At just 18, Ellie Zeiler has amassed a 12 million-strong following on social media through her next-level fashion, beauty and lifestyle content, leading her to becoming the face of some of fashion’s biggest brands and putting her on the path to be an actor. As Zeiler transitions from her San Diego hometown to Los Angeles, we caught up with her to learn more about her go-to beauty secrets, fashion trends to jump on this summer and all about her acting debut.
You’re officially an L.A. girl! How has the adjustment been officially planting roots in Los Angeles?
It’s been really exciting and nice to finally feel settled in my new apartment in L.A. Before moving here, I was driving back and forth from San Diego for meetings and events, which got tiring. Now it’s so easy to attend events, grab a spontaneous lunch with my team and really just feel like I’m part of the industry. It’s also easier for making content and even taking pictures for social media. People in L.A. see content creators everywhere so they don’t look at you funny if you’re on a random sidewalk having pictures taken of you or you stop outside of a restaurant to make a TikTok.
Your longtime interest in fashion has evolved into global ambassadorships and partnerships with Levi’s, Amazon and Lancôme. Given your expertise, what fashion trends can we look forward to this summer?
I think I’m most excited to see all the color in summer fashion. I love bright colored sunglasses, big floral prints and playful accessories. I’ve also been having so much fun mixing high-low trends with classic, vintage pieces. I’m traveling to Europe this summer and can’t wait to see what everyone is wearing!
What are your summertime beauty and fashion must-haves?
Of course, sunscreen is key, and I love a tinted SPF or shimmer body SPF products. Recently a makeup artist gave me a good hack: use spray SPF for a gorgeous reflection in photos. In summer, waterproof mascara, a lighter weight foundation, bright glossy lips and liquid blush are my go-to.
You’ve done impressive work with the White House as part of the pro-vaccination and ani-misinformation campaigns related to COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine. As a sort of White House correspondent for Gen Z, why is social media (especially TikTok) an essential tool for politics?
It’s not always easy to put your voice out on social media because there will always be critics. But I decided early on in my social media career that I had to be willing to take risks and share meaningful information when it’s important to me. I don’t claim to be a political correspondent, but I do try to find ways of offering easy to understand yet factual information with my audience. I feel deeply that having a platform comes with a responsibility for me to encourage Gen Z to educate themselves on what’s happening in the world.
You are making your acting debut as Ari in Season 3 of Brat TV’s Crown Lake. How would you describe Ari and what did you enjoy most about the role?
I absolutely loved the experience of filming Crown Lake. Playing Ari was interesting because although we are very different people, I was able to find similarities so I could connect more to her character. She is very strong but quiet at times, and like me, she is not overly confrontational unless she has to be. She tends to be more cynical than I am, so that was interesting too. What I’m most proud of is how Ari was able to stand up for herself in tough situations with her classmates.
Were you able to translate your skills as a digital creator to acting?
Besides being comfortable on camera, the two mediums are really different. Making short-form content requires high-energy, high-impact quick messaging. Acting requires much more vulnerability and mood development. Every scene is different from the next, so you have to prepare, shift your energy and adapt to the script.
As your career evolves in the world of acting and filmmaking, do you plan to continue to prioritize content creation?
Absolutely. Getting to share my life and interests as a content creator is such a big part of who I am. I feel so lucky to have such a big group of people who actually follow me and my life each day. Staying connected with those people who have cheered me on and gone through so many ups and downs with me means more than I can even explain.
Your 2022 is lined up with a number of exciting projects. Are there any that you are particularly looking forward to?
In the short term, I’m really excited to travel to Europe and work with my brand partners along the way. Looking more into the future, I’m working on a few projects that will put me in closer, more direct contact with my followers and I can’t wait for that.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
Photography by: Taylor James