Fenty Skin ambassador Sean Garrette on Rihanna's inclusive vision to change the beauty industry

By Heather Cichowski

At the end of July, Rihanna expanded her beauty empire with the launch of Fenty Skin. This followed the colossal success of her inclusive makeup range, Fenty Beauty, which first hit stores in 2017.

Like with Fenty Beauty, Fenty Skin is changing the beauty industry. It's described as "the new culture of skincare" and features easy-to-use, two-in-one products that will streamline anyone and everyone's routine.

The brand launched with three core products: Total Cleans’r Remove-it-all Cleanser, US$25, Fat Water Pore-refining Toner Serum, US$28, and refillable Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen, US$35, exclusively on Fentyskin.com. Fenty Skin also announced licensed esthetician Sean Garrette as a brand ambassador.

Fenty Skin's very first launch. Photo: © Fenty Skin

HELLO! Canada spoke with Sean to hear more behind-the-scenes details about the line, including its inclusive vision and his favourite product.

    HELLO! Canada: What was your reaction to finding out you were going to be Fenty Skin's ambassador?

    Sean Garrette: Absolutely thrilled! I was really excited to work and partner with Rihanna and Fenty Skin because I truly stand by her mission to deliver healthy, beautiful skin to every skin type, skin tone, and gender identity. As an esthetician, I always try to make skincare as approachable and accessible as possible. When I learned about Fenty Skin, it was immediately obvious that our outlooks and approach to skincare were aligned. I respect and relate to Rihanna’s approach to skincare in making it simple and accessible for everyone.

      Tell us more about the brand's inclusive skincare message and what it means to you. What do you hope for in terms of the "new culture of skincare?"

      Fenty Skin has always been about inclusion, and Rihanna wanted to make sure that Fenty Skin is accessible to everyone. What I love about working with Fenty Skin is Rihanna’s message that you shouldn’t put a label on skin care. Good products are good products, and they’ll work no matter your gender identity.

      I think just from our initial Fenty Skin campaign as well as having me, a Black man, be the ambassador for the brand will open up the conversation and encourage more men to take better care of their skin and to invest in the health of their skin.

      MORE: Celebrity makeup artist Daniel Martin talks about his new Tatcha partnership and shares his lockdown beauty tips

        Tell us about the globally-sourced ingredients and their benefits and focus on sensitivity and all skin types.

        Rihanna’s main mission in creating Fenty Skin was inspired by her own bad experiences with skincare products growing up. Now having the chance to create her own line, it was important for it to be functional, safe, and easy to use for all skin types. She wanted to formulate products with the best ingredients she could and she didn’t want them to be harsh on skin.

        Across the line products are formulated with well-known ingredients like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide (my favourite), and green tea. Alongside those are unique globally sourced ingredients that are personal to Rihanna, like, Barbados cherry which is rich in Vitamin C and helps to brighten the skin; Kalahari melon, which is an antioxidant rich fruit and helps to add hydration to the skin; and of course, ginkgo biloba, which is an ancient Chinese herb that helps to clarify and control oil on the skin.

          Photo: © Fenty Skin

          Rihanna talked about not producing a lot of products and streamlining the line to things that really worked. Can you explain about the philosophy?

          Rihanna, like many other consumers, was overwhelmed with skincare ingredients and products on the market – yes, even her! This frustration drove her passion to launch Fenty Skin with a focused skincare system consisting of the non-negotiables you need in a skincare routine: cleanse and remove makeup, tone and treat, and hydrate and protect from the sun. The Fenty Skin Start’rs are the essentials made easy. There are so many product choices on the market, but with Fenty Skin, you’re able to have essentially a six-step routine within just three easy products.

            If you had to choose one absolute favourite product, what would it be and why?

            My favourite product in the Fenty Skin line is the Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen because it’s a 2-in-1 moisturizer and sunscreen. I love this product so much, and believe that daily skin protection is so important no matter how dark or how light your skin is or if you’re outside or inside all day. It’s lightweight enough that you can feel good wearing it all day, it doesn’t leave a white/purple cast and it makes your skin incredibly glowy with hydration. I’m obsessed with it!

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