I Tried A Full Face Of Ariana Grande’s R.E.M Beauty, And These Are My Thoughts

Would the cosmic 'Ultraviolet' collection be out of this world, or a 'Thank U, Next'?

full face ariana grande R.E.M beauty review

by Remy Farrell |

The past year has treated us to a wealth of celebrity fronted beauty brands, from Harry Styles' 'Pleasing' to Alicia Keys' 'Keys Soulcare', Selena Gomez' 'Rare Beauty' and Tracee Ellis Ross' 'Pattern' haircare, it's clear the A-list are keen to cash in on the beauty industry, imparting the secrets, tips and tricks they've learned along the way.

The latest to join them? Pop sensation Ariana Grande, who's as known for her ponytail as she is her impeccable eyeliner. Introducing R.E.M Beauty.

A journey through what Ariana describes as 'Travelling through space and time to a world of cosmic illusions and futuristic lust. From graphic eyes and flutter-worthy lashes to extragalactic highlights and lips that make a statement, this is everything dreams are made of.' And the 13 piece strong launch covers face, eyes and lips, in a Barbarella inspired collection of everything from glosses to pop art highlighters, to shake up the way we think about celebrity beauty brands. And, if the reaction to the impending second drop is anything to go by, it appears to be a success. But of course, I needed to try it for myself. So, below my thoughts on Ultraviolet: Chapter 1.

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Face

As of yet, so there isn't any skincare or foundation (perhaps we can expect from a later drop?), so I used The Body Shop's Fresh Nude Foundation, £18, which is mid-coverage, and has a dewy, second skin feel, something that I thought would work well with this shimmery, bold, and colourful collection.

ariana grande r.e.m beauty review

There also aren't any blush, bronzers or contour palettes in this drop either, so I got creative and used the Matte Lipstick, £18, in shade 'Twilight' to contour which glides on like a dream. Creamy and blendable, the cool toned cocoa is quite a good match for my usual contour, and the rest of the lipstick range are pink, peach and brown nudes that could double up as a blush or contour for a range of skin tones. So far, so good.

The Interstellar Highlighter Topper, £21, has to be one of the most talked about products. 10 bright shades ranging from minty greens to soft lavender, deep copper to icy peach, I wondered how wearable they really are. Opting for bright gold shade 'Thee Sun', reminiscent of Fenty Beauty's Killawatt Highlighter 'Trophy Wife', I'm cautious with the brush, but pleasantly surprised by the finish. Unlike Fenty, it isn't packed full of glitter, making it a viable day time option. Far from a blinding, frosted effect, the result is a buildable, brushed gold, that is actually relatively subtle, and in the tips and tricks notes on the site they recommend using on top of your usual cream or liquid highlighter for an even more intense glow, making the green and purple shades in the collection a little less daunting.

The Interstellar Highlighter Topper, £21: Surprisingly wearable, but if you are looking for a bright highlighter, mix this with your usual favourite. The powder formula isn't too dry or chalky though, so I would recommend making the most of it's versatility and using as an eyeshadow or lipstick topper for something really bold. 6/10.

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Highlighter Topper, £21

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Eyes

Starting with the Eyeshadow Palette, £23, in shade Principessa, I'm immediately taken with not only the selection of colours, but also the super soft, light way it creates a smoky eye. As someone who is still learning when it comes to eyeshadows (a cut crease is outside of my technical ability), a warm, brown palette is my go-to as greys and blacks are harder to tidy up, but with minimal fall out, the 'cappuccino' matte chestnut brown is an instant success. I also dampened a finer brush with setting spray to use the same colour again (albeit a little darker) as an eyeliner along the bottom lid, and next comes the really fun part - the Lustrous Liquid Shadow.

I audibly 'ooohed' as I applied the Lustrous Liquid Shadow, £15. Shade 'Fembot' is a pinky, violet with a blue hue, and what looked like a sticky, insipid gloss turned out to be a slick, iridescent wash that dried down quickly and feels totally weightless. 'THIS is exciting' I think, noticing how it changes colour as the light hits it and adding more for good measure.

Ariana Grande R.E.M beauty review

As you can expect from a celebrity synonymous with winged eyeliner the Eyeliner Marker, £18, is excellent. And for the less steady of hand, a marker pen shape is much easier to use than free-handing with a pot and brush.

As someone who hasn't worn false eyelashes for the last 2 and a half years, the Dream Lashes, £15, are a welcome return. 'Eternally Meowing' create the ultimate almond-shaped cats eye, but you'll need your own glue.

Lash but not least, the mascara - a product that's most subjective. Some prefer natural, delicate and dainty lashes, while I personally like false lash effect length, and the Volumising Mascara, £14, delivers drama in droves. The hourglass shaped brush creates exaggerated Sixties doll-like lashes (I tested without and without the false lashes for comparison) and I am obsessed. My only qualm with this high impact mascara is that the size of the brush makes reaching the bottom lashes tricky.

Eyeshadow Palette, £23: Easy to blend, air soft and perfects a smoky eye. I added an eyeshadow primer for longevity, but the pigment is there. 8.5/10

Eyeliner Marker, £18: A reliable, easy to use liner in highly pigmented black. 8/10

Dream Lashes, £15: Light and easy to apply and wear, I love the shape, and the fact that these the first false lashes I haven't had to trim to fit. Only note to Ariana - Include a glue. 8/10

Volumnising Mascara, £14: Subtle mascara fans need not apply, this is a full frontal, super mascara with an exaggerated finish that I wore without liner, shadow or false lashes and still felt 'made up'. This one is staying in my make-up bag. 9/10

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Dream Lashes, £15

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Lips

For lips I use the Lip Stain Marker, £15, as a lip liner. Like the Eyeliner Marker, it has the feel of a fine felt tip, the benefit of which is extremely precise application. I think that the idea is to colour in the whole lip for an all over stain, but trust me when I say: once it is applied, it does. not. move. I topped up with a balm for comfort as this isn't a moisturising product, and as the site suggests, it's 'practically permanent'.

ariana grande R.E.M beauty review

Finishing with the Matte Lipstick in the aforementioned shade 'Twilight', the buttery, balmy glide on is refreshing after the lip stain, but doesn't have quite the same staying power. I went in with a second coat where the colour wasn't quite deep enough, and although it is listed as a matte, i found the formula a to be little more of a pigmented satin finish. After blotting to lessen transfer, I do love the colour (and the rest of the shade range), and the shea and cocoa butter smell is delicious, but top ups are necessary with such a dark colour.

Lip Stain Marker, £15: I'm not sure that I have the patience to colour in my lips with such a fine brush, and the quick dry down is both the pro and con of this product. I would prefer a lip colour that does everything I need in one application rather than having to top with a gloss, which made this a bit fiddly. Another important point to note is removal isn't easy, it doesn't come off with a face wash, but a cleansing balm does the trick. 4/10

Matte Lipstick, £18: The site says that in an independent study, "100% of participants said the product had an ultra-creamy, smooth glide application" and I have to agree. It applied like a lip balm, and felt incredibly soft, but needed touch ups to maintain the colour. 6/10

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Matte Lipstick, £18

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Final Thoughts

It is impossible to compare this collection to the minimal approach of Rare Beauty or foundational skincare of Fenty Skin, as this is a beauty launch celebrating the fun of experimenting and dressing up. There are notable absences like brow pens and gels, blushers, or even loose pigments that would fit the brief, but the highlights of the range (most notably the liquid eyeshadow and mascara) have landed at just the right time to tap into the post Euphoria wave of intergalactic, Y2K inspired make up that is exciting not only to apply, but to wear too. "Woah, are you going out out?" My partners asks when he sees the final look. I suppose with a smoky, iridescent eye and statement lip, it'd be a shame not to...

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