What a way to start the day. Fifteen minutes with Ms. Bobbi Brown, a legend in the beauty world (and a serious contender for the title of Queen of the Natural Makeup Look). Whenever I wear Bobbi Brown cosmetics, I feel put-together, ya know? But never over the top.
This morning I spoke with Bobbi over the phone about the hottest new spring and summer makeup trends, some of her favorite makeup tips, tricks and products (among them, her secret to glowing skin, which — here’s a hint — involves vegetables) and her new book, Pretty Powerful Beauty Stories, available this fall.
The following is an interview with Bobbi Brown, Chief Creative Officer of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics.
What are some of the hottest makeup trends this spring and summer, and your favorite ways to wear them?
For the spring, we’ve seen a lot of neon and nude looks, which are basically nude shades that we saw on the runways, but to make them kind of trendy, more trendy than modern, we paired them with a very bright neon lip.
We had, and I have to say “had,” [a neon lipstick] called Atomic Orange [it's sold out now], which I’ve heard you can only get online at eBay for over $100 because it was such a big hit. I’m sure we’ll eventually bring it into the line because people loved it so much. But we also have [Neon Pink], and that, I believe, is still on counter. So that’s definitely one really big look.
Bobbi’s Ultra Nude palette, from the Neons & Nudes collection
Bronzy nudes and pinks are going to be really big in the summer. You start with bronzer first to give a nice warm glow, and then add a little bit of shimmering pink on top of it. Maybe add a little bit of sparkle on the eyelids, but keep it to two parts of the face for the sparkle. So if [the sparkle] is on the eyes and cheeks, donâ€™t put it on your lips and your nails, or it will just be overkill.
With warm weather around the corner, do you have any tips or tricks to get the look of flawless skin?
Corrector Concealer is a great way to get rid of dark circles, and our Corrector Concealer is actually long wear. We didn’t design it that way, but our testing shows that it’s an 8-hour long wear, which is incredible. Particularly when you put powder on top of it. That’s the secret. It locks it in place and stays on all day. That’s number one.
Number two, if you do have a blemish, make sure you cover it up, not with a concealer, because that would be too light, but with a touch-up stick or a foundation stick in the color of your skin. So you touch that up, put powder on top of it, and that will last most of the day.
I usually just take it out of the stick, put it right on top, and then use my finger when I’m on the go. Certainly, if you use it with a brush, it’s much more precise, but you could do it either way.
But long-wear makeup is going to make the biggest difference. We’re really big now on long-wear products. We have Long-Wear Cream Shadows, Long-Wear Eyeliners and a No-Smudge Mascara.
A few of Bobbi’s limited edition Long-Wear Cream Eyeshadows from 2010′s Beach Club collection
On days when I have to get up at 5 a.m. for the Today Show and do a black tie at night, I absolutely go to my Long-Wears, and I barely have to touch-up in the evenings.
What’s the best way to prevent concealer from creasing and settling in fine lines?
I recommend using a hydrating eye cream, and the reason, because it’s really hydrating, so it’s wet, so it will absorb and leave a very smooth finish on your skin, but it won’t be too greasy wher the concealer kind of wears off.
Often, on days when I haven’t had enough water the night before, or had an extra cocktail at dinner, and I’m drier the next day, I’ll put on my concealer, and I’ll look in the mirror and say, “Uh oh.” Iâ€™ll take a touch of eye cream and put it on top, and it works just as well.
Whatâ€™s the secret to your beautiful skin?
I was complimented on that same thing this morning after a spinning class by two girls who were literally five years younger than me, and they looked at me and said, “Okay, what cream are you using?” And I said, “I gotta be honest, as much as I think I make the best cream, it’s not the answer.”
I swear, the answer is that I’ve really cleaned up my diet, and the majority of my foods are fruits and vegetables, and it helps my skin.
It’s not an overnight thing. I’ve been slowly changing my eating habits. Where I used to be, like 80% good, now Iâ€™m kind of 95% good. The 5% I go off, it’s usually for things like a martini, dark chocolate, pizza — pizza’s probably the worst thing, but I just don’t do it that much because it’s not worth it to me. But it takes time to make changes.
How do you feel about women over 40 wearing brighter colors?
You want the truth? The truth is, I love bright colors, and I wear neon t-shirts and neon scarves, but I will not wear neon makeup. I find that when someone of a certain age wears bright colors, it isn’t modern.
I prefer a bright pink over a fuchsia. I think there are ways to wear bright colors that aren’t extreme. I think that’s the difference.
When my son’s girlfriend, who is 21 or 22 years old, wears [Neon Pink] and nothing else on her face, she just looks absolutely adorable, like she just stepped out of a J. Crew catalogue. And that’s trendy and great.
But when someone my age wears it, because you have other makeup on your face, it almost doesn’t work as well.
But say you are older and want to explore bright makeup. What are some ways to wear brights successfully?
There are a few girls in my office who are very fashionable over 40, and they do wear bright colors. And the ones that look best, they’ve got concealer, corrector, maybe a very light foundation or tinted moisturizer, soft blush, and everything is very soft.
Bobbi’s Cosmic Pink (bottom) and Ultra Violet (top) lipglosses, from the Neons & Nudes collection