Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is no stranger to beauty. With over 20 years of modeling experience and brand campaigns under her belt, she’s a bonafide makeup and skincare expert. Huntington-Whiteley ultimately filtered those learnings into the launch of Rose Inc in 2018, which initially began as a content platform, and later expanded into her current product line.
To hone in more closely on Rose Inc’s clean and sustainable ethos, the supermodel, founder, and chief creative officer has partnered with California-based renewable chemical company Amyris, known for also developing formulations for popular brands like Biossance, as well as buzzy emerging ones, like Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness’s recently launched JVN line. Now with the holidays in full swing, Rose Inc has just launched two new additions to her coveted collection: a brightening eye cream and luxe set of reusable glass cooling globes that aim to minimize puffiness while encouraging lymphatic drainage.
BAZAAR.com chats with Huntington-Whiteley about what’s next for her company, the supermodel’s current skincare and makeup routines, and why carving out alone time as a busy mom and entrepreneur is a non-negotiable.
Tell us a more about some of Rose Inc’s recent product launches—what are you most excited about?
We have a beautiful exfoliating cleanser, which was something I wanted to do from early on because I’m a big exfoliating advocate. I’m always mindful to not recommend anything too much to anyone else, but for me, I love it—I love to exfoliate. I have acne-prone skin, and gentle daily exfoliation is really essential for me. We have our Clarifying Toner which has acids in it, making it great for daily exfoliation. The toner is fantastic—it has pomegranate seed extract in there, which helps with its exfoliating quality, plus the beads are eco-friendly. That was essential, making sure that when the beads go down the drain they’re not harmful to the environment. I also wanted to have a cleanser where you’re going to get that manual exfoliation from as well.
We additionally have an eye cream that just launched; I don’t know about you, but when I went into my 30s I was like, ‘yeah OK, now I need an eye cream.’ I’ve never been sold on an eye cream in my 20s, but when you get into your 30s and you start to see those little fine lines, and I have a kid now, so I definitely am starting to look a little more tired. But I just wanted to have a cream that was specifically formulated for around the eye area, so that was a really great product to work on. It also has this lovely light-reflecting quality, which helps brighten the under-eyes. I love applying eye cream because it helps with the rest of my makeup application, particularly concealer. One of my tips with an eye cream is to apply it as your first step after cleansing—I normally apply some type of active or serum after I’ve cleansed, so by just adding a little bit of eye cream, you’re creating a sort of protective barrier for that sensitive area around your eyes for any actives that might creep up. Lastly, I add all-over moisturizer and then an SPF.
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Our eye cream can be used with our new Rose Inc Cooling Spheres, which are these two handheld globes that go in the fridge and help with getting that blood circulation and lymphatic drainage going. I think one of the biggest skincare tips for me with my acne-prone skin is icing: normally I just use an ice cube from the freezer, or a cold spoon from the fridge, but to have the opportunity to create something that’s a little more beautiful in how it looks and feels is very exciting, and makes for a lovely gift for the holiday season.
What Rose Inc product do you find yourself reaching for most often?
I use the Soft Light Luminous Hydrating Concealer on a daily basis, but I use all the products. That’s what I’m so happy and proud about—a lot of times, you create products and then you fall into playing with other stuff, but for me, these products have really become staples of mine, and I’m really loyal to my own products. It sounds like a given, but having created products over the years, I feel good about the fact that I can stand behind this line, use them on a daily basis, and come back to them consistently—they’re excellent. And my Blush Divine Radiant Lip and Cheek Color is one of my absolute favorites as well, so I usually use some sort of bronzer with that. The rest of my makeup is stuff I’m playing with for future launches and to make sure everything works well together.
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Has your beauty and skincare routine changed much since your recent pregnancy?
It has changed a bit because my skin’s been really problematic throughout this pregnancy. Interestingly enough with my first pregnancy, my skin was flawless. I didn’t have a spot for nine months, which was a miracle because I’ve had acne-prone skin my whole adult life, so I was like ‘oh my God, this is brilliant! Maybe I’ve gotten over this!’ and then he was born, and a few months later I had severe breakouts for some time, and then my skin settled down. Now with this pregnancy, my acne has flared up again. It’s frustrating, particularly when you’re pregnant, since there’s not a ton you can do to manage it in terms of topicals and treatments and those kind of things. So I’m just kind of going through the motions right now of dealing with it while pregnant, figuring it out once I’m through this period in time, but gentle exfoliation is really important to me.
Every day, resurfacing the skin through my active serums, or some sort of manual scrub or exfoliator. There’s a fine balance when you have acne-prone skin between using those acids but then keeping your skin hydrated enough, and it can be tricky to find that harmony. Seeing an esthetician or a facialist on a regular basis helps keep me on track and figure out how to modify my products. Also, a great zinc sulfur mask is a must for me at the moment as well. Something that’s cooling, and help bring the inflammation down to dry out any of those acne spots that I might have but not dry my actual skin out. That’s what I love about the zinc and sulfur mask—the one I use is the Biba de Sousa Calming Zinc Sulphur Mask from my facialist in LA.
What does clean beauty mean to you, and why is it important to incorporate those principles into your company through a partnership with Caroline Hadfield and Amyris?
It’s interesting for us because we really spend a lot of time defining what clean beauty means to Rose Inc, but we talk more about what we put into our products versus what we take out of them. Caroline and I both felt like in 2021 (the year we launched), bringing a product line to market that was clean just felt like a no-brainer—in America, clean beauty means something entirely different than it does in the UK and Europe. But ultimately, I think each brand has to define what the term means to them, and for us, it’s about being a brand that’s very focused on ingredients. We have a list of our no-nos, but our color products specifically have a blend of beneficial ingredients in them working for your skin.
We like to think about clean as this very holistic sort of organic, full circle kind of thing. Everything from the supply chain to our transparency as a brand, down to the packaging that we’ve chosen to create these products with, and really making the best choices not just for skin health, but also for the environment—making the best choices we can as a brand. We really push ourselves with that, and have standards that we hold ourselves to. One of the things about our products that was also important to me was creating them to be noncomedogenic (created without potential pore-clogging ingredients), especially since I have acne-prone skin. The most important thing to me with Rose Inc is the transparency part because whatever you’re going to say you have to back it up. So that’s really what we spend the most time talking about in our meetings as a brand, just making sure that if we’re going to talk about something, it’s backed up with clinical evidence, which is why we refer to ourselves as a clean and clinically proven brand—all our clinical studies are taking place from the very beginning when my developer and I start to create the products.
As a busy mom, wife, and entrepreneur, what are some of your go-tos for self-care?
There are those standard sorts of things—like a great night in with Netflix or shutting yourself in the bathroom, lighting a candle, and having a nice hot bath—and those things are definitely part of my routine. But when I really think about self-care and taking care of myself and having rituals, it’s when I’m working out consistently. I feel the best when I’m doing that, and working out a minimum of three to four times a week, and pushing myself to go. Since becoming a mom and being busier, getting myself to the gym is so much harder than before I had my son. I seem to always have an excuse to cancel! So, self-care for me is about going to the gym and managing my diet—I don’t believe in cutting things out, I don’t believe in full-on diets and those things, but just being balanced with it.
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I think as I get older, where I really find the truest opportunity to relax and find a state of calm is when I’m in nature and out of the city. I live in a city—I’ve lived in the city since I was 17 years old and grew up in the countryside and used to crave going to the city—but now as I’m getting a bit older and as a mom, there’s a deep calmness and serenity I feel when I sit in a field looking out at nature, or on a beach breathing in fresh air. There’s a stillness in nature; watching a squirrel forage for its nuts before autumn, and scuttling across the grass, or the birds come—just those things where it just sort of brings you back to the bigger picture of what’s going on in the world, and life. That’s when I really feel a deep serenity. For me, finding that balance between living a busy life—running around with school runs, work, travel, all of those things—but carving out time to be still with nature is a work in progress, because it’s not always that easy. It’s a privilege to be able to go between both, and I really recognize that. I just hope to have more of an opportunity for that as I get older, because I understand how important it is for my well-being and my family’s.
Is meditation ever part of your self-care routine?
No I don’t mediate—I like meditating, but I definitely don’t get that chance unless I was to wake up at 6 a.m. every day, and I’m pretty sure if I woke up early to meditate I’d fall right back asleep again. Taking time for myself though is really important to me; listening to music, putting a podcast on, being in my bathroom, up in my office, just being alone, going for a walk on my own. I think alone time before I had my son was just always there, and it was sort of overwhelming how much time I spent alone, and I didn’t really love it as much as I do now. Now that I have a kid and a busy household with lots of coming and going, lots of moving around, the quiet time and that time alone just to be in your thoughts and re-calibrate and de-compress is really important. Alone time is very sacred—I definitely craved a night in a hotel during lockdown like most moms, I think.
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