So Bobbi Brown Cosmetics is one of very few big beauty companies actually founded by a woman and I doubt I'm the only woman who finds this extremely comforting. It's nice to know that behind the products we're using, there is a mastermind who understands our needs but also the pressures we face, especially those pressures created by the beauty industry. To me it suggests that Bobbi Brown was a woman with a vision, the appropriate experience and the passion to carve out her own space in the beauty industry, not just some rich (typically male) entrepreneur looking for another way to make money.
Bobbi Brown moved to New York to become a makeup artist and ended up working with top magazines and models, her big break was when she did Naomi Campbell's makeup for the cover of American Vogue. Then in 1991 she created her own lipstick range to fill a gap in the market for natural-looking lipsticks at a time when bright colours and vibrant makeup was the mainstream look, this idea set her apart from other makeup artists. The product range expanded since the success of her natural lipsticks and in 1995 Bobbi Brown Cosmetics was incorporated into Estee Lauder, but what's significant is the power that Bobbi herself still has over her products and how prevalent her desire for a no-makeup look still is.
Bobbi has also written several books including Makeup Manual: For Everyone from Beginner to Pro (2008), Beauty Rules (2010) (the girl on cover was apparently a random waitress that Bobbi came across - how lovely is that??) and Pretty Powerful (2012).
What really stands out for me is Bobbi's philosophy and how clearly it comes through in her products. Bobbi has so many inspirational quotes, one of them being, "I believe all women are pretty without makeup, but with the right makeup can be pretty powerful". How great is that? That even a woman behind a cosmetics company can be so open-minded about the concept of beauty and what makeup should be for. Bobbi's philosophy is that makeup should be used to emphasise natural beauty, what is already there, not try to conceal or change it. The 'pretty powerful' idea is such a wonderful concept - that makeup should make women feel like a more powerful version of themselves, that it is not a repressive tool used by the beauty industry but a secret weapon for women to exploit and enjoy to their own advantage.
Bobbi's amazing philosophy has also helped women outside of the beauty industry and in other aspects of their lives. The Pretty Powerful Campaign for Women and Girls was launched on International Women's Day in 2013 to help women through job training programs and girls through education schemes. I think this is absolutely inspirational that Bobbi has really created her own space within the beauty industry and changed the conventional definition of what it means to beautiful. I think it really gives us a new perspective on the beauty industry and hope that companies have more substance to them. That Bobbi Brown's company has made women feel that they are beautiful no matter what they look like rather than putting them under pressure to conform to traditional perceptions is amazing.
On more of a practical level, I always find that the Bobbi Brown counter staff always look very natural and it's clear that her vision has spread through every level and sector of the company. I feel much less under pressure to dress nice or be all made up when I go to the Bobbi Brown counter because the girls always look themselves and don't have a 'looking down their noses at you' kind of look like you get at some counters.
As I said in the beginning, the Skin Foundation was the first Bobbi Brown (and high end) product I bought and I think her foundations are so underrated. Before I started reading blogs and watching YouTube videos, I'd never heard of Bobbi Brown because she just isn't discussed enough. Even those people who aren't into makeup have heard of Chanel, Dior, YSL, Lancome, but Bobbi Brown products seem to barely be discussed. Anyway, her foundations are amazing - there is one to suit every skin type and they are yellow-based so make your skin look so even in tone. At first I was like 'yellow?!' but it really works! I've never understood pink-based foundations on anyone, they just don't work, people seem to pick out slight redness in their skin and think that they need a pink foundation but trust me, yellow-based foundations work for everyone and Bobbi knows it!
Admittedly, I only have the above 3 products from Bobbi Brown - the tinted eye brightener (light bisque), the face touch up stick (which acts as a blemish concealer, in warm ivory) and the skin foundation which I mentioned before. But the range of products available is great and the quality of them is amazing. Bobbi Brown has become my 'go-to' makeup brand because I know that there will have been a tremendous amount of research and effort behind the products and I will always be able to achieve that desired 'no makeup' look with them.
It may be sexist but I feel like because there is a woman behind the products and because I am aware of her philosophy I know that I am paying for quality whereas when the company is headed by a man (unless its Wayne Goss), they'll inevitably see makeup through the lens of what a man wants a woman to look like.
Anyway, I hope that I have turned you into a Bobbi Brown convert, she is such an inspirational woman and her products really are great. Please check out her Twitter, Facebook and product site.
Also check out essiebutton's video which focuses on Bobbi Brown, it's a great video and I'm really glad that she also appreciates the amazingness that is Bobbi Brown!
All images are linked - just click on the image and it will take you to the original URL from which I got it :)