As a Mac Miller fan, I stan this theory.
Ariana Grande has slipped so many references to Mac Miller into her music over the years and TikTok thinks Grande still has Miller on her mind. This time, instead of honoring his memory in song lyrics, fans are convinced Grande’s r.e.m. beauty holds more than one nod to the rapper who died of a tragic overdose in 2018. Those who adored the couple, yours truly included, have combed through Grande’s songs searching for any sign of Miller, so it’s not shocking that they’ve unleashed their detective skills on Grande’s beauty brand. What is a bit surprising is that one of these fan theories actually holds up under scrutiny.
Here’s the gist: Pickin’ Petals, the name of one of r.e.m. beauty’s Essential Drip Lip Oils, appears in one of Grande and Miller’s songs, and it’s got TikTok, and my heart, all a flutter. Pickin’ Petals is a sheer peachy color with a beyond lovely rose and chamomile scent. “The formula is ultra-hydrating without feeling heavy or sticky. It literally melts on your lips,” wrote Elite Daily’s beauty editor at the time of the launch, but the hidden meaning behind the shade name is even sweeter than the formula and predates the launch of r.e.m. beauty. In fact, the Mac Miller connection goes back even further to a time before he and Grande had even started dating.
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Beauty guru Kaylie Vazquez broke down this theory in a video on TikTok in July. “When you get the r.e.m. Beauty lip oil ‘Picking Petals’ and realize Ari keeps dropping us little reminders of Mac,” she captioned the video as she applied the Essential Drip Lip Oil in Pickin’ Petals and Miller’s verse from his and Grande’s song “The Way” plays in the background.
“Say, I'm thinking 'bout her every second, every hour / Do my singing in the shower / Picking petals off the flowers like / Do she love me, do she love me not? (love me not),” Miller rapped in the song. Personally, I’m pretty compelled by this evidence and other folks on TikTok definitely agree. “Y do I have tears in my eyes rn, I can’t handle this information,” one user commented on Vazquez’ post. “It’s the only reason I bought it,” another wrote.
If Vazquez is correct, then Grande is referencing the first ever song the former couple worked on together back in 2013. Their collaboration on “The Way” is what launched their friendship and the two stayed BFFs until finally getting together in 2017. While, like all couples, Miller and Grande had their ups and downs, Grande never stopped caring about Miller and the Pickin’ Petals lip oil might just be her most recent way of celebrating him.
Fans of Grande and Miller may notice that this is possibly not the only reference Grande has made to Miller with her beauty brand. Back when Grande dropped her album Sweetener, it came out that Miller was quite a fan of the song “R.E.M.” While the theory that Grande named her entire brand after Miller’s favorite song feels like a bit more of a stretch than the one surrounding Pickin’ Petals, I am choosing to believe that Grande will always have a place in her heart, art, and businesses for Miller.