Fenty Beauty’s Latest Launch is a Great Example of How to Handle Backlash
That Rihanna reign just won’t let up. With Fenty Beauty’s latest launch came the usual hype and for the first time since the brand’s launch two years ago, controversy. Their new Sun Stalk’r Instant Warmth Bronzer comes in a ‘ground-breaking’ eight shades, but one of their newest KillaWatt highlighters, named “Geisha Chic,” was abruptly pulled from the launch.
Fans were quick to point out that the highlighter’s name fetishizes an often misunderstood aspect of Japanese culture, something other brands have been tone-deaf to in the past. Fenty Beauty immediately apologized to users who commented on the issue via DM on Instagram with the message "We hear you, we’ve pulled the product until it can be renamed. We wanted to personally apologize. Thank you so much for educating us." All of this happened within two days of the launch announcement. Fans and media alike appreciated Fenty’s quick response and sincere apology. The brand got straight to the point and made no excuses.
On the more positive side of the launch were the Sun Stalk’r bronzers that give the skin a natural warmth and sun-kissed glow. Marketed with the tagline “bronzer isn’t one size fits all,” they come in shades that suit fair to rich skin tones and are now some of the deepest bronzers in Sephora. This launch is another eye opener for brands and consumers alike who realize inclusivity matters when it comes to every aspect of color cosmetics, not just foundations and concealers.
People with deeper skin tones who have felt left out of the bronzer conversation are rejoicing. One Fenty Beauty Instagram follower says ‘‘I’ve never owned a bronzer in my life. I never even saw the point but now I need one.” In an Instagram tutorial, Fenty Beauty model Nyakim Gatwech explains how in the past she never thought about bronzers because there weren’t any dark enough for her complexion.
Still, Fenty’s bronzers were not immune to criticism. Mainly met with positive reviews, some on the richer end of the 400 shade range noticed that there was room for a shade after the last one, Mocha Mami. Beauty YouTubers like Nyma Tang and Ohemaa Bonsu said that while the last shade added warmth, it did not add any depth to their skin tones like we typically see on lighter skin.
Despite the backlash, Fenty Beauty is still regarded as a leader of inclusivity and now serves as a prime example of how to handle criticism. With their new summer launch that includes bronzers, highlighters, and the uber popular Body Lava, it seems that Rihanna has the beauty game on lock. All we need now is the new music, sis!