September 13, 2016
Bobbi Brown hardly needs any introduction, because it’s just one of those makeup brands that’s a department store stalwart, one that we know we can always count on for quality cosmetics. Some of which have joined the ranks of evergreen cult products, such as the Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, and those Shimmer Brick Compact highlighters.
These famous products have rather legendary backstories, too. As Brown herself recounts, “I was on my way to a photoshoot several years ago and I realised that I had forgotten to bring eyeliner with me. So I took my waterproof mascara and used a Q-tip to line my eyes. Not only did it give me perfect definition, it was still in place the next day. That inspired me to create Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, which is highly pigmented, long-wearing and water-resistant.”
And as for the Shimmer Brick, it was borne out of trial and error too: “One year at Fashion Week, a designer asked me to give all the models a lit-from-within glow. I took a shimmery eyeshadow and dusted it on the models’ cheeks and that’s how the concept for Shimmer Brick was born,” Brown says.
You might also know Bobbi Brown for its nudes; i.e. all the flesh-toned eye, face and lip colours that help nail that your-skin-but-better look. It’s especially when they’re presented in the form of those heart-stopping palettes that the brand launches every season that we covet these shades the most – who cares if we already have a substantial collection of highly similar variations? Each time, Bobbi Brown makes its offerings impossible to resist anyway.
From left to right: the Paris, London and New York palettes from the new City Collection.
The 25th Anniversary Nude Library – unfortunately not for sale, but that’s all the nude shades any girl will ever need, that’s for sure.
Brown’s fascination with nudes comes from her longstanding and deep-seated appreciation for natural beauty. “From my early days as a freelancer I used makeup to enhance what was real – I wanted skin to look like skin, lips to look like lips and cheeks to look like they were naturally flushed,” she explains. “One of my biggest frustrations as a makeup artist in the 90s was that there weren’t any products that allowed me to achieve this natural look.”
She saw a void in the beauty market for natural-looking makeup colours, and that’s how her first ever lipstick line was born 25 years ago, in 1991 at New York City’s Bergdorf Goodman department store. And in this last quarter of a century, her brand has exploded into a full range of makeup, skincare, and professional-level tools and accessories. The brand ethos hasn’t changed all this time: products launched are never about following fleeting trends, but made to look timeless, suited for all skin tones, and versatile enough to create as natural or dramatic a look that the wearer wants.
“I’ve always preferred a natural or nude makeup look – it’s flattering and timeless,” Brown states. “However, natural makeup doesn’t mean being completely bare-faced. The secret is to choose shades that are similar in tone to your complexion – for example, eyeshadows that mimic the natural colouring of your eyelids and lipsticks that look like your lips. If a nude shade looks ashy, it’s too light for you. If it looks muddy, the shade is too dark.”
This mindset is evident in the latest batch of Bobbi Brown launches, eye, lip and face products that all celebrate natural flesh tones.
Clockwise from top left: Sheer Colour Cheek Tint, Instant Confidence Stick, Retouching Face Pencil, and Long-Wear Cream Shadow.
Twenty five years on, Brown is still getting real beauty right. No wonder she’s hailed as the Queen of Nudes.
Bobbi Brown is available at #B2-45 ION Orchard and major department stores. bobbibrown.com.sg