Ariana Grande Says the Inspiration Behind r.e.m. beauty Is "Sci-Fi Vintage Horror Space Stuff"
Supreme vocalist, skillful actress, enthusiastic mentor (she's a coach on The Voice), and businesswoman Ariana Grande has practically dipped her toes in every facet of the entertainment world — with remarkable success, might I add. Now the singer, affectionately nicknamed Ari, has a new venture launching this week: her highly-anticipated beauty brand.
I don't know about you, but ever since the performer announced her r.e.m. makeup line — which is named after her song "r.e.m." — with Forma Brands, I've been waiting with bated breath to get my hands on her products. After all, the ever-gorgeous Grande says herself that she's spent countless hours in the makeup chair, so if there's anyone positioned to lead us through the cosmetic space, it's her.
On a Tuesday afternoon, the singer graciously hosted me along with a group of fellow journalists on a virtual tour through her stellar "r.e.m. chapter one: ultraviolet," complete with breakdowns of each product and even a few swatching sessions. She even did a ridiculously spot-on Jennifer Coolidge impression, after sharing that, like many of us, she felt weird testing the makeup live.
While Grande's beauty line is recent news to us, the multi-hyphenate started working on the collection over two years ago, meaning you've most likely already seen her wearing it. She tells us she tested formulas out on tour, and has even been wearing the products while filming The Voice.
The collection will launch with upwards of 10 products in an array of shades, mostly focused on eyes and the lips — hence the beauty line's name which stands for Rapid Eye Movement, a dream-state we all experience during sleep.
"Rapid Eye Movement focuses on dreams and our eyes," she shared with the group. "Eyes are our main storytellers and most emotional communicators. You can say more with the way you look at someone than you can with words sometimes. They're what we use to dream and rest, so much beauty happens there."
And while the brand is launching with a limited number of products, the line will continue expanding their selection with future "chapters" that have already been created. For now, the r.e.m. lineup includes two super pigmented types of eyeliner: the At the Borderline Eyeliner Marker in Midnight Black and At the Borderline Kohl Eyeliner Pencil in three shades (Midnight Black, So Mod white, and Teddy Bear Brown), crafted to mimic Ari's flawless signature cat-eye (which she says takes "prayer and patience").
Other eye products in the launch will include the Flourishing Volumizing Mascara and Flourishing Lengthening Mascara, Midnight Shadows Eyeshadow Palette in three options (Babydoll, Midnight Snack, and Principessa), r.e.m. Dream Lashes in two styles (Eternally Meowing and Grow n Show), and Midnight Shadows Liquid Eyeshadow in 10 matte and 11 lustrous shades.
While it's hard to play favorites, Ari tells us her go-to palette is the Babydoll (a collection of the perfect neutrals from a peach to metallic gold and deep brown), which is titled after her grandpa's sweet nickname for her. But the creamy Liquid Eyeshadow also effortlessly sweeps onto the lid in thick, pigmented gloss that creates a long-lasting statement eye in one simple step.
VIDEO: Ariana Grande Finally Confirms She's Launching a Beauty Brand
The lip products will include the On Your Collar Plumping Lip Gloss in nine shades and On Your Collar Matte Lipstick (still luxuriously soft and creamy) in six shades, the Practically Permanent Lip Stain Marker in four shades (Popular, Full Out, Miss Berry, and Booked), and the Utmost Importance Plumping Lip Gloss in clear — the latter of which are Grande's two favorite lip products in the collection.
"I've always loved stains because I feel like it's going to be there for you," she says. "We gotta work, we gotta do things, we gotta run around; it doesn't move. So my favorite combination is the Practically Permanent Lip Stain Marker with the Utmost Important Pumping Gloss."
Her freshman beauty line rounds out with a brilliantly shimmery highlight called Interstellar Highlight Topper, and it's available in 10 glowing shades. Each product in the brand's arsenal is also totally vegan and cruelty-free, as well as incredibly affordable with prices ranging from $15 to $24.
The cosmic collection has a vintage outer-space theme thanks to the silver "futuristic yet nostalgic" packaging (think The Jetsons), which was super important to the artist. "I wanted to make sure that everything looked like a prop from Star Trek or Black Mirror. I didn't want it to look like makeup, and I'm a huge fan of sci-fi vintage horror space stuff. So I wanted to kind of create our own world with this packaging."
And she certainly delivered on her vision. Each product feels like a figment of Ari's imagination, like an antique NASA (another one of Grande's songs in her expansive catalogue) device from the '60s. She described the creative process of developing the line as somewhat similar to song writing.
"When you're writing a song, [you have to] spend time with the pre-chorus to make sure the notes set up the hook in the proper way or that the harmonies aren't fighting with the the bells or strings in the background; that everything is complimentary of one another," she says. "It's the same thing as putting together these formulas and making sure that each note is perfect."
We certainly don't expect anything less from Ms. Grande.
r.e.m. beauty is available for purchase Friday, November 12 at rembeauty.com.