’t gritty at all. It’s like Milk’s Holographic Stick and Glitter Stick had a baby together, and I’m all the way here for it. And you can put it anywhere – cheeks, lips, eyes, arms, chest – anywhere you want some sparkle. I put it on my lips and topped with my Anastasia Cool Brown lipstick, and it gave the purdiest hint of sparkle without being too overwhelming. I want it in my life forever.
Okay! So that’s my review of all things Elle and Fenty. What did you pick up from the collection? Word on the street is that more lipsticks or glosses will be released soon – I can’t wait! xoxo
You can always check out my features, reviews, and comparisons with black-owned brands at @dupeBLACK on Instagram.