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.