Luxury Cosmetics Brand: Bobbi Brown Cosmetics

Bobbi Brown is a cosmetics brand founded by makeup artist Bobbi Brown in 1991. The brand is known for its natural and minimalistic approach to makeup, focusing on enhancing the wearer’s natural beauty rather than completely transforming their appearance. Bobbi Brown cosmetics are formulated with high-quality ingredients and are designed to be wearable and suitable for various skin tones and types.

Bobbi Brown’s Natural Approach to Beauty

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics is a highly respected brand in the makeup industry, founded by Bobbi Brown more than 30 years ago. Bobbi Brown Essentials, now known as Bobbi Brown cosmetics, was initially focused on brown-based lipsticks as a way for women to embrace their natural beauty in the 1990s. Bobbi Brown wanted to create something unique by removing traditional dry makeup tones and highlighting natural features.

Bobbi worked with a chemist to create more creamy lipsticks, which had no smell and lasted longer. She believed that a selection of 10 shades of lipstick would be sufficient to enhance a woman’s natural beauty. Bobbi started her business at Bergdorf Goodman, hoping to sell about 100 products per month. However, she ended up selling that many within a single day. Building on this initial success, she also developed other products, such as a yellow-toned foundation stick, which was released in 1992.

As Bobbi Brown’s name became associated with various international brands, Estée Lauder acquired Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. Despite the acquisition, Bobbi remained involved with the brand as its chief creative officer. The company eventually achieved a billion-dollar status. In addition to her success in the beauty industry, Bobbi is a best-selling author and public speaker and has served as a beauty editor for various TV shows, including The Today Show and Elvis Duran, and the Morning Show.


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Bobbi Brown’s Early Education and Career Path

Bobbi was born in Illinois in 1957 to Jewish parents and grew up with five siblings, including step-siblings. Despite not being academically inclined and struggling in math, Bobbi always prioritized her appearance. She initially attended the University of Wisconsin but dropped out after six months. She then enrolled at the University of Arizona but left when she found nothing interesting. Bobbi has described herself as “just a girl” who struggled in school.

As a teenager, Bobbi worried that she would not be able to succeed in the fashion industry due to a lack of role models and formal education in beauty. She returned to Illinois and spoke with a relative, who suggested that she attend Emersion College in Boston. Bobbi credits this as a turning point in her life and the start of her professional journey. She studied makeup and eventually earned a degree in the field on her own time.

After graduating from college at 23, Bobbi moved to New York and began working towards her long-term goals. From a young age, she had a clear vision as an entrepreneur, creating products that highlighted the natural tones of women without appearing excessive or artificial. Throughout her career, she has consistently focused on creating makeup that enhances rather than disguises the wearer’s natural beauty.

Bobbi Brown in 2006

The Founding of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics

Bobbi visited Kiehl’s pharmacy in 1988 for a photo shoot for Mademoiselle magazine. There, she met a chemist interested in experimenting with new cosmetics, and the two decided to collaborate on developing ten different shades of lipstick with a smooth, odorless formula. The products were a hit, with over 100 sold each day. Bobbi’s simple philosophy of “Women wish to look natural and feel like themselves, only in a prettier and more confident way.” struck a chord with customers.

Bobbi’s husband, Steven Plofker, was a constant source of support during her early years as a professional makeup artist. After Glamour magazine featured Bobbi and her work, the company saw a significant customer increase. Bobbi then decided to go into business with a friend, Rosalind Landis, whom she had worked with previously. She wisely chose to give the company her name, and Bobbi Brown Cosmetics was founded with a modest investment of $10,000. Today, the brand is well-known and widely recognized.


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Bobbi Brown Cosmetics under the Estée Lauder Companies

In 1995, Bobbi was contacted by American billionaire and philanthropist Leonard Lauder, who had noticed the rapid expansion of Bobbi’s business across retail outlets in the United States. Bobbi sold her business to Estée Lauder, which was managed by Leonard at that time. Leonard hoped that Bobbi would continue to work with the company, so she was appointed as the chief creative officer of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics.

During the late 1990s, the revenue growth of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics slowed down. However, in the early 2000s, the company refocused on creating innovative and fun products and adopted an editorial approach rather than trying to compete with other lipstick brands. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics was groundbreaking in its use of black models in advertising, making it one of the first companies to do so.

In 2006, the business’s profits reached over $500 million. It was estimated that by 2012, Bobbi’s cosmetics accounted for over 10% of Estée Lauder Companies’ total product sales. Bobbi Brown decided to leave her position as the chief creative officer at Bobbi Brown Cosmetics in 2016.


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Bobbi Brown Cosmetics’ Product Line

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics offers a wide range of makeup, skincare, and fragrance products. Some of the types of products that the company sells include:

  • Lipsticks: Bobbi Brown is known for its lipsticks, which come in a variety of shades and finishes, from matte to metallic. The company also offers lip glosses, lip balms, and lip liners.
  • Foundations: Bobbi Brown offers a range of foundations for different skin tones and types, including liquid, powder, and stick formulations.
  • Eye makeup: The company’s eye makeup line includes eyeshadows, eyeliners, mascaras, and brow products.
  • Face makeup: Bobbi Brown has a variety of face makeup products, including blushes, bronzers, and highlighters.
  • Skincare: In addition to makeup, Bobbi Brown also sells skincare products, such as cleansers, toners, moisturizers, and serums.
  • Fragrances: The company has a selection of fragrances for both men and women.
  • Brush sets: Bobbi Brown offers a variety of brush sets for different makeup application needs, including sets for foundation, eyeshadow, and contouring.
  • Specialty products: The company also has a selection of specialty products, such as makeup removers, primers, and setting sprays.


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Bobbi Brown Cosmetics has been a renowned and successful beauty brand in the industry for over 30 years. The company was founded to create makeup that enhances natural beauty. It has consistently focused on producing high-quality makeup and skincare products suitable for various skin tones and types. Over the years, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics has established itself as a leader in the beauty industry, with a reputation for offering top-quality products that help women feel confident and beautiful.