Take Your Look to the Next Level With 5 Makeup Tips From Bobbi Brown Manager of North American Artistry Marc Reagan

Published in: Beauty Tips, Bobbi Brown, Eyes, Face, Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To

“As you can see, Karen’s not wearing any makeup at all…”


There I sat, feeling totally and completely naked and blinking wildly under the bright studio lights, as a layer of perspiration glistened on my forehead.

I’ve attended one-day makeup classes — sometimes called master classes — like this one before. Brand-sponsored classes usually held in large department stores. I really enjoyed the ones put on by MAC and Chanel, and yesterday’s, led by Bobbi Brown Manager of North American Artistry Marc Reagan, at the Saks Fifth Avenue in San Francisco, was just as interesting and fun.

It followed a similar set up. There’s a fee to attend, in this case $100 (my attendance fee was covered by the company), which is then redeemable toward the purchase of products at the end of the class.

Marc, a seasoned pro on Bobbi’s elite Beauty Team, has worked his magic on celebs and backstage at Fashion Weeks all over the world. At yesterday’s class, he demonstrated a bunch of different techniques and products on a model and answered questions while the attendees followed along, applying the techniques and trying the looks on themselves.

This time was a little different for me, though, um, because I was the model.

When I was asked, first thing I thought was, “FUN!” Second thing I thought was, “Oh, gawd! He’s going to have to take off all my makeup first! Holy sh*t!”

I’m the type of gal who applies concealer and gloss just to go get the mail outside, so I was a little nervous at first to be up there in front of the class without my “armor.”

But once I got used to it (as much as that’s possible), it was actually kind of liberating…akin to wearing a crazy cool shirt or something and just not giving a hoot.

The two-hour class was jam packed with tips. Marc did a two-phase makeup look on me, first walking the class through a natural, everyday look with the basics before cranking up the drama with more color, and between turning my head left and right at Marc’s direction, I typed a few notes on my phone.

1. Ramp up the wear time of your favorite Bobbi Brown foundations by layering them with one of Bobbi’s facial moisturizers

Ever notice that Bobbi’s line doesn’t include a face primer? It turns out, that’s because all of the brand’s facial moisturizers contain a primer in the formula.

So smart, right? Layering one of Bobbi’s facial moisturizers under your fave foundation not only helps to hydrate and protect your skin, but it also extends the wear time of the products you apply next.

bobbis skincare luxuries

A few of Bobbi Brown’s moisturizers from her Skin Care Luxuries travel exclusive kit

2. Keep two brushes on standby to apply under-eye concealer

When applying under-eye concealer, Marc recommends first applying with a flat brush before using your ring finger to pat and blend in the edges. The flat brush places the concealer where you want it on your skin, as opposed to just pushing it around.

Then, to set your concealer and ensure that it lasts through the day, fully load a tapered fluffy brush with plenty of powder (don’t be shy!), and gently pat that on top.

3. Bring a Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick with you in your makeup bag

Does Marc have a go-to Bobbi Brown product? As a matter of fact, he does! Bobbi Brown’s Foundation Sticks, and he says, “every woman needs one in her makeup bag.”

With the sticks, which Marc says always look natural and never heavy or cakey, you can build them up for heavier coverage, or sheer them out wherever you need less. You can also wear them alone or set them with a powder, and if you want to touch-up during the day, the Foundation Sticks even layer well atop powder.

Bobbi Brown’s Foundation Stick in Honey (for reference, I wear MAC NC42)

4. Save time on your blending by pressing brush heads into your palms first

After you’ve loaded your blush or bronzer brush with product, instead of tapping the brush against the side of the sink or a paper towel to unload the excess, press the loaded brush head into your palm several times.

It forces the powder into the bristles, distributing it more evenly, which consequently distributes the product more evenly on you! — ultimately saving time on blending.

Dang, I wish I’d thought of this one… It’s seriously genius, right?


5. Play with shimmer by layering a matte on top

If you ever feel like a shimmery finish is a little too shiny, temper the high-shine finish by layering a matte product directly on top of your shimmer.

Marc did this on me, creating a soft sheen by applying Bobbi’s shimmery peach Nectar Shimmer Brick on the tops of my cheekbones, and then buffing a bright pink matte blush, Peony, on top.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. One last thing! A little birdie told me that Bobbi Brown will be releasing darker shades of her BB Cream in the fall, so keep an eye out for those around the time the leaves start turning. πŸ™‚


Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 25 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Joyce says:

    I love her Long-Wear Even Finish Foundation SPF 15 (bottle version). It gave me medium coverage that was buildable to full coverage and left a natural finish. The best part is that it lasted all day and controlled my oily t-zone better than any other foundation that I have tried. However, it broke me out. =( She recently released it in compact form and I plan on trying it soon whenever Sephora carries it. I hope it doesn’t break me out.
    Joyce recently posted … Swatches + Review: Sonia Kashuk Instructional Eye Palette in Eye On Dazzling Color 03

    • Karen says:

      Hi Joyce,

      I haven’t tried that one. Have you tried her Skin Foundation? It’s REALLY nice.

      • Joyce says:

        Yes! liked how moisturizing it felt and it was lightweight, but it didn’t give me the coverage that I was looking for and didn’t control my oily t-zone as well as the Long-Wear Foundation. The Long-Wear one would have been my holy grail. >_<

  2. Lauren says:

    I’ll definitely try #4! I want to take make up classes like this, and kudos for sitting in front of a room sans make up.
    Lauren recently posted … LONG Review Too Faced Boudoir Eyes Palette

  3. Chelsea says:

    Sounds like you had fun! They used to hold these kind of things (particularly Dior) at the Macy’s I worked at, it always looked like a good time.

    • Karen says:

      It was lots of fun. πŸ™‚ Plus it never hurts to learn more tricks!

      Did you ever end up getting your back-up flats from Zara?

      • Chelsea says:

        No, I had an Ulta coupon, so I bought myself a Clarisonic Mia! I’ve only used it twice so far, but I notice that my moisturizer seemed to absorb better/my face was less dry than usual. When I clean my nose though, the vibration makes me sneeze…

  4. Courtney says:

    I just wanted to say you looked tres gorgeous!!! Love your dress.

  5. camille says:

    Lucky duck! Ditto to putting on under eye concealer just to check the mail! (we live in an apt., and the mailbox is a long walk!) A master class looks like fun! I would like to try one, for the experience, but I don’t wear anything more complicated than blush. πŸ™ One day, one day.

    Thank you for the tips! I’m definitely going to try them! I LOVE Bobbi’s Skin foundation. I’ll have to invest in some of her moisturizer, just to keep product consistency πŸ™‚ I’ve recently been using MAC’s Face & Body foundation, though. I’d like to hear your take on it, if you’ve tried it. It’s a nice alternative, but I have a feeling that I’ll be going back to Bobbi πŸ™‚

  6. Jen says:

    Hmm, #4 is interesting! I will try it.

    I love your outfit!

  7. rory says:

    it looks like you had lots of fun! could you do a few reviews on bobbi brown products? I love the long-wear foundation and the correctors! and I have been thnking about buying their moisturizer but they are pretty expensive.

  8. Brianna says:

    Thanks for posting this, Karen! I’ve been looking at getting some Bobbi Brown stuff for a while now, but never knew where to start. I really like the idea of the foundation stick, but I have no idea how to apply it! Anyway, thanks for the great post with lots of good tips! πŸ˜€

  9. Oh, K, you look gorgeous & glowing. Beautiful makeup and dress x
    Marina(Makeup4all) recently posted … March 2013 Beauty Favourites

  10. Katherine G says:

    Looks like you had a blast! The tips make a lot of sense. You look amazing, too, love that dress :). I don’t wear makeup much anymore because of my MMA classes, so it’s always a treat when I get to break it out for the weekend or going out. I haven’t tried Bobbi Brown stuff yet but I am definitely interested!

  11. Christine says:

    I LOVE me some Bobbi Brown. The new Long-Wear compact foundation can not be any more fabulous. Unless it came in a bigger size that is! I love your blog Karen – very informational and fun for a longtime beauty junkie like myself πŸ™‚

  12. Steph says:

    That blending tip is awesome! Thanks for sharing!
    Steph recently posted … Spring Wishlist: Annabelle, NARS, Femme Fatale, Milani, etc!

  13. mary says:

    Thank you for this article. I enjoyed it, seeing the pics and will try tip #4. I had no idea classes like this were in the stores. Love your blog, Karen, you’re a doll!

  14. jess says:

    what a cool opportunity! It looks like so much fun and your makeup looks awesome !
    jess recently posted … Current obsessions!

  15. Arianne says:

    Damn girl, you look gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the tips! I want that foundation stick now. πŸ™‚
    Arianne recently posted … Leave Your (Under Eye) Baggage Behind: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer Review, Photos, Swatches

  16. Jenn S. says:

    Differences b/t me and you, Karen, besides me having a couple (WINK!) of years on you: you are pretty/fresh-faced without makeup (although I do admire your bravery for allowing makeup folk to see your naked face, lol) I, on the other hand, look like grim death sans makeup. Remember in Gozilla movies when the villagers would run screaming through the city streets upon Godzilla’s appearance? Hello, my name is Godzilla!

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