Fabulous and Flawless- Bobbi Brown on Reinventing Herself and Going Back to Her Roots
Bobbi Brown shows us you're never too old to reinvent yourself and to embrace your imperfectly flawless skin with her new clean, natural 'no-makeup' cosmetic line.
Bobbi Brown, Entrepreneur, Founder Evolution_18, Jones Road
She is the OG Female Entrepreneur and once again leading the way. But this time showing women that you're never too old to try something new, follow a passion, and reinvent yourself.
In the early '90s, two female entrepreneurs were leading the way and inspiring me; Donna Karan and Bobbi Brown. But, it was Bobbi who most inspired me because she was relatable. She was young, from Chicago, and a working mom. She was the ordinary girl next door, but she was doing extraordinary things.
For 25 years, Bobbi successfully grew her eponymous beauty business, which started with just ten lipsticks, into a beauty empire. For anyone who doesn't know her story, she was a makeup artist who couldn't find the cosmetics she needed (it started with lipstick), so she made her own, and in 1995, Estée Lauder purchased her namesake. She stayed on for 22 years, and at age 59, she walked away.
But instead of relaxing and retiring and enjoying the fruits of her labor, Bobbi has done the complete opposite, starting several new businesses. Once again, leading the way, but this time showing women that you're never too old to try something new, follow a passion, and reinvent yourself.
And what's more inspiring? For someone who has the means to start a business by hiring the best talent to launch, Bobbi instead is bootstrapping her startups, like most entrepreneurs. For instance, instead of hiring a fancy branding agency to oversee her website, she gave the gig to a recent college graduate, a neighbor in Montclair.
After 25 years of doing the same thing, it must have been hard to wake up one day with nothing on your calendar. What did you do, and how did you figure out what the next chapter would be?
When I left Bobbi Brown Cosmetics four years ago, I had time on my hands and no idea what I would do next. I was so busy at the brand I barely knew what I was having for dinner each night, let alone thinking about creating a new brand.
The one thing I did know I'd be doing was promoting my 9th book, Beauty From the Inside Out, which was really more about nutrition and wellness than it was about beauty. Promoting that book is really what put me on my new entrepreneurial path.
First, I went back to school to become a certified health coach. Then, I launched EVOLUTION_18, a line of wellness and ingestible products.
Then, Masterclass called me and asked me to do a makeup masterclass, which was such an honor. Doing the Masterclass reminded me that, before anything else, I'm a makeup artist first – I've been doing this for 40 years.
It was then I realized it was time for me to get back to my roots, which makes JONES ROAD a full-circle return to being a makeup artist.
EVOLUTION_18 is a line of clean, high-quality wellness and beauty supplements designed to target a wide range of beauty concerns.
I have been a fan of Evolution_18 and love the concept and products. Tells us why and how that came about.
It's something I've been pretty much a student of my whole life - wellness and how to feel better. I realized early on to look good, you have to be healthy from the inside; it was what I taught people- even before I taught them how to do makeup. My book, Beauty from the Inside Out, was based on not what you put on your face but what you put in.
"Beauty from the inside out".
I went back to school and became a certified health coach with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. This transition was a great opportunity to pursue something I've always been passionate about. Launching Evolution_18, is a lifestyle-inspired wellness line that embraces my philosophy, Beauty from the inside out.
Evolution_18 is a venture that has become much bigger than Bobbi ever imagined. She sells direct-to-consumer and has a specially formulated collection for Walmart, which is distributed in 3,000 stores.
Bobbi, the Queen of the natural, no-makeup makeup look, who actually teaches a Masterclass on 'how-to' achieve it, believes makeup should be used as a tool to enhance natural beauty, not cover it up.
In October, her non-compete clause (with Estée Lauder) finally ended, and she launched her new beauty brand, JONES ROAD.
JONES ROAD encompasses Bobbi's expertise and signature look into a collection of clean, simple, multi-purpose, high-grade formulations to help women achieve the "ultimate no-makeup makeup" look.
What made you want to launch a new beauty line?
With the launch of my new brand, JONES ROAD, I made a full circle return to my roots: the world of cosmetics. In 1991, I launched Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, which I sold to the Estée Lauder Companies four years later. I remained with the brand for the next 22 years, developing products and sharing my beauty philosophy around the world, before leaving my namesake brand in 2016.
But, as I mentioned, when Masterclass called me and asked me to do a makeup masterclass, it reminded me that before anything else, I'm a makeup artist first – and it was time for me to get back to my roots.
You launched JONES ROAD in the Fall, in the middle of a pandemic. Why?
When people ask me why I'm launching JONES ROAD now, I say why not? Launching a new business is never easy – it's always hard -- and launching during a pandemic and a Presidential election season might sound especially crazy. But one lesson I've learned as an entrepreneur is that if you wait for the "perfect time" to do anything, nothing happens. I don't wait. I create.
Working from home and living through this pandemic has taught us how to live with less and accept things as they are, including the way we look. If you're eating well and taking care of yourself, you don't need a lot of makeup to look and feel good. That's always been my philosophy, and JONES ROAD celebrates that. It's the ultimate no makeup, makeup, and that feels especially appropriate right now.
"If you're eating well and taking care of yourself, you don't need a lot of makeup to look and feel good. That's always been my philosophy, and JONES ROAD celebrates that. It's the ultimate no makeup, makeup".
What's more, this entrepreneur is again leading by example. As someone who has the means to start a business by hiring the best talent to launch, Bobbi instead is bootstrapping her startups, like most entrepreneurs. For instance, instead of hiring a fancy branding agency to oversee her website, she gave the gig to a recent college graduate, a neighbor in Montclair.
Just another reason we Love Bobbi:)
What is your favorite JONES ROAD product?
Wow –Can I choose two? First, I'd say the Miracle Balm. I'm obsessed with it. It adds a wash of soft-focus moisture to enhance your skin. It reflects light, so it adds a hint of glow wherever you need it – cheeks, eyelids, or lips. It also comes in four different shades, so you can wear it alone or layer it on top of your foundation. It's made with jojoba seed oil, argan oil, and Vitamin E, which also nourishes your skin. It's high-performing, multi-purpose, and is full of amazing, "good-for-you" ingredients, all in one.
Second, I love the Startup Kit is the perfect collection of makeup essentials in universally flattering hues. We were sold out for the longest time, but now it's available again.
Just Bobbi is a modern lifestyle platform that offers a look into the world of Bobbi with a beautifully curated collection of stories, products, destinations, and inspiration.
BEYOND THE BEAUTY WITH BOBBI, PODCAST
Bobbi launched the Beyond The Beauty podcast, where she chats with experts in beauty, health, wellness, fashion, and entrepreneurship.
Bringing it all together under one umbrella, Beauty Evolution encompasses; The George, Evolution_18, JONES ROAD, and Just Bobbi, it is a lifestyle brand that "helps people live a better life."
What is your advice for women starting their own business?
The one lesson I've learned as an entrepreneur, if you wait for the perfect time to do anything, nothing happens.
Who or what has been your biggest inspiration?
I've had a photo of Phoebe Philo, Celine's former designer, on my inspiration board since I began creating JONES ROAD. She's wearing a simple navy blue sweater and no makeup, and she looks effortlessly beautiful. That's how I want people to feel when they try JONES ROAD.
With all of your experiences and incredible accomplishments, what is the one piece of advice you would give to all women?
This is my Mantra. It hangs in my office.
What advice would you give to women who are feeling stuck and don't know what that next chapter is?
Don't wait—create. I would give that advice to anyone, especially if they're looking to make a change.
What does your daily skincare and wellness routine look like? You shared your favorite JONES ROAD products, but what Evolution_18 products do you use daily?
I'm 63-years-old, and I keep my daily skincare routine very simple. First, I'm not wearing a lot of makeup these days, so that really helps. At night, I wash my face with either coconut oil or a natural cleanser that I'm working on right now for JONES ROAD.
I also believe that following a regular wellness routine of drinking lots of water, eating well, and incorporating good fats into your diet throughout the day makes a huge difference in your skin's health.
I also use the Evolution_18 Energizing Chocolate in my morning smoothie. After lunch, I fill up one of my water bottles and mix in the Evolution_18 Debloat Tea, and sip it all afternoon. Before bedtime, I always take two Evolution_18 Chill gummies.
I've never had any work done on my face but, I do swear by laser treatments and the Augustinus Bader moisturizer.
What advice would you give your 25-year-old self?
I would tell myself to do things that would help take life down a notch. For example, I wish I had practiced yoga and meditation, so I didn't get so caught up in the craziness of my mind — which is what I'm working on now. I know how to build and grow a brand but am learning to manage my own busy mind.
Who are the five people- living or dead- you would invite to your dream dinner party?
Michelle and Barack Obama
What is your motto?
"Stop obsessing about your flaws. Focus on what you do like. Wear blush. Move your body every day. Be nice. Help someone. Highlight the positive. Try a new food. Put a little cucumber in your water. Put a little coconut oil in your hair. Master the smokey eye".