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I am a true Ariana Grande stan, but did r.e.m beauty impress me?

Photo credit: r.e.m beauty Instagram
Photo credit: r.e.m beauty Instagram

Ever been to outer space? Actually I’ll rephrase because let’s be real, you definitely haven’t. How about dreamt of going to outer space? I certainly have, and it turns out nowadays you don’t need a Virgin Galactic space shuttle or half a mil sitting on your debit card to catch a glimpse of the moon and the stars. Luckily, Ariana Grande has bought space to us through her r.e.m beauty line - well not literally, but you get the jist.

Not only is she one of the biggest names in pop culture, she's an actress, impressionist (we all saw her belting Celine Dion on Jimmy Fallon), slicked-back pony trend setter, and queen for just keeping things real (nod to the ICONIC Victoria Secret Fashion Show fiasco). Now, Ariana can add beauty entrepreneur to her never ending list.

As you can tell, I was already a big stan of Ari (yeah – it’s a nickname kinda thing), but when news broke that she was joining the A-list beauty brand group chat, with the likes of Selena Gomez, Lady Gaga and Badgalriri already admins, I didn’t jump for joy.

If you know me, I'm always sceptical with celeb beauty brands. Why? Well, without sounding full of myself, I know the difference between good and bad makeup and on many occasions I’ve been let down by a celeb-brand that’s hidden behind cute packaging and an A-list name (I’m not pointing fingers). So, all my 11:11 wishes hoped that this would be an exception.

What is r.em beauty?

Here’s a cheeky sneak peek into the article: testing out r.e.m beauty, I was blown out of this world. Not only for the quality of the products and the fact it's vegan, but the incred idea behind it. R.e.m stands for rapid eye movement, the most creative and limitless time in your sleep cycle where all your vivid dreams happen. Ariana fascination with space and sci-fi inspired the galactic, silver aesthetic of the products’ packaging and influenced some of the names (like ‘Miss Mars’, ‘Midnight Black’ and ‘Lustrous Comet’).

The collection has been released in a series of chapters with each one comprising a science-fiction-esque line of products: eyeshadows in _01 Ultraviolet, skincare in _02 Goodnight & Go, lips in _03 On Your Collar, and complexion in _04 Out of Body.

Where can you buy r.e.m in the U.K?

The brand is sold exclusively at Selfridges both online and in store (check out the in-store display as it’s outta this world- someone stop me with the puns).

So, here’s my honest breakdown of some of my favourite picks from the collection, chapter by chapter. It’s a mighty line, so these are the ones I genuinely believe are worth your dolla.

The Cosmo Review

Eyes

I’ve always played it safe when it comes to eyeshadow: a bronze shade in the crease and maybe a ‘coffee’ brown in the outer corner. And IMHO, I think most people follow me on that one. So the beautiful selection of vivid colours was enough to make me ‘oooo’ and ‘ahhh’. Can’t lie, a few accent colours and shimmery shades were out of my comfort zone but the silky super-soft pigments made me willing to try. I went in with the ‘babydoll’ palette and applied Boca Mocha (a matte cinnamon brown) over my lid, then used espresso (a matte rich brown) to build depth in my crease, and finally went in with sunbaby- a metallic peach gold- to add shimmer to my lid. The pay-off was stunning. 10/10 from me.

Quite honestly, Ari would have let us down if she didn’t include the product that’s responsible for her iconic cat-eye look. Of course, she got it bang-on and it gives everything you’d expect from a good quality liquid liner. The soft tapered tip is super flexible so you can keep it chic with a small flick or experiment with some cool graphic looks. It’s waterproof, cry proof and can confirm it does not budge - even with raging hayfever season rn.

Since landing in the U.K the Full Night’s Sleep Blurring Under Eye Balm has been a best-seller, with rumours it sells every 12 seconds. But I actually had to try the product to understand why. An eye cream isn’t usually something that appears in my everyday skincare routine so when I felt the silicone formula, I didn’t have any intention of welcoming this one...

The silicone texture quickly smoothes out to a hydrating balm with an instant cooling sensation. Most of the time, cooling skincare products get their icy effect from being stored in the fridge, but applying the balm to the back of my hand (in the middle of Selfridges) I felt the chill. While I can admit that I do love its de-puffing effects on a no-makeup day, I’d advise against using it on days where you’ll be applying makeup, as the silicone base made my concealer cake ever so slightly.

Lips

Lip oils are all the craze right now. If you haven’t tried one, imagine the hydrating benefits of a lip balm, but with the juicy finish of a gloss. The non-sticky formula gives a shiny plushness to your lips with a tinge of colour. It has an under-eye-roller-esque ball on the applicator which is something I’ve certainly never seen before but makes applying the oil so comforting. You could absolutely wear this during the day, but my favourite time to apply is before I go to bed so the oils seep into my lips. Oh, and did I mention that each oil has a scent to match its shade - there’s lavender, mint, rose and raspberry.

A no-fuss lipstick if ever I met one. Personally, I prefer satin finishes - hence why the On Your Collar Matte Lipstick didn't quite make my edit - so please welcome the On Your Collar Classic Lipsticks. They come in 10 super wearable shades that have that creamy and hydrating effect I’d expect in a good lipstick. The vivid pigment beautifully transferred onto my lips and kept the colour and buttery consistency - despite my constant snacking throughout the day.

Plumping glosses: you either love them or hate them. Personally, I love the tingling sensation; however, I know others who aren’t so keen. Like me, if you find them oddly satisfying, then you’ll love the Utmost Importance Plumping Lip Gloss. It’s a clear gloss that I’ve been using on its own for a wet look, but works just as well on top of a lipstick. It has a very high-shine finish and I was so surprised that it wore off without feeling sticky. While there was some definite tingling action going on- which is why this product makes my edit- there wasn’t much in terms of physical plumping. Honestly, there are some other great lip plumping picks out there.

Face

For some reason, pot concealers always give me the impression that the super-thick formula also comes with a side serving of cake. But I was quite amazed when applying the Sweetener concealer. Using a small blending brush, it diffused my dark circles (which are big boys from endless late-night TikTok holes) and concealed a couple chin scars (yes- I pick my spots). It has a very thick, hydrating formula that didn’t separate or pill during the day. More importantly, it’s clear r.e.m know what it’s doing when it comes to shade range. I’m so impressed with the whopping 60-shade range- which also includes a black and white to build your perfect customizable colour.

I’m a real geek when it comes to multi-functional beauty products. So was keen to try the Eclipse Cheek and Lip Stick. The pigment- ohhh the pigment- is quite outstanding. A small (scratch that, tiny) amount blends beautifully into the cheeks, is creamy on the lips, and even looks quite smashing on the eyes if I do say so myself. Here’s a tip I learnt from a celebrity MUA using the Cheek and Lip Stick: blend your concealer into a cream blush for the perfect seamless application to your cheeks.

As someone who's seen Ari up close (I had to squeeze that in somewhere), I can confirm she has a strrrong highlighter game. So, my expectations were high for this one, especially after hearing that she tested them on stage before we even knew they existed. The very colourful 10-shade range does look quite intimidating in the pan, but it’s all been done very intentionally by Ariana. Like many versatile products in the collection, the highlighters were designed so they could also be used as eyeshadows as well. There are classic highlighter hues- like frosted gold, champagne and copper- as well as more spirited hues if you actually want to be seen from outer space- like icy mint, vivid gold and iridescent lavender.

Photo credit: Clare Stephenson
Photo credit: Clare Stephenson
Photo credit: Clare Stephenson
Photo credit: Clare Stephenson

All in all, I can tell how much thought has been put into this collection. Everything from the vivid pigments, to the galactic packaging, to the witty shade names, proves that Ariana had a huge vision and followed it. I wouldn’t say my harsh opinions on celeb-beauty brands have fully converted, but this stunning display has made me one step closer.

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