Bobbi Brown was one of the first make-up artists to use her expertise to develop a hugely successful brand. Although her job gave her access to every product on the market, she couldn’t find the shades to suit different skin tones, or the textures to enhance features naturally.
How it all began
She started with lips. “I had the idea to create a lipstick that didn’t smell, wasn’t greasy and looked like lips but only better,” she explains. It was this idea and a chance meeting with a chemist in 1990 that resulted in the production of a natural, brown-based, pinky lipstick.
Her first collection of lipsticks launched in New York under the name Bobbi Brown Professional Cosmetics Inc and created a buzz in the beauty world. She quickly went on to expand her range to include make-up tools and essentials. It was her eye for detail that set her products apart: she introduced foundations that were yellow-based instead of pink, and she used bold colours alongside her fail-safe neutrals.
With its reputation established, Bobbi Brown was snapped up by Estée Lauder in 1995 and launched globally.
Bobbi Brown now
Today, Bobbi, 53, lives in New York with her husband Steven, and three sons. She remains CEO of the company and her line has evolved to include accessories, six books, fragrances (1998 saw the creation of Bobbi by Bobbi Brown), and she recently introduced a skincare range.
In 2007, she opened the first Bobbi Brown store, and there are now 17 around the world, with the first UK store expected in the next two years.
Bobbi Brown’s bestsellers
The Anniversary Lip Palette, £43. This features ten original lip colours and ten bolder updates.
Long Wear Gel-Eyeliner, £15.50. An eyeliner with staying power, used by members of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s royal wedding party.
Bronze Shimmer Brick, £30.50. One of these is sold somewhere in the world every minute!