When it came to launching her beauty brand, Rose Inc, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley knew exactly where to start: the ingredients. As someone who’s battled breakouts, the model and soon-to-be mother of two knows firsthand the importance of products that are gentle on your skin, which is why her inaugural 10-piece collection is crafted from of the best herbal ingredients. and non-comedogenic formulations. (Its latest offering, the Tinted Serum, is no different. Containing microencapsulated spheres that burst with luminous pigment as it blends seamlessly into your skin, it delivers the perfect amount of coverage without clogging pores.) beauty entrepreneur talks to Brits vogue about her evolving relationship with beauty and what motherhood means to her.
Growing up, what did beauty mean to you?
I grew up in the countryside, on a very rustic farmhouse in Devon, in a family where it was important to bring different things to the table; a good sense of humor and a sense of enthusiasm. The idea of beauty just wasn’t synonymous with that kind of lifestyle. I think my earliest beauty memories are of watching my mother get ready for the evening. To me, she was the most glamorous person I had ever seen. She allowed me to come and sit on the edge of her bed and watch her get ready. I think what always struck me was the transformative nature of beauty, seeing her go from looking very rural on the farm to rolling on that lipstick and doing her hair and putting on a cute outfit and seeing how it changed his behavior and his confidence. Then I started working as a model at the age of 16, where hair and makeup are at the heart of everything you do. It was then that my love began to evolve, recognizing again that transformative nature of beauty, whether it was becoming a character in an editorial or selling a certain type of image. It was almost 20 years ago.
What about that journey that led you to launch your own beauty brand?
It came from a love of beauty products and a love of putting makeup on and having it applied, and then an attraction to building a brand and storytelling around that brand. There’s nothing more gratifying to me, at the end of the day, than when someone taps me on the shoulder and says, “Oh my God, your products have made such a difference in my life. This is where I am really satisfied. And that’s what I love about beauty; it’s very universal.
How would you describe your approach to beauty?
I truly believe that there are no rules when it comes to beauty. I remember my mother telling me that makeup should show off what you have, not hide what you have. At the time, I didn’t really understand, but it stuck with me. When you put on makeup, it’s about celebrating what you have rather than worrying about your flaws. For me, I have features that I like to play on. I have this full mouth and I like to have lots of eyelashes. We all have flaws. I have congested skin half the time and breakouts, other people have different things they feel insecure about. I love seeing women who have quirks and flaws that make them unique.
You mentioned pimples and congestion, how do you take care of your skin?
My skin changes every day, so my quest for good skincare has been a journey. Over the years I have spoken to so many experts and learned so much. One of the biggest revelations of the past two years has been to make all of my products non-comedogenic, which means they are formulated without ingredients that can clog pores. It really got my acne under control. So it’s one thing. I also like to use lots of acid exfoliants, as they will help resurface the skin. What I’ve learned from acne-prone skin is that your cells often have slow turnover. And so using your acids or manual exfoliating scrubs will really help to keep skin cells turning and minimizing oil buildup. I also use the Clarifying Toner from the first launch. Selfishly, it’s really wonderful to be able to create products for myself that also resonate with the customer at the same time.
Let’s talk about your latest product, the Tinted Serum. How did it happen?
I wanted to create a fairly sheer and lightweight formula that was going to give me some coverage but also that really luminous finish. It works wonderfully in combination with my Softlight Luminous Hydrating Concealer, which was from our first launch. It has these microencapsulated spheres that hold the pigment in tiny capsules. On contact with the skin, the pigments pop and you just get that pretty glow. There are 14 shades in the collection, but they’re really flexible, so I can actually use two or three colors depending on whether I want to feel a little more bronzed or want to completely match my skin tone. For the past two years, certainly since Covid, but even a bit before that, the idea of heavy foundation every morning just seemed like overkill. Especially as a mom, just running to the office or running around town, I’d catch myself in a mirror halfway through the day and be like, “Oh my God, everything’s sunk.” So I wanted to create something lighter for my face and then save the thicker foundation for events or for when the experts apply it. It’s also a really quick and easy to apply formula; you can’t mess it all up. I love how it feels on my skin, I love how it looks. I never feel like I wear a lot of makeup.
You have just addressed the question of motherhood, how would you say that becoming a mother has shaped or modified your approach to beauty?
When you become a parent, you run out of time. You don’t have that time for yourself, or that ability to lock yourself in your bathroom in the middle of the day and play with products. I certainly remember having had a lot of this before my son was born. Often I have to decide: it’s 9am and I can do my hair or my makeup, which one is it going to be today? Usually it’s makeup because I can just put my hair up. And then emotionally, I think you’re just starting to see the world through your children’s eyes. You start thinking about what you want to instill in them. And you think what their impression of beauty, and of me, will be as they get older. I grew up in a house where we weren’t aware of ourselves, we weren’t aware of our appearance. I don’t want to attach great importance to beauty and appearance. But at the same time, it’s a big part of my job. It’s an interesting question that I think will continue to evolve and will be important to watch as I have more children.
A big part of beauty is about self-care. Are there specific self-care practices that you engage with?
It works regularly. He sleeps well. It’s eating balanced, not depriving yourself of a plate of fries if that’s what I want, but also keeping control.
When I’m in the right place with all of this, my confidence skyrockets and I feel good about my body. Mental health plays a big role in the success of the relationships you have. When I’m really busy and overwhelmed with work, running a house and being a mother – all those sorts of things – taking time for myself is really important. Making time for my partner is also very important, as is catching up with girlfriends, which is very rare these days. It’s all about balance.
Ok, last question, when do you feel the most beautiful?
I feel more beautiful when I feel fit, healthy and fit. But also when I’m with the people I really love: my partner and my son, especially when my son says something really nice to me and gives me a hug. I also feel good when I’m on a beach and I have salty hair, and I have sand stuck to my legs and a nice tan. But I also feel great when a wonderful makeup artist is applying beautiful makeup to me and I’m about to walk down a red carpet. Ultimately, you feel beautiful when you’re happy.