After launching her editorial platform, Rose Inc., in 2018 to build a beauty community online, model and entrepreneur Rosie Huntington-Whiteley wanted to bring her own experience in the industry to the masses. “I’m a frustrated magazine editor-slash-creative director at heart, so I thought I should build a platform where I can do it all,” she says on a Zoom from London one July afternoon. In the months that followed, she began to meet with investors and partners about creating a complementary product line. “Sticking my name on something wasn’t meaningful or thoughtful to me,” she explains. “I felt certain that if I was going to bring a product line to the market, I wanted it to be as innovative and value-driven as possible.”
A meeting with clean beauty maverick Caroline Hadfield (who is responsible for launching Biossance and Pipette) followed and a visit to Amyris’ lab followed. “I was really blown away by the innovation, and I knew our aesthetics and values were aligned,” Huntington-Whiteley says. In August 2019, she signed on with Amyris, the biotechnology and science powerhouse, with Hadfield as CEO. “We shared similar values in that we wanted to develop products that would be good for people and the environment,” says Hadfield. “To kick off, I had asked Rosie to meet and provide a few benchmark products to start brainstorming around the brand and collection. She arrived with two suitcases full of products! I knew right there we shared a passion for beauty and that our partnership would be a great success.”
“I’m a frustrated magazine editor-slash-creative director at heart, so I thought maybe I should build a platform where I can do it all.”
Two years later, Rose Inc. has debuted its first six-product collection of skincare and color makeup: Modern Essentials. The multipurpose skin and makeup products include Softlight, a luminous hydrating concealer in 20 shades, Lip Sculpt Amplifying Lip Color, Brow Renew Enriched Eyebrow Shaping Gel, Blush Divine Radiant Lip and Cheek Color, Radiant Brightening Serum and Skin Resolution Clarifying Toner. “I’ve had acne-prone skin my entire adult life,” says Huntington-Whiteley. “I wear these products every day and they give instant results. All of our products are ultra-nourishing, and it’s about giving back to the skin.” These gentle-yet-powerful products feature five proprietary bioengineered botanical ingredients: the Amyris-innovated squalene, hemisqualane, bisabolol, biosilicia and cannabigerol (CBG). The 100 percent non-comedogenic, vegan formulas also feature safe synthetic ingredients such as vitamin E that is derived from 100 percent non-GMO sunflower seeds. The first collection recently launched on Rose Inc.’s website and at Sephora nationwide (worldwide retailers include Space NK and Mecca). The brand will continue to launch skincare and color makeup side-by-side with future launches like eye cream, eye shadow, body products, bronzer and lip products to follow.
Transparency, inclusivity and affordability were other important factors for the entrepreneur. “Accessibility has always been important to me,” says Huntington-Whiteley, “being accessible with a fair price point while being aspirational.” To that end, the line is all priced under $100. “Rose Inc. is committed to full transparency with everything we do—packaging, formula and ingredients and benefits. And we know our products are efficacious,” echoes Hadfield. To that end, the sleek packaging boasts a minimum of 25 percent recycled plastic, 100 percent recyclable glass bottles and cartons made with 30 percent hemp and 90 percent recycled plastic liners.
Having a loyal following helped the brand in its product development. “We were able to tap right into our Rose Inc. community and the data we’ve sourced,” says Huntington-Whiteley. The team also tapped Los Angeles-based makeup artist Cherish Brooke Hill as a consultant. “Shade matching was important to us,” says Huntington-Whiteley. “Cherish helped make sure we had inclusive shade offerings.” So what’s Huntington-Whiteley’s definition of beauty? “I always go back to something my mother said early on when she was teaching me how to apply makeup and I was caking it on. She told me to have a more natural hand and enhance what I have, not hide what I have.” Now, for the 34-year-old mother, that advice has taken on a new meaning. “It means focusing on the aspects of myself that I’m proud of and want to enhance. There’s beauty in being yourself.”