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Suitcase Series: Zanna Roberts Rassi, Co-Founder of Milk Makeup

If you ever find yourself sitting next to Zanna Roberts Rassi on a plane, you’ll probably pick up some excellent beauty tips… Co-founder of Milk Makeup (the UK’s biggest makeup launch of 2019), Zanna’s a champion of beauty on-the-go. The brand’s travel-friendly stick formulations already have cult status in editor’s kit bags. As well as being style correspondent for E! in the US, Zanna fronts a new show called Commuter Beauty.

Born in Manchester, she moved to London at 19 to follow her dream of becoming a magazine editor. After seven years in UK glossies, Zanna moved to New York, aged 26, “My love of magnetic Manhattan, an incredible job offer as Fashion Editor at Marie Claire US, and a two-year transatlantic romance with a New Yorker (best travel ever, btw!)… It was all too much to refuse!,” she says. “The boy is now my husband, my business partner, and father of my two 4-year-olds.”

With travel high on her agenda – “I’m on a plane at least once a week” – we delve into Zanna’s suitcase psyche. Here’s how she travels and why she can never wear PJs on planes…

What is the first trip you remember taking?

Kenya with my parents. It was an eye-opener for a 10-year-old who grew up in Manchester! We visited villages, hung out with local children, went on safari, and stayed in treetop villages. It was super-special.

Do you get away often?

Travel is a HUGE part of my life. I’m on a plane at least once a week!

How do you usually recover from jetlag?

My mum always taught me that the hours before midnight are worth double to those after – so, that’s exactly what I try and catch up on when landing after a trip and feeling ‘the lag’. Failing that, Berocca for a boost.

Your flight’s delayed an hour and your phone’s out of battery. How do you pass the time?

Make-up! Truly. I have a video series on Instagram of quick tricks where I do a make-up look while commuting somewhere. It’s called #zannaquicktricks. I film the tutorials on my camera and upload to my phone.


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If you could sit next to anyone – dead or alive – on a long-haul flight, who would it be and why?

I’ve sat next to some awesome people on planes: Joan Rivers, Gigi Hadid, Kerry Washington, Richard Branson, producer of Hamilton, founders of Soul Cycle… But someone else – Audrey Hepburn. She was such an enigma. I want to know everything about her – love, life, career, style.

What’s the biggest lesson from your travels?

Don’t eat too much on a flight – you will feel bloated when you land.

Work trips aside, do you travel for food, leisure, culture, or something else?

All of the above. I’m presently planning a trip for my family to Morocco. Our nights will be filled with culture and food in the Agafay desert, camping under the stars and taking camel rides. Leisure will be ticked off when we return to Marrakesh for the rest of the week in a lovely house with good, local family food. Check. Check. Check.

Your favourite hotel and why?

The Rosewood in Beijing. Luxe. On steroids.

Favourite airline and why?

JetBlue Mint. The service is excellent: polite, friendly and modern. The food is delicious. The seats are large and comfortable – especially when you get a cubicle to yourself (there are four in Mint). I spend around 15 hours a week on it so they know me by name now. One up/downside is that I will always see a couple of people I know in Mint, so I definitely can’t show up in my PJs!

What’s on your travel playlist?

Podcasts: Business of Fashion, Fat Mascara and anything by Hans Zimmer.

So, where’s next?

We’ve just come back from Vail in Colorado for the Snowboarding Open. Next, LA for work with E! and my new series, Commuter Beauty. Then it’s Morocco with the family.

What are your must-have travel picks?

First thing that comes to your mind?

Hand-luggage essential? 

Wipes – I clean the table. And the arms of chairs. And the seat.

Packing: roll or fold? 


Time killer on a long-haul flight? 

Filming Milk Makeup quick tricks.

On-flight tipple of choice? 

Baileys, but on return from a successful job!

Bucket list top destination? 


Beach or City? 

Bit of both, please.

Ultimate hideaway? 

Upstate NY.

For more Suitcase Series interviews, click here

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