Buro. Beauty Club Singapore: An unfiltered review on Fenty Skin, from the Total Cleans’r to the Fat Water
As the year dwindles to a close, so does any sense of motivation to get things done. Still, if there's anything to get us serial procrastinators back in the saddle, it's this: Rihanna — an entrant on Forbes' list of self-made richest women; makeup mogul; and renowned philanthropist — is still hustlin' during the holiday season. Yup, bad gal RiRi was earning coin as we lounged in our sweats and binged on The Crown, working to bring her wit and wisdom to her skincare arm. Dubbed Fenty Skin, its branding doesn't stray too far from sister label, Fenty Beauty.
Much like FB, it is inclusive of all genders and skin types, comes in environmentally-friendly packaging, and harbours an intuitive design for ease-of-use. Its efficacy, however, remains in question until the range drops on our shores 26 December — or not. We at Buro. Singapore were lucky enough to receive the products ahead of the launch, and have fastidiously incorporated the products into our regime for a month. Here's what we discovered after giving our miens the Fenty treatment.
Products: The Fenty Skin Total Cleans'r Remove-It-All Cleanser, Fat Water Pore-Refining Toner Serum, and Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturiser Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen.
Uses: Each product within the line-up pulls double duty. The Total Cleans'r acts as a makeup remover and facial wash; the Fat Water is a toner-serum hybrid that claps back at dehydration and discoloration; while the Hydra Vizor serves as a moisturiser slash sunscreen.
Price: $38, $42, and $54 respectively.
Emily Heng, Beauty Editor
There's a lot to dissect about this range, so let's break it down product-by-product. First to bat: The Total Cleans'r Remove-It-All Cleanser. There's nothing subtle about this bad boy, from its potent ingredient list to its fragrance. I was hit with the strong scent of artificial cherries upon pumping a pea-sized amount onto my palms. As someone who doesn't have sensitised skin, though, this didn't pose a problem to me. The inclusion of glycerin and acerola was a nice touch, where my skin felt smoother and brighter after a single wash. Still, I struggled to get my waterproof mascara off, where I was left with hardened chunks on the end of my lashes even after thoroughly dousing my face in it. I'd recommend complementing it with a separate makeup-remover from now on, especially if you have on a full-face of budge-proof formulas.
The Fat Water ticked all my boxes. The thick, goopy texture meant I could forego cotton pads and apply it straight to my face, which is a definite plus in my book. I observed a radiant glow to my skin after just two weeks of use, and the discolouration on my cheeks had lessened, too. The ingredient list did give me pause, however, where I spotted a controversial ingredient known for aggravating certain skin conditions. Those with sensitive or inflamed complexions should probably give it a miss, seeing how it has Witch Hazel Water in it — known for its astringent properties that dries out skin.
Last but not least: The Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturiser + SPF. I liked how lightweight it was, and it did give my skin a glorious sheen that made me seem as if I got eight hours of sleep on the daily and ate healthy. Unfortunately, it does cause a tad bit of caking when worn under makeup, and left my visage looking greasy after a workout. I like it better as a night-time moisturiser, where it makes my face feel luxuriously soft and pampered.
Ethan Lee, Retailer
I was immediately taken aback by the scent of the Total Cleans'r Remove-It-All Cleanser. To be entirely honest, I'm not a fan of the coconut-cherry scent — it reminded me of something my mother would have doused herself in whenever our family would attend a wedding dinner. Apart from its scent, though, I would say that it's a pretty decent cleanser. I really like the inclusion of Barbados Cherry, which supposedly contains more vitamin C than its citrus counterparts. This translated to a brighter, more radiant complexion — and I got a fair amount of compliments once I started using it!
The texture of the Fat Water changed my life. It's great that it was viscose enough to be applied on without a cotton pad, and just made my routine that much easier. Unfortunately, it wasn't suited for my complexion. My face felt "tight" after every use - which I suspect has to do with the inclusion of witch hazel water. I don't have any complaints for the Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturiser, though I do feel that it could be a tad more moisturising.
All in all, I'd recommend it for anyone who's a fan of the fragrance. As someone who was not to fond of it, though, I'll probably be giving the Fenty Skin range a miss in the future.
Akashdeep Bal, Artist
First off, I found the cleanser's saccharine fragrance to be a tad too overpowering and irritating to be used in the morning. Sadly, it also felt mediocre on the skin and I had the urge to double-cleanse after. I was afraid of using it after shaving as well, just in case it reacted badly with my sensitive skin. I've not had any particular problems with it so far, though, but the thought of using such a fragranced cleanser on my open pores is frightening. The twist-top packaging is hot, though.
The Fat Water has to be my favourite product out of the three. The toner and serum hybrid does what it promises; it hydrates the skin and reduces the appearance of pores with niacinamide. I was a little annoyed when I found witch hazel — which has its pros and cons — second on the ingredient list, but who are we to deny it. Best of all, the fragrance doesn't linger around. I would buy this again.
Lastly, the Hydra Vizor Moisturiser and Sunscreen. This one is a winner. Its pink tint is pretty, and it doesn't leave a white cast on my darker complexion. However, the fragrance continues to be apparent even 20 minutes after application. On top of that, it does come off when I sweat. It was chalky as it streamed down my face and hit the floor. I couldn't use it before bed too as I didn't want to wake up feeling greasy. But hey, that's probably why they recently launched the new Instant Reset!
Overall, Fenty Skin gets the job done fast without compromising on quality ingredients. After a month of using it, it boosted the appearance and glow of my skin. I would definitely be more open to it if it was fragrance-free, though. The packaging is beautiful too, but I feel like there's some greenwashing going on. The Hydra Vizor's refill cartridge comes in a high quality hard plastic, so we are still tossing out a bottle of plastic in the long run. Kudos for making it coral reef safe at least. With further tweaks to its fragrance and ingredients, Fenty Skin could become a staple in my skincare routine.
Azrin Tan, Editorial Intern
Let's go with the positives, first. My favourite of the three is the Fat Water. I regularly store my skincare in the fridge, and I was pleasantly surprised by how hydrating and cooling it felt on my face. I loved how it primed my face for the rest of my regime, and made it feel bouncy and super soft to touch. Extra creds for the inclusion of niacinamide! Packaging-wise, the twist-cap can get a bit messy, but the benefits of the product do make up for it.
The Total Cleans'r Remove-It-All Cleanser lathers up well with just a small amount, and spreads smoothly over my visage. However, the twist-cap for this is a lot more problematic, where I find that there's a lot of product wasted if I don't completely close the lid properly. The cleanser doesn't really leave my skin feeling tight or stripped, but there's not much of a soft after-glow that I appreciate in my facial cleansers. The fragrance is evident, but it quickly washes off with water.
As for the Hydra-Vizor Invisible Moisturizer + SPF, it's definitely a good one in terms of its dual use; when I'm in a rush, it's a good stand-in to replace both my moisturiser and sunscreen for the day. The fragrance here is pretty strong though, and does take a bit more time to massage it into my skin. The reusable packaging for this one is a plus, and it pumps out easily too. Overall, I'd say the toner's something I'd definitely return to in a heartbeat, and I'll be awaiting new additions to the rest of their Fenty Skin line.
In sum: As much as Fenty Skin prides itself on inclusivity, it just doesn't work for everyone. That's not to say the formulas aren't great — as efficacious as they are, it's probably better if several tweaks were made to suit people with sensitive or dry skin. We'd suggest fragrance-free variants in the long-run. In the meantime, we'll be waiting upon newer drops with bated breath.
Join in the fun: sign up via this form to join our Buro. Beauty Club. Then, send an email to [email protected] expressing your interest in trying out this week's find. We'll invite you to swing by our office to test-drive the goods for yourself. Naturally, you'll get to bring the product home. We'll contact you a week later so you can send in your final thoughts. Easy-peasy.