Bobbi Brown, 43-years old and only five-foot tall, stands high in stature as a quintessential businesswoman, new author and beauty editor for NBC’s Today Show. Bobbi, who purchased a home in East Hampton last October, is among the most sought-after makeup artists today and in great demand by the hottest fashion designers. Although she works with top photographers, models and movie stars, Bobbi remains as down-to-earth and as fresh as her own makeup line.
Frequently interviewed, the successful entrepreneur has become a celebrity herself, and claims she is successful because she keeps things simple. The key word to describe her thinking on beauty is — natural. When asked about her philosophy on beauty, she responded, I” think every woman has her own beauty and the most important beauty aspect is confidence. If a woman feels good about who she is and what she looks like, and is comfortable with that, she comes across much more beautiful to the world.”
After graduating from Emerson College in Boston, where Bobbi earned a degree in Theatrical Makeup, she would practice applying makeup on her brothers. Soon, she beat the pavement on the streets of Manhattan, with her portfolio in hand, landing her first Vogue cover shoot. In 1990, Bobbi took her favorite shades that she hand-mixed to a chemist and turned out a few lipsticks. In 1991, Bobbi Brown Professional Cosmetics Inc. debuted in New York City’s Bergdorf Goodman. In 1996, Bobbi Brown Professional Cosmetics, Inc. was acquired by the Estee Lauder Companies, and is available in sixteen countries around the world, including such cities as Berlin, London, Dublin, and Tokyo. In the United States, you may find her makeup line at leading stores such as Neiman Marcus, Sakes Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and Holt Renfrew in Canada.
How did Bobbi’s enterprise ascend to such great heights in only ten years? Her answer: “I built my company on a lot of the positive rather than the negative. Many cosmetic companies tell women whats wrong with them at the counter, and I do the opposite. When I started the business, there was an artificial look and I was one of the first people who liked the natural look, and I am happy to take credit for that because I think it’s helped so many women. I love when people come up to me and say, ‘You know, I never felt so pretty in my life.’ And yet, when they wear my makeup, their true beauty is all you see. I would rather see someone wearing no makeup at all, than an artificial look with a bad makeup job.”
Bobbi Brown became an author two years ago, with her first book, Bobbi Browns Beauty, which sold 150,000 copies, and her second book, Teenage Beauty, which has just hit the bookstores now. As an author, targeting young girls, she again encourages them to enhance who they are naturally, with an underlying message about self-esteem. It is intended for real girls, who want to look like models, but think they are too short or too tall or too big or too skinny, their hair is too straight or too curly, or they have too many freckles.
“Unfortunately, many mothers make their daughters feel insecure about their looks, because they themselves felt that way as teenagers. They say, ‘Watch what youre eating, change your hair, dress this way or that way.’
“Phew, Im glad I have three boys. ”
Bobbi lives in New Jersey with her husband, Steven Plofker, who is a real estate developer and an attorney and their three sons, Dylan, 10, Dakota, 8, and Duke, who is 2. She recalls when she grew up in a small suburb north of Chicago: I always loved makeup as a little girl and I would play dress-up and play with my Moms makeup. My cousin, who was also my best friend, made me play Bonanza and cops and robbers, and I just wanted to play Mommy and dress up.
I get a lot of my inspiration in makeup through looking at my own childrens’ faces. Everyone wants to look young because youth is beautiful. And I think any age is beautiful as long as you have smooth-looking skin. When asked if she goes in the sun, Bobbi answered, “How can you not go in the sun? I wear a hat and sunscreen most of the time, but Im out there a lot as a soccer mom, and we also go kayaking.
“My favorite smell in the world is when my kids are done with the bath. I have one fragrance called “Bobbi” that reminds me of that. It is fresh and clean, out-of-the-shower, with a little femininity; and Im working on my second fragrance now.
Perhaps, it is every girls dream to grow up into such an accomplished woman. But, Ms. Brown doesnt let the fantasy get to her. And perhaps, it is partly due to the fact that she keeps her feet on the ground. After all, it is the foundation of her whole theory on beauty — remain real.
You may wonder how she can remain so real, after just being invited last week to the White House to see the movie The Patriot with the Clintons. She giggled. “I admit, it blew my mind, too. That was an invitation I couldnt refuse.”
Bobbi was told what colors to wear to coordinate with what the President and the First lady were wearing.
As far as celebrities are concerned, she thinks Brooke Shields is one of her favorites. Aside from being beautiful, she is just so sweet. I always remember when we were working on an Italian magazine together, and after we finished eating, she got up and cleared the table. And Christie Brinkley and Susan Sarandon are ageless, she said in a tone of astonishment. Bobbi laughed as she recalled a recent television guest who came on after her own segment. “It was Tammy Faye Baker, the complete antithesis of what I stand for.
“Also, our family loves sports, and we are lucky to be neighbors and very good friends of Yogi Berra. We were with him when he went back to Yankee Stadium for the first time, and being the Mom of three boys, it was thrilling. ”
Ms. Brown describes herself as being open and happy . . . and too busy. I try to relax, while out in the Hamptons by going to Lotte Berk, four times a week, which is a combination of yoga, stretching and ballet exercise. And I just love the fresh produce out here.”
“More than anything,” she added, I” just want to be a really good Mom, because it goes by so quickly.”
The way Bobbi Brown prioritizes makeup, shows true beauty on the outside; the way she prioritizes her own life, shows true beauty on the inside.