Fenty Icon Lipstick Review

We Put Rihanna's $32 Refillable Lipstick to the Test — Here's What to Expect 

The highly pigmented collection includes 10 shades, ranging from reds to neutrals.
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All eyes are on Rihanna when she does, well, pretty much anything. That's why it comes as no surprise that her latest Fenty Beauty launch, the Fenty Icon, made quite the buzz when it dropped in February — the refillable lipstick is the first of its kind for the brand. In true Rih-fashion, the lipstick makes quite the statement: The refillable case, available in a gleaming metallic gold or a sleek matte black, was designed "to be seen." It's larger than most traditional lipstick tubes, and with the option to get it engraved, it's certainly as luxe as it gets.

As for the lipstick itself, Fenty Beauty gushes that the Icon has a "plush texture" and is "light as air," which results in a creamy, semi-matte finish. Formulated with hyaluronic acid and vitamins C and E, the bullet is available in 10 shades (a mix of reds and neutrals) and has a unique cupid's bow shape inspired by Rihanna's lips.

Fenty Icon Lipstick Review
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Shop now: $12; fentybeauty.com and ulta.com

The Fenty Icon case and bullets are sold separately, so it'll cost you $32 to buy them both the first time, and $20 afterwards any time you choose to refill the case with a new bullet. The price tag can seem a bit hefty if you don't have experience with a refillable lipstick, so four InStyle editors tested the Fenty Icon to see if it was worth it. We all tested The MVP, a vibrant blue-red, as well as four neutral shades, which were gifted by the brand. See below for our experiences, and if you're convinced, shop the Fenty Icon lipstick in your favorite shade at fentybeauty.com or ulta.com.

Kayla Greaves, Executive Beauty Editor

Fenty Icon Lipstick Review
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​​​​Not going to lie, I definitely got the lipstick bullet stuck on my first go-round. But once I figured out how the refillable packaging worked, it was a breeze. The physical design of the lip color itself was fantastic. It perfectly shaped my cupid's bow without having to do any touch-ups. In terms of formulation, it definitely gives a creamy, semi-matte finish and leaves my lips feeling nourished and moisturized. I didn't find it to be drying at all, like other formulas with a similar finish. Overall, The MVP and She a CEO are both flattering — I'll definitely be keeping these new shades in my regular rotation. 

Is it worth it? Yes, the color payoff is brilliant; while it's $20 a pop for a new tube, a little bit truly goes a long way.

Fenty Icon Lipstick Review
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Shop now: $20; fentybeauty.com and ulta.com

Fenty Icon Lipstick Review
Credit: Courtesy

Shop now: $20; fentybeauty.com and ulta.com

Christina Butan, Ecommerce Writer

Fenty Icon Lipstick Review
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I didn't really know what to expect with a refillable lipstick, and I have to say I wasn't super impressed by the packaging. The case is definitely pretty, but it's chunky, and the instructions on the box for how to insert the bullet aren't very clear, so I ruined the cupid bow design with the first one I tried. Each bullet comes encased in a twistable tube with a plastic cover, so you actually don't need the Fenty case if you don't want to spend the extra $12; they're completely functional on their own. 

Nonetheless, the actual lipsticks are fantastic. The MVP is a true blue-red on me and will definitely be my new go-to for a red lip, while Ballin' Babe is a gorgeous nude mauve I can wear on the daily (though I feel like it's definitely more brown than Fenty's advertised photos). Both were long-lasting after several hours of wear and eating — they barely budged. Will I be replacing these after I'm finished with them? Absolutely.

Is it worth it? Yes, but only for the bullets — I don't think the tube is necessary.

Fenty Icon Lipstick Review
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Shop now: $20; fentybeauty.com and ulta.com

Maya Gandara, Beauty Ecommerce Writer

Fenty Icon Lipstick Review
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The best thing about the Fenty Icon lipstick is the super-creamy, semi-matte finish and long wear time. The formula left a barely-there feel on my lips and lasted for hours; I even wore it in the shower for the ultimate test and was surprised how much stayed put. Despite typically avoiding bright red lipstick, The MVP was flattering and made me feel confident wearing a bolder color on my lips, while Scholar Sista will no doubt become an everyday staple. 

I don't think the refillable aspect hit the mark — it feels awkward to switch between shades, and some of them were damaged in the process. Plus, the larger tube takes up a lot of room in my purse. While I like the idea of the cupid's bow design for easier application, I did end up reaching for a lipstick brush to soften the edges of my lips. 

Is it worth it? Yes, if you're a Fenty Beauty fan and you were already planning on buying a few of these shades.

Fenty Icon Lipstick Review
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Shop now: $20; fentybeauty.com and ulta.com

Tamim Alnuweiri, Beauty Ecommerce Writer

Fenty Icon Lipstick Review
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The idea of a refillable lipstick is admirable, but I haven't experimented with it much because it seemed like it could be cumbersome. Luckily, the Fenty Icon was super easy to assemble — I only needed a quick glance at the instructions. However, I was unable to figure out how to switch out the lipstick shades once they were in the case. 

On me, the true-red MVP shade showed up a little more like a pink-red, and Pose Queen was a near-perfect nude for my skin — it almost completely blended in with my complexion. The cupid's bow shape of the lipstick was a little difficult to work with on my top lip, so I had to do a bit of cleanup after each application. The lipstick feels smooth and buttery but the formula is too slippery for buildable color, so I found it hard to layer. 

Is it worth it? Yes, but only if you frequently wear Fenty lipstick and are concerned about sustainability and reducing waste. 

Fenty Icon Lipstick Review
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Shop now: $20; fentybeauty.com and ulta.com