Usually, a new Fenty Beauty product has everyone reaching for their wallets but Rihanna’s most recent launch comes with some controversy. Fenty Geisha Chic, a new shade of the ultra-popular Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter, is being pulled before it even hits stores because of customer backlash. The name is being called out for Asian-target racism, something critics say is often looked over. One just has to think of many cringe-worthy shade names in the beauty world, including OPI’s Miso Happy with This Color and Rice Rice Baby, to know they have a point.
Ever since it launched, Fenty’s had creative shade names. Most are fun and cheeky, such as Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Spanked, Thicc and F’N Black. Needless to say, Geisha Chic did not go over as well. Quickly after the brand posted the new shade to Instagram this weekend, beauty account Estée Laundry, who calls out companies’ missteps and educates consumers on the industry, questioned the use of the name. And then when beauty news page Trendmood posted the launch, it was all over. Comments on the post include, “Geisha chic? For a brand that wants to be all #woke and inclusive it’s…..yikes” and “being a geisha isn’t ‘chic’ it’s not an aesthetic to be worn??? I thought fenty knew better😪.”
It didn’t take long for Fenty to decide to pull the shade, according to Estée Laundry. “We hear you, we have pulled the product until it can be renamed. We wanted to personally apologize. Thank you so much for educating us,” Fenty wrote. Estée Laundry (the person or people who run the page are anonymous) praised Fenty for its refreshing response, one that actually seems to learn from mistakes instead of being defensive or ignoring the problem altogether, writing: “We appreciate brands that respond positively to constructive criticism and make changes. Good job on responding to feedback and renaming ‘Geisha Chic,’ @fentybeauty.”
We agree that Fenty responded as we’d hope, but it’s a shame this happened and we can’t try the pretty brick red highlighter, like now. In the meantime, there are two other gorgeous shades to hold us over.
Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Duo in Afternoon Snack/Mo’ Hunny
This duo features a soft bronzed champagne sheen on the left side (Afternoon Snack) and a bold “supercharged” bronzed champagne shimmer on the right (Mo’ Hunny).
$36 at Sephora
Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter in Penny4UThots
This metallic burnt copper hue was created to pop on all skin tones.
$36 at Sephora
Shop the new shades, minus Geisha Chic, on April 5 in Sephora stores and Sephora’s website.
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