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Addison Rae Dishes On Her Clean Beauty Brand & What It’s Really Like to Befriend Kourtney Kardashian

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If you’re not already keeping up with Addison Rae, now is about the time to start.

After taking over TikTok (she’s the second-most followed creator on the app behind one Charli D’Amelio), Addison has her sights set on a new venture fitting for any Gen Z influencer with millions of fans ready to swipe up on Instagram: the cosmetics industry.

Enter ITEM Beauty, a collaboration between Addison and brand innovation incubator Madeby Collective. The teen, who is the brand’s co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer, tells E! News in an exclusive interview that she’s “always loved makeup” and uses it both as a form of self-expression and self-love.

“I wanted to create a brand that supports individuality in a very real and authentic way,” she says. “ITEM approaches beauty the same way that I do. I want to be able to put something on my face that I can feel good about–clean products with ingredients that are good for my skin and enhance, not mask, my features.”

Launching Aug. 11 on the brand’s site, the debut collection features six cruelty-free, dermatologist-tested products ranging from $12 – $22. Makeup fanatics can get their hands on a mascara, jelly eyeshadow, translucent powder, bronzer, brow definer and lip oil, each of which is formulated without harmful ingredients like parabens, phthtalates and mineral oil.

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Stars With Beauty Brands

Beyond Addison’s first foray into the beauty world, we got to talking about her newfound friendship with Kourtney Kardashian and the advice she’s gotten from celebs in her inner circle. Keep reading for our exclusive Q&A!

E!: How did your own personal style play into the creation of ITEM Beauty?

Addison Rae: I’ve always enjoyed expressing myself through looks. Whether that be a very natural, dewy and glowy look, or a dramatic eye or lip, I’ve always been super versatile on my makeup routine. I use it as a way to express myself and my thoughts or complement outfits. So I took that and made it into these products, which I love so much. All of these products have amazing ingredients that are really beneficial for your skin, your eyelashes and your lips. They all come together to have a really clean look.

E!: Why was it important for you to start your own brand as opposed to collaborating with an existing brand?

AR: I wanted to be able to really, truly give my input and ideas. ITEM stands for exactly what I stand for as a co-founder, so it’s just a bigger picture [relationship] for me and something that I want to really, really work on.

Related: Kourtney Kardashian & Addison Rae Recreate “KUWTK” Scenes

E!: Being that this is E!, we’re all Kardashian obsessed. What is the one thing you’ve learned from spending time with Kourtney and the rest of her family that would surprise even some of her biggest fans?

AR: I’ve had such an amazing time spending time with Kourtney and meeting the family. They’re all just such loving people that genuinely care about each other. That just continuously inspires me. They all have such an amazing bond that I always valued in my family, so it really just makes me love them even more as people, because not everyone gets to see every second. It just really shows you how genuine they are. It’s not all just for the show, it’s how they really are.

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TikTok Stars to Follow

E!: Have you gotten any advice from Kourtney ahead of your launch? As a fellow entrepreneur whose family has made a mark on the beauty industry, has she offered any tricks of the trade?

AR: Everyone that I’ve met in the industry has all pretty much said the same thing. Just be confident in what you produce and really do what you love, because at the end of the day your ideas and your happiness is what’s really important. Using that [advice] to fuel my inspiration was really beneficial.

E!: Whose support has surprised you the most, whether it be a fellow TikTok creator or another celebrity?

AR: Everyone I surround myself with have all been so insanely supportive. James Charles is one of my really good friends who obviously loves makeup and is very well known in the beauty space. He’s inspired me and just told me to chase my dreams and make things that I really, really love come to life.

E!: How do you maintain such a positive outlook online, especially when there’s so much negativity on social media and in the beauty world?

AR: It’s something that takes lots of work, and just reminding yourself that you are the way you are for a reason. It’s definitely not easy at all times because there is negativity and there are hate comments and people that are just looking to bring you down. But at the end of the day, it’s just really about positivity and being happy and loving who you are and embracing that. Your flaws make you who you are and that’s what makes you unique.

E!: You have so many young fans looking up to you. What’s the message you want ITEM Beauty to convey to them?

AR: Just to really express yourself through the items that you’re getting. Get it? ITEM–any items of choice. Whether that be through clothing, makeup, your voice, just really never let the true side of yourself go. Embrace your flaws and don’t let your insecurities take over. These items are obviously super special to me and close to my heart. They’re everything I stand for and believe in.

(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)

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Netflix is developing a live action ‘Assassin’s Creed’ show

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Netflix announced this morning that it’s partnering with Ubisoft to adapt the game publisher’s “Assassin’s Creed” franchise into a live action series.

The franchise jumps around in history, telling the story of a secret society of assassins with “genetic memory” and their centuries-long battle the knights templar. It has sold 155 million games worldwide and was also turned into a nearly incomprehensible 2016 film starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, which underperformed at the box office.

The companies say that they’re currently looking for a showrunner. Jason Altman and Danielle Kreinik of Ubisoft’s film and television division will serve as executive producers. (In addition to working on adaptations of Ubisoft’s intellectual property, the publisher is also involved in the Apple TV+ industry comedy “Mythic Quest.”)

“We’re excited to partner with Ubisoft and bring to life the rich, multilayered storytelling that Assassin’s Creed is beloved for,” said Netflix’s vice president of original series Peter Friedlander in a statement. “From its breathtaking historical worlds and massive global appeal as one of the best selling video game franchises of all time, we are committed to carefully crafting epic and thrilling entertainment based on this distinct IP and provide a deeper dive for fans and our members around the world to enjoy.”

It sounds like there could be follow-up shows as well, with the announcement saying that Netflix and Ubisoft will “tap into the iconic video game’s trove of dynamic stories with global mass appeal for adaptations of live action, animated, and anime series.”

Netflix recently placed an eight-episode order for “Resident Evil,” another video game franchise that was previously adapted for the big screen. And it also had a big hit with its adaptation of “The Witcher,” which is based on a fantasy book series that was popularized via video games.

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Original Content podcast: ‘Lovecraft Country’ is gloriously bonkers

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As we tried to recap the first season of HBO’s “Lovecraft Country,” one thing became clear: The show is pretty nuts.

The story begins by sending Atticus “Tic” Freeman (Jonathan Majors), his friend Leti Lewis (Jurnee Smolett) and his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) on a road trip across mid-’50s America in search of Tic’s missing father. You might assume that the search will occupy the entire season, or take even longer than that; instead, the initial storyline is wrapped up quickly.

And while there’s a story running through the whole season, most of the episodes are relatively self-contained, offering their own versions on various horror and science fiction tropes. There’s a haunted house episode, an Indiana Jones episode, a time travel episode and more.

The show isn’t perfect — the writing can be clunky, the special effects cheesy and cheap-looking. But at its best, it does an impressive job of mixing increasingly outlandish plots, creepy monsters (with plentiful gore) and a healthy dose of politics.

After all, “Lovecraft Country” (adapted form a book by Matt Ruff) is named after notoriously racist horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, but it focuses almost entirely on Black characters, making the case that old genres can be reinvigorated with diverse casts and a rethinking of political assumptions.

In addition to reviewing the show, the latest episode of the Original Content podcast also includes a discussion of Netflix earnings, the new season of “The Bachelorette” and the end of Quibi.

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also follow us on Twitter or send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

And if you’d like to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down:
0:00 Intro
0:36 Netflix discussion
3:18 “The Bachelorette”
6:30 Quibi
14:35 “Lovecraft Country” review
31:32 “Lovecraft Country” spoiler discussion

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The short, strange life of Quibi

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“All that is left now is to offer a profound apology for disappointing you and, ultimately, for letting you down,” Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman wrote, closing out an open letter posted to Medium. “We cannot thank you enough for being there with us, and for us, every step of the way.”

With that, the founding executives confirmed the rumors and put Quibi to bed, a little more than six months after launching the service.

Starting a business is an impossibly difficult task under nearly any conditions, but even in a world that’s littered with high-profile failures, the streaming service’s swan song was remarkable for both its dramatically brief lifespan and the amount of money the company managed to raise (and spend) during that time.

A month ahead of its commercial launch, Quibi announced that it had raised another $750 million. That second round of funding brought the yet-to-launch streaming service’s funding up to $1.75 billion — roughly the same as the gross domestic product of Belize, give or take $100 million.

“We concluded a very successful second raise which will provide Quibi with a strong cash runway,” CFO Ambereen Toubassy told the press at the time. “This round of $750 million gives us tremendous flexibility and the financial wherewithal to build content and technology that consumers embrace.”

Quibi’s second funding round brought the yet-to-launch streaming service’s funding up to $1.75 billion — roughly the same as the gross domestic product of Belize, give or take $100 million.

From a financial perspective, Quibi had reason to be hopeful. Its fundraising ambitions were matched only by the aggressiveness with which it planned to spend that money. At the beginning of the year, Whitman touted the company’s plans to spend up to $100,000 per minute of programming — $6 million per hour. The executive proudly contrasted the jaw-dropping sum to the estimated $500 to $5,000 an hour spent by YouTube creators.

For Whitman and Katzenberg — best known for their respective reigns at HP and Disney — money was key to success in an already crowded marketplace. $1 billion was a drop in the bucket compared to the $17.3 billion Netflix was expected to spend on original content in 2020, but it was a start.

Following in the footsteps of Apple, who had also recently announced plans to spend $1 billion to launch its own fledgling streaming service, the company was enlisting A-List talent, from Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro and Ridley Scott to Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez and LeBron James. If your name carried any sort of clout in Hollywood boardrooms, Quibi would happily cut you a check, seemingly regardless of content specifics.

Quibi’s strategy primarily defined itself by itself by its constraints. In hopes of attracting younger millennial and Gen Z, the company’s content would be not just mobile-first, but mobile-only. There would be no smart TV app, no Chromecast or AirPlay compatibility. Pricing, while low compared to the competition, was similarly off-putting. After a 90-day free trial, $4.99 got you an ad-supported subscription. And boy howdy, were there ads. Ads upon ads. Ads all the way down. Paying another $3 a month would make them go away.

Technological constraints and Terms of Service fine print forbade screen shots — a fundamental understanding of how content goes viral in 2020 (though, to be fair, one shared with other competing streaming services). Amusingly, the inability to share content led to videos like this one of director Sam Raimi’s perplexingly earnest “The Golden Arm.”

It features a built-on laugh track from viewers as Emmy winner Rachel Brosnahan lies in a hospital bed after refusing to remove a golden prosthetic. It’s an allegory, surely, but not one intentionally played for laughs. Many of the videos that did ultimately make the rounds on social media were regarded as a curiosity — strange artifacts from a nascent streaming service that made little sense on paper.

Most notable of all, however, were the “quick bites” that gave the service its confusingly pronounced name. Each program would be served in 5-10 minute chunks. The list included films acquired by the service, sliced up into “chapters.” Notably, the service didn’t actually purchase the content outright; instead, rights were set to revert to their creators after seven years. Meanwhile, after two years, content partners were able to “reassemble” the chunks back into a movie for distribution.

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