Priscilla Ono is a world-class makeup artist with a roster of celebrity clients, but even she has struggled to find the perfect base shade. "I've had to mix eyeshadow and orange lipstick into foundations because it wasn't the right tone," she says, gesturing to her expansive makeup kit. "I'm a makeup artist and I can make it work, but there are people out there who can't. They aren't wearing the right colour, but it's not their fault. There wasn't a colour for them!"
Ono, who serves as Fenty Beauty's Global Makeup Artist (and is a longtime friend and makeup artist to Rihanna), says that when the brand launched with 40 shades of foundation in September of 2017, it created a wave of change within the beauty industry. Months later, Dior, CoverGirl, Flesh, and other brands launched their own inclusive foundation ranges. Just like that, the "Fenty Effect" was born.
And now, just hours into 2019, Rihanna already has her sights set on disrupting another major makeup category. On January 11th, Fenty Beauty will release the brand's first concealer in 50 shades — a landmark moment for the beauty industry.
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"It's super pigmented, so a little goes a long way and it has this really gorgeous soft matte finish so you're not going to get oily or greasy," Ono says of the brand's new Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Concealer, which will retail for $32 in Canada. "Rihanna is all about skin looking like skin; she never wants skin to look makeup-y, and this concealer is really the essence of that."
The concealer unveiling will coincide with the launch of eight new setting powders (Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Setting Powder, $40) and two new brushes (Powder Puff Setting Brush, $42, and Precision Concealer Brush, $32). The brand will also be extending its original foundation range from 40 to 50 shades.
"There are so many people with very unique undertones," says Ono. "For example, Slick Woods, one of our models, has a very unique olive undertone and we needed that perfect foundation to match her. We made a colour just for her: She's 345."
Each shade of the new concealer range will correspond to one of the 50 Fenty Beauty foundation shades, and you can go up or down from there. "If you're 240 in foundation, you're 240 in concealer," Ono says. "And if you want a lighter concealer, you can go down a bit. I personally like a lighter under eye, so I always go two shades lighter there."
According to the brand, this is the second biggest Fenty launch since the line was first introduced to the world two years ago. And Ono says the 50 shades is unprecedented for the concealer category. When asked if she thinks the rest of the beauty world will follow in Fenty Beauty's footsteps again, Ono nods. "There's this huge market they're not tapping; they may be doing it for dollars, but they're also doing it because, why not? [They] want everyone to wear their stuff!"
We had the opportunity to test the concealer first when Ono visited the Refinery29 offices in NYC last month. Check out the video below to see Ono demonstrate it on a range of skin tones.
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