Where Millie Bobby Brown goes, screaming and crying often follows. To clarify—the screaming is of the excited nature, the crying is definitely the happy kind, and both are being emoted via her zealous fans who are more than happy to wait in line for hours just to bask in her presence. With a fervent fanbase that's millions-strong (28.3 million to be exact, but who's counting), Millie Bobby Brown is the epitome of the 2019 Gen-Z idol: a talented actress with an exuberant personality and killer wardrobe who can rap Nicki Minaj lyrics and discuss hard-hitting topics like bullying and anxiety with equal aplomb. Oh, and did I mention she holds the title of youngest person to appear on Time Magazine's Most Influential People of 2018 list? It’s hard to believe she’s only 15, or, more mind-blowingly, that she rose to fame through her role as Eleven on Netflix's hit show Stranger Things when she was just 12. 12. But unlike many other child stars, Brown has remained surprisingly levelheaded and down-to-earth through her ascent—yet another part of her appeal. Which might explain why, just three years into her career, she’s decided to do what some of the most seasoned actresses have yet to cross off their bucket list: launch her own beauty brand.
The line, named Florence (after her grandmother) by Mills (her own nickname), is lavender-hued and aesthetically appealing, with aspects of Brown’s personality shining clearly throughout. The cream blushes, for example, are named after her best friends. The under-eye patches (since even 15-year-olds get eye bags these days…) are shaped like whales, simply because she loves whales. And proceeds from the line are donated to the Olivia Hope foundation, created to honor one of Brown's friends after she passed away from leukemia.
When I catch up with Brown on the day of the launch, she’s bouncing on a couch in the back room of the preview, dressed in a light pink pantsuit, white crop top, and baby-sized tinted frames. Her handshake is boisterous and her “Hi!” exuberant—anyone within a 10-foot radius can feel her energy radiating off of her like a visible halo. “I immediately knew I wanted something that was good for me," she responds earnestly when I ask her about the inspiration behind Florence by Mills. "I’m all about skincare regimens and taking care of my body, because everything you put onto your face goes into your bloodstream. But, second of all, I don’t want something that’s not going to make me feel good about myself. There’s always that sticky in between about ‘natural’ and ‘too natural.’ So, I wanted to go with something that was a happy medium."
Florence by Mills is playful and appealing, that's undeniable, and it certainly fills the "happy medium" void of clean-yet-attainable. But does the world really need a beauty brand that offers eye cream for a target audience that has yet to experience their first wrinkle, or Glow Peel Pads for skin that's probably still as plump as a cherub's bottom? If there's anyone who can make you believe the answer is a hell yes, it's without question Millie Bobby Brown. Keep scrolling to learn more about Florence by Mills and find out Brown's secrets to self-love.
Was there a specific meaning behind the all-lavender packaging?
“The lavender just represents my love for lavender. My BFF is lavender oil. I constantly attend to it when I’m stressed or when I need to chill out or calm down.”
How do you use it?
“I [use it in] my diffuser a lot. It’s also a very soothing color, and my grandmother on my mum’s side…she wears it a lot, she looks so pretty, and I think purple is such a beautiful color. It’s in-between a blue and pink, and I feel like it’s a little mush of happiness.”
As an actress, did you ever think you’d ever come out with a beauty line so early on in your career?
“I’ve always known that I love creating—no matter what it is, I love creating. I didn’t know that I’d do something specifically like this, but I knew that I love creating in any way—in film, in writing, directing, even baking. Anything to do with that; I love creativity.”
What do you like to bake?
“Oh my God, what don’t I? Biscuits, cupcakes, cakes…everything.”
So a baking line is next, maybe?
“Who knows, right? A cookbook! I could do a skincare routine while baking [laughs].”
Do you have a favorite product in your line?
“The cream blushes are named after my best friends. Shy Shi, Glowing G, Stellar Sabrina, Gorgeous Gia and Real Ray. I love these a lot. I think that the face scrub is amazing, but the Zero Chill Face Mist…the smell…I do it right before I do my makeup. It feels lightweight and refreshing.”
How did your own skincare journey affect the products you ended up coming out with?
“1000%. I knew I wanted botanicals, I wanted vitamins, I wanted healthy supplements that were good for your skin; I knew I wanted that from the very beginning.”
You talk a lot about inclusivity and representation for your line. Why do you think that’s more important than ever?
“I think it’s important to include everyone in all things. Nobody should be limited to what they can do, what they can wear, or what they can say. My brand is for everyone. It’s just to spread love and positivity and self-expression.”
You started your career when you were very young and you’ve grown up in the spotlight. Do you have any advice for anyone who might be struggling with self-confidence or knowing themselves?
“Be yourself…there’s nothing else. Why be anyone else? You can’t be different. You are who you are. I think bettering yourself is always key. You’re never going to be perfect, and you have to understand that, but I think by losing judgement, understanding that your flaws are actually some of your best qualities, and being kind to people… Something I stand by and what my mum and dad kind of brought me up with, is if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it. And you can’t change people. You can’t change how people are, so if you remain yourself, then you won’t be insecure about yourself. I’m definitely not an insecure person. I like who I am, I’ve been brought up that way, but I think bettering yourself and not judging people and loving people for who they are is key.”
Are there any things that you feel have helped you stay grounded or gotten you through moments of self-doubt?
“Yeah! I’m not saying that I don’t look in the mirror sometimes and go, ‘Ughhhhh.’ There are always those days, but I remind myself that I’m beautiful inside and out. I think self-love and self-care are my number one. Being a young person, especially in this day and age, you have to understand that caring for yourself before caring for other people is key.”
What are some self-care practices you use?
“Like, taking an hour before bed to do something you want to do. I’m at work all day and doing stuff for everyone else and working on camera. Right before I go to bed, I do something I want to do, like watch a show or read a book or do something to take time for myself. I genuinely love spending time with my family, so I think those things keep me grounded and keep me appreciative and grateful for what I have.”
Instagram can be a double-edged sword. What are some of your favorite things about the platform and what are some of your least favorite things?
“My least favorite thing is exploitation and negativity. I think remaining your age is so important and being yourself is so important...to know that so many people are influencing so many other people. You don’t have to have a blue tick to influence. Influence is such a big thing. For me, I have a great following that I’m really grateful for, but I have to understand that there are young people who are watching everything I’m doing. I need to remember that and take that into consideration. I think everyone does, no matter if you’re verified or non-verified.
What I love about social media is that you can spread love and positivity to people, especially if they’re low on self-esteem. Another thing is that you can send messages. Right now, there are certain things that are going on in the world that social media is really taking a grab on and sharing the news, and that’s so important.”
You’ve accomplished so much at just 15. What are some of your dream things to do over the next five years before you turn 20?
“I don’t want to box myself in. I said no to things like three years ago that I now do. Like, I said I hated crop tops three years ago and here we are! I said I hated heels three years ago and here we are. I need to stop with that. I think directing is something I love. I literally watch every director and their every move. So, directing maybe in the next five years, maybe not. I think acting is my absolute biggest passion; I love being on-screen; I love being characters; I love becoming them; I love carrying on characters that I’ve been for awhile.”
Who is an actress whose career path you look up to?
“Angelina Jolie. She’s iconic. She becomes her characters so beautifully, and she’s actually an amazing person overall.”