Beauty Talk with American Icon Bobbi Brown

As I’m sure you know, we recently kicked off our coast-to-coast coverage of all things gorgeously USA! To help celebrate, some of our faves created special collections, like Bobbi Brown’s Essential Summer Edition (seen above). Not only do I think of a breathtaking Telluride sunset every time I look at one of her iconic Shimmer Bricks, but Bobbi Brown happens to be one of my personal American Beauty Icons. Here, the business woman, New York Times bestselling author, mother, and amazingly talented and down-to-earth Makeup Artist shares the story behind her coveted Skin Foundation Stick and her “desert island” essential.

bb skin foundation

TEM: I think the Foundation Stick was one of your first products, and I’m guessing there must be a story behind it? What made you think of or want to develop foundation in a stick form?

Bobbi Brown: During my early career as a freelance makeup artist in New York, I became frustrated by the lack of flattering makeup on the market. It was impossible to find makeup that looked good on skin. I almost always had to ‘fix’ the products I bought, blending shades together until I got something that looked natural. The idea for Foundation Stick came to me when I was on a swimwear shoot with photographer Walter Chin; after applying foundation on the model’s face, I quickly realized that it didn’t match the rest of her body. I actually had to apply foundation to the rest of her body to even out her skin tone. So, I set out to create my own foundation—one that looked like skin and was user-friendly.

When I launched my original formula in 1992, it was the first foundation of its kind because it was portable, melted into skin, was skin tone correct, and came in multiple shades. Other foundations on the market were all pink-based and looked unnatural on the skin. I wanted to give women something that was portable, looked natural and evened out their skin tone rather than creating a new one.

TEM: What’s the best way to apply it – direct from the stick? With a brush? With your fingers?

Bobbi Brown: Using a Foundation Brush or my fingers, I like to spot-apply Skin Foundation Stick where skin needs to be evened out, usually around the nose and mouth where there’s redness. For full, all-over coverage, I’ll stroke it across the forehead, cheeks, nose and chin, and then I’ll blend it out with a sponge, or Foundation Brush.

TEM: What are three words you’d use to describe your Skin Foundation Stick?

Bobbi Brown: Portable, Looks like skin & Shades for all women


TEM: If you could only have five beauty products and Skin Foundation Stick had to be one of them, what are the other four?

Bobbi Brown: I never leave the house without Corrector/Concealer, a pop of pink blush, black mascara and a swipe of lip gloss. Each one is a face brightener in its own right. Corrector and Concealer are the secret of the beauty universe and my desert island must have. When applied correctly, it instantly makes you appear fresh and well-rested. Black mascara makes eyes pop, pink blush is the epitome of instant pretty and lip gloss polishes your look.

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