Fenty Beauty's full frontal mascara has launched – here's our review

Ellie Fry
Queen Ri-Ri has claimed that the new product is set to "dominate the mascara game", we've put it through its paces: The Independent/iStock

January is always a struggle. We’re eagerly awaiting payday, trying to avoid the booze and dragging ourselves to the gym – but what better pick-me-up than a new make-up launch?

We’ve seen some exciting beauty announcements so far this month; Charlotte Tilbury revealed its new pillow talk collection that is already set to make a dent in our next paycheck, skincare aficionado Ole Henriksen launched a new cleanser that’s been all over our Instagram feed and Fenty Beauty finally announced its long-awaited mascara that drops today.

Rihanna’s make-up brand has shaken up the beauty world since its launch in 2017, famed for its diverse shade ranges that inspired other brands to improve their own lines, and its formidable make-up formulas in everything from the foundation to highlighters. In 2019 we saw the Fenty Beauty launch its first bronzers, eyeliner and a new foundation formula, but the beauty giant is showing no sign of slowing down in 2020.

The brand revealed its highly anticipated mascara on Instagram last week, promoting it as a “do-it-all mascara featuring an exclusive flat-to-fat brush that instantly volumises, lifts, lengthens, and curls”. Along with these big claims, the product, coined "full frontal" is designed to be “water-resistant, sweat-resistant and long-wearing” – a real multitasker.

Rihanna took to her own Insta to declare that the product is set to “dominate the mascara game”, but does its unusual-looking brush live up to the hype? We got our hands on it before it launched to give you our honest verdict. You'll be able to buy it both in store and online at Harvey Nichols and Boots.

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Fenty Beauty full frontal volume, lift and curl mascara: £21, Harvey Nichols

We might have to forgive Rihanna for not releasing her long-awaited album yet if this is what she’s been working on. We don’t usually come across beauty products that deliver on all its promises but this mascara really is a game-changer.

The innovative, “flat to fat” brush picks up every lash from root to tip, resulting in full, feathered-out hairs that are defined without any clumping. Interchanging between both sides as you move the brush through your lashes works to curl and volumise the hairs in tandem; we struggle with straight-facing lashes and instantly noticed how lifted ours were after using this mascara.

The fat side of the brush distributes the product evenly, lifting and volumising your lashes, while the flat side works to lengthen and curl. The flat design is particularly helpful for the ends of your lashes where other circular brushes tend to land on your eyelids, causing those annoying smudges that can ruin your eye look. We liked using the fat side for our bottom lashes as the shape helps control and build the product on shorter hairs.

It does take a couple of coats of this mascara to achieve real definition. It’s not the most buildable formula either – don’t expect to be able to create super thick, clumpy lashes with it. But we didn’t feel like we needed any more volume as the end result after two coats looks just as lifted and fanned out as falsies do. We also like that the brush isn’t overloaded with product, again making it easier to apply without any smudging, and the end result is definitely worth having to apply a couple of coats.

If you’re looking for a new holy-grail mascara that does it all, we’d definitely recommend this one. Go and tell all of your friends that Fenty Beauty has done it again.

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We tried Charlotte Tilbury's new pillow talk collection