Up Close With Milk Makeup Founder Zanna Roberts Rassi

Up Close With Milk Makeup Founder Zanna Roberts Rassi

Photography courtesy of Getty Images

Plus, the entrepreneur shares where she gets her favourite facial.

As an industry polymath — award-winning fashion and beauty editor and broadcast journalist, co-founder of the wildly popular beauty brand Milk Makeup and brand ambassador for payment platform AfterPay — as well as a mother of eight-year-old twins, Zanna Roberts Rassi is the ultimate multi-tasking wonder.

In fact, her busy schedule is what first birthed the idea for Milk Makeup, a line of vegan, gender-blending makeup and skincare staples, back in 2016. “There are four co-founders, and when we launched, we had five kids under the age of two between all of us, so the brand was created with multifunction and speed in mind. Something clean that you don’t mind your kids picking up in the bathroom while you’re all trying to get ready at the same time. Something you can use in a cab on the way to somewhere,” explains the 40-year-old British-born, New York-based entrepreneur. “Minimal effort, maximum impact has always been my theme in life.”

Ahead, we spoke to Zanna Roberts Rassi about her beauty routine, personal style, favourite Spring/Summer 2022 trends and loads more.

Her go-to skincare routine

“I’m pretty low maintenance. In the morning before I jump into the shower I’ll use a face mask while I’m brushing my teeth or pouring the kids’ their cereal. The girls find it hilarious because I always look like a witch at breakfast. I wash if off in the shower and then, as soon as I’m out, I apply my moisturizer on damp, warm skin. That’s my big thing. If my skin is too cold or dry, then it’s too late — I have to wash my face again. I use the Vegan Milk Moisturizer morning and night. In the evening, I like to use our Ungrip Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm to cleanse my skin. If my skin is in need of some extra help, I will use Sunday Riley’s Good Genes Treatment. I’m a big fan of it.”

Milk Makeup Vegan Milk Moisturizer ($50), Milk Makeup Ungrip Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm ($48), Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One AHA Lactic Acid Treatment ($162). Graphic design by Leo Tapel

Her favourite hair hack

“My platinum blonde is serious maintenance, there’s no doubt about it. I’ve tried just about every single hair mask in the business, but nothing is quite as regenerative as raw, natural coconut oil. I will literally sit with just coconut oil on my hair once a week for two hours. I first use a cleansing shampoo then I’ll apply my coconut oil. Sure, my hair is greasy for, like, four days afterwards, but it honestly stops breakage. I like to warm it up in the microwave and then brush it through my hair. If you go to bed with it on, cover your pillows!”

Her personal style uniform

“I love an outfit with a little bit of masculine in it — a little bit tomboy. For me, that usually means something oversized. This season that manifested into the oversized blazer with a skinny legging, or a menswear-inspired high-waisted pant paired with a tighter knit top. There’s something about pairing an oversized silhouette with something more form fitting that that makes me feel confident.”

Spring/Summer 2022 Runway (Left to Right): Kwaidan Editions, Gucci, Givenchy. Photography courtesy of Imaxtree. Graphic design by Leo Tapel

Her favourite item in her closet

“I have this Monse Letterman jacket that says NYC on the back and that has big, oversized baseball cuffs. It’s super obnoxious but I just love it! I wear it over anything, from jeans to even over a mini dress feels cool.”

Her everyday makeup routine

“I always apply Milk Makeup’s Sunshine Skin Tint with my fingers because the heat from my hands makes the product soak in really well. Then I will apply the Rise mascara and quick flick of the Kush eyebrow gel. For night, I’ll pump my look up with my Tom Ford quad eyeshadow palette — it’s the easiest thing to use for instant glamour — and a Victoria Beckham kajal eyeliner.”

Milk Makeup Sunshine Skin Tint Clean Foundation ($56), Tom Ford Eye Color Quad Eyeshadow Palette ($110), Milk Makeup Rise Mascara ($37), Milk Makeup Kush Clear Brow Gel ($26), Victoria Beckham Satin Kajal Liner ($38). Graphic design by Leo Tapel

Her genuis beauty tip

“I’m into this ’90s supermodel-esque vibe: lip liner, but not applied all the way around the lips. Instead of lining the whole way around before lipstick, you only apply it around your cupid’s bow and under the lower lip, not on the sides. It just gives you this super, duper full lip. Victoria Beckham told me about it.”

Her most coveted fashion trend

“Colour! From being at fashion shows to all over award show red carpets — even just walking around the streets of New York — I see people really embracing colour more than ever. Serotonin dressing, or dopamine dressing, is trending big time and it’s definitely manifesting into these saturated colours. On the Oscars red carpet for example, H.E.R wore a gorgeous green Carolina Herrera dress that was crazy bright. I think after we’ve all endured being locked down, in the ‘cozy mode’ of hoodies, sweatpants and nice neutrals, now it’s time to celebrate with some wearable optimism.”

Her favourite beauty trend

“It’s all about clean, easy, beautiful skin — no more of the heavy contour, thankfully — but with experimentation and play through accents of makeup: eyeshadow in the inner corner of the eye, a high blush, dual-tone shadow that’s tight lined, graphic eyeliner.”

Spring/Summer 2022 Backstage Beauty (Left to Right): Dior, Maxwell, Lanvin. Photography courtesy of Imaxtree. Graphic design by Leo Tapel

Her go-to skin treatment:

Laura Dyer. She is a clinical skincare specialist in New York and a godsend. A lot of people in the beauty industry go and see her. She does her signature AquaGold treatment on me, which includes a cocktail of vitamins and hyaluronic acids that she stamps into the skin — like a form of microneedling. It’s one of those pleasure-pain things. It’s incredible!”

Her take on aging

“The idea of aging used to scare me. But I think now, at my age, I feel more and more together than I ever have. There’s something so great about getting older and more mature: becoming more finely tuned at everything in your life, from kids to career to friends. I’m excited about it even more now because I think life is just going to get better and better. It’s funny, when it comes to style, I’ve got a folder on Instagram of really chic older women in their fifties and sixties that dress really cool. I’m like, ‘This is my goal!” I want to look like them, dress as cool as they are and have a short haircut with spiky, white-blonde hair. And I’ll still wear oversized clothes and big combat boots. I think aging is all about doing it gracefully and doing it with class.”

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