Deeper skin tones have been left out of the bronzer conversation for too long.

“We need to change the mentality that a bronzer’s role is to tan the skin because it’s really about bringing a sun-kissed warmth,” says Hector Espinal, Fenty Beauty’s global makeup artist.

It helps that brands are finally formulating bronzers with all skin tones in mind: Benefit Cosmetics has introduced two new deep shades of its beloved Hoola bronzer, and Marc Jacobs Beauty will release a deeper shade of O!mega Bronzer this month.

After two years of development, Fenty Beauty launched its first collection of shimmer-free matte bronzers in eight shades. They are formulated to work with every skin tone represented in its foundation range (currently, an impressive 50 shades). The bronzers were supposed to be released alongside the foundations when the brand launched in 2017, explains Espinal, but Rihanna wasn’t going to approve products that weren’t perfect.

Case in point: The deepest shade, Mocha Mami, was reformulated at the very last minute at Rihanna’s request when it didn’t show up clearly enough on the model during the campaign shoot. The ultimate test subject, however, is always Riri herself.

“She wears everything before it’s launched,” says Espinal.

“People are starting to catch on and ask me what she’s wearing, and I’m like, ‘I don’t know; you tell me!’”

[slideshow 163844]

This article first appeared in the June issue of ELLE Canada. Subscribe now