Millie Bobby Brown was 12 the first time she swiped on a lipstick. "I was sitting by my mirror in London, and I had been given an old bag of makeup from my friend," she told POPSUGAR. "I was trying stuff on, and it was obviously a hot mess. I put far too much blush on, I didn't know how to contour, and I didn't know how to apply mascara in the right way."
She'd gotten the urge, as one might, after shaving her head to play Eleven for a new little show on Netflix called Stranger Things. "Makeup became something I used to show my femininity because I had no hair," Brown said. "Girls can feel like their hair defines who they are, whereas for me, it couldn't. Nor does makeup define me, but it was something I wanted to do to spice myself up — make myself feel good. So I put it on, knowing I was probably gonna be bad at it, that it wasn't going to turn out well, but I did it anyway because I wanted to feel good about myself."
"Makeup became something I used to show my femininity because I had no hair."
It was that scenario, and the perplexities of makeup and skin care, that drove Brown to create her new beauty brand, Florence by Mills — a collection of easy-to-digest products made for Gen Z, by Gen Z.
"For so long, I've been in a makeup chair where I haven't been able to express who I am through beauty because there hasn't been anything for me to actually put on my skin," she said. "I realized there was nothing I felt worked for me, like what I was putting on my face wasn't good for me. Young people should get a chance to experience a good skincare and beauty routine that they feel comfortable with, and one their parents do, too."
Keep reading for Brown's must-have skincare product, how she preps her nails ahead of filming, and why shaving her head was actually "the most empowering decision I've ever made." (Hint: it's not all that strange of a reason, after all.)