One day I was shopping with my girlfriends the first thing we hit was the makeup counter at Neiman Marcus, it was our version of the bar crawl. We would bounce around counter to counter in search of that perfect shade of nude lip gloss, you know the one that magically removed the accordion of wrinkles along the lip line. Usually a good give away would woo us … throw in some samples and you pretty much have our number dialed. Tell us there is no possible way we have 8 kids amongst the four of us and YOU HAVE A BUYER FOR LIFE .. we practically threw our credit cards at the counter girl.
Bobbi Brown counter at Nordstom
As we dipped our fingers and smudged colors across the back of our hands it struck me. I wasn’t just buying a new tube of lipstick I was buying a tube of happiness. The more we applied the more compliments we got. I think we actually started to get a contact high from some of the shimmer glosses we gobbed on our lips. We started joking to one another “change your make up change your life“. We weren’t serious of course but secretly maybe some of us were hoping for just that. I know I was because I always have placed a disproportionate amount of importance on make up. I love make up, I alwasy have. If I could I would wear every color of the rainbow on my eyes in fact I did in high school which lead to constant warnings from the cheer advisor and ultimately my release from the squad all together. Then somewhere in between lining the INSIDE of my eyes with my freshly melted cobalt blue eyeliner and barely having enough energy to put on lip gloss I mellowed out. A lot.
In the 90’s make up mellowed out in fact it almost disappeared completely with the grunge look. Nude lip gloss and black eye liner was considered a finished look and if your body resembled anything close to the 12 year old waif look Kate Moss with dirty hair, well you were REALLY hot now. Somehow my 6 foot stature did not lend well to the waif look, nor was I interested in wearing flannel with little or no makeup. As much as I LOVED the music my career in the fashion industry just wouldn’t allow it.
With my steady paycheck and employee discount came an obsession for department store make up. I discovered Defencils mascara, Shu Uemura face papers, Dior eye shadows and and red Channel lipstick. My paycheck was spent before I even got it and I was making fewer CVS runs for a quick makeup fix. Bobbi Brown cosmetics was just beginning to emerge with her natural line of lipsticks she created for Bergdorf Goodman. Legend has it she was prepared to sell 100 lipsticks in a month, instead she sold 100 in ONE DAY.
As soon as Bobbi Brown came to Nordstrom her products eventually replaced all the rest in my make up bag and I have to say I looked better for it. Her line has all the basics covered with an emphasis on ENHANCING your natural beauty not painting over it. I have always been attracted to her philosophy that you don’t need to wear a lot of make up to look beautiful. In fact I bet she would be the first one to say women don’t HAVE to wear make up to be beautiful and who doesn’t want to hear that. Women have ENOUGH messages being hurled towards them as it is and as much as I love to pour over my fashion magazines I resent how deflated they make me feel.
It was her make up line that eased me out of peacock green shadow and into colors that look as soothing as they sound like malted and ash. I know when the time comes for my daughter to dip into the lip gloss this is the line I will point her too. Bobbi Brown has written a book just for tweens and teens who want to look like they are 23, I know I for one could have used a little guidance when it came to colors choices and how much is really too much. You can see her talk about the book, Bobbi Brown Beauty Rules in this Video.
My make up bag is still pretty big but its paired down to the basics now, that’s what having kids will do to you. Here are my favorite Bobbi Brown products:
1. Long Wear Creme Eye Shadow – Ash (these are THE BEST they go on creamy using a warmed finger tip to blend) 2. Long Wear Creme Eye Shadow – Malted 3. Pot Rouge for Lips & Cheeks -Pale Pink 4. Long Wear Gel Eyeliner – Violet Ink (buy an ultra thin brush like this brush by Laura Mercer) 5. Face Touch Up Stick – Warm Beige 6. Brightening Lip Gloss – Popsicle. 7. Blush – Pale Pink 8. Lip Liner – Ballet Pink (the best nude not too pink) 9. Bronze Mania Sheer Bronzer – #1. 10. Tinted Moisturizing Balm – SPF25 – Warm Beige (I love the clean medicinal smell of this it is the perfect amount of coverage for dry skin also pulls double duty as a sunscreen.)
Here’s a little tip for you about the lip gloss wand, if you have them you already know how FABULOUS they are (not too sticky, perfect coverage, lasting power and they don’t taste like chemicals). They currently deliver the product via a brush tip – I found out MAKE UP ARTISTS LOVE THIS but consumers? not so much. Bobbi is changing the wand to a sponge tip to make everyone (but the make up artists happy). The Bobbi Brown rep at the Nordstrom counter said that sponges actually remove a small amount of the lipstick when you apply gloss over. She said the brushes are great and even though they tend to fray after just a few uses they are still better for applying gloss. She also recommends that of you have the brush tip fold the brush as you replace it back in the tube, this will cause the tip to snap back when the tube is close and reduce fraying.
There are so many other make up products I love that I will dig out of my drawer to share. I have found quite a few blogs out there that are devoted entirely to products like Hair Thursday from Whoorl. She is the QUEEN of products, I bow to her and point you in her worthiness direction go on… and see what new things you’ll suddenly just HAVE TO HAVE. But before you go tell me…
What are your FAVORITE PRODUCTS you just can’t live without?