Sephora closes for half-day diversity training after SZA claims she was racially profiled

May 25, 2019

by Daphne Sorenson

On the morning of June 5, 2019, beauty-store company Sephora is temporarily closing all of its U.S. retail stores, distribution centers and corporate offices for a diversity-training program for company employees. The decision came after R&B singer SZA (whose real name is Solána Rowe) went public with an accusation that she was racially profiled by Sephora. According to SZA, the incident happened on April 30, 2019, while she was shopping at a Sephora store in Calabasas, California. SZA says that she had security called on her because she was wrongfully suspected of shoplifting.

SZA tweeted that day, “Lmao Sandy Sephora location 614 Calabasas called security to make sure I wasn’t stealing . We had a long talk. U have a blessed day Sandy.”

In response to SZA’s complaint, Sephora tweeted: “You are a part of the Sephora family, and we are committed to ensuring every member of our community feels welcome and included at our stores.”

In a statement on its community page, Sephora announced: “On the morning of 6/5, every Sephora store, distribution center, and corporate office in the US will close to host inclusion workshops for our employees. These values have always been at the heart of Sephora, and we’re excited to welcome everyone when we reopen. Join us in our commitment to a more inclusive beauty community.

Ironically, SZA says she was at Sephora to shop for Fenty Beauty products. SZA was part of Fenty’s lipstick campaign in 2017. Fenty founder Rihanna, whose real name is Robyn Fenty, sent a gift card and a handwritten note to SZA that read, “Go buy yo’ Fenty Beauty in peace sis! One love, Rihanna.” SZA shared these messages on an Instagram Story.

SZA is best known for her collaboration with Kendrick Lamar for the song “All the Stars” from the “Black Panther” soundtrack. The song was nominated for numerous awards, including an Oscar and a Grammy.

This isn’t the first accusation of discrimination that Sephora has faced on social media. There are dozens of messages from angry customers who claim that they were racially profiled as potential criminals, even though they say they didn’t do anything wrong.  Sephora has also been getting complaints on social media about discriminating against customers over the age of 40 and customers who have physical and intellectual challenges, by treating them rudely and dismissively. It looks like it took a celebrity to go public with a discrimination complaint before Sephora tried to do anything about it.

Rihanna launches makeup brand Fenty Beauty

September 17, 2017

Rihanna and Fenty Beauty products
Rihanna and Fenty Beauty products (Image courtesy of Fenty Beauty)

The following is a press release from Fenty Beauty:

Rihanna, in partnership with Kendo Brands, a LVMH-owned beauty developer, launches her global makeup brand, Fenty Beauty, in an unprecedented 1,600 stores across 17 countries in one day. The Beauty industry’s most anticipated launch, Fenty Beauty was created by Rihanna with a vision that’s always ahead of the game. Fenty Beauty redefines the rules with light-as-air formulas that love to be layered, in a global lineup of shades designed for all.

Rihanna was inspired to create Fenty Beauty after trying to find products that worked across all skin types and tones. With Rihanna’s mandate of inclusivity, Fenty Beauty offers a wide range of products for traditionally hard-to-match skin tones, creating formulas that work for all skin types, and pinpointing universal shades.

Just like Rihanna, the brand is both edgy and feminine, with a complexion-focused product assortment developed to work together and provide everyone with Rihanna’s real-life method for killer radiance, The Fenty Face. “The Fenty Face was created for women of all skin tones, of all personalities,” she says. “These steps are key to starting your makeup, no matter the look you’re going for. This is where the fun begins.” For Rihanna, the secret to radiance lies in the very first step of the Fenty Face, a soft matte filter. Because no matter your skin type, adding glow on glow = unwanted shine. The second step? Layer your highlight for strategically-placed glow. It’s all about lighting up where you want. Lastly, get ahead of shine by blotting on the fly, wherever and whenever; Rihanna believes that being photo-ready means being shine-free. Tested backstage, on stage, and in real life, The Fenty Face is the key to unlocking all of makeup’s limitless possibilities. This process is at the core of this 91-sku line, which includes 40 shades of Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation; 1 universal Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer; 30 magnetic Match Stix Skinsticks, in both matte and shimmer finishes to contour, correct, conceal, highlight and blush; 6 cream-powder hybrid Killawatt Freestyle Highlighters for face and eyes; Invisimatte Blotting Powder and Paper; 1 universal lip gloss known as Gloss Bomb; and a variety of application tools.

In addition to creating every detail of each product in her cosmetics collection, Rihanna also personally appointed three prestigious makeup artists to represent Fenty Beauty around the world. This Global Artistry Team includes James Kaliardos as Resident Artist, and Priscilla Ono and Hector Espinal as Global Makeup Artists.

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna is available starting September 8, 2017 at Sephora, Sephora.com and FentyBeauty.com.