TikTok superstar Addison Rae Easterling has officially made the jump from social media influencer to all-around superstar. With a starring role in the Netflix’s He’s All That, a noteworthy friendship with Kourtney Kardashian featured on the final season of KUWTK, and as co-founder of ITEM Beauty, a skin-care and makeup line that is celebrating its Sephora launch today— it’s clear the 20-year-old really is all that.
Meeting Addison via Zoom is like watching a behind-the-scenes of one of her TikTok clips. Poised with confidence, she is beautiful, smiley, and laser focused. We’re here to talk about the launch of her brand in Sephora, the biggest beauty retailer in the world, but there really is so much more to talk about. Named by Forbes as TikTok’s highest-earning star, she’s now embarking on a new part of her career and several upcoming projects, including a lead role in the highly-anticipated reboot of a beloved ’90s classic, but you would never know any of that by her humble demeanor.
Under her early 90s baby-Cindy Crawford glam is the southern charm and manners you’d expect from a Louisiana girl-next-door. She is genuine and her love for the Spice Girls decade runs deep. “My mom was always the young, cool mom,” she says about her love for a throwback look. “She always wore the ’90s-style makeup and that’s what has inspired a lot of what I do to this day. I love Jennifer Aniston and Julia Roberts. Even Pamela Anderson always had iconic makeup. They really inspire me.”
Rae in turn is influencing the next generation, and she hopes to be a part of their every day routines with her clean beauty line. “Being a clean brand was a big deal for me because,” she explains, “as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned how important it is and hopefully now I can tell everyone else how important it is, too.”
What inspired you to create ITEM Beauty?
So much in my life has inspired me all together. My mom was a makeup artist and she always loved makeup and using it as a form to express herself and use color to do fun looks. I also grew up in dance and in the dance world you start doing your makeup so young for the stage, so I learned so much about my skin and what I like to use that way. I see the way I use my makeup as an art form.
How involved were you in developing your brand and did you have any non-negotiables in terms of what you wanted?
I was super involved—I was getting samples of every product every time something changed through the development process, whether it was figuring out shade ranges, the scents, the products and the packaging. I knew that I only wanted ingredients that were good for your skin. I know there is nothing in the formulations that isn’t good for you. I wanted my products to not only make you look good, but also feel good. That’s an aspect of makeup that’s easy to forget. Sometimes it looks good, but the product itself is not the best for your skin or the best for the environment even, so that was important to me throughout the process.
If you could have everyone try one product, what would it be?
The Lash Snack ($15) lengthening mascara or, you know what, the One Hit Mist ($18). It’s just really easy to use anywhere at any point of the day and I feel like it’s a really good pick-me-up. It smells so good that I use it practically all the time. Yeah, I’ll go with One Hit Mist.
What does your own routine look like?
When I wake up I use my Fast Pass AHA Gel Cleanser ($18). It’s super lightweight so I like to use that to get my skin prepped for the day. Then, I’ll go in with my Lite Sauce Gel Moisturizer ($20) because it absorbs straight into my skin but gives me enough makeup prep to keep it in place throughout the day. And then for my nighttime routine, I like to use the Slick Type Cleansing Balm ($20) to melt my makeup away.
If you could invent a product or tool to fix a concern, what would it be?
I would love something that could just stop time so you can get a little more done, I need that. Sometimes I’m like, I just literally need five more minutes. If I could have a time-extender, I could get a lot more done or just take the time I need for myself.
You get glammed up a lot. What is your favorite part about it and have you learned anything from the process?
I love to get glammed; I think everyone loves to have their hair and makeup done. I used to do other people’s makeup in high school for prom, so I even love to be the one doing the glamming. They used to pay me like $15, it was my side hustle. My favorite part of getting glammed myself is being able to see how different makeup artists approach different styles, because I think there’s so many ways to interpret a look. I learn something new every time I work with a new artist or even someone that I’ve worked with many times, like Mary Phillips, who is incredible and has such a light hand and her own twist on things. I like to take tips from them and build my everyday routine around little things that they do differently.
What was it like starring in your first movie?
I have never been more excited about watching something or letting people watch something that I’m a part of and I’ve already seen it a few times, so I am so excited. It was such a life-changing experience and something that I will truly never ever forget. I think this is just the beginning to something that I’ve always wanted to do in my life, and I’ve always dreamt of doing, so hopefully I’ll have many more films to come where I can really start to show people how much of a passion I have.
We’re excited for the movie, too. You’re taking over the world!
I’m beyond excited about it and once again, another dream in my life that I never thought I’d be able to say is that I would be in Sephora. It’s somewhere I went since I was a little girl, so it’s incredible to look back on at Addison at five years old and be like, “You did that, girl! You always have your mom’s love and support and here you are doing all the things you ever imagined doing.”