We went to Rihanna's beauty launch and it was crazy20th Sep 17 | Beauty
Rihanna appeared at the London launch of her Fenty Beauty range last night, and all hell promptly broke loose.
A couple of weeks ago, on the day her Fenty Beauty range landed in stores, Rihanna appeared at a big New York launch party, while us Brits had to make do with a 7am breakfast event before the doors of Harvey Nichols opened. No RiRi here, we sighed.
But then an invite arrived last week for a Fenty Beauty celebration party, suggesting that – gasp – Rihanna herself would be there.
Eager to catch a glimpse of the Bajan pop princess, I turned up at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge at 7.30pm sharp, as the invite instructed. After having my name checked no less than three times and being held outside, we were finally let in at 8pm.
The whole of the department store’s lower ground floor (usually menswear) had been transformed into a Fenty Beauty wonderland, with different rooms dedicated to the collection’s hero products, from the 40 shades of foundation to the multi-use Match Stix and super-shimmery Killawatt highlighters.
I wandered around, had a glass of Ace Champagne and got matched for my foundation shade while hip-hop tunes blared and bloggers Snapchatted away. Already there were people gathered at the foot of the stairs, phones in hand waiting for the woman of the hour to arrive, but it was actually two hours before a flurry of activity suggested that Rihanna was definitely in the building.
Whoops and cheers rang out as she descended the stairs, resplendent in a lilac chiffon Molly Goddard dress that perfectly complemented the generous dose of Match Stix Confetti shade that glowed on her cheekbones.
After dutifully posing for the paps, the 29-year-old made her way over the DJ booth to give a short thank you speech and get the party started.
“I just want you guys to have a drink!” she shouted excitedly. “Grab some foundation, some Killawatt Highlight, some Gloss Bomb… and when you get too greasy, go blot a little bit with some Invisimatte. And I’m going to see you guys at the cash register OK?!”
It was then, as Rihanna started to make her way around the party, that all hell pretty much broke loose. Like the beautiful eye of a well-dressed storm, she was mobbed by fans, friends and cameraphones as she walked through the rooms, a pack of security guards only just managing to keep the crowd at bay.
People were pushing and shoving to try and get closer, take pictures or stream live on social media. At one point, a photographer fell backwards, a stack of highlighter compacts on a plinth went crashing to the ground and a PR had to scurry to pick them up.
Rihanna, on the other hand, didn’t seem remotely fazed. She bopped through the crowd, grabbed a box of popcorn, opened a golden fortune cookie in the Killawatt room, and every so often stopped to hug fans, have a chat or take a selfie.
As for me? Honestly, it was all a bit much. I’m a big fan of Rihanna, but I didn’t have the energy or inclination to elbow my way to the front for a selfie. So after observing the mayhem from a distance for a while, I finished my champagne, picked up my Fenty foundation (shade 170, FYI) and left the partying to the superfans.
© Press Association 2017