not a professional. just crazy.

Rio Stops By: Eating Vegan Doughnuts With Beauty YouTuber Madelynn De La Rosa

Madelynn De La Rosa and Rio Viera-Newton. Photo: Rio Viera-Newton

In the extremely large, extremely overwhelming world of mega-influencers, filmmaker and content creator Madelynn De La Rosa has managed to carve out an inspiring, sunny, and inviting space of her own on YouTube. With nearly one million subscribers, De La Rosa’s channel celebrates ethically and sustainably made beauty and fashion through charming, carefully produced tutorials and short films — many of which are shot on her 16mm camera. She doesn’t upload often, but when she does, it always feels like a treat.

But I’m not just a fan of De La Rosa’s adorable personality and the production quality of her videos — as many of you know, the Make Beauty Bisou Bisou stick she co-created is one of my holy-grail lip-and-cheek sticks (and continues to be among the brand’s best-selling products). So on a recent trip to Los Angeles, I caught up with her at a café in Silverlake, where we talked about cruelty-free and vegan beauty, the (very surprising) fact that she cuts her own hair, and her holy-grail highlighter over jasmine iced teas and vegan donuts.

I have something I have to confess: the Make Bisou Bisou stick you co-created is one of my all-time, holy-grail products, and actually was the reason I first subscribed to your YouTube channel.
I’m so glad you love it! I’m obsessed with the burnt sienna color, and genuinely wear it every single day on my lips and cheeks. Make was totally down to collaborate, and the product is vegan and cruelty-free, which was the most important thing to me.

Make Beauty Bisou Bisou Lip & Cheek Stick

I recently went vegan and cruelty-free, too.
Isn’t it crazy how much the beauty industry is changing? I walked into Sephora today and there were all these signs that said “vegan,” “cruelty-free,” and “clean beauty.” It was awesome.

I know! Let’s talk about your skin type and favorite products.
I’m totally combination skin. For makeup, I’ve been really loving this brand Mya Chia, which is small and female-owned. It makes this really cool liquid highlighter — it’s pretty and glowy without being totally overwhelming and looking fake [Rio’s note: Mya Chia also works closely with Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala, a nonprofit organization that provides educational and technical training to the Mayan communities of northwest Huehutenago — which, needless to say, is awesome].

Maya Chia The Highlight Of The Day Illuminating Serum

Oh, wow. The serum is so pretty and pearlescent. I bet it looks really nice mixed in with foundation.
I’ve never tried that but I’m sure you’re right. I’m also obsessed with True Botanicals at the moment. The brand is so cool! I’ve been religiously using its face oil, which has made such a difference in my complexion. The stuff is so nourishing and feels amazing.

True Botanicals Clear Pure Radiance Oil

Everyone loves this face oil! It’s so funny you mentioned it because I was thinking about buying it the other day. It contains squalane and algae extract — two of my favorite ingredients at the moment.
True Botanicals also has this shampoo and conditioner that I really love. The products have super-minimal ingredient lists and, honestly, I love the packaging — everything the brand does is so beautiful and simple. But the products also really work! I’ve found that together they make my hair feel really nice and soft; I actually cut my own hair and don’t often go into salons for treatments, so finding an at-home shampoo and conditioner that make my hair feel happy and healthy like it would after a salon visit was important to me.

True Botanicals Nourishing Shampoo
True Botanicals Nourishing Conditioner

What! I can’t believe you cut your own hair. It’s so cute. Do you have a favorite SPF?
I actually love Glossier’s sunscreen so much. It’s clear, so it never leaves a weird white cast, and it feels like a second skin. It also looks really nice under makeup, which I love.

Glossier Invisible Shield

Supergoop’s priming sunscreen is also good for totally avoiding that horrifying white cast. Speaking of even skin tones, what are you favorite complexion products? Your skin seems perfect, but what do you wear on days when you want to even out its tone?
Make Beauty has this amazing Soft Focus Foundation. It’s super light and looks really natural on the skin. I don’t wear it every day, but it does the trick when I do want a little extra coverage, and never leaves me looking too cakey or intense.

Make Beauty Soft Focus Foundation

I also must ask about your brows. They’re so good — what’s your secret?
You know Michelle Phan, right? She’s a makeup artist, an OG beauty YouTuber, and founded Em Cosmetics — the maker of my favorite brow pencil. It’s so feathery, and great for achieving those perfect streaks.

Em Cosmetics Brunette Brow Pencil
Photo: kelseyfugere
Em Cosmetics Brunette Brow Pencil

That’s so funny. I recently interviewed Charlotte Cho from Soko Glam and she uses the same pencil. Do you have a lip product you love?
I wear Bisou Bisou on my lips most of the time, both as a tint or a full-on lipstick because it’s super buildable. But my new favorite lip product is the Bite Beauty agave lip balm. It’s so nice and thick, and really helps my lips heal when they’re cracked or chapped.

Bite Beauty Agave+ Daytime Vegan Lip Balm

It’s the best! In the winter, especially.
Or in my case, during dry L.A. weather.

Okay, so lastly, and just for the sake of transparency, I’d like to point out that I ate this whole doughnut before you could even try it.
I forgive you.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

Rio Eats Doughnuts With Beauty YouTuber Madelynn De La Rosa