Ariana Grande’s New R.E.M. Blush Has Me Channeling My Inner Glinda

Photo: Courtesy of Victoria Montalti and R.E.M. Beauty.
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From the new "Yes, And?" remix with Mariah Carey to the Super Bowl Wicked trailer to R.E.M. Beauty's Hypernova Collection launch, Ms. Ariana Grande is on a roll right now. The triple (quadruple? quintuple?) threat has treated her fans to a collection of ultra-pigmented powder blushes and bronzers that ~defy gravity~ with their weightless coverage — so, of course, we had to put them to the test.

Following the hype from R.E.M.'s social media campaign, which features the pop star herself, the Hypernova satin matte blushes and bronzers touched down last week, and became available at Ulta just days ago. According to R.E.M., the "weightless" blush formula offers a "beautifully blurred soft-focus finish," while the bronzing powder offers hydration and a matte-blur finish "for golden-hour radiance."

Intrigued by the celestial-themed products, which complement the brand's best-selling Interstellar highlighter, I tried several shades of both the Hypernova bronzer and blush. Read on for my review of the satin matte formulas and my favorite shades for everyday wear and for party makeup looks.
The new Hypernova Collection includes the brand's satin matte blush and bronzer, but also features new blush brushes and bronzer brushes, as well as a hydrating matte setting spray. While I didn't try the spray, I did use both brushes to apply the powder products. I'm not a makeup brush snob but I have to say that the heavy weight of these ones felt luxe and the application was super smooth and streak-free. (Their price tags are also lower than or similar to other pop star makeup brands like Fenty Beauty, Haus Labs, and Rare Beauty.)

But back to the pièce de résistance: Hypernova Blush. The new satin matte blush is available in eight shades — five of which I tried — in a range of pinks, oranges, and browns. R.E.M. suggests applying one swipe for a "celestial flush," building it up for a "pigmented pop," or layering with multiple shades for a "hypernova effect." The other main event is the new Hypernova Bronzer, available in six brown shades — three of which I tried — which can be used sparingly to add warmth to your everyday makeup or layered to create a more glam look.
Hypernova Peach Planet blush and Solar System bronzer.
Hypernova Pinking Of U blush and Out Of Office bronzer.
I picked out shades that I thought would best compliment my complexion, and I was pretty happy with my choices, as well as finding myself pleased by how similar the shades were in real life when compared to their online product photos. However, I couldn't really tell the difference between the bronzer's Out Of Office and Solar Storm shades in person when in their tins. But when I swiped them onto the hollows of my cheeks, nose, and jawline, Solar Storm was ever so lightly darker and warmer, and wound up being my best match.

When it came to the blush, I tried many pink and orange shades, and found that Peach Planet looked most natural on me, complemented my hair color, and didn't make me look more red than I already am. While I liked the Skinny Dipped shade (not pictured), it kind of disappeared into my skin tone, so it wasn't the best match for me.

But let me confirm right here, right now: The Hypernova satin matte formula and finish is extremely pigmented. Pictured here are single layers of bronzer and blush after being vigorously buffed and blended out. And when I did build up the blushes, my cheeks became even more vibrant without the formula getting cakey and somehow still feeling lightweight.
Honestly, I was kind of terrified to try the most vibrant blush shades, Strawberry Nebula and Sun Pop, but I had to take one for the team (AKA R29 readers) and put them to the test. I previously thought the more subtle and natural blush shades were pigmented, but these ones really, ahem, popped. I paired these blushes with my darkest bronzer, Blazed, which I find too bold for daytime, but perfect for glammed-up party looks.
Hypernova Sun Pop blush and Blazed bronzer.
Hypernova Stawberry Nebula blush and Blazed bronzer.
Like all of the Hypernova blushes I tried, these pigmented shades required either A) very little product or B) a whole lot of buffing. While I knew that orange looks better on me than pink, I was genuinely shocked when I saw the bright Sun Pop on my skin and then fell in love with how sun-kissed and radiant it made me look. I will 100% be applying this shade for nights out when I want to make a statement.

I was even more stunned when I tried Strawberry Nebula — perhaps the most coveted (and nearly-neon) Hypernova blush shade. This is definitely bolder than my typical go-to blush, and it made me feel like a child playing with makeup... but not in a bad way. The whimsical pink hue had me feeling like Glinda The Good Witch (instead of, as I feared, a clown). And while I don't typically reach for pink over orange, I can see Strawberry Nebula becoming an instant cult classic makeup product for many beauty lovers.

So, whether you're looking to take advantage of the matte skin trend, trying to enhance your bronzing technique, or wanting to incorporate Pantone's Peach Fuzz into your makeup rather than your wardrobe, I can attest that R.E.M.'s new Hypernova products are, without a doubt, a beauty-lover's dream.
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