Ariana Grande has done it all: from Broadway at 15 years old to a successful worldwide touring artist at age 28, with, of course, her stint as Cat Valentine on Nickelodeon in-between. Now, it is being speculated that Grande is on her way to turn the beauty industry upside down, seemingly on brand with her aesthetic.
It was originally E! News that broke the story about a new trademark for “R.E.M” by a company known to be connected to the artist, as well as a R.E.M Beauty website and matching Instagram account. The account was followed by Grande’s mother, Joan Grande, which was the fact that fans used to confirm the reality of R.E.M. This Twitter account dedicated to voting statistics for the platinum artist even discovered the possibility of R.E.M Beauty having a physical storefront in New York.
Grande already knows her way around cosmetics and beauty, considering her line of best-selling fragrances, some referencing her song titles such as Thank U Next, Cloud, God is a Woman and of course, R.E.M. These are all sold in partnership with ULTA Beauty. It comes as no surprise that Grande is now following in the footsteps of many before her into the highly saturated celebrity popstar niche of the beauty industry. Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty, Lady Gaga’s HausLaboratories, as well as Kylie Cosmetics and KKW Beauty from the Kardashian/Jenner tribe are just a few examples.
When asked about the “crowdedness” of this business venture by female celebrities, Grande responded, “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 are 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.”
In an interview with Allure for their 25th “Best of Beauty” Issue, Grande finally goes in-depth about the nature of R.E.M. Beauty after approximately two years of secretly working on the project and two weeks of it being teased across social media. Forma Brands, self-described as “an incubator, accelerator, and curator of today’s beauty brands,” known for its subsidiary, Morphe, is the confirmed manufacturer behind the artist’s new line. The vice president of brand at Forma, Alex Alston, noted how impressed they were by Grande’s passion, as she came to their first meeting armed with everything that inspired her for the line including, “education magazine ads for Revlon cosmetics from the ‘50s and ‘60s, space warriors of legend, mist-covered landscapes, blush-tinted stills from her music videos and a single, silver throw pillow.”
The “Thank U, Next” singer further explains that the beauty brand will function similarly to a streetwear brand, releasing products in sporadic “drops.” The first drop of items will focus primarily on the eyes, as Grande believes, “They’re our main storytellers and sources of communication. I feel like you can emote more with your eyes than you can articulate sometimes.” Essentially, fans can look forward to fine eyeliners, matte liquid eyeshadows, mascara and eventually a variety of butter-like and tingling gloss lipsticks for her future lip product drop.
An exact date for the grand opening of R.E.M. Beauty has not been confirmed, although a post on the official Instagram account simply announced that it is coming “this fall.” The identity of this beauty line by the “Positions” singer continues to be developed as fans try to piece together the hints that Grande drops from time to time.