Emma Roberts Talks Kiko Milano Magnificence Partnership

Emma Roberts has long wanted to create a community of beauty and book lovers.

And now that she has been named Italian beauty brand Kiko Milano’s new global ambassador, Roberts is using her platform to merge her two passions together.

In 2017, the 33-year-old actress and her best friend, Karah Priess, created Belletrist, an online book community born out of their endless text conversations about what they were reading.

“We wanted to start a blog called Beauty and the Book [in 2009] where we talked about beauty products and books because we just felt like at the time, you’re either a serious reader or you’re into beauty,” Roberts tells PEOPLE. “There was no bridge for both. I feel like with Instagram, with TikTok, with even the magazines now, that gap is really being bridged, which makes me so happy.”

Meanwhile, when the chance to work with Kiko Milano came her way, a partnership felt like a natural fit.

“I had been using some of their products before they even approached me to be an ambassador,” she says. “I just love that they wanted me to be me. I didn’t feel like I had to change how I looked or what I stood for. That was really exciting for me.”

Emma Roberts for Kiko Milano.

Kiko Milano

The event to celebrate the ambassadorship is a testament to the way Kiko Milano has embraced Roberts. Stacks of paperback books line the airy rooftop terrace of the Bowery Hotel in New York City, while makeup stations allow guests to try out the brand’s best-selling product, Unlimited Double Touch liquid lipstick.

On June 1, Kiko introduced six new, limited-edition shades of the dual-sided lip product. Formulated to achieve both 16-hour wear and extraordinary shine, the packaging features a rich and comfortable base color on one side and a smoothing lip gloss on the other.

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Roberts keeps the shade she’s wearing for the evening — Sangria, a rich raspberry — in her small black purse, along with another favorite Kiko product, the Maxi Mod Mascara.

Kiko Milano’s Unlimited Double Touch liquid lipstick swatches.

Kiko Milano

“It’s not a big fluffy brush,” the American Horror Story star says of the wand’s unique applicator. “It’s shorter and nubby, so you can get up in the lash line.”

“I feel like it’s all about glowing, dewy skin and amazing lashes,” she says of her everyday beauty routine. “Then I’ll throw on a lip. To me, if your skin is looking amazing, pinch your cheeks, throw on [lip color], throw on some mascara and you’re good to go.”

Simple is the name of the game for Roberts, especially when she’s not working.

“There are some days where I don’t even wear makeup and I’m just all about skin care and letting my skin breathe,” she says, adding that she’s “obsessed with infrared saunas.” 

Despite her love of luxury beauty treatments, Roberts is also a fan of affordable beauty hacks — like using hairspray as brow gel.

“I’m obsessed with brow gel. But if I don’t have it, I’ll put hairspray on a spoolie and brush my brows up.”

Kiko Milano Unlimited Double Touch liquid lipstick.

Kiko Milano

Roberts’ reading list has just as much range as her beauty recommendations. She recently “devoured” Steven Gaines’ Philistines at the Hedgerow, a social history of the Hamptons. She currently has an essay collection, Maggie Nelson’s Like Love, on her bedside table.

Books play a huge role in her career, too. In 2019, Roberts and Preiss spun Belletrist into a production company focused on literary adaptations. They produced Netflix’s popular 2022 series Tell Me Lies, based on the novel by Carola Lovering, and the actress tells PEOPLE that fans can expect season 2 “later this year.”

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Roberts says she also uses books to help her develop characters.

“Whenever I’m doing a project, I like to read books that are kind of on theme,” she says. “When I was shooting American Horror Story: Delicate, I read Motherhood [by Sheila Heiti] and it really rocked my world.”

Emma Roberts and Kim Kardashian in American Horror Story: Delicate.

Eric Liebowitz/FX

Up next for Roberts is a scripted Netflix series called Calabasas that she’s working on with AHS costar Kim Kardashian and Pretty Little Liars’ showrunner I. Marlene King.

“I’m really excited to get to work with such amazing women on that and make a show about a place where Kim and I grew up,” she says.

For now, though, the star is looking forward to a restful few months ahead. 

“It’s the first summer I’ve had in a long time where I’m not filming, so I just want to really make the most of getting to be with my family and my friends and just kind of take a beat,” she says. “It’s been a weird last few years.”

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