I’m a 30-year-old teenager who wears colorful scrunchies every single day and more than a few times people have told me I look like Millie Bobby Brown (hey, I’m not complaining!!). So on the day of my interview with the Strangers Things star and founder of the new Florence by Mills beauty brand, I decided to try and subtly distinguish myself from the stylish teenager.
Instead of wearing sneakers I opted for vintage mules, a striped tee, my favorite pair of denim, and a studded belt. Reading that description again, I guess I still kind of looked like a teen. Oh, well. Did I mention I was also makeup-free? I’m lazy and always late, so I tend to opt for a no-makeup makeup look, but mostly I’m not wearing any makeup at all. Yes, meeting the MBB is a big deal and I wanted to look good (in case we got to take a selfie together). But I also always make a point to wear things that make me feel like myself and that’s what I was channeling when I headed to the interview.
When I arrived at the Florence by Mills pop-up in New York, I was excited to see what MBB would be wearing and of course to hear all about her new beauty brand. After all, just a few days before she was spotted wearing the Canadian tuxedo look of my dreams, while she’s also been known to turn heads on the red carpet with her glamorous fits and entertaining facial expressions. Plus, we’re in a celeb beauty-brand renaissance with recent reports that stars like Hailey Bieber and Selena Gomez have been working toward launching their own brands. With the immense success of Rihanna and Kylie Jenner’s beauty kingdoms, it makes sense that these stars are getting in on the action. But how is Millie setting her brand apart? That’s exactly what I was hoping to find out.
When I walked up to the interview area, Millie was lounging on an intimidatingly white couch, looking perfectly calm, cool, and collected. She was wearing a cool white tank top and lavender dress pants that had been paired with a matching jacket earlier that day. Her makeup was edgy but still natural looking and her hair had soft waves. I noticed half-eaten chicken fingers and french fries on the table (a meal I devoured myself at the VMA’s later that evening) as I sat down next to Millie. Her demeanor was immediately inviting, as if we were two old friends just hanging out on my parents’ couch watching Stranger Things together, talking about beauty and why teens seriously need more options.
In this interview, Teen Vogue speaks with the rising star about why she launched a beauty brand catered to teens and what her favorite Florence by Mills products are.
Millie Bobby Brown: I believe there’s a void in the market for young people and everybody deserves a great start with their skin. For me, I wanted to create something that is good for you and fun to use. And also my main thing was affordability, you know, I wanted people to actually be able to buy my products. I’m not an expert on skin care. I’m not a makeup artist. I’m an actor. But I really wanted to create something that people can just use. And I can use as well. I just wanted to talk to young people and say, here’s a better option for you.
TV: Which of the products do you like the most and how do you like to use them?
MBB: I like to use the Look Alive Eye Balm. Tomorrow I’m going to be very jet lagged so I will probably use it in the morning to get rid of any dark circles. It has a peptide blend, vitamins, and caffeine so it actually wakes up your eyes. Your eyes are very delicate place so you have to be cautious around them, in general. I also like to use the Dreamy Dew Moisturizer ’cause I’ll probably get off the plane and have very dry skin. I love the Get That Grime Face Scrub and then the Swimming Under The Eye Gel Pads.
TV: I know you made a point to make this a vegan, cruelty-free brand that gives back to a good cause. How did you take young people and your fan base into account when you were designing the products?
MBB: Animals should have absolutely nothing to do with beauty. I mean, instead we should just be appreciating their beauty, not using them. I love animals so much and I’m already planning on getting horses. Like, I’m in love with animals. So for me, from day one I said, listen, I want this to be cruelty-free and I want it to be vegan, using botanicals, good vitamins, flower extracts, things like that. It’s also so much healthier for your skin.
TV: Do you think those are things that your audience and your fans really care about?
MBB: Generation Z very much cares about what they look like and being themselves. They care about taking care of themselves. I feel like even when I’m listening to music there are so many amazing women artists right now and they’re talking about taking care of yourself. That’s what my brand is about: taking care of yourself and making sure you’re okay.
TV: As someone who’s grown up in the spotlight, which I imagine is quite a lot of pressure, what message are you hoping to share with young people through this brand?
MBB: I think self-expression. You know, for me, I care so much about being myself. Like as soon as I feel I’m not doing something that feels like me I immediately back out. That’s when I feel the pressure, you know? This brand is all about self-expression and being yourself.
TV: Can you tell us more about why Florence by Mills is giving back to the Olivia Hope Foundation?
MBB: Florence by Mills is supporting the Olivia Hope Foundation. Olivia was a close friend of mine who passed away from cancer and we’re supporting and raising awareness and donations for the foundation. So any donations will help in raising awareness about cancer.
MBB: I’m super grateful for it. I was really excited and this is special to my heart as well.