Siraad Dirshe
Sep, 26, 2017

Now that the #blackgirlmagic dust has started to settle on Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty launch, we thought now was the perfect time to give you our honest (and unfiltered) opinion of the most talked about product, the Profilt’r Foundation ($34, Sephora.com).

With over 40 shades to choose from, finding the perfect one can be a bit challenging — especially if you don’t wear foundation on the regular. We chatted with celebrity makeup artist Amber Amos to finally answer our burning Fenty foundation questions. We also had several of our ESSENCE staffers, across skin tones, test the longwearing matte foundation.

“Your perfect foundation match, is when a product literally and flawlessly disappears into your skin," says Amber. "When trying to find it, make sure to swatch it on your face, not your hand. On the bottom of your jawline is a good place to swatch or down the side of your neck,” she says.

When it comes to undertones the makeup artist has some great advice.

“Think of undertones as the color that peeks through the skin’s surface, and your skin tone as the color people see: light, medium, or dark skin. Typically undertones fall into four categories: cool, warm, neutral and olive. For reference, model Duckie has cooler undertones, Rihanna has warm, and Kerry Washington has neutral.”

Contrary to popular belief, it’s your undertone not skin tone that makes the biggest difference when picking foundation, which is why two friends with the same complexion may not be the same Fenty shade. One may have cooler undertones, while the other more neutral. 

Scroll down to see what the shades look like on a few of our staffers.

Siraad Dirshe, Beauty Editor (Shade 470)

Natasha Hatendi

“I typically don’t wear much foundation but I was beyond stoked to try Rihanna's (she can do no wrong in my eyes). I picked my shade (470) based on looking at the line-up, and surprisingly it matched pretty well. 

What I will say though, is that the formula does dry super quickly. I actually mixed mine into my moisturizer on the back of my hand before applying with my fingers. Since I have pretty dry skin, after applying I spritzed my favorite face mist by Tatcha."

Cristina Coppin, Assistant Digital Photo Editor (Shade 310)

Natasha Hatendi

“I am definitely an avid makeup wearer but during the work week I go for a low maintenance kind of look that simply includes my Lumene Valo Moisturizer and my L’Oreal True Match foundation in the shade W7. 

When trying out the foundation I didn’t use the primer and I have to say it held up pretty good for 8+ hours, which was impressive. I used my Real Techniques Face Brush which gave it a beautiful full coverage finish. On my skin, the foundation is more on the demi-matte side.”

Danielle Kwateng-Clark, Entertainment Editor (Shade n/a)

Natasha Hatendi

“The reason I was so excited to try this line is that Rihanna is aware and inclusive of women of color in everything she does — and her makeup line reflects that inclusivity.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find my perfect shade in the foundation. The liquid 470 was too red and the 480 was too dark, so I had to go to the color sticks. Truffle was spot-on. The stick was easy to blend with a brush but it was a bit dry — even for my oily skin. So I suggest mixing Fenty foundation with Vitamin E oil." 

Marissa Lewis, Associate Video Producer (Shade 340)

Natasha Hatendi

“When trying to find my shade I was only able to try one, but I LOVE IT! Finding a foundation that offers great coverage while still looking natural is TOUGH. I would ABSOLUTELY spend all my coin on Fenty Beauty. I loved the look I received from Fenty.

I used a hydrating primer and a smoothing primer, and then my fingers to apply the foundation for more control of the coverage. I stan for Rih, so I knew I needed to try her line.”

Lauren Porter, Love & Lifestyle Assistant Editor (Shade n/a)

Natasha Hatendi

“It really felt like Rihanna did this for us (WOC). It was so nice to walk into Sephora and see Black girls of all shades looking for their color match or helping someone else find theirs.

Typically in the mornings I use a moisturizer, a STILA primer, andMAC Studio Pressed Powder Foundation.

I tried 3 different shades—460, 470, 480— in the Soft Matte Longer Foundation and none were a match.

It was a little disappointing but I did find that the Truffle stick provided a good shade for my skin tone. As soon as I tried it, I knew it was the one. I plan on purchasing the Trophy Wife highlighter, the primer and the blotting sheets because whatever Rihanna is selling, I’m buying!"