Bobbi Brown Just Told Us The Five Make-Up Rules Every Woman Should Know

From reviving tired faces to finding a signature style, the make-up mogul shares tips from her 40-year career.

bobbi brown

by Verity Clark |
Updated on

There are few beauty brand founders who have grandmothers queueing at book signings and Gen Z flooding their DMs with burning questions, but Bobbi Brown is one.

After selling her eponymous – and phenomenally successful – make-up brand to Estée Lauder in 2016, you could have forgiven Brown, 66, for hanging up her boots. ‘My friends are all playing tennis, golf and bridge, or sitting on boards,’ she says, as she speaks to me from her sunny Florida home, just before a personal trainer session and a day filled with Zooms and product development.

But sitting still is not in Brown’s nature; making great make-up is. She got over the ‘really tough experience’ of selling business number one by spending two days drinking tequila with her girlfriends – Brown is nothing if not relatable – before setting her sights on her next task. Namely, a totally clean make-up brand.

‘As a health fanatic, I knew I’d much rather use clean products than not,’ admits Brown. ‘I was curious as to whether I could develop products that fit the bill.’ Turns out, she could.

Jones Road launched in 2020 and quickly sold out of its much-hyped Miracle Balm. The brand epitomises Brown’s long-standing ethos of natural, clean, your-face- but-fresher make-up. The formulae are designed to be used on the go, to be smudged on with fingers and to ‘make
you look great without looking like you’re wearing make-up’. Here she shares her insider tips for doing just that.

1. Freshen up a fatigued face in seconds

Dull complexion? Dark circles? Puffy eyes? Reach for a neutralising concealer. Used under eyes it will ‘get rid of any darkness as well as lightening and brightening the area’. Brown’s top tip? ‘Put it on the inner corner, it helps to open up the eye.’ Try Jones Road The Face Pencil, £24.

Hide the tell-tale signs of a late night in seconds with this savvy neutralizing pencil. Scribble over dark circles or blemishes and watch as the disappear before your eyes. Magic.

2. Let your skin be your make-up guide

‘As we get older our skin changes,’ notes Brown. ‘Most people get drier.’ Dry or
oily, you need to adapt accordingly. Brown, who ‘never thought [her] skin would be as dry as it is’, is diligent about pre-make-up hydration. A rich moisturiser is absolutely key to fresh, healthy looking make-up. Oily types should look for products that ‘take the excess oil away but don’t look like powder on skin’. Case in point? Jones Road The Bronzer, £32.

A beauty editor favourite, this bronzer falls into the goldilocks category of being just right. Not too heavy, easy to blend and not a hint of shimmer – an everyday make-up staple.

3. Five minute face

In a rush? Arm yourself with Brown’s foolproof recipe for looking polished in minutes. ‘Throw on a moisturiser and let it absorb. Use a neutralising face pencil or concealer to get rid of any redness and to fake lightness under the eyes. Add luminosity with something like Miracle Balm. Brush up brows and swipe on some lip gloss.’ Good to go. For a healthy flush of colour, try Jones Road Miracle Balm in Cocoa Bronze or Pinched Cheeks, £36.

Launching on 12 March 2024, two new shades have been added to the much loved Miracle Balm family. Cocoa Bronze is great as a skin dew or highlighter on deeper skin tones or used as a bronzer on medium skin. While Pinched Cheeks is delivers a pretty, you guessed it, pinch of colour to add fuel to the face.

4. Embrace looking your age

In a world of filters and ‘tweakments’, Brown adopts a refreshing approach to ageing – a term she hates. ‘It’s a really great thing to get older, I wish more women would realise that!’ Her advice? ‘Know how to look your best at your age.’

5. Do one signature thing to look pulled together

A meeting with the model Yasmin Le Bon was the turning point for Brown’s own personal style. ‘She wore her hair in a ponytail, not a stick of make-up, a white boy’s T-shirt and short, red polished nails,’ she says. Since that ‘a-ha’ moment, Brown has worn short red nails and jeans almost every day. ‘I like the juxtaposition of polished and not polished.’ Try Jones Road The Nail Polish Kit, £44.

Mirror Bobbi’s signature red with the eye-catching Poppy red, take things down a notch with the gorgeous sheer pink Ballerina shade and keep polish lasting beyond the washing up with the heavy duty 2-in-1 top and base coat.

[12:50] Clark, Verity

Verity Clark is the Acting Health & Beauty Director at Grazia, with over ten years in the industry she is dedicated to the cause and will try anything from blue lipstick to facial acupuncture to see if it’s worth your time, and money.

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