Insider Interviews: Bobbi Brown: Make-Up Artist & Entrepreneur

The beauty behemoth on her expert go-tos, building a billion dollar brand & the joy of starting over.

by Amy Wilson Wyles

Bobbi Brown needs no introduction. Having founded her eponymous make-up line in 1988 with just one lipstick called “Brown” – which remains one of their best-selling shades – she grew the brand into a global billion dollar company before walking away in 2016 to start entirely new ventures Evolution_18, The George and

Here she shares how it all happened, her own coveted beauty address book and the future of her beauty empire.

The Experts

  • Hairdresser

    Marissa Martoni from Marie Robinson Salon in New York. She has been cutting my hair for over 5 years. It never has to grow in, it’s always just right.

  • Hair Colorist

    Nikki Chick from Marie Robinson Salon in New York. I see her every two weeks. I have been coloring my hair since I was 25.            

  • Blow-Dry Go-To

    Again, it’s Marissa Martoni. She has mastered the ‘cool girl’ bed head and she’s crazy fast.

  • Facialist

    Joanna Vargas was my last great one. My skin felt brightened and lifted.

  • Dermatologist/Skin Doctor

    Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton – she respects that I don’t want Botox and just love laser.

  • Favourite Workout

    The Peleton bike in my home. I always get to work out to great music and I love all the travelling to and from a gym time it saves.

  • Mani/Pedi

    Roza Israel (rozaisrael@yahoo.comcomes to my office from the city. There is no one anywhere that compares. Somehow her manicures last two weeks.

  • Treatment to Unwind

    Dr. Jeff Lally – he is a Kinesiologist/Energy Chiropractor that I see every Wednesday. He honestly keeps me sane.

  • Eyelash/Brow Expert

    Myself, I like them natural.

  • Ultimate Spa Destination

    Any of the Soho House Hotels.  No matter which one you stay in, they always have a great gym, food and I love the Cowshed massages and products.

The Rules

I first knew I wanted to be in beauty when I used to watch my mom get all glammed up as a child. I was mesmerized as I watched her put creamy bronzer on her cheeks, pale eyeshadow on her eyes and pale lipstick on her lips.

Looking back my career has been like a giant staircase – one step at a time (and still going). But if I had to choose a big break moment, my American Vogue cover (above) with Naomi Campbell was an epic breakthrough for me.

Creating a billion dollar business was both unbelievable and unpredicted. I wish my math teacher could see me now – I always got D’s in school.

The golden business lessons I’ve learnt are to stay grounded, work hard and be open to opportunities.

The failsafe life lessons I’ve learnt are to live a good, healthy life and marry well!

Change is good. Sometimes you don’t know you’re stuck, until you are going through a change.

My move into wellness and lifestyle with Evolution_18, The George and Just Bobbi came about because after I left Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, I wanted to create a lifestyle brand and content company to share my passions and do things I hadn’t done before.

There is no average day for me. The only constant is my espresso from Nespresso in the morning when I wake up, my iPad, and my family. Work is always different and that keeps me interested.

For me, I’ve found that the key to successfully juggling the work/life/family balance has been my husband. He has always kept me grounded. When things are crazy, he tells me to breathe – and that everything is going to be alright.

I don’t mind being me. I now realize that the things you can’t change, you can’t fret about. The main thing is to try to keep being better than you were before.

The one piece of beauty/wellness advice I’d give would be to hydrate your body, on the inside and out. Health is the key to beauty: eat well, laugh often and enjoy your food (and cocktails)!

The Kit

Skincare routine: Garnier Micellar Lotion & Apricot Kernel Oil.

Foundation: RMS Beauty Un-Cover Up in #33

Concealer: It’s called the Everything Pencil and I buy it on Amazon.

Lipstick: I am more of a tinted lip balm girl and use Burt’s Bees.

Mascara: Currently trying all clean formulas (I’m still looking for one I love).

Secret Weapon: Beauty Pie Triple Beauty Luminizer in Golden Whirl.

Biggest Indulgence: Laser treatments and monthly trips to the Bahamas.

Best Budget Buy: I buy potato scrubbers and use them to exfoliate my body.

Wellness Enhancers: Water of course but I swear by infrared saunas as well.