Celebrated makeup artist and the Today show beauty editor Bobbie Brown share the secretes that have made her one of the most sought-after names in makeup today. In this straightforward, refreshingly honest guide to makeup, no one "perfect" beauty standard is promoted; Bobbie knows that every woman has her own look, and her mission is to help readers maximize their individual potential.
Learn the essential techniques necessary for any woman who wants to look and feel her bestday or night.
- Learning to appreciate your own beauty
- How to do makeup fast
- How to handle bad beauty days
- How to get out of a makeup rut
- How to make lipstick last
- How to wear foundation correctly
With Bobbie Brown Beauty, women will quickly learn what makes their face unique and how to play up their particular strengths. Never before has a beauty book tackled the pressing concerns of a woman's everyday beauty routinewhat every woman, fromm fifteen to seventy-five, really wants to know.
About the Author
Bobbi Brown is an internationally renowned makeup artist and CEO of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. Her products are sold in more than 400 stores and twenty countries worldwide. In addition to creating cover looks for magazines and making up models for fashion shows, Bobbi is the exclusive beauty editor of NBC’s Today Show and a frequent guest on the E! and Style channels. She is the coauthor of Bobbi Brown Beauty and Bobbi Brown Teenage Beauty. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and three sons.
Read an Excerpt
"Imperfect" Beauty: Taking a "Flaw" and Making It Your Most Striking Feature
I love a cleft in a woman's chin. I love really pale skin. I love deep-set eyes, extremely full lips, and strong, hooked noses. For me, it's not "Oh, how do I fix it?" Rather, it's claiming the features that make you who you are and making the most of them. Some call these qualities "flaws," but I find that they are the key to finding one's own beauty identity.
My definition of perfect beauty is that it be unique and completely individual. Unfortunately, my way of thinking is not yet universally accepted. No one ever told me as a child that my deep-set eyes were beautiful--but I now know that they are a striking element of my look. No one ever says that freckles are nice--but I think they are beautiful and should never be hidden.
It happens all the time: The very feature women complain to me about is precisely what I find most beautiful. And it's no wonder women don't like these features, since most of us have never heard them complimented. In a perfect world, mothers would remind their daughters each morning how beautiful their strong noses are, how lovely their deep-set brown eyes or pale skin, and how special their curly red hair or full lips. In a perfect world, we would grow up to accept ourselves for our special traits and to be genuinely content with our natural looks. We would possess an endless amount of self-confidence.
But too often this is not the case. Mothers, themselves feeling insecure about a particular feature, pass that feature on to their daughters along with a sense of shame or insufficiency about it. Boyfriends or husbands pick up on a woman's feelings ofinadequacy, sometimes making her feel even worse. It is an unhappy cycle.
I refuse to accept that the only perfect beauty is that of a Barbie doll or a supermodel. Instead, I find beauty in the flaws, those characteristics that don't fit society's narrow definition of beauty. Sadly, women who have these characteristics have been taught not to like them. The challenge is to reverse this way of thinking.Bobbi Brown Beauty. Copyright © by Bobbi Brown. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
On Tuesday, December 8th, barnesandnoble.com welcomed Bobbi Brown to discuss BOBBI BROWN BEAUTY.
Moderator: Bobbi Brown, we are so pleased you could join us tonight to talk about your book, BOBBI BROWN BEAUTY, and your product line. We have lots of questions from your fans already. Ready to get started?
Bobbi Brown: Hi. I am happy to be here and I am looking forward to answering your questions.
Elke from New York: I have fair complexion and my skin blotches pretty easily. However, I can't stand foundation -- no matter what I use, I break out. Ive tried every foundation in the book. Over the past two years I've been using self-tanning cream for the face throughout the year with your bronzing powder as blush, and it kept me looking healthy without looking obvious, even in the dead of winter. Is it okay for me to use self-tanning cream over an extended period of time like that? Am I doing damage to my skin -- aging it? What should I look out for so I don't turn yellow? Hopefully I've avoided that over the past two years, but I'm concerned.
Bobbi Brown: I don't think that it will harm your skin to use the self-tanning. You have to be careful not to look too orange. I also recommend you try a tinted moisturizer that should even out your skin tone and be very gentle, not to cause breakout.
Maxime from New York: Bobbi, how would you characterize your own personal beauty style? Love your products!
Bobbi Brown: My own personal style is low key, simple, and done in the backseat of the car or at stoplights, due to my three children at the moment.
Anne from Toronto: Help, Bobbi! I am only 25 and I am starting to get some wrinkles. I always wear sunscreen in the summer. What are some things I should be doing to prevent these pesky things from getting worse?
Bobbi Brown: Make sure your skin is hydrated. The right moisturizer makes a huge difference. You are doing the best thing to use sunscreen but don't forget to wear hats. I am a big fan of baseball caps.
Mary Jamison from Greensboro, North Carolina: The question every woman wonders -- how do you get your lipstick to stay on better? I try using a lip liner under my lipstick, but then it almost looks too dramatic and dark.
Bobbi Brown: Lipstick is not meant to stay on all day. The long-lasting ones that do stay on look cakey and dry and not very flattering. My suggestion to keep lipstick on longer is with a lipstick on underneath, but use a tawny color that is close to your lips and that will look more natural. Make sure you fill in the whole lip and then put your lipstick on top. Two hours would be a great amount of time to keep your lipstick on.
Jennifer from New York: I notice that your makeup really has a yellow undertone. Do you think this works with all women's coloring? I am a redhead with pale, pale skin.
Bobbi Brown: Yes. I believe that 99 percent of women have yellow undertone, even the very fair. If your skin is very light, it has to be a very pale yellow tone. Our "porcelain" foundation works well for very pale skin, with only a bit of yellow in it.
Georgia from Plano, Texas: I had such a beauty disaster! The night before my cousin's wedding, I used a new cream on my face, and the bottom part of my face, including my lips, developed a terrible red rash almost immediately! I learned my lesson but would like your advice on how to correct such mishaps should it happen again. What's the best way to cover up a facial train wreck?
Bobbi Brown: That is a terrible story! The right color foundation in a creamy formula would be a perfect way to cover breakouts or blemishes. Make sure the texture isn't too drying. Stick foundation works well for this. On top of the foundation make sure you use a small amount of loose powder and very minimal lipstick, possibly a lip gloss is best.
Marcia from New Orleans: I often meet my husband for dinner after work and want my makeup to look more evening-ish. What is a fast way to do this without having to redo my whole face?
Bobbi Brown: In three easy steps: A pop of brighter blush -- my favorite is bright pink; a shimmering or slightly darker lipstick; and charcoal or black applied along the lash-line is a very minimal and perfect look for evening.
Sandy from Washington, D.C.: Do you think it is a good idea to mix lipstick colors, or should you stick to the one in the tube?
Bobbi Brown: Mixing lipstick color is not only a perfect but also an efficient way to find the right color. A lip palette is great for cutting your lipsticks into small pieces, and then with a brush you can be really creative!
Fran from Marlboro, Massachusetts: I love your products, but I need some tips on applying eye makeup that is different from the browns I have been using over the past year or so. I haven't been able to use pinks: I look like I had an allergic reaction when I wear it. Any advice? I have blue eyes and brown hair. Thanks.
Bobbi Brown: Your eyes will look beautiful in the gray and slate tones. It is very soft and a cool tone rather than a warm tone, and you can add a small amount of "shell" (a soft pink) to give a little bit of color without making your eyes look red. Another option is "Heather," which is a soft tone for the eyes.
Nancy from Pittsford, New York: I can't afford expensive makeup. Do you think the cheaper products in drug stores do more harm on your skin than good?
Bobbi Brown: The biggest problem in drugstores is there aren't many testers so it is hard to tell how the foundation, blush, or lipstick looks on you. Sometimes spending a little more on foundation will save you in the end because you won't have to buy three or four.
Soozan from New York: There is such a trend with matte long-lasting lipsticks, but they seem to be drying my lips out -- are these all they're cracked up to be?
Bobbi Brown: Most long-lasting lipsticks are not flattering on most women's lips. They are too drying. I think the style now is to have some sheen or shimmer on your lips, and that is hard to get with a matte lipstick.
Claire from Smithfield: The last time I got my face done by a professional (at the Bobbi Brown counter at Bloomies two years ago), the natural look was in. Do you think it still is?
Bobbi Brown: I think that the look in makeup should be whatever goes with your style. My preference is natural makeup. To me it is not makeup that is hardly there but what is right for your skin tone. My advice is to not always have a natural makeup but experiment with different colors that look good on you. This spring natural makeup will be really in again.
Pauline from Summit, New Jersey: What's your opinion of facials? Are they worth it and how often?
Bobbi Brown: I like to get a good facial about twice a year. I think monthly facials are not worth it. You can take care of your skin yourself. I much prefer to get a massage!
R. M. from New York: I've always been fascinated with the names makeup companies give their products. Do you give much thought to them, or does a marketing team come up with them?
Bobbi Brown: We don't have a marketing team. I am the one in control of that. Our products in name try to describe the color.
Ann from Chicago: I have a presentation to give and whenever that happens, my face blushes. Any cosmetic advice I can use to offset that?
Bobbi Brown: An even coverage with a light foundation and powder applied with a powder puff will tone down any redness and stay away from blush. Use a bit of bronzer if you need it on the cheeks.
Sara from Dallas: What's one makeup tip can you give us for the holiday season -- something so that we look special and festive for parties?
Bobbi Brown: It is actually the segment I am doing Tuesday morning on the "Today" show: "Holiday Make-Unders!" You don't have to always go for red lipstick. Shimmer is fun and easy to apply. A silver or pink shimmer on your eyelid with lots of black mascara. A slightly bright blush pinky or plum. Try a soft lip with a shimmer and a deeper lip line but make sure that pencil is blended.
Monica from Franklin: When will you be on the "Today" show again?
Bobbi Brown: I am the beauty editor and I am on once a month. It happens to be this Tuesday. If you want to see me more, write in!
Hannah from Pittsburgh: I've noticed that a lot of people have been wearing glitter -- on their bodies and on their face. Any tips on putting glitter on without looking like a disco ball or stripper? Thanks.
Bobbi Brown: Stick to shimmer that is a little more natural and has less pigment. I never use it on the body. It doesn't make sense. I like to use it on the nails, lips, and eyes. I don't like it on the cheeks, as it makes artificial highlights and makes anyone's lines appear more obvious.
Doreen from St. Paul: My eye makeup is always smearing, and by the end of the day I look like I have black eyes. What would you suggest? I have consciously tried not touching my eyes and things still don't seem to be improving.
Bobbi Brown: Make sure that the area around your eye is not too creamy or greasy. If you use an eye pencil, it is too emollient so it tends to smear. Use a powder shadow on top of your eye pencil to keep it on. Two other tips: Make sure you use a loose powder on top of your concealer, and instead of pencil use a matte or dense shadow with a damp eyeliner brush, and it will stay on longer.
Beth from New York: I just want to say I love your makeup line. I have hauled so many of my friends in for makeovers, and they all looked gorgeous afterwards. Thanks a million! Keep the new products coming! I love the new shadow holder.
Bobbi Brown: Ah -- thank you, thank you, thank you!
Melissa from Atlanta: Would you recommend using bronzing powder in the winter instead of face self-tanners? Or should you use bronzers just in the summer?
Bobbi Brown: Bronzers are definitely good all year long. You might use a lighter shade in the winter. If your bronzer turns you dirty looking or orange try a lighter shade.
Anne Richard from San Diego: Is it better to use a liquid foundation or stick foundation? Do the sticks provide a thicker application? Do the sticks clog your pores more?
Bobbi Brown: The sticks will not clog your pores. I like the sticks for convenience. They can be applied as sheer or dense as you like. A liquid foundation is just another option.
Colleen from Portland, Maine: I have the hardest time choosing a lipstick color for daytime. It is so frustrating. Any suggestions?
Bobbi Brown: Try to pick a color that is close to your lip tone. For me it is "Nude." For someone with darker skin it is "Raisin," and for someone who is very fair I recommend "Barestain." Or try sheerer lipsticks. They are easier to wear.
Cindy from Williamsburg, Virginia: Why should you use makeup brushes?
Bobbi Brown: Makeup brushes help your application so it is easier and more precise. Good makeup brushes are worth everything. Just make sure you take care of them and cleanse them every few months.
Elke from New York: I love your tawny blush. It looks so natural. But should I be using it when I wear more red or pink lipstick? Should you coordinate your blush with lipstick?
Bobbi Brown: Yes. One of the old makeup rules is lipstick and blush should be in the same tone. If you wear pink lipstick, tawny looks good. You can also use a pop of a brighter pink blush. With more red lipstick tawny also looks good, but put a pop of rose blush that has more red in it.
Gail from Ontario: I am a big fan. I was wondering what inspired you to make such a lovely and awestricken book?
Bobbi Brown: My inspiration for the book comes from what I believe in beauty -- that everybody has it! And that I feel that simplicity is the way to go. Beauty is obtainable to all women.
Elise from Brooklyn, New York: I go to a dermatologist for acne and use Retin-A. It really dries out my skin. Can I use an oil-free moisturizer or do you think people with acne should avoid moisturizing? How often should I be moisturizing? What are some other things I can do to improve my skin?
Bobbi Brown: Anyone who has dry skin or dry parts needs moisturizer. It is important to keep your skin hydrated, which will improve the way your skin looks. The four most important things you can do for your skin: enough sleep, proper skin care, drink a lot of water, and exercise. And I almost forgot -- good nutrition!
Greta from Chicago: You have put makeup on some of the most beautiful faces. Who have been some of your favorite people to make up? Has your job changed the way you think of beauty?
Bobbi Brown: Some of my favorite aren't necessarily the most beautiful, although Brooke Shields and Christy Turlington share incredible beauty and are two of the nicest people I have met. Doing Donna Shalala was incredible fun for me and in exchange she gave my family a tour of the White House -- which was definitely a highlight.
Claire from Miami: In your book you recommend AHAs? What exactly are they and where can you buy this "skin care miracle"?
Bobbi Brown: AHA means alpha hydroxide acids, and they are an ingredient in skin lotion. You can buy them in any drugstore or department store. It is a fruit acid that exfoliates the skin. Sensitive skin should go for a low percent or avoid it all together. My face lotion has 4 percent, which works for most types.
Sarah from Austin, Texas: If you can purchase only a few pieces of makeup in your line, what would you suggest?
Bobbi Brown: Start with concealer and foundation. Next either blush or lipstick. These are the first most important.
Beth from Delaware: Do you recommend buying a moisturizer that has sunscreen in it and using that under foundation? Or should you apply sunscreen, then moisturizer, and then foundation?
Bobbi Brown: There are many options. I prefer using a moisturizer with sunscreen for everyday use and using a foundation without sunscreen because the texture will be better. In warm climates where the sun is brighter I recommend using a higher SPF, at least a 30. And waterproof is recommended for humid areas.
Barbara Richard from San Francisco: Why do you think women are so insecure about their looks? As a mother of three daughters this really troubles me, and makeup issues don't seem to help -- it is like you are covering up flaws. What do you think?
Bobbi Brown: Well, this is very interesting because I just started working on a teenage book. There is a huge problem with women and self-image. It is across the board from young girls to women in their 80s, and I hope that in my lifetime I can help women feel good about themselves. The magazines do not help with so many young skinny models in the pages.
Sam from Allentown, Pennsylvania: You talk about finding your flaws and making them your best beauty traits. How do we this? It is hard to see a big nose as beautiful!
Bobbi Brown: It is really a process of learning to accept your face -- what you look like and who you are. It doesn't necessarily mean making your nose look bigger but trying to focus on your best features. If you have small lips -- play up your eyes. The point is women who have accepted themselves often look beautiful.
Dyla P. from Montclair, New Jersey: How do you look so good on TV early in the morning? Any tips for us early risers?
Bobbi Brown: Go to sleep early the night before and use a little extra concealer. Drink lots of water and don't forget a pop of blush will make you look more awake.
Moderator: Thank you, Bobbi Brown! This has been a very informative chat. Do you have any closing comments for the online audience?
Bobbi Brown: Well, if you want any more information, you can visit my web site at www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com! Thanks!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Anyone who can see the beauty in so-called flaws is someone special. I hope that women read the section on unique features and re-read it until it penetrates. And the ideas and instructions are terrific.
BOBBI COVERS IT ALL HERE! SHE TEACHES YOU HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF WHAT YOU HAVE OR DON'T HAVE. ALSO HOW TO KEEP IT SIMPLE. WHEN WE AS WOMEN SEEM TO TRY SO HARD TO MAKE IT MORE DIFFUCULT. I JUST LOVE HER NO NONSENSE APPROACH!
Bobbie Brown helped me see the beauty in what I saw was a flaw. I have always been self-concious but Bobbie has helped me change the way I see myself and has helped me learn to accept the way I was created and turn it into natural beauty. I would like to thank Bobbie for helping me see myself in a different light. Thank you.
After years of trying to find the perfect lipstick and foundation shades I found this book. Finally something simple and straightforward, the best ways to apply makeup for various situations and time constraints, along with various examples of colours that are suitable to skin types and hair colours. Advice on how to make the most of your eyelashes without product endorsements clouding pages. Practical advice for everyone. I've been doing my makeup for years but no colour, shade, or expensive makeup makes up for how you learn to apply and maximize your looks with this book.