Putting Fenty and Glossier through their paces

Jenessa Williams

For the past year, two new names have had the beauty market in a tailspin. Glossier and Fenty Beauty were both released to rave reviews from bloggers, both boasting sell-out items near immediately and both competing to be crowned the next big thing in cosmetics. But do these new releases stand up to the hype? We investigate. 

Primer

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer (£24)

Proven to help makeup stay put for longer, primer is an essential part of any makeup routine. Fenty’s oil-free version promises to smooth away the appearance of pores, feeling lightweight and comfortable on the face.

Upon application, this product more than lives up to its claims. Easy to apply with fingertips, it has a delicious bakery scent and doesn’t leave any residue despite two generous pumps.

After just a few seconds, lines around the eyes appear slightly pumped, and the skin feels light and breathable.

 

Foundation

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation, tested in shade 290 (£26)

Packaged in a heavy glass bottle, the Fenty Foundation has received great swathes of positive press for its diversity of shades—40 to be exact.

Before you rejoice, it is worth noting that a good half of these sold out almost immediately after the initial launch, and restock information has remained noticeably quiet.

That said, the shade match is better than most other brands we have tried—slightly darker than we prefer, but not bad considering it was selected from online images rather than an in-store consultation.

As a woman of mixed heritage, finding the right undertoned foundation can be highly difficult, but shade 290 blended well, with four small pumps covering the whole face with a pretty full finish.

Minor scars are slightly camouflaged while still allowing the natural skin to show through, and there is no irritation or heaviness.

On combination skin, it made light work of an oily forehead although some clinginess was found in dry areas around the nose. Make sure to moisturize first, or if you have particularly dry skin, you may want to look for a less matte product.

 

Lip gloss

Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer (£16)

That sweet smell returns! Somewhat cloying upon application, the gloss bomb luminizer thankfully loses its scent after a few minutes. The soft brush feels gentle and expensive, proving a clear shimmer that offers an air of "your lips but better".

For a larger statement, a coloured lipstick could easily be applied first, but the natural shade is perfectly flattering for daytime wear, drying to a subtle stickiness no more unusual than any lip balm.

Eyebrows

Glossier Boy Brow in shade brown (£14)


Image via 21 Ninety

Marketed as a grooming tool, Boy Brow has swiftly become Glossier’s number one bestseller. It’s easy to see why. Setting brows in place with a wax formula, it shapes efficiently and swiftly, gently filling in gaps without adding too much denseness.

Teaming the brown shade with our regular eyebrow pencil for particular definition, our brows didn’t move all day and felt nicely conditioned—none of the flakiness that comes from other liquid eyebrow products.

Our only criticism would be the size. At £14, 3.12 grams of the product feels a little on the stingy side.

 

Contour and Highlighter

Glossier’s Haloscope in shade Topaz (£18) vs Fenty Beauty’s MatchStix Shimmer Skinstick in shade Rum (£21)

Testing one on either cheek, Glossier’s Haloscope is a bit of a shock when first applied—highly waxy in both appearance and texture, andstartlinglyy bright.

Luckily, when blended in, it offers a lovely dewy finish that catches the light—very much on brand for Glossier’s USP of make up designed to celebrate "natural" beauty.

In comparison, Fenty’s Matchstix feels much more nighttime appropriate, with a warm glow that works well for contouring and blush.

It’s also easily the best packaging of the bunch, with a chunky magnetic outer that stacks with other Fenty products, it looks modern but user-friendly, and much studier than Glossier’s plastic alternative.

 

Cheeks

Glossier Cloud Paint in shade ‘Puff’ (£15)

Sold in a lovely little tube comparable to an artist’s oils, Glossier’s Cloud Paint is beautiful in design, the sort of product that would look chic on a dressing table.

Unfortunately one tiny dab on each cheek and we quickly resemble a Russian doll. Although a swift blend does help, the formula still feels disappointingly heavy, leading us to think that we’d rather stick with the highlighter instead.

 

The Verdict

Both brands have a lot to shout about—cruelty free, stylish and marketed in useful capsule collections, there is huge promise for all of these items.

However, Fenty’s heavy-duty packaging certainly packs more of a luxury punch than Glossier, making you feel a little more confident in the money you have exchanged.

Whereas Glossier has clearly been pitched as a millennial brand, Fenty Beauty feels like a slightly more worth investment for all ages, and you get plenty of product for your money. With easy application that feels lightweight on the face and an impressive range of colours accessible to all skintones, it appears Fenty just edges out the competition—for now…