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At 19, Millie Bobby Brown Knows Exactly Who She Is
The young star is shining bright.
by : Heather Taylor-Singh- Sep 22nd, 2023
Paola Kudacki (Trunk Archive)
When I log onto Zoom, Millie Bobby Brown immediately calls out my t-shirt, which is a Taylor Swift Fearless tour shirt from 2009. Brown stands up on camera to show off her fan-made shirt with lyrics from Swift’s 2010 hit, “Enchanted,” — a gift from her sister. “We’re Swifties together!” she exclaims. Her favourite song? “The Last Great American Dynasty,” she says, without missing a beat. Other than being a massive Taylor Swift fan, the young actor, who started working at the age of 9, is known for her beloved characters in Netflix’s Stranger Things and Enola Homes. Yet, throughout her decade-long career, Brown has weaved her way into different roles that showcase her expanding beyond the acting world.
In 2019, Brown launched her clean beauty and skincare line, florence by mills. Named after her great grandmother, the range—including a brightening eye cream, a hydrating moisturizer and a clarifying serum—have become cult favourites amongst Gen-Z. With brightly coloured packaging and innovative products, The brand’s empowering message is centered around defining beauty on your own terms, with no rules—simply playing with how we want to look, feel and live. With this in mind, florence by mills has encouraged consumers to embrace their natural selves in their truest form.
Below, we chatted with Brown about the importance of self-expression, beauty standards and debunking the myth of “perfect skin.”
Congratulations on the success of florence by mills. Take me back to 2019, when you launched the brand. Where did the idea come from?
The idea came from being in the makeup chair at such a young age and really not being able to find makeup products and skincare products that were good for me and that made me still feel like I was myself [and] taking care of my skin. I thought, why not create something for not only me, but my generation of people so that they can better understand their skin and who they are.
For anyone out there thinking, “Oh, there goes another celebrity slapping their name on some products,” can you tell me about your involvement in the line?
I don’t really have time to put my name onto things and not have any involvement. I just wouldn’t have created it. The reason that I wanted to do it was because I wanted to be a part of it—because I needed to be a part of it, because it’s authentic to who I am and I am the consumer, ultimately. It’s an everyday thing— I constantly am getting texts approving products [and] getting things sent to my house. I have to try them out. My rule is I want to try a product out for about a week to see if it’s actually doing anything. We do our development meetings [to talk about] creating and innovating new products. If I ever find anything that I love, I take a picture and say, we need to make this, but we need to make it better. Or there’s this [ingredient] in it, this in it, let’s take that out and add this. There’s a lot to it.
What has it been like to go behind-the- scenes and learn about different ingredients and products?
It’s been a huge learning curve [to discover new] products and ingredients. I’ve always had a real interest in beauty and skincare, so I have quite a niche kind of eye to it. One of my favorite parts about creating products is the scents—I absolutely love the smell of things, and I think that’s sometimes why I buy products at the store. So that’s why all of our Florence products smell unbelievable, but they actually smell good because we’re using real extracts. All of that just makes me feel better about using [the product.]
Self-love is an important element of florence by mills—why was it important to emphasize this message through the branding and products?
The world is so chaotic right now, and we spend [so much] time on our phones, focusing on so many other things except ourselves. If everyone just spent a bit more time on themselves, we could actually be better people for the planet. We just don’t leave enough time for ourselves and to learn more about ourselves, to focus on ourselves and to give ourselves the self love and self care that we need.
Self care isn’t [necessarily] putting on a face mask and getting in the bath. Self care is journaling, talking, experiencing, going outside, pushing boundaries, exploring. Those are the things that you slowly learn. On Sunday, I just wanted to spend some more time learning more about myself, so I read a poetry book and I sat outside with my animals—and that is self care.
What poetry book did you read?
The Evolution of a Girl by L.E. Bowman.
Earlier this year, you spoke out about not having “perfect skin” and embracing the imperfections—how do you deal with those days when your skin isn’t cooperating?
I just don’t deal with it. I embrace it. I’m not going to pile on a bunch of [products]— I just leave it alone because ultimately, that’s sometimes what we need. When your skin is red, irritated and aggravated, just leave it alone and let it adjust.
With such a busy schedule, how do you prioritize self-care?
It can be really hard because other things can be made more important. But ultimately,I want to be the best person I can be for everyone. Which in turn requires me to take some time for myself, so I’m well-rested—no matter where you are, because I travel a lot, finding that environment and finding that space so that you can be better for yourself. I think it’s so important to be able to take the time to just breathe and be with yourself and your thoughts—all that is really special and important.
Growing up in the public eye since childhood, how did that affect your perception of beauty?
I was really lucky because my family really helped me— they grounded me and reminded me of who I am, and the person that I want to be. Other people want you to be the version of yourself that they want you to be, but, ultimately, the people that raised you are reminding you of the person that you are. [It’s important to] understand that and not be afraid to evolve. I think it’s important to hold onto the people that truly know you.
When do you feel the most beautiful?
When I’m outside with my animals on my farm, in the sun, in the grass, in the trees. I feel the most accepted and the most understood [outside], which makes me feel beautiful.
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