Lovers of the super bingeable Stranger Things may know the actress Millie Bobby Brown by her shaven head (circa Season 1) and her character Eleven’s intense stare that’s capable of moving objects and defeating the baddies from the Upside Down. When making an appearance on the red carpet, however, the actress never fails to turn out in creative, feminine, and glamorous ensembles–a far cry from a tattered hospital gown or the police chief’s flannel shirts. It’s no wonder then that Brown has ventured into the world of beauty and launched her own line, florence by mills. The name comes from Brown’s grandmother, who was named Florence, and “Mills,” of course, is Milly’s nickname.
Florence by mills is designed specifically with Brown’s generation in mind (Hello, Gen Z!). It’s on the affordable end of the price spectrum, and the products are particularly suited to skin types going through the sometimes frustrating changes of teenage years while still being clean, vegan, and skin-friendly.
“I wanted to create something for me and my generation, my friends and peers. A brand that could reflect us and our self-expression but still be good for you, simple to use and suited to changing, transitional skin. Being young in general is so tough, so having a place to support you on your beauty journey was important to me,” Brown says. Plus, with only 14 products in the line (including skincare and makeup), florence by mills is simple and user-friendly.
“I know what works and what doesn’t for me–but I understand that everyone is different in both their skin needs and personal definition of beauty,” Brown explains.
“I want the legacy of florence by mills to be a product that is synonymous with individual beauty, for giving my generation the freedom to embrace what beauty means to them by not dictating how they should look in order to feel beautiful. With florence, everyone can discover and build their own beauty philosophy with clean, accessible and easy-to-use beauty essentials.”
As Brown is probably aware, her generation is ushering in a change in the way we perceive beauty, especially when it comes to online content. As put forth by Moya Lothian-McLean in a Vice article, if Millennials are the generation of the perfected, Influenceresque and aspirational, professionally lit photographs filling your Instagram feed, then Gen Z is the generation of the perhaps more authentic, less retouched, of-the-moment social media posts. Rebels and individualists, if you will.
For many, this is a refreshing trend, especially because it’s more compatible with body positivity and actual self-care, which, at the very least, is about freedom from striving for perfection. Moreover, the move toward more unfiltered and uncurated social media postings may also help free us from the pressure to feel that our life only means something if it’s filled with glossy moments that we document, of course, with hopes of garnering likes and followers–regardless of the emotional and financial cost of doing so. And it is costly.
Fortunately, florence by mills breaks away from the steep prices and luxe aesthetic of many buzzy beauty brands, natural or otherwise, plugged by established beauty influencers (Charlotte Tilbury and Drunk Elephant this brand it is not!). It’s cute but unpretentious and offers a niche/celeb vibe while still being accessible to teens on a budget (florence by mills is available at Boots stores and online). Perhaps I’m being a nostalgic Millennial when I say that maybe shopping for florence by mills will feel more like hitting up the Rite Aid with your buddies pre-online shopping days and less like tapping the Instagram “shop” feature to see if you can afford the lipstick worn by someone you don’t really know after all.
What’s your favorite fresh new beauty line?
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Photo: Milly Bobby Brown via Instagram