Beauty mogul Rihanna wasn’t allowed to wear makeup growing up

Even before officially entering the world of makeup, Rihanna was admired for her beauty. Besides being a talented musician, many envy her flawless skin and impeccable style. But she proved to be as good at running a business as she was at scoring successes.

Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty makeup line has left a massive mark on an industry that too often adheres to a narrow standard, leaving people of color on the fringes. The mogul’s interest in cosmetics stems from her upbringing, even though she was not allowed to wear any as a child.

Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty is a breakthrough makeup line

Rihanna poses for a photo as she celebrates her beauty brands Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin at Goya Studios on February 11, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. | Mike Coppola/Getty Images

The secret to Fenty Beauty’s success is simple: it’s one of the few luxury brands that actively caters to non-white skin. Most major brands have long ignored the cosmetic needs of black and brown people. Working with LVMH, Rihanna noticed the hole in the market and filled it with well-received products.

Fenty Beauty offers 40 shades of foundation, giving customers more choices to look at and showcase to the world. For an audience that has been underserved for decades, recognition was the most compelling selling point imaginable.

Combine that with the easily affordable price tag and Rihanna’s inherent star power, and you have all the ingredients for instant success. The company’s sales exceeded $550 million in their first full year, and the brand has only grown in popularity over time.

Rihanna’s interest in makeup stems from her mother’s job

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Right after Fenty Beauty launched in 2017, Rihanna did an interview with In the style on her inspiration for the makeup line, generating confidence, and her overall approach to personal style. She describes the foundation as the “very first makeup product I fell in love with” after wearing it for a contest she entered while growing up in Barbados.

“I’ll never forget the feeling I felt after seeing what my skin even looked like when she put foundation on my face. And I remember my brother was so upset. He was like, ” Are you going to wear this every day?’ I loved it. It’s like Photoshop. I like that my makeup looks like skin, really nice skin,” she recalled.

Rihanna’s mother, Monica Fenty, worked in the cosmetics department of a store in their birthplace, and she also did wedding makeup. Despite the prevalence of materials around the house, Rihanna wasn’t allowed to wear makeup until she was 16, except for a special occasion.

During a 2020 video interview with Access Hollywood, the star answered a question about whether she plans to set the same rules for her own children. “I don’t know about 16. There are other ways to wear makeup, like lip gloss or lipstick and blushes, fun and easy stuff,” she says. “But yeah, they’re not going to wear makeup at school. I have to draw the line somewhere!

His empire spans multiple industries

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Rihanna’s talent and curatorial eye work in tandem to make her the richest musician in the world. Much to the dismay of her fans, the new music of her remains a myth of legend at this point. And, considering everything else in his life, it’s best not to expect any updates anytime soon.

Her Savage X Fenty lingerie line is inclusive and thriving, following the path of Fenty Beauty to please fans. Not to mention Rihanna’s bank account—she became a billionaire in 2021. And she’s about to become a first-time mother with boyfriend A$AP Rocky. It looks like we’ll soon see how Rihanna handles her brood’s makeup.

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