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Bobbi Brown on Changing Your Look
Entrepreneur, author and makeup artist Bobbi Brown knows what it takes to change your look. She’s been in the makeup business for 25 years, and has helped all kinds of people enhance their best features, naturally. Her line, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, made its debut in 1991 with nine lipsticks and evolved to include skincare, perfume and a full array of cosmetics. It is one of the best-selling brands on the market today. She is the author of Bobbi Brown Beauty, Bobbi Brown Teenage Beauty and Bobbi Brown Living Beauty. In addition, Brown is the exclusive beauty editor on “The Today Show.” Here, she shares her tips for cultivating a natural, beautiful look.
Your philosophy is about finding balance and cultivating a positive outlook. Why are those qualities important as people seek to change their looks?
Feeling your best depends a lot on how you look [at life]. In order to be fulfilled in life you have to find a balance between work and your personal life. Always look at things as possible and know that nothing is impossible. It’s important to set boundaries and always prioritize. For me, nothing comes before my family.
What is the biggest mistake people make when they do try to create a new image?
They resort to the extreme and go for plastic surgery.
Why do you think so many women go under the knife for beauty, rather than learn to love their look?
These days, society puts so much pressure on women to look a certain way, so they feel they can never reach the ideal. Instead of accepting who they are and using makeup to represent a better version of themselves they simply go the “easy” route and change themselves to look like something they aren’t.
What are the top three beauty mistakes people make?
The first beauty mistake I see quite often is women who are wearing the wrong color foundation. Either it is too light or too dark for their complexions. The easiest way to test your foundation color is to go into natural light and swatch the foundation on the side of your face. If the color blends in seamlessly or “disappears” it’s the right color for you.
Another mistake I often see is women who only line their eyes halfway. You are essentially making your eyes look smaller and more receded. Whether you line just the top or bottom lashline or both top and bottom, the trick is to line the entire eye from the inner corner to the outer corner. Make sure the liner is thick enough and visible when your eyes are open.
Lastly, another makeup blunder I see is when women line their lips with a darker lip liner than the color lipstick they are wearing. This looks dated, and it doesn't make your lips look fuller; it just makes them look unnatural. Instead, choose a lip liner that is either the same tone as your lips or that complements the shade of lipstick that you are wearing. For natural looking definition and to avoid harsh lines, I like to line the lips after applying lipstick.
If someone can only do one thing to change overall appearance, what should it be?
Use the right concealer. Concealer is the secret of the universe. Once you have that right, everything else can fall into place. The right yellow-toned concealer will instantly brighten your eyes and make you look refreshed.
What are some fears or challenges you’ve seen people face when changing their looks, and how can they work to overcome those fears?
Some worry they won’t be able to maintain the look on their own. Others worry about the reactions that they’ll get from the people in their lives. And then there are some who just aren’t willing to invest the extra time to take care of themselves.
My advice is to take small steps. Rather than attempting a complete overhaul, try one or two new things. Even something as small as wearing concealer when you’ve never worn it can make a big difference in your appearance.
How can people really succeed in the first 30 days of changing their look?
Learn to master one thing at a time. Once you have mastered one technique you will feel confident and can move on to the next. I always say start with your skin, and go from there.
After the initial days of change, how can people continue to develop their new image?
Evolve. Learn how to look at yourself in the mirror to gauge what you really need. Your skin is constantly changing so you might need a lightweight moisturizer one day and a heavy balm the next day. Don’t be afraid to try different colors. A change in seasons or a special occasion is a great time to try a new shade. Always remember that it’s about finding what works for you.
Why do you think women are resistant to changing their makeup routine?
Because they feel comfortable with their routine and can be overwhelmed by all the choices that are out there today. Many women think, “if it isn’t broken, I don’t have to fix it.” I do have to say that if you are wearing the same colors for years and they are dated—like still wearing a tangerine lip liner from the ’80s— it’s time to give yourself an update. However, a neutral shade of lipstick that you’ve had for years may still look good on you, so you don’t necessarily have to throw it away.
What’s your number-one tip for a flawless face?
Skincare is essential in order for skin to look and feel its best. It’s also the best way to create the perfect base for makeup. Before applying makeup, cleanse and moisturize with the right formulas for your skin’s needs. Cleanse dry skin with a cream- or oil-based wash that moisturizes as it cleanses. For oily skin, choose water-based gel cleansers with oil-fighting ingredients. For normal skin, use a lightweight moisturizing lotion or cream. Hydrate the delicate skin around eyes with a lightweight eye cream to ensure under eye concealer goes on smoothly.
Good skincare is crucial for men too—don’t be afraid to exfoliate, cleanse and hydrate your skin as well.
What is the belief you personally go to during times of change?
Just relax and breathe.
The best thing about change is…
…what it can bring to your life.
What is the best change you have ever made?
Eating healthy and working out. I just turned 50 and I’ve never felt better.
For more information on Bobbi Brown, visit www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com.