Beauty Inside & Out: Millie Bobby Brown

The 'Stranger Things' star on the importance of therapy, her love for puppies, and why she has a bone to pick with foaming cleansers.

millie bobby brown
(Image credit: Future)

In the ultimate quest for inner beauty and outer glow, Marie Claire asks our favorite trailblazers to share intel on finding balance in their busy lives. Read it all here, in Beauty Inside & Out.


At 18, Millie Bobby Brown has done a lot. She’s been Emmy-nominated for her role as Eleven in Stranger Things and starred as the one and only Enola Holmes on Netflix. She’s created Florence by Mills, a beauty brand that can only be described as a cult favorite. And, perhaps most impressively, she's a found balance between work and life at such a young age. “I personally don't think self-care is a face mask and a hair mask, and that'll solve world issues,” the actress says. “I define it as giving your body, giving your mind, and giving your emotional well-being the time that it deserves and the healing that it deserves. I need to love myself the way that I love others. In turn, that will make me a decent person and a decent friend.”

Even though Brown has a very obvious passion for all things beauty (she spills all her skincare favorites and makeup secrets, ahead), her most centering habits are focused on healing from within. She carves out alone time for mental health, hobbies, and activities (cough cough playing with her puppies) that genuinely bring her happiness. Here, the British actress walks us through the products, habits, rituals, and of course, food, that helps her stay centered.

Inner Beauty 

Taking Time for Therapy 

I really believe in therapy. I started working when I was eight and I didn't realize that actually I needed to carve out time for myself. I think that's a pretty roundabout age when you become self aware. I personally became really aware of my body at that age, my face, how many times a day I cried. Things like that, that you don't realize when you're really young. Then, when I was about 15 or 16, I thought, Why have I cried twice this week? Why is that? Let's dig into that. Let's unpack that. What's going on? Therapy really helped me because, now, I've become so self-aware of myself that I can be a good person to others and a good friend. 

Puppy Play Time

I love dogs. I believe that dogs are pretty much the healer of all things. I have four of them and they are amazing. My week consists of a lot of vet visits, dog grooming visits, going to any dog store, getting more food. I'm also a foster mom to cats. I have this beautiful little cat right now that takes up most of my time. I think knowing that I can give a beautiful living thing a home, temporarily, is really nice. 

Break a Sweat 

Meditation got me through a lot of Stranger Things, but recently I haven’t been meditating. When I need a minute to myself, I just get on the Peloton and ride. I’m obsessed with the Taylor Swift Collection—that’s the only thing I’ll ride to. Sometimes if it’s a long day and it’s 8 p.m., but I still don’t want to say no, I’ll do a 20-minute ride that’s pretty chill. But if it’s midday and I’m just ready to get it all out, I’ll do a 45-minute ride that’s really hard. 

Balanced Diet 

I think fruits and vegetables are your best friends. I drink a lot of juices and I love kombucha. I used to be crazy about vegetarianism, but I gave up on that because I had to stop filming my last movie. It was such a heavily stunted film. I just needed some muscle. Vegetarianism wasn’t giving muscle to my body in the way that meat could. I needed to feel energized and give my body back what it was exerting throughout the day. 

Outer Glow 

Pre-Work Skincare 

I don't usually do my skincare routine in the morning at my house; I usually do it at work—right before I put on makeup. I use my cleanser, which is really light and non-foaming. I love a non-foaming cleanser. I hate foam. Like, it really bothers me. It gets in my hair. This cleanser is almost like a balm, but it really gives me the cleanse I need. I use the Look Alive Eye Balm, which I personally need so badly because I suffer badly from puffy eyes in the morning. It also contains caffeine to wake up your eyes—it's one of my favorite products. I also love our Tinted Lip Oil. It gauges your pH levels and the color adapts to your lips, which I think is amazing. I usually throw that on and then I throw on moisturizer. Right now I'm obsessed with a lot of our moisturizers, but I have to go back to our basic Dreamy Dew Moisturizer, just because of how unbelievable and soft it is. 

Minimal Makeup 

I like a glowy, fresh look—very minimal. You can build all you want, but I really appreciate starting off minimal. You don’t need to cover your whole face—you’re beautiful as you are. For me, I was not really comfortable with that until Florence started giving me tools so that I could be like, Oh, actually I don't need to cover up this pimple. I can leave it out. Take our Skin Tint for example. You can put it on and you can see all your freckles. I think that’s an important message to send out there. But, if you put another layer on you can get more coverage; it's the best of both worlds.  

We have amazing cream blushes, too. I'm obsessed with our new shade Pretty P. I just put that on the apples of my cheeks. Then, I'll use the Out of This Whirled Bronzer for my cheekbones, I'll just quickly curl my lashes and apply mascara. I don’t want a crazy bushy eye, so I just go over them with some wax. Then, I throw on concealer and our color correcting powder, which is in my top three favorite products. Seriously, it’s unbelievable. I carry that basically everywhere I go. 

Bathtub R&R

My bath setup consists of many candles and lots of oils—I love oils. I am obsessed with Kristin Ess shampoo and conditioner. Normally, once a week I’ll do Mane Character Vibes, which is our hair mask. It doesn’t say this on the packaging, but, sometimes, I’ll leave it overnight. I’m a fake blonde, so my hair needs lots of nourishment. 

Lotions & Potions 

You know what I love? I love the smell of pumpkins, I love the smell of lavender, and I love the smell of roses. I'm really particular about fragrances because I never want to smell like someone else. I want to smell like me. I never want it to be, "Oh, you're wearing that same perfume that this person wears." I want my scent to feel like it's a part of me and my aesthetic. For that reason, I'm not really a crazy fan of fragrances. I just make my own kind of cocktail with lotions and such. It’s a mix of essential oils, body lotions, and body creams. 

Recipe for Success: Millie’s Roast Dinner

millie bobby brown

(Image credit: Future)

In America, you'd say it's a pot roast. But, it really isn’t because you wouldn't cook it in one pot—it's not an all-together thing.

You have to get either beef, chicken, or pork, and then all the vegetables under the sun. I like peas, carrots, asparagus, green beans, parsnips, and turnips. Those are the main things that you eat in a roast dinner. You get potatoes and you roast them with rosemary and canola oil. 

And you have to make Yorkshire pudding, which consists of flour, water, a little bit of butter, and some salt. You mix it up, put them in a cupcake tray, and you put them into the oven for about 30 minutes. The rule is you cannot open that oven until you know they are done because they will deflate. It's really important. Yorkshire pudding is not a dessert, it's part of the dinner and it’s a necessity. 

In England, you have this thing called Marmite, which I add to my gravy because my mom does that—it’s nostalgic. I take a teaspoon of Marmite and put it over the whole dinner. 

Beauty Editor

Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and shares the breakdown on the latest and greatest trends in the beauty space. She's studied up on every ingredient you'll find on INCI list and is constantly in search of the world's glowiest makeup products. Prior to joining the team, she worked as Us Weekly’s Beauty and Style Editor, where she stayed on the pulse of pop culture and broke down celebrity beauty routines, hair transformations, and red carpet looks. Her words have also appeared on Popsugar, Makeup.com, Skincare.com, Delish.com, and Philadelphia Wedding. Samantha also serves as a board member for the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME). She first joined the organization in 2018, when she worked as an editorial intern at Food Network Magazine and Pioneer Woman Magazine. Samantha has a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. While at GWU, she was a founding member of the school’s HerCampus chapter and served as its President for four years. When she’s not deep in the beauty closet or swatching eyeshadows, you can find her obsessing over Real Housewives and all things Bravo. Keep up with her on Instagram @samholender.