Ariana Grande insists her r.e.m. beauty line isnt hopping onto any bandwagons

Ariana Grande covers the latest issue of Allure. Before I read the interview, I thought this was going to be purely about music, or maybe just a slice of her new life as a married woman. It’s not at all – there’s only an oblique reference to her husband, and it’s barely about new music. The bulk of the interview is about her new makeup/beauty line, r.e.m. beauty. Not R.E.M. the Southern rock band from Athens, Georgia (my fave, Michael Stipe, would never). No, the “r.e.m.” in question in a reference to REM sleep, as in Ariana is all about manifesting her dreams. Ari is also promoting her new gig on The Voice, and of course she’s got a bunch of other side-projects too. But the beauty line is the main thing. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

She’s been working on this for years: “Coveting the secret for the past two years and having testers and samplers in my purse, and people asking me, ‘Oh, I love your highlight, what are you wearing?’ And me being like, ‘I don’t know’, sweating. It was so hard to keep a secret for this long.”

How she’ll introduce her beauty line: In the manner of a streetwear brand, r.e.m. beauty itself will manifest in a series of “drops.” The first focuses primarily on the eyes — “our main gateways to our dreams, our emotions, our everything,” Grande explains. “They’re our main storytellers and sources of communication. I feel like you can emote more with your eyes than you can articulate sometimes.” To that end, there are fine-point eyeliner markers, liquid eye shadows in a range of matte shades, glittering toppers that sparkle like nebulae, and at least one mascara. There are also lipsticks that feel like butter and glosses that tingle upon application, calling to mind DuWop’s Lip Venom. “That was the reference! I feel like this is as tingly, if not tinglier than Lip Venom. I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, is this a little too intense?’”

Whether the beauty market is oversaturated right now: “That it’s crowded? I’ve thought a lot about this, of course, because I don’t want to just hop onto any bandwagons ever. I think that…I wear my peers’ makeup as well, just like I listen to their music. I’m not going to say, ‘Oh, there’s too many female artists.’ I love and I’m [a] huge fan of my peers that do both, and I think that it’s just another way to tell stories. Because you can never have enough makeup, just like you can never have enough music.”

It’s about her own pickiness when it comes to beauty products: “I always am very picky when it comes to that,” she says. The lip glosses are more like dewy lip stains, because Grande wanted something that would be long-wearing.

Her style inspo: “I’ve always sort of gravitated towards the ‘50s and ‘60s and ‘70s for glamour references. I’ve always pictured myself in a different time period. I’ve always wanted to wear that makeup, wear that hair, wear those outfits, be those performers.”

[From Allure]

I’ll be honest, I do think the beauty industry is currently oversaturated with celebrity-side-hustle beauty lines. Rihanna’s really got these women on her bandwagon! I mean, Rihanna wasn’t the first celebrity to do a makeup line, but I would argue that Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty changed the game in a huge way. Now every woman with any kind of profile wants their own beauty lines. So, yeah, it is oversaturated and hyper-consumerism too. That being said, I understand Ariana’s argument of “the industry is big enough for everyone.” She’s making it clear that she has her own point of view and her own idea about how certain products should be. And I’ll be damned if I’m not interested in her lip tingly product now.

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Cover and IG courtesy of Allure.

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