We’re thirteen days into 2020, and Rihanna is already shaking fans up with the launch of a new Fenty Beauty mascara. Sure, it’s not the album fans have been begging for, but maybe it’s the next best thing?
Last week, Fenty announced its first-ever mascara, Full Frontal was on the way. People have been asking for Rih’s take on lashes since her brand first launched in 2017, so unsurprisingly the comments section was full of nearly 3,000 variations of “YAAS,” “finally!!” and heart-eye emojis.
Full Frontal is a bit of an overachiever. The brand calls it “the do-it-all mascara,” and claims it lifts, curls, lengthens, and volumizes thanks to its “flat-to-fat” brush, which has traditional rounded fluffy bristles on one side, and shorter, flat bristles on the other. Basically, it looks like a standard mascara wand that’s been flattened in the middle. The brand recommends using the fluffy side to load and lift lashes, and then going back over with the flat side to define and curl your lashes. The formula is also made to be buildable, sweat-proof, and smudge-resistant.
While that’s quite the instruction manual for a mascara, if it delivers full, fluttery lashes, we’re willing to make it work. We had six Glamour editors put the new Fenty Beauty mascara to the test before it launches (on January 16) to see if it lives up to the hype. The photos below compare the mascara on one eye (at right) to our regular lashes. Read on for our honest thoughts.
Lindsay Schallon, senior beauty editor
One of my all-time favorite mascara tricks is starting with a thick, fat mascara brush (like Too Faced’s Better Than Sex), then going back over it with a smaller, more spindly brush (like It Cosmetics’ Tightline) to grab and define every single lash. Leave it to Rihanna to take makeup artists’ best-kept secret and turn it into a product. It’s definitely a brush that takes a second to figure out—I had to keep staring at it to make sure I was using the right side—but once you’ve got the motions down you’ll watch your lashes double in length before your eyes. I’m a stan.
Bella Cacciatore, beauty associate
I generally gravitate towards smaller, plastic mascara brushes, but for some reason I had a really good feeling about this one. Full Frontal has more of a whipped, fluffy texture, which usually doesn’t grab onto my stubby lashes, but this time it got all my lashes and gave them a pretty fanned out effect (crucial when you’re working with limited lashes in the first place). It’s very lightweight and didn’t get clumpy or crunchy, even though it took me about six layers to get the drama I wanted. I love the final result, but I did find the brush a little clunky (I only used the fat side to apply, the flat one didn’t do much for me), and I got a lot of mascara on my lid.
Perrie Samotin, digital director
I’m still waiting for Rihanna’s new album, but she did bestow me with a great mascara so I guess I can be patient. Fenty’s Full Frontal added volume and length but what made it a real a winner for me is how subtly fanned-out it makes my lashes look, almost like I have a few falsies in. Another victory: Almost every mascara I try clumps on me, but this went on sleek and smooth.
Jenny Singer, staff writer
I appreciate that the Fenty team tried to make a brush that would solve the riddle of mascara, which is essentially: How can something that’s supposed to thicken and darken your lashes also separate them? But I’m sad to report it didn’t exactly work for me—the fluffy part of the brush that’s supposed to deposit product wasn’t fluffy enough to boost my lashes, and the thin part of the brush that’s supposed to separate lashes wasn’t thin enough to comb clumps through. After a little clean up the results were nice, but my loyalty to L’Oréal Voluminous Original is unwavering. I think my lashes just need more of a classic brush.
Shanna Shipin, commerce editor
I love a fluffy mascara brush. I like to think the fluffier and more bristle-y a wand is, the more likely it’s going to pick up on all my eyelashes. So when I opened up the Full Frontal mascara I had high hopes. I wasn’t sure whether to go in with the fluffy or flat side first, but I went in with fluff then finished off with flat. After my first swipe I knew I’d have to be careful with the application—it’s the kind of mascara that with one wonky or overzealous motion, you’d immediately get formula all over your top or bottom lid. But after a few slow and careful layers—and very steady breathing—I was done applying and so happy with how it turned out. My lashes were perfectly fanned and evenly coated, and they didn’t give me raccoon eyes even after a full day of wearing. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this mascara for someone who tries to rush through their morning beauty routine (hi), but I think it works for night out looks (or anyone with a smidge of patience in the AM).
Erin Parker, commerce writer
As with any piece of music, fashion, or makeup by my personal savior Robyn Rihanna Fenty, this mascara felt meticulously designed and high quality when I held it in my hand. It definitely lengthened my short-ish, underwhelming eyelashes, but I wasn’t as blown away as I’ve been with other Fenty products, like the Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation (I’m shade 310, for any fellow medium-tan peeps who are interested), which has become a mainstay in my everyday routine. It’s not bad. It’s a nice mascara! I just don’t feel incredibly inclined to deem this my new go-to.
Fenty Beauty Full Frontal Mascara, $24 launches January 16 at sephora.com
Bella Cacciatore is the beauty associate at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @bellacacciatore_.