I met makeup guru Bobbi Brown, founder of her best-selling eponymous brand back in the 80s. She was a freelance makeup artist and I was the beauty editor working with her on a photo shoot. Even then as a rookie she had star power and strong opinions. She wanted skin to look authentic and used neutral colors that enhanced faces and features. She’s stayed true to that mantra. Celebs like Meryl Streep, Susan Sarandon and Blythe Danner are fans of Bobbi’s natural, honest approach to beauty and her aesthetic. Now at 55 (she turns 56, April 14), Bobbi has launched a new initiative linked to her Pretty Powerful Makeup Campaign (and her seventh book, also called ‘Pretty Powerful’) that supplies women of every age with education, resources and job skills and a limited edition Pretty Powerful Pot Rouge in a flatters-everyone pink. 100% of the $25 price will go to the non-profit, Dress for Success. In an exclusive AARP interview, here are Bobbi’s top tips just for us:
BEAUTY AT 50 STARTS WITH LIFESTYLE CHANGES. I can’t emphasize enough how what you put into your body affects your looks, energy level and the way you feel about yourself. Drink plenty of water to hydrate and plump up your skin, eat well, exercise and get enough sleep. Pick healthy snacks like the fresh juices, kale chips and raw almonds that I’ve been choosing lately.
RETHINK YOUR MAKEUP. After 50, you need to control the level of moisturization and color coverage seasonally –most likely opting for more in winter, less in summer. A multi-tasking BB cream like my own works all year round. It combines moisturizer, anti-aging ingredients to reduce wrinkles and lines and more color than a tinted moisturizer. It evens out skin tone and you see an immediate brightening effect. Just layer it over a moisturizer if your skin is very dry, layer foundation on top of the BB for additional coverage and spot correct any brown spots or blemishes with a touch-up stick. Since skin tone and natural lip pigment fades with age, go more vibrant in cheek color (but keep it sheer) and brighter in lip color. Stay away from dark eye shadows. Instead contour with a light color on lids, a medium taupe in the crease and a dark liner at upper and lower lashlines. Keep eye liner wide enough to be visible when your eyes are open and lift the arch of our brows too. Together, both work as a makeup eye lift.
STAY IN THE NOW. Always focus on your beauty in the moment –never compare to the way you used to look. The exception: whiten your teeth because yellow ones look unhealthy. Get gloss treatments to keep hair shiny and lustrous. Switch to a clean fresh scent like my Beach or Bath fragrances instead of heavy florals. Treat aging hands and brittle nails to a manicure –neutrals always flatter but deeper shades look more youthful. When you really need an extra boost, try a gel bronzer to warm and energize your face. Double up on moisturizer when you’re feeling extra tired. I layer moisturizers to freshen my skin and fill out lines when I’m dehydrated or exhausted.
For more beauty & style tips for women 50+ check my new book The Wardrobe Wakeup, Your Guide to Looking Fabulous at Any Age by Lois Joy Johnson ($13.64, amazon.com).
Bobbi Brown: www.guardian.co.uk
Blythe Danner: prettypowerful.bobbibrowncosmetics.com
Bobbi Brown BB Cream: bobbibrowncosmetics.com
Bobbi Brown Makeover Jo-Ann Howe: prettypowerful.bobbibrowncosmetics.com
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge: bobbibrowncosmetics.com