When Rosie Huntington-Whiteley sits down to chat to me on Zoom she's channeling every aesthetic she's become synonymous with in her Instagram posts - impeccably polished hair (think magazine-cover-worthy waves and soft, LA-style highlights), neutral shades of knitwear, and achingly cool gold jewellery. She's here to talk about Rose Inc, the eponymous beauty brand that she launched last year. 'I feel like my whole career led me to this place,' says Rosie, who recently moved back to London with fiancé Jason Statham and their four-year-old son Jack.
Rosie originally originally launched Rose Inc as an editorial platform in 2018, a move motivated by her ambition to launch the very same beauty line that's making headlines today. 'There was a real appetite for anything beauty-related that I shared across my social channels back then,' she says, 'but there were a lot of celebrity beauty brands out there already, it was a very oversaturated market.' Rosie decided to use the editorial arm of the brand to aggregate data and get a steer on the readers' interests. 'It also meant that I could connect with my audience and share my true passion for make-up and skincare,' explains Rosie, 'so that when the first Rose Inc products debuted more than two years later, it felt authentic.'
Rosie didn't have to take the carefully plotted out path she chose, 'I could have raised the money if I'd wanted to, that became very apparent,' she says, 'I knew there was a lot of investment potential out there, there were various incubators that wanted to work with me on it, but I knew that my beauty brand had to stand for something, it had to be unique,' and Rosie knew that she had to take a considered approach to finding the perfect business partner.
Enter Caroline Hadfield. Caroline joined renowned US biotech company Amyris Inc as their Senior Vice President of Personal Care in 2015 and is now the CEO and President of Rose Inc in partnership with Amyris. After meeting Caroline while a brand partner for Amyris's US baby brand Pipette, Rosie mentioned her intention to launch a beauty line in passing. Mere weeks later Caroline was setting wheels in motion. 'That happened at the end of summer 2019 and we launched two years later on 27th August 2021.' All of a sudden renowned supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was a bona fide entrepreneur. 'I had a vision, I took the risk and I plunged. It's a dream come true to be where I am right now.'
Was being an entrepreneur always on Rosie's radar? 'I never call myself that actually, I'm almost uncomfortable about thinking about myself in that way,' she says, 'I love to create and I've always loved fashion. I'm very fortunate that my career has allowed me to lean into that.'
Rosie left school at just 17 to concentrate on her modelling career. 'I was already doing a lot of modelling during my first year of A Levels. Imagine my mindset - I'd just got back from a shoot in the Caribbean and I was sitting in a dimly-lit school classroom thinking about how bored I was. That's when I left to model full-time.'
Rosie credits her business acumen and love of the hustle to the resilience she developed during her modelling career, 'there were years that were a real struggle for me as a model, years that were challenging, when I wasn't earning the money that I wanted to, but I had nothing to fall back on,' she explains, 'I had to keep up that pursuit for success, there was no other option. I didn't want to go back to school at the age of 22 and I didn't want to go back to living in my parents' house, so I kept going. I found my drive.'
This week Rosie launches a brand new Rose Inc addition, the Skin Enhance Luminous Tinted Serum, £36. It's a base that offers sheer, radiant coverage alongside all the hydrating benefits of a good quality hyaluronic acid serum. 'I love the finish of it on my skin,' says Rosie.
Shop: Rose Inc Skin Enhance Luminous Tinted Serum, £36
Rose Inc Skin Enhance Luminous Tinted Serum, £36
This brand new base offering from Rose Inc aims to bridge the gap between powerful skincare and make-up, offering radiant coverage in a matter of pumps. It contains a sodium hyaluronate - a sodium salt of hyaluronic acid - that hydrates and reduces inflammation in one.
The Rose Inc Skin Enhance Luminous Tinted Serum will be available in the UK at Space NK from 28th January.
Rose Inc's latest launch has likely been road tested by number of Rosie's close friends and family already. 'Whether it's my mum, a friend or a member of my team, I normally manage to swatch a bit of product on them or pick their brains before they leave the house,' Rosie laughs. And Jason? 'He definitely won't be trying out a foundation or applying a new Rose Inc lipstick any time soon, but he does have a real eye for design so he gets involved in that side of things,' Rosie says fondly, 'he's got a great head for architecture and functionality. He's passionate about it and very supportive.' Jack shares his father's enthusiasm for Rosie's venture too. 'He tells everyone at school that his mummy makes lipsticks,' Rosie smiles, 'that's what he thinks I do. And it's true!'
Rosie's own first memories of make-up are rooted in a noughties classic. 'I used to use the St. Ives Apricot Scrub, which probably wasn't great for my skin.'
My skin has always been the greatest puzzle of my lifetime
Rosie has always been vocal about her skin journey and the regular breakouts she's become accustomed to. 'My skin will always be the greatest puzzle of my lifetime,' says Rosie, 'it doesn't matter what incredible products I'm feeding it, what amazing facials I'm booking in for, how clean I'm keeping it, it always does what it wants regardless.'
Now expecting her second child, Rosie is well-versed in the hormone-induced skin quirks that come with pregnancy, 'my skin's been awful up until about six weeks ago and it's only just decided to be amazing,' Rosie rolls her eyes. 'After Jack was born I started to learn about non-comedogenic and pore-clogging ingredients,' she says, 'I eradicated any products that contained them from my skincare and make-up routines and saw my skin go from very congested and bumpy to becoming a lot more manageable.'
Rose Inc symbolises a thought-through approach to beauty that taps into today's key demands - make-up combined with the benefits of skincare and skincare that feels like self-care. Already ticking boxes? Shop more of Grazia's favourite Rose Inc buys below:
Shop: More Of Grazia's Favourite Rose Inc Buys
Rose Inc Beauty Products - Grazia 2021
'We wanted to create a cream formula that fulfilled our wish list: easy to apply, long-wearing, multi-use, luminous and flattering across skin tones. Set in beautiful refillable packaging, this blush exceeded our expectations.' - Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
'This formula keeps brows in place, full stop.' - Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
'Matte lip colors can be drying, but this nourishing, hydrating formula feels like a lip treatment. I reach for it the same way I would a lip balm —and apply it just as easily.' - Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
'This brush makes application so simple my only tip is to apply the concealer and stipple, sweep or blend. It's that easy. I love this brush because it really gets concealer into contours and hard-to- target areas. It does the hard work for you.' - Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
'We worked hard to perfect our Blush Divine Lip & Cheek Color, and it deserved the best brush possible. The shape, texture and density of these bristles make application quick and easy with incredibly natural results.' - Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
'When it comes to moisturizers, I felt like I always had to choose between something non-comedogenic that works for my skin, or something that feels luxurious to apply. With this formula, I don't have to choose. I get that indulgent experience and beautiful skin.' - Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
'I'm always looking for more ways to be environmentally responsible, and I welcome anything that elevates my skincare routine. These organic bamboo cotton rounds feel like a little bit of luxury.' - Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
'Shake a few drops onto a Reusable Cosmetic Round and gently push it into the skin, moving from the center of the face towards the hairline. This patting motion helps boost circulation and reveal beautiful rosy glow.' - Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
'I absolutely love this concealer because I've been able to cut foundation from my daily makeup routine. Once I buff it into my skin with a brush, my complexion looks brighter and smoother, but completely bare. There's no trace of makeup —just smooth, radiant skin.' - Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.