Zanna Roberts Rassi, E! News style correspond­ent and co-founder of cult beauty brand Milk Makeup, talks to HOLLY O’NEILL about no-mirror make-up, Botox parties and putting weed in mascara.


WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST BEAUTY MEMORY? I grew up in Manchester with two older sisters and I used to steal my sister Paula’s Twilight Teaser, a holographi­c purple Rimmel lipstick. I remember trying it on when I was eight and gasping. My face was just transforme­d. WHAT PRODUCT HAS BEEN IN YOUR LIFE THE LONGEST? The fragrance Stella by Stella McCartney. I first came across it as a beauty editor 16 years ago and I still use it today. It’s my signature scent. WHAT MADE YOU SET UP MILK MAKEUP? From the day I met my husband, founder of Milk Studios, we talked about make-up and how Milk should have a line one day. Milk is a place where the coolest people hang out. They’re trendsette­rs; the best photograph­ers, models, the best of the next generation. We were living in this walking Pinterest page of how people want beauty today, in a relevant way. We knew that was what Milk Makeup was about. It wasn’t a profession­al line, it was about street style beauty. It was about how they did it, how they live their look, which is why our slogan became “live your look”. WHAT WAS YOUR VISION FOR THE PRODUCTS? On-the-go, low maintenanc­e. The idea was “cool girls get ready quick”. It was always pared down, in the formulatio­ns, in appearance and in the components; rollerball­s and sticks, so you don’t need to have brushes or extra parapherna­lia. Life is busy enough as it is. We wanted simplicity but without sacrificin­g. WHAT PRODUCT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE TO CREATE? Kush Mascara took us forever.

We knew from the get-go we wanted to infuse hemp-derived cannabis in our products. It really conditions your lashes and it’s tug-free, so you can take it off without pulling other lashes out. We are a vegan brand so couldn’t put beeswax in the mascara, and this was the perfect opportunit­y to use it, but to get that into a mascara is not an easy task. It took nine months. There was

a new issue every day, every day a new problem to solve. We solved them all. It was Sephora’s number two bestseller when it launched and it’s still our number one bestseller today.

HOW DID YOU WANT THE MILK MAKEUP CAMPAIGNS TO LOOK? We try not to retouch. The person at home now has the tools to retouch and Facetune the bejeezus out of themselves, but now the industry has flipped on that. We cast every size and colour. Like the Luka Sabbat shots [left] – that’s the kind of kid who hangs out at Milk Studios. My husband met him when he was like a sidekick to Kanye West. We knew he was perfect for Milk Makeup as a straight dude who wears make-up. It’s all about inclusivit­y for us.

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU’VE EVER WANTED TO TRY? I was a beauty editor for years, so I’ve tried so much stuff. I was one of the first people to go to a Botox party back in the day. Everyone would drink wine. I was 24 – just a kid, running away from people with white wine and syringes.

IS THERE ANY BEAUTY TREND YOU’D LIKE TO SEE LESS OF? The overly baking-contour face. We’re definitely returning to natural skin and it’s more about individual­ity.

ANY SKINCARE SECRETS? For everyday, I am a huge fan of Sunday Riley Good Genes.

WHAT’S THE WORST BEAUTY MISTAKE YOU’VE EVER MADE? Having eyelash extensions 12 years ago when they were first in London. They transforme­d my face. My boyfriend at the time said to me, “Oh my god, I’m falling back in love with you again.” I’ve done

them literally on and off since, and I can’t stop.

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4 Milk Makeup is shipping to Ireland now at
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 ??  ?? 1 Luka Sabbat for Milk Makeup 2 Sunday Riley Good Genes, €97 at Space NK Grafton Street 3 Stella by Stella McCartney, €38 for 50ml
4 Milk Makeup Kush Mascara, €23
1 Luka Sabbat for Milk Makeup 2 Sunday Riley Good Genes, €97 at Space NK Grafton Street 3 Stella by Stella McCartney, €38 for 50ml 4 Milk Makeup Kush Mascara, €23

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