If you’re a makeup lover, or if you simply don’t live under a rock, you know who Bobbi Brown is. Brown transformed the beauty industry by creating cosmetics to highlight a woman’s natural look, instead of trying to hide it. This sounds like a no-brainer for us now, but back in 1990, it was pretty f*cking revolutionary. She started her career by creating 10 simple, natural looking lipsticks that evolved into what is now a beauty empire. After leaving Bobbi Brown Cosmetics in 2016, Brown returned to her passion of focusing on life and wellness as she authored nine books, launched her lifestyle brand Beauty Evolution, her editorial site justBOBBI.com, and a line of wellness and beauty ingestible products titled EVOLUTION_18 (including, of course, a CBD gummy). She also imparts her wisdom on MasterClass, where subscribers can watch her perform makeup tutorials, describe her beauty philosophies, and teach lessons and tips to key makeup fundamentals. So, who better to ask about what beauty mistakes people make than a beauty icon, trailblazer, and entrepreneur?
There’s a reason conventional wisdom tells us to put our best face forward, and the reason Brown’s top beauty mistake is not about lipstick, or eyeliner, but about what people see first: your face. We’ve seen it in just about every Jersey Shore cast photo since the beginning of time: foundation and concealer that don’t match the skin tone. Brown has seen it, too, and cites it as the top beauty mistake she notices: “people who wear the wrong color foundation and concealer” is her number-one no-no. Another serious faux pas? “So many women will either skip concealer, which is really bad, or they will put a concealer on that’s too light and it just looks like a raccoon.” Ouch.
There are a few reasons Brown often sees people sporting the wrong shade concealer or foundation, which, thankfully, means it’s easy to fix. Number one is simply misunderstanding the purpose of these products. Brown explains, “the reason we wear foundation is to even out our skin, and not try to change the color of it.” So don’t get all aspirational during the winter by buying a shade you know is too tan for you—that’s what bronzer is for.
yeah i'm wild. yeah i like to gamble. yeah i like to order new foundation online despite having never tried that particular brand before and therefore having no idea about their shade range and whether or not the color would match me. yeah i'm crazy.
— sophie (@pixievalkyrie) December 4, 2019
Another culprit? Rushing the process and not taking the right care to find the perfect match, including not trying on foundation on your actual face. Brown emphasizes, “the only way to find the right color foundation is actually trying it on the side of your face—not your hand, not your inner arm—and if it disappears it’s the right color.” Which means, yes, actually trying out the foundation before buying it and not just hoping you’ll get it right. “You have to put in a little time and energy into choosing the right foundation,” Brown says, adding, “it’s hard to just buy something off of Instagram because you don’t know what actually works.” Adding that foundation or concealer to your cart is obviously fine if it’s the go-to shade you’ve been wearing for years, but if you’re trying it out for the first time, be warned that going off the color on your computer screen is a risk.
The good news is that while choosing the right foundation can be tricky, it’s not rocket science. First things first, Brown stresses the importance of having a good base, and that means going for an inside-out approach. She says, “Start with good skin. Make sure you’re eating properly and put your moisturizer on before you do anything else.” And here I am with my million serums and toners—who knew that just eating right and moisturizing would give me good skin? In all seriousness, Brown says, “for someone that’s been both a beauty expert, a makeup artist, and a health coach, the healthier your skin is the less makeup you need.”
if anyone is shopping for gifts for me, I wear Fenty foundation shade 185 and dollar size $185 as well
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) December 17, 2019
She also notes the importance of assessing how your foundation looks in the daylight so you can make sure it’s the same exact shade as your skin. And, if you’re using a bronzer, it needs to “tint your skin so it blends to your neck and your chest,” lest you avoid looking like Dorian Tyrell in The Mask, or Paris Hilton in the early 2000s. On top of that, recognize that you might be wearing too much makeup, or simply applying it in the wrong places. In Brown’s opinion, all you may need to do is “Throw on a quick concealer under your eyes, and really just use your foundation to touch areas that are red.” I’m someone who basically paints a mask on using my foundation, but Brown assures me, “you don’t need it all over.”
Overall, the key to wearing the right makeup, Brown emphasizes, is confidence. She says, “whatever your style, make sure you feel good when you look in the mirror.” She adds, “some people look great in a red lip, some people look great in a cat-eye, and other people look best in a nude face. So really, it’s about style and preference and if you’re comfortable with it, then you are confident.” Choose the makeup or style that brings out your natural beauty and make you feel fabulous. Then, you will shine.
Images: pixievalkyrie, betchesluvthis / Twitter