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I have a confession to make. I’m not a fan of Fenty foundation. *Ducks.*

Don’t get me wrong: I’m enthralled by the range of shades, the marketing, beautiful packaging and even the specially trained Fenty specialists who color-matched me in Sephora. But after three tries, I had to accept that this foundation and I just weren’t a match—in tone or texture—though I kept the bottle on GP. (I foundation-hack it; more on that later.)


But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t anything else to fall in love with in this launch. Determined to invest my dollars in some black-tastic beauty, I found four instant and now indispensable favorites to add to my cosmetics bag—and they’re not all the usual suspects.

OK, maybe this one is: But after one cappuccino, two cups of tea, half a brisket sandwich and a bag of potato chips, two-and-a half glasses of sparkling rosé, shrimp cocktail and french fries (my questionable diet being a post for another day), read my lips:

Stunna Lip Paint is the truth.


From the snub-nosed, felt-tipped applicator (which gives coverage and precision) to the perfect true-blue red of this inaugural shade, this highly pigmented lip color gives new meaning to “longwear.” And while it dries perfectly matte, it took a smooth seven hours before my lips actually felt dry, which was quickly remedied by a swipe of balm. Even then, the color stayed true. In fact, most of the day, I forgot I had it on ... until someone complimented me on my lipstick.


I love the look of bronzed, luminous skin—even if I have to fake it. After my foundation and brows, the next thing I apply is a few swipes of a Match Stix Shimmer Stick. My daily go-to is Rum, which gives me a subtle sheen (and also makes a great eye shadow), but my new fave is Blonde, which really goes for the gold (without the canary yellow of Trophy Wife). I love that these sticks aren’t over-creamy; they go on like a powder and stay all day. Plus, like much of the line, the packaging is magnetic, which makes them easier to keep track of, travel with and store.

Bonus shade: Ridiiic. I love to swirl my blush brush over this shade and onto the apples of my cheeks to create a fresh and sexy coral flush that’s just ... ridic.


Ironically, the Invisimatte Blotting Powder was a dark horse for me, despite being a seemingly white powder. But this superfine formula is truly colorless and does a fantastic job of blotting down my more emollient foundations (since I actually find Fenty too flat for me). The accompanying puff is fairly basic, but I prefer to use it with my own brush. Which brings me to my absolute favorite item in this entire collection ...


Ladies, back away from the beauty blenders (though Fenty’s got those, too); y’all are sleeping on Fenty’s foundation brush. This brush is hands-down the best I’ve ever used to apply foundation—and I’ve been using foundation brushes for decades. Unlike blenders, which are great to use damp, but often absorb as much product as they deposit, this domed, densely packed brush gave me a truly flawless finish—no matter what foundation I paired it with.


And aside from its utility, it’s beautiful, and being a woman-on-the-go like myself, Rihanna truly thought of everything, including a brush protector that makes it easy to toss in a bag without mess or damage.

So there you have it: the Fenty finds I’m holding on to for dear life. What can I say? It must be ...

My morning glow up, unfiltered, unretouched and courtesy of Fenty Beauty (courtesy of Maiysha Kai)

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. Minneapolis born, Chicago bred, New York built. Nuance is her superpower.

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