A few weeks ago, Amber Rose, Donald Robertson, and Estée Lauder walked into a bar. There’s no punch line for this seemingly unlikely trio — they’ve all partnered to launch Lauder’s first social-media-powered beauty brand, Flirt. Robertson is the brand’s creative director, and Rose is its new face. You can see her all over the brand’s site demonstrating their latest launch, a “staple gun” for false eyelashes that helps reduce the risk of misplaced lashes. The Cut talked to Rose about shea butter, loving cheeseburgers and tacos when you’re a celebrity, and Donald Trump.
What is your nighttime beauty routine?
I honestly don’t do much. I use a Chanel brightening cleanser and raw African shea butter. I lather my entire body, including my scalp, from head to toe. It’s a routine that I’ve been doing for at least 15 years. I often tell people I have a shea-butter robe. I’ll get robes from Marshalls, because raw African shea butter stains everything. I’ll put the air on because it can get very hot in there.
I highly suggest it. I did it my entire pregnancy. My mother is worked up [with stretch marks] and I’m her only child. I was worried because it’s hereditary. But I have no stretch marks. It’s amazing.
To some people, you and Estée Lauder may seem like an unusual pairing. Yet at the event, you said that although you were initially surprised, you came around to it. Could you explain?
[Estée Lauder] came to my house to have a meeting, and I’ve always looked at them as a conservative company. But they came for a full meeting and were like, Amber, we love you, we love your SlutWalk, your tattoos, and your bald head. I was like, What? Are you sure? They just loved my look and my feminism, my Amber Rose foundation, and my tattoos. I’ve been waiting for a company to get me, and they got me. We came out with the last applicator and hopefully a few more things.
What are your favorite lipstick shades?
I love a mauve lip, a dark purple, a classic red or orange, nude, and I even like black. I like Cyber by M.A.C, and I love Ruby Woo — even though it’s a little dry, I still love the color. I love the red from the new M.A.C Retro Matte Lipstick Lipcolor stains. And I love Mars and 2 AM by Coloured Raine.
You put out a strong message of empowerment, owning the way you present yourself to the world. How do you think about beauty as it relates to empowerment?
Confidence and knowing who you are is power. It’s hard for me to be a judge for shows like Ru Paul’s Drag Race or America’s Next Top Model. I love those shows and I love watching. But I’m the type of person who thinks if you feel comfortable in what you have on, then that’s the beauty of it. It’s about being confident, individual, and doing your own thing when it comes to beauty and makeup. It doesn’t have to be a trend. Whatever makes you feel pretty. Everyone doesn’t have to do the same thing.
What do you think about the beauty myth — the idea of women being forced to try and achieve an unattainable standard of beauty?
People have to realize that the supermodels we see represent 5 percent or 3 percent of women in the world. It’s not realistic. It’s very realistic to have cellulite and saggy boobs — it’s part of just being a human.
It’s something I try to put out with my SlutWalk. There’s no body-shaming. And it really is very difficult. When you see these images, you think I don’t look like that. Embrace the skin that you are in. If you really do want to change, put your mind to it. Try to work out and eat better. I love cheeseburgers and tacos. Those are my two favorite things. I’ll probably never have the perfect body and I’m okay with that. As a celebrity now, I embrace it and I embrace my curves. I have a platform to help other women embrace it as well.
How do you feel without makeup?
I feel so beautiful and so pure. It’s so funny, because I personally wear pounds and pounds of it because I do TV. Sometimes, it really feels good to have a fresh clean face with nothing on it besides shea butter.
I read in an interview that you said you always feel confident. Is that true?
Yeah, I do. If I wake up and I’m like, “Shit, this is going to be a tough day,” or I’m doing something I’ve never done before, I talk myself out of it. I tell myself I’m capable, great, and even if I mess up, I get better over time.
Even with my body, I’m not getting any younger. Like I told you, I like to eat. It’s my favorite thing to do. I know when I do gain weight, I’m less confident. That’s when I work out and take the initiative to do things that make me feel better. And like I said, that’s for me, personally. Everyone is different.
You identify as a feminist. What do you think of the saying “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women”?
Well, I think that’s a bit extreme. Everything comes with education. As a society, we’ve been programmed not to be feminist and put the man first — stay at home, cook, clean, and be the girl that society told us to be. You have to talk to women and they have to do whatever makes them happy. If it is that, then that’s fine as well.
I mean, there are so many girls and celebrity women that won’t help me with SlutWalk. It’s a simple google to figure out what it is, but they don’t want to take the time to do it. I think it’s because their husbands or boyfriends will think they’re crazy. How could you not want to help me? But I know that inevitably, hopefully, they’ll come around and understand what they are doing. It’s not the end. It’s all about learning.
What do you think of Trump’s comment that Clinton only gets support from “non-hot” celebrities?
He’s a fucking idiot. He’s just such an idiot. He’s so weird. I really hope he’s not president.
Are you really moving to Canada if he does become president?
I doubt it. I’m just stuck here. I got my baby here. Canada is way too cold. I love living in L.A.
This interview has been condensed and edited.