Just when we thought we'd officially reached peak celebrity beauty brand fatigue, Millie Bobby Brown released her first makeup and skin-care line — and the tides suddenly turned.
Florence by Mills, which launched this week and hits Ulta Beauty in September, isn't like all the other star-stamped brands out there for one reason: It was made by Brown, which means it was made for Generation Z by a member of Generation Z, and caters to all of the demographic's beauty wants and needs. As we've seen exemplified in shows like Euphoria and on stars like Billie Eilish and Lachlan Watson, the youth are changing how we think about beauty, particularly cosmetics: Gen Z uses makeup to amplify individuality, not strictly to hide imperfections (although that's totally okay, too).
The lightbulb moment for Florence by Mills came to Brown about two years ago while she was doing her makeup on a plane, she tells Refinery29. "I didn't like how my makeup made me feel," she explains, adding that it's not just makeup that was the issue, but skin care, too. "Everything was anti-aging. I didn't want that to be my beauty journey. Everybody wants to know how to rid of their wrinkles, but [I'm asking] how do I just take care of my skin as a young person?"
A 15-year-old may not be too concerned with preventing fine lines, but they do want to wash their face with quality ingredients that are, for example, not tested on animals and relatively affordable. Florence by Mills sets out to check all of those boxes: Not one product costs more than $34, and it's cruelty-free, vegan, and free of phthalates, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances — oh, and boring beauty standards.
"For so long it's been that women are supposed to wear makeup, but I think there isn't really a right way to use it," Brown says of the antiquated gender roles in beauty. "As long as you're being yourself, then why can't you wear makeup? It's not about other people; it's about making yourself feel good." Gen Z specifically, she adds, is clever enough to understand this.
Brown says that she always knew she wanted her brand to have colour cosmetics, so she launched the kind of basics you'd find her wearing on off-duty days, including a skin tint, cream blush, under-eye concealer, and tinted brow gels.
You'll also find a whole category of skin-care treatments — including a peel-off mask, face mist, lip oil, moisturizer, eye gel pads, eye balm, face wash, face scrub, exfoliating pads, and a micellar cleansing gel — that aren't just effective, but really cute, too (see: the under-eye pads shaped like whales).
Unlike many other teen-targeted brands out there, Florence by Mills isn't pushing a variety of acne-fighting products. Brown doesn't call it out directly, but on a personal level, acne is something she's never been ashamed of. "I do get the odd pimple. I'll probably get a pimple tomorrow," Brown tells us. "I actually love it though; I don't know why. I think I just appreciate the growing — like I'm growing."