Is there any makeup product trickier to nail than a universal concealer? With an incredible formula and some strategic application, a trustworthy concealer can pull the weight of half your makeup bag by camouflaging spots, illuminating under-eyes, and smoothing out skin tones. The thing is, though, there’s a lot to consider when developing a concealer. Skin types, flexible shades, staying power, and how well it plays with other cosmetics are major points to hit, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The Ariana Grande-helmed r.e.m. beauty already has a reputation for being more than just a vehicle for Thank U Next product name puns—even among the celebrity cosmetics set, r.e.m.’s earned plenty of industry praise (including Byrdie’s stamp of approval). Grande and her brand have proven they can handle liquid eyeshadow and fluffy-lash mascaras with ease, so the news of r.e.m.’s very first concealer drop is a seriously exciting one—can Ari deliver a bendable, long-lasting concealer? After testing it out firsthand, we can give it a resounding yuh. Read on for everything you need to know about the all-new Sweetener Concealer ($24) and the rest of the r.e.m. beauty’s Chapter 4: Out Of Body releases, with plenty of insight from Grande herself.
When r.e.m. first launched back in November 2021, the first two chapters featured fun, playful eye products (think glistening highlighters and colorful eyeshadows), followed by a lip-centric launch earlier this summer. By releasing products in themed collections, the brand drums up even more excitement and speculation over what's next—and avoids product overload fatigue. The latest chapter, Out Of Body, is fittingly named. Featuring that multitasking concealer, a spaceship-shaped beauty sponge, spot-obfuscating primer, and even blotting papers, the Out Of Body drop comes equipped with everything necessary for a popstar-perfect visage.
Ariana Grande tells Byrdie that while she loves every chapter r.e.m.'s released, she's been especially excited about this collection for quite a while. "As fun as it was to create this exciting and unique rollout (everything from the names, concepts, and matching each new chapter with a new visual aesthetic to assist with introduction and storytelling)," Grande says, "it’s even more thrilling to watch it finally transpire and to watch the reactions." Those details she mentions help set the r.e.m. line apart. The meticulous attention to formula, finish, and, yes, aesthetics, help the brand appeal to far more than just existing Arianators (though stans will totally get a kick out of product names that tip the hat to IYKYK moments in the Ariana Grande Universe).
Nearly every product in the new drop comes complete with clinical study backings that prove a truly universal appeal, something that was very important to Grande throughout the development process. She's proud of the Sweetener Concealer's vast 60-shade range, but also offers solutions for those skin tones in-between by releasing a pure white and pure black shade that can be mixed for custom color matching.
Not only does its 60-shade library make the new Sweetener Concealer ideal for camouflaging spots, but pared with its multi-use formula, it can do the work of several products. "My team and I worked hard to create a really brilliant formula that has incredible coverage but is also just very, very hydrating—she’s a multitasker," Grande says, adding that she's "obsessed" with the formula. The assorted undertones and blendable finish mean users can combine different shades for realistic contour, highlight, lifting, and perfecting. In fact, Grande tells Byrdie she realized just how transformative a product concealer can be through watching makeup artists and drag stars work.
The secret is in the formula's proprietary r.e.m. Hydrasmooth Essence, a signature blend of hyaluronic acid, nourishing vitamin E, and Ayurvedic herb ashwagandha, which act as natural protectants. The lightweight, non-drying finish is medium-coverage on its own but highly buildable, playing well with other cream products and powders without going muddy, cakey, or patchy.
R.e.m.'s first beauty tool, the Dreamcloud Blender ($15), is designed to sponge that concealer (or any other cream) into the skin, even in hard-to-reach areas. The blender is infused with more ashwagandha, but the real selling point is its very strategic diamond shape that allows for wide-area and ultra-precise application. The brilliantly-named Satin Sheets Blotting Papers ($20) come enriched with detoxifying black bamboo charcoal to soak up excess oil, lock makeup into place, and eliminate shine without absorbing or pushing product around. Finally, the Lunar Magic Blurring Primer ($29) rounds out the Chapter 4 releases. Long-lasting and pore-minimizing, the formula is powered by water-encapsulated powders that burst and spread upon application to lay down a smooth, satiny layer of blurring, light-diffusing coverage made to be worn under makeup or alone.
As much as I love saving space in my makeup drawer, I'm largely skeptical of multitasking products, concealers in particular. Thicker concealer in jars is usually too heavy for under my eyes, and thinner, more brightening formulas don't cover my hyperpigmentation enough. That said, I loved r.e.m.'s earlier releases and was eager to give the Sweetener Concealer a try.
My first impression of the formula was indeed how incredible that shade match is, followed by how well (yet naturally??) it covered my melasma—the bane of my existence. The concealer hung on all day, but what really took it to the next level was how good it looked in the dreaded hair salon mirror, the one place I know will always make me look sallow and spotty. Shockingly, I still looked refreshed, and the concealer didn't even move from my forehead during sink time. It's seriously incredible.
R.e.m. beauty's Chapter 4: Out Of Body is available July 28 on rembeauty.com.