Ariana Grande Shares Her #1 Beauty Tip (and It's Not What You'd Expect)

Ariana Grande’s voice arrives before she does. Her nimble vocalizing echoes through the MAC store on Robertson, leaping and gliding in arpeggios, as if heralding her arrival. It morphs into a sudden laugh; then, a hushed giggle. A few seconds later, she bursts out from behind the giant pink screen emblazoned with the campaign for her second MAC Viva Glam lipstick and lip gloss (a bright fuchsia and a dusty mauve, respectively). Her outfit, like Grande herself, is an equal mix of girlish and glam: light-wash jeans, a pink tank top emblazoned with the word GIRLS, patent stilettos with a skinny heel, and a black sweatshirt, zipped up halfway and carelessly falling off one shoulder. I’m here to talk to Grande about her new collection with MAC, as well as learn a few of her beauty secrets or two (such as the real story behind her now ubiquitous pony).

But first, some Polaroids. Grande may be a singer by trade, but she’s a singer who sure knows her angles. She jumps into full-on model mode in front of the camera, without a twinge of hesitation or awkwardness. A coy over-the-shoulder shot of her biting her thumb, a coquettish wink—a few snaps in, she asks if she can switch things up. “Can I do this? What about this?” she asks, squatting low to the ground and tilting her head forward in a way that would make most of us without her bone structure look like a large blob (she appears angular and lithe, naturally). Grande is larger than life, both in the photographs and in person.