The brand that shook up the beauty world! Fenty Beauty By Rihanna. I have been in the beauty game for a long time. I have been obsessed with beauty products for an even longer time. There were times that I spent all day online refreshing the comments on my favourite makeup forums waiting for the latest leaked news on upcoming collections. I don’t think I remember this much hype and this much excitement and this much anticipation for the release of a new beauty line or product. But Rihanna’s new entry into the beauty game garnered just that. Particularly amongst women of colour. Once the promo images started coming in and word came out that the initial launch will include 40 shades of Fenty Beauty foundation, myself and pretty much every medium to dark skin women of colour started saving our pennies. People with noticeable amounts of melanin still continue to struggle to find a sufficient variety of options when it comes to foundations. And I have heard all the excuses, none of them acceptable.
This a long post, and I have a lot to say. If you want to skip to different sections, use the links below:
Background information on Fenty Beauty, click here
Tips on buying the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation, click here
Fenty Beauty launched on September 9th in the US and 17 other countries. It is available online and in some stores. There was a massive launch party at the Sephora Times Square in New York at midnight and the Bajan Princess was there! Based on the Instagram live feeds, it was pure bacchanal and chaos! I went to the Sephora a little later in the morning (about 8 am) after the initial crowds died down. Anyone that was in the store was at the Fenty Beauty display. The entire collection is gorgeous and well done. I’m just going to let you know right now that this hype is real. This is a legitimately good quality line. I was so excited and I was excited looking at other dark skin women being excited about makeup.
This is a permanent, complexion collection with the focus being on the skin and enhancing the colour and the glow. It was more recently announced that there will be a limited edition colour release for the holidays – eye shadow palette, lip glosses etc. But the core collection is going to be around.
Top: 490, Middle: 480, Bottom: 470
I picked up two samples of the Fenty Beauty By Rihanna Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in shades #470 and 480. The darkest shade is #490. There are a lot of options for medium to deep dark skintones. The South Sudanese/Australian model Duckie is one of the faces of the brand. And the more interesting thing about the shade selection is the inclusion of the subtlities in undertones. Warm, cool, neutral, less red, more blue, less yellow, more green. This makes FB one of the more unique compared to other brands that offer that wide of a range.
My search for person of colour sunscreens continues. A few months ago, Glossier came out with a new sunscreen that promises to be a game changer. There were ads all over the subway and billboards in New York. The Glossier Invisible Shield Daily Sunscreen SPF 35 is touted as a broad-spectrum sunscreen that goes on invisible on all skin tones. This got my attention. As I have discussed in previous posts and videos, one of my biggest pet peeves with sunscreens available in the US is that they often leave an ashy cast on the skin. This is partially because sunscreens are regulated as drugs (by the FDA) as opposed to just cosmetics. The E.U., Asia (especially South Korea and Japan) and Australia have access to a wider variety of sun-protecting filters. So I paid another visit to the showroom on Lafayette and picked this up, crossing my fingers. And by the way, check out my other Glossier reviews.
Glossier Invisible Shield Review – Video
For those who like the visuals, here’s my video review.
Glossier Invisible Shield Review – General Product Details
The Glossier Invisible Shield is descibed as “a clear watergel formula filled with active microcapsules that instantly absorbed into the skin with no greasy residue and zero white cast”.
It is vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free and non-comedogenic and suitable for all skintypes and skintones.
The active sunscreen ingredients are: avobenzone, homosalate and octisalate. These are well known and used chemical sunscreen commonly used in the US. It does not contain octinoxate, which I *think* is the ingredient that gives me problems. These filters are contained in microspheres which bust as your rub this onto the skin to release these ingredients.
The other active ingredients are:
Water – yes. Water is a main ingredient and the formula is a thin gel. This makes it great for both dry and oily skin types. Water also helps the product to sink into the skin quickly. Also it contains no alcohol, which is a good solvent but can be drying on the skin.
Antioxidant Complex – These are Vitamin E and P, Broccoli and Aloe Leaf Extracts. These provide extra protection against free radicals and oxidants that are found in the air that we breathe and that surround us. Breaking up the effects of UV radiation also can pass that released energy to oxidants which can contribute to aging and cancers. The antioxidants counteract that.
Fermented Yeast and Vegetal Extracts – Fermented ingredients are very popular in Asian, especially Korean and Japanese, skincare routines for many years, even centuries. These fermented ingredients help form a physical barrier on the skin to block out pollutants.
This product also contains Sweet Orange Oil as a fragrance. It gives it a very fresh, citrus scent. For some people, this may cause irritation to some.
Mascara. One beauty product that I cannot live without. Just giving my lashes some definition is all I want on some days. I have been wearing one of L’Oreal’s newest mascara offerings, the L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara. This is part of the Voluminous line, which is a favourite of many, so I had high expectations for this one. In general, I really like the L’Oreal mascaras, I think they make some of the best at the drugstore/inexpensive level.
The obvious comparison being made is with the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara. The packaging and the brush are very similar! Not sure if this was intentional by L’Oreal but…. here we are. So is this a drugstore dupe? Can it stand up to its more expensive doppleganger? Lehwe go!
L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara Review – Video
Here’s my video review and demo. Take a look and subscribe to my channel so that you don’t miss out! If you prefer to read…keep scrolling.
This comes in a number of shades and in both washable and waterproof versions. This review will focus on the washable version in the shade ‘Blackest Black’. According to L’Oreal Paris, this mascara promises “voluptuous volume, intense length, full fringe lashes and feathery softness”. Also it touts its no flaking, no smudging, no clumping properties. It contains your typical ingredients that are found in mascaras, but it is not natural/organic or anything like that. The formula is very rich and creamy, has a ‘heft’ to it and the I like the pigmentation. It’s is quite black but not the blackest formula that I have ever used. But it is black and does not have a grey tone to it.
The one product that I have used for years to protect my skin…..La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizing Cream with Sunscreen with Mexoryl SX SPF 15
I grew up in the southernmost part of the Caribbean. Trinidad and Tobago. Two islands surrounded by deep blue seas, beaches and hot blazing sun. The last thing on anyone’s mind was sun protect. What is that? We black…..Unfortunately we did not understand the need to protect our skin for the future.
As I grow older, I became wiser and set off looking for a suitable product. Being a dark skinned person, this proved to be quite difficult. As with cosmetics, many companies have not brought out sun protection products that are acceptable or suitable for folks with some melanin. I have two main requirements when selecting a sunscreen:
It does not leave an ashy/white residue on the skin
I do not get an allergic reaction to it
This makes an already small selection even smaller. About 90-95% of the sunscreens that I try, fail one or both of these criteria. Including mineral “natural” sunscreens. I get contact dermatitis with just one application. Starts around the eyes and temples and spreads across the fact. Itching, then rash, then burning. I want to bust a myth that I see peddled out there a lot. For some reason, people have this idea that mineral or physical sunscreens are safer and better than chemical ones. The US FDA regulates sunscreens as they are considered ‘drugs’ and therefore they are more closely regulated that other cosmetics. The US is very slow in approving new sunscreen ingredients – much slower than in the E.U. and Asian countries, so that there is a small pool of approved ingredients that everyone uses. The main ingredients in minerals sunscreens are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. They are both chemicals. They are all chemicals….different types of chemicals, but all chemicals. This is a review of a sunscreen that I have been using for years…pretty much since it came out on the US market – La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizing Cream with Sunscreen with Mexoryl SX SPF 15
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mexoryl moisturizer review
If you want to skip straight to the video review, click here.
General Product Details
This is an opaque thick, white cream that is meant to be used as a daily moisturiser that provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection at an SPF of 15. Fragrance-free, paraben-free PABA-free, tested for sensitive skin and allergies and supposed to provide 24 hour hydration. NOT vegan/natural/organic. The active sun protection ingredients are Avobenzone 2%, Ecamsule 2%, Octocrylene 10%.
Avobenzone – appears as other trademarked names including Parsol 1789. This is an oil-soluble compound that provides full spectrum protection against UVA rays, by absorbing rays and converting to another form of less harmful energy. UVA rays penetrate the deeper layers of the skin and are the responsible for skin cancer, premature aging and wrinkling.
Ecamsule – L’Oreal-exclusive ingredient in the US. Effective and provides additional protection from UVA radiation.
Octocrylene – Used to stabilise Avobenzone, and make it not degrade quickly, therefore making it a lot effective. It also has some emollient properties and helps the skin retain moisture. Octocrylene also absorbs UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays affect the top/outer layer of skin and is responsible for sunburns and is the biggest implicator for melanomas and other skin cancers.
Basically, all three of these ingredients provide an umbrella-like protection from UVA, UVB and free radical protection.
Glossier. This brand has been on my radar for a few months now. They appear to have positioned themselves as a minimalist brand. Products to give a fresh, just-came-from-the-gym look. Basically makeup for non-makeup wearers. You won’t find any heavy duty coverage or stuff to bake with. I have been anxious to do a Glossier review for a while.
Glossier is a New York City based brand with a showroom in Lower Manhattan. So of course your girl had to pay a visit! I still love to go into a store to touch the products. On a rainy day (which has been quite the norm in NYC these days), I made my way to the Glossier showroom on the penthouse level on Lafayette Street. A very bright space with stations where you can test out all their products.
I decided to pick up one of their best selling products, the Glossier Boy Brow in Black. This is their darkest shade and it is really a soft, grayish black with a hint of brown. I also picked up one of their newer products, the Glossier Cloud Paint in Haze. All Glossier products come in a handy, TSA-friendly pink bubble wrap pouch and some stickers.
Pouch that comes with your purchase!
For the Glossier Review: Boy Brow in Black, click here
For the Glossier Review: Cloud Paint in Haze, click here
Boy Brow is described by Glossier as a ‘creamy wax formula inspired by traditional hair pomade that does not stiffen or flake”. It comes with a short, small spoolie brush. This product contains both beeswax and carnauba wax which provides the hold, an emollient made from olive oil (Oleic Acid) that provides conditioning. It also contains a collagen derivative that nourishes and conditions the hair and lecithin which gives the formula smoothness and a subtle sheen. The Black shade is soft black and it does very slightly darken my brow hair. It also slightly thickens the hair as well.
The small brush
Boy Brow comes in a small white tube and with a short, fat spoolie. The cap has a chrome-like finish. It contains 0.11 oz which is less than your average brow gel product. Even though it has a small size, I had no difficulty using the product.
Method of Application
Use like a typical mascara/brow product. Wipe the excess product off the tip of the brush before applying to eyebrows. Use light strokes to shape and colour the hair.
On my eyebrow
I liked this product. Slightly darkened my eyebrows which made them look more pronounced without having to “draw in” or imitate brow hairs. My brows felt soft, not crunchy or stiff and they were kept in place all day. Even in hot weather. If you are looking for dramatic sculpting of the brow, this is not the product. It is a more natural effect. There is a lot of hype around this product, as a matter of fact it is their number # 1 selling item. Is this the more revolutionary, earth-shattering product? No, but it performs quite well and it is definitely worth trying out. It’s effortless and natural looking, especially in the age of the ‘Instagram eyebrow’. If there was a gripe, it would be the price. Not expensive but it is not drugstore level (it has not marketed itself as a drugstore brand). At US$16, it is priced in the mid-range and some may think its price does not match the quantity that you get. But this performed well, I don’t have to worry about my brow hairs breaking off and I will buy this again.
Cloud Paint in Haze
Cloud Paint is a gel-cream formula that is seamless, sheer and buildable. This is a really good description. It definitely has a very smooth, gel like texture and is almost translucent in quality. It reminds me of the Benefit Benetint. Especially the Haze shade. It also contains collagen which helps the skin retain water and therefore plumps up the skin. Haze is a deep raspberry colour, that is cool-toned.
Cloud Paint comes in a white, soft, flexible plastic tube with an octogonal screw cap. The brand name Glossier, the cap and the top inch of the tube is coloured in the colour of product. So Haze has a deep pink/fuschia colour. The tube opening is small but you can extrude too much product if you squeeze on the tube too forcefully. It contains 0.33 fl.oz/10ml of product. I have a preference for a needle-nosed opening/dispenser but that is totally personal.
Method of Application
Start with small amount of product. Pea-sized. I use my fingers to apply product and that works very well. The thin formula applies smoothly and melts into the skin. This makes it buildable.
Swatch – Bottom: Straight from tube; Top: Blended out
On my cheek!
You know I love a cream blush. So this is right up my alley. Haze is pigmented but the other three colours, I felt, were not pigmented enough or too ashy/pastel for dark skin which is why I only picked up Haze. Due to the formula of the product, I found myself applying what I would consider a lot of the product to get an intense pigmentation. I don’t think that is the pigmentation, but rather the texture so that it is readily absorbed, especially on my dry skin. This product would be ideal for the person afraid of blush or looking for a natural, colour-from-within effect. It leaves a skin-like, satin finish so it would be great for all skin types, including oily skin. It also is the only one of the four colours that I think is suitable for all skin tones, including very dark skin. At $US18, I think this is worth it. Quite frankly, who ever really goes through an entire blush? I have been wearing this a lot recently. I would recommend that Glossier change the colours to the other shades to make it more wearable for medium to dark POC. After wearing this all day, there was some fading but it was still visible. Try it, but if you are looking for some in your face colour, this would not be the product.
Online at glossier.com or at their NYC Showroom @ 123 Lafayette Street, Penthouse, New York, NY 10013.
Glossier Review: Video
If you want to see these products in action, here’s the video!
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FTC Disclosure: Products were purchased by me, Noire Tropical Beauty. All opinions expressed are 100% honest and my own. I have not been compensated for this review. For more information, please see my Disclosure Policy.