Fenty Beauty pulls controversially named highlighter amid backlash

Souzan Michael
Fenty Beauty pulls controversially named highlighter amid backlash
Fenty Beauty pulls controversially named highlighter amid backlash

There are few things in life that get us more quickly hyped than news of an upcoming Fenty Beauty launch. (Please refer to the bronzers that we need in our collections ASAP.) The brand’s latest releases, a new Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Duo and two new Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter shades, were initially no exception.

Until they were. As we scrolled through swatch photos of the champagne-colored Afternoon Snack/Mo’ Hunny cream-powder hybrid highlighter duo, and the two Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter swatches—a burnt copper, and the other a metallic brick red—we were struck by how gorgeous the shades were.

But in an unfortunate (and rare) misstep by the Fenty Beauty team, the brand named the brick red shade “Geisha Chic,” which, rightfully, did not sit well with fans. The anonymous beauty insider collective, Estée Laundry, was the first to call it out.

“I think it’s really important that you all rethink this name, as there is a long oppressive history of geisha culture and the fetishization of it is something people need to move away from. Please reconsider,” wrote one Instagram user on a post shared by Trendmood, announcing the Fenty Beauty launch.

UPDATE 🚨🚨 Hey Loves, Due to the feedback on this post @fentybeauty has decided to completely remove this shade from online and in stores until further notice. We will keep u updated! We appreciate Fenty Beauty’s responsiveness to this matter and applaud the continuous evolution of this amazing beauty community 💗🙏🏼 . . . More..... 👀🙀💗❤️ #fentybeauty Keep it cute and sweet in #KILLAWATTFOIL in #GEISHACHIC! NEW metallic brick red ✨ . . It’s going to be a HOT🔥 #Summer2019 ☀️✨ Also dropping: 1. #BRONZERS ✨😍 #SUNSTALKRBRONZER - gives instant warmth that brings out the right undertones for a sun-soaked glow! This creamy, powder bronzer. that are blendable and transfer resistant in 8 shades, Instant Warmth Bronzer $30 each: MOCHA MAMI - very del shade with warm red undertones COCO NAUGHTY - deep shade with neutral undertones CARAMEL CUTIE - tan to deep shade neutral undertones BAJAN GYAL - tan shade with warm undertones I$LAND TING - Medium shade with neutral undertones PRIVATE ISLAND - Light to medium shade with warm undertones SHADY BIZ - Light shade with warm undertones INDA SUN - fair shade with neutral undertones 2. SCULPTING BRONZER BRUSH 195 $34 - A tapered bronzer brush with a custom paw shape designed to contour the face with effortless precision. 3. CHEEK-HUGGING BRONZER BRUSH 190 $36 - An extra large, super plush bronzer brush that’s expertly chiseled to “hug” the curves of your face for an all-over bronze glow. 4. LIL BRONZE DUO Mini Bronzer Set $24 featuring a mini Sun Stalk’r Instant Warmth Bronzer and a mini Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick. In SHADY BIZ/SINAMON (for light - Medium skin tones) CARAMEL CUTIE/SINAMON (For tan to deep skin tones) 5. Mini!! PRO FILT'R - Instant Retouch Setting Powder $16 in Butter, Cashew, Honey, Nutmeg . . Will be available ➡️ APRIL 5TH online @fentybeauty @sephora . . There are more.... 👀 What’s on your list? 💛❤️💗✨💧 XO #Trendmood #fenty #fentybeauty THANK U for this beautiful update: @jordy2_shorty @audreypschl 😘 . . #motd #makeupoftheday #mua #ilovemakeup #makeup #makeupaddict #makeuplover #makeupblogger

A post shared by TRENDMOOD (@trendmood1) on Mar 29, 2019 at 10:30am PDT

Trendmood has since updated the post, announcing that the brand has decided to pull the highlighter in question from online and store shelves due to the backlash. No word yet on the plan moving forward, but we assume the brand will rename the shade and launch it at a later date. But in the meantime, you can pick up the other two new Fenty Beauty Killawatt launches starting April 5th online and in Sephora stores.

Take a look at the two launches below.

Fenty Beauty Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter in “PENNY4UTHOTS”


Fenty Beauty
Fenty Beauty


We need this for the name alone, tbh.

Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Duo in “Afternoon Snack/Mo’ Hunny”


Fenty Beauty
Fenty Beauty


Two easy-to-wear champagne shades that will become staples in your makeup kit.