When it was reported in October that Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty cosmetics line had racked in a whopping $72 million (yes, that’s right) in just one month, it was officially clear that the 29-year-old had a “win” on her hands. The products launched in September and have since caused quite a stir in all the right ways.
WWD reported that the brand’s earned media value — a marketing metric that evaluates the worth of a product in social terms — had already outpaced the earnings of other major makeup brands including Kylie Cosmetics, Benefit, Urban Decay, KKW Cosmetics and NYX. In fact, the only two brands that beat out Fenty Beauty in that metric for the month of September are the well-established MAC and Too Faced Cosmetics.
Now, adding to its growing list of accolades, TIME has named Fenty Beauty one of the 25 best inventions of 2017. “I’m honored and I have to send love to everyone who’s supported this brand in the 2 months that we’ve been here! Glory to the Most High,” the “Wild Thoughts” songstress tweeted upon receiving the news. The cosmetic products join other honorees of the year such as the Nike Pro Hijab, $1000 iPhone X and Tesla Model 3 electric automobile.
Much of the makeup line’s success has been attributed to the brand’s social media strategy and outreach. According to a YouTube press release, Fenty Beauty YouTube tutorials received 132 million views in one month, and Rih’s promotion of her own products to her 57 million Instagram followers couldn’t have hurt, either. Fenty Beauty’s Instagram account went live on August 1 and already had a million followers by the fourth day of launch (Sept. 12).
Following its initial 40-shade foundation release, Fenty unveiled its holiday collection in October and is set to release a new product addition, Stunna lip paint, on Nov. 23.
.@TIME mag named @fentybeauty one of the 25 best inventions of 2017! I’m honored and I have to send love to everyone who’s supported this brand in the 2months that we’ve been here! Glory to the Most High. https://t.co/sGxsiO6wxA pic.twitter.com/GsPG64A93P
— Rihanna (@rihanna) November 16, 2017
So, why was Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty endeavor so successful? Here, we round up the top 5 reasons.
1. Inclusive products and branding. Rihanna made it clear that she had her hand in every part of her product creation, including branding, down to the very last detail of even choosing faces. The “new generation of beauty” included models of all colors, shapes and sizes, making her 40-shade range foundation stand out even more.
2. It’s not limited edition. Fenty Beauty for anyone, anytime. Without the worry of it selling out permanently, there’s no limited access to who can get their hands on the products and when. The holiday collection, however, was limited, so other special-edition releases could follow this pattern in the future. Luckily, there’s still a wide range of permanent products to choose from.
3. Good quality. The line consists of normal-sized products that last, and come in visually appealing packaging.
4. Social media beauty influencers. PR kits and launch party invitations were sent to YouTube (the biggest and most popular platform for beauty bloggers/make-up artists) stars, with not just large follower counts, but the power to influence those followers’ spending.
5. She’s Rihanna. If any of her other collaborations or product releases over the past several years (Puma, Chopard jewelry, Dior, Stance socks, Manolo Blahnik, fragrances, etc.) show anything, it’s that whatever Rih touches turns to gold. Her fan army (affectionately known as the Rihanna Navy) is strong, and if their leader is involved with it, they’ll buy it.