I don’t know how it happened, exactly, but one morning I woke up and realized I was an absolute ho for Fenty Beauty. The brand has taken over 80% of my makeup routine and every time Rihanna calls I come running.
It’s like, a whole thing.
I don’t have everything, obviously, but I have enough Fenty stuff to write two whole reviews. I guess I could stick them all into one post, but I’m so wordy you’d be begging for the sweet release of death before I’m done.
So, two reviews.
I was going to talk about the base products first, but I wanted to be as thorough as possible so I’m still testing a few combinations/scenarios just to be sure I’ve got every angle covered. Instead, we’ll start with the brushes.
I’m not gonna lie: the primary reason why I bought the Fenty brushes is because they’re pink. Sure, I saw really good reviews online, but I wouldn’t have been as easily swayed if they had been another color.
The good news is that they’re really awesome, and I think they’re well-worth the price. See, I know there are people who think expensive brushes are unnecessary, and I agree to a certain extent.
That said, I still think that when it comes to brushes, you get what you pay for. Real Techniques and Zoeva are both wonderful brands and they’re not very expensive, but there’s a noticeable difference in application that makes using Fenty brushes a lot more pleasurable.
Anyway, enough chitchat. Let’s get to it:
Full-Bodied Foundation Brush
Oh, this brush. I have to admit, it took me some time before I understood how this one worked.
See, it’s unlike any other foundation brush I’ve ever seen or used. For the longest time I stuck to the Beauty Blender, and then eventually I switched to a dense dome-top brush. I’ve tried a stippling brush in the past, and of course I know the OG paddle brush.
This one, though — it’s different. It looks like a super fat paddle brush. It’s very dense; the bristles are soft but there’s minimal yield when you push against them. Fenty Beauty calls it a “paw”, and I suppose that really is the best word to use to describe it.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to paint your face with your cat’s paw? (Minus the talons, of course.) This brush gives you that experience, I think, although with less struggling and meowing and angry hissing.
If you watch the myriad videos on Youtube you’ll find that people have different ways of using this brush. My own preference is to paint broad stripes on my cheeks, forehead, and chin then use short, soft strokes to spread the foundation evenly all over my face. On certain parts (like my nose) I use a dabbing motion to get better coverage.
The brush isn’t scratchy, it doesn’t leave any unsightly streaks, and it’s super easy to use for medium to full coverage. Better than harassing your cat, I bet.
Cheek-Hugging Highlight Brush
I mentioned this in my 2018 favorites, so you already know that I love this brush. I am a fiend for highlighters, and the best way to get excellent payoff is to use the right application tool.
There are many wonderful highlight brushes out there, and choosing the right one will depend entirely on the finish you want to achieve. Some people like fan brushes for a more diffused finish, while others prefer a small tapered brush for controlled and targeted application.
This Cheek-Hugging Highlight Brush is dense so you get a really strong highlight. It’s not for the faint of heart, but I dig it. I personally don’t feel like I’m ready to leave the house unless my highlight is bright enough to blind the aliens watching us from outer space.
What really sets this brush apart is its weird “shark tooth” shape. The groove fits perfectly over the cheekbones so it’s very easy to get that beaming highlight with minimal effort. I initially thought it would be hard to work with because of this shape, but now I can’t imagine using anything else.
Precision Concealer Brush
A lot of people skip concealer brushes because they’d rather use their fingers, and I totally understand that. Fingers are perfect for warming up the concealer, applying with precision, and getting into all those nooks and crannies that brushes can’t quite get to.
The problem with fingers, for me, is that they tend to lift up the concealer that I’ve already carefully laid down. Plus I can never get the level of coverage that I want.
This concealer brush from Fenty saves me from that hassle. It’s angled so it mimics my fingertips, making it super easy to cover redness and blemishes especially in the harder to reach grooves like the sides of the nose.
It’s dense, too, so there’s no trouble getting enough coverage. I do a mix of tap and sweep to blend and the entire process takes very little effort.
The best part is I can use it under my eyes! Normally I stick to fingers for my dark circles, because brushes have a hard time applying concealer to the inner corners and the lines under my eyes without ending up a patchy mess. This one from Fenty, though — it actually works.
Powder Puff Setting Brush
Oh sweet baby Jesus this brush is the flipping best.
It’s so soft. So, so soft.
So soft, in fact, that I originally thought it wasn’t picking up any of my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder. So soft that I kept going and going and going, only to realize that I had over-powdered my face and now looked like a glistening mess.
It’s like powdering your face with a cloud. My makeup routine is 1000x more pleasurable with this brush in my life, and we all have Rihanna to thank for it.
Next up: bases.