Bobbi Brown: The Best of Beauty

Posted on October 20, 2017

Another addition to Red Scout’s The Best of Beauty series is American makeup artist Bobbi Brown – an influential individual who has significantly impacted the beauty industry. Brown has developed a highly esteemed career for herself as both the founder of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics and author of eight makeup and beauty based books. Among these, she is also a contributing Beauty & Lifestyle editor for magazines and radio broadcasts. She has revolutionised the beauty industry as her company and beauty empire, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics still remains a best-selling makeup brand founded by a woman.

Bobbi Brown Headshot.

Brown graduated from Emerson College in Boston with a degree in theatrical makeup. She developed her own individual makeup style that predominately included moderate and natural tones. This was a strong juxtaposition to all of the bright colours that were being used at the time. She was often frustrated with the lack of suit-all shades available to her, and began to mix her own colours.

Portrait of young Bobbi Brown in the 1980's.

After completing her qualifications, she made the decision to move to New York City in 1980 to pursue a career as a professional makeup artist. Before the decade was through, she had hustled her way from a freelance makeup artist at magazine shoots to product designer with her name behind a global brand.

Young Bobbi Brown at the beginning of her career applying makeup to a model on a shot.

In 1991, a chance meeting with a chemist led to the development of ten original brown-based lipstick shades. They made their debut under the name Bobbi Brown Essentials at Bergdorf Goodman, selling more than 100 in the first day. The following year she released yellow-toned foundation sticks.

Bobbi Brown's 10 original lipstick shades released in 1991.
Bobbi Brown pictured with her son out the front of Bergdorf Goodman, the store that first released her makeup line.

Bobbi Brown is a global beauty ambassador with the philosophy of marketing her products towards “women who want to look and feel like themselves, only prettier and more confident.” Brown’s neutral lip, eye and cheek products aim to enhance natural beauty rather than be influenced by bright and more fashion-led shades. “Makeup was really extreme in the ‘80’s – white skin, red lips and contouring. I loved more of the healthy, natural, simple skin. I really think I helped the natural revolution."

Model featured wearing Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, showcasing her natural makeup style and elegant simplicity.

In 1995, she sold her beauty empire to Estée Lauder Companies Inc. but the brand still maintains the same ethos it started with.

Flat lay of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics blush products, makeup brushes, makeup bag, bobby pins.

2007 welcomed the first freestanding Bobbi Brown Cosmetics retail store; fast-forward ten years and there is now approximately seventy-five freestanding stores. Not only do her stores stock her best-selling makeup products, but they also offer makeup lessons for those passionate about beauty and have an interest in pursuing a career in the makeup industry. The brand is now available in more than 60 countries and still remains to have an extremely influential global presence.

Interior image of Bobbi Brown freestanding makeup store.

In 2016, Bobbi Brown announced that she would step down from the 26-year-old cosmetic company, closing a very important chapter of both her life and career. She has however confirmed that she will remain in the beauty industry and will continue to stay true to her beliefs that makeup is meant to celebrate authenticity and enhance beauty. Brown unknowingly created the no-makeup makeup look two decades before it became a trend and as a result her products and legacy have resonated with many different women, making Bobbi Brown a beauty icon.

Bobbi Brown sitting on the floor surrounded by her makeup products and the books she has written.

By Mikayla Tabone.

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