• Bobbi's Story
  • Bobbi's History
  • Bobbi's Causes
Bobbi's Story
It all started with a simple idea – natural looking makeup and a lipstick that looked like lips.
“The secret to beauty is simple:
be who you are.”
Chapter 1
The Beginning

Before her company became synonymous with fresh, clean and modern beauty, Bobbi built a cult following in New York City as the go-to makeup artist for the natural makeup look. “Working with photographers like Bruce Weber, Brigitte Lacombe and Patrick Demarchelier, skin had to look like skin, lips had to look like lips. It wasn’t about artificial-looking makeup—it was about enhancing what was there,” recalls Bobbi.

For Bobbi, it started with a desire to feel comfortable in her own skin. “When I was a teenager I aspired to be tall, thin and blonde like the popular models of the time. It was only when I saw the movie ‘Love Story’ and the actress Ali McGraw with her dark hair and barely visible makeup that I felt pretty. That’s how my makeup style was born,” says Bobbi. After honing her makeup artistry skills at Emerson College in Boston, Bobbi headed for New York City to work as a professional makeup artist.

Chapter 2
Natural Revolution

When Bobbi’s ten lipsticks launched in 1991 at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City, they were an instant success. On her first day of business, Bobbi sold 100 lipsticks—the number she had expected to sell in the first month. Just four years after its debut, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics was acquired by the Estée Lauder Companies with Bobbi retaining complete creative control.

With her natural approach, Bobbi stood out in an era defined by over-the-top and unnatural beauty. “It was the eighties and the makeup was white skin, red lips, contoured cheeks, and I just didn’t think it was pretty,” she says. Frustrated by the lack of flattering shades, Bobbi set out to create her own. Working with a chemist, she developed Brown Lip Color—“a lipstick that looked like lips, only better”—followed by nine other wearable colours.

Chapter 3
Pretty Powerful

More than twenty years after the debut of her brand, Bobbi continues to define the way women wear makeup and the way they see themselves. In 2010, inspired by her belief that “all women are pretty without makeup, but with the right makeup can be pretty powerful”, Bobbi introduced Pretty Powerful, an ad campaign featuring real women from all walks of life. In 2013, Bobbi launched the Pretty Powerful Campaign for Women & Girls, a global initiative dedicated to funding nonprofit organisations that strive to empower women and girls through education.

Today, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics is the #1 makeup artist brand founded by a woman. The brand is available in more than 60 countries and distributed at exclusive retailers including: Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, QVC, Sephora, Macy’s, Harrods, Selfridges, Brown Thomas, Lane Crawford, Harvey Nichols, Isetan, Takashimaya, Le Bon Marché and Douglas, as well as 75 freestanding stores.

Bobbi's Biggest Moments
1980

With a degree in theatrical makeup from Emerson College, Bobbi heads for
New York City to work as a professional makeup artist.

1981

Bobbi scores her first editorial shoot—with Glamour magazine.

1987

Bobbi lands her first Vogue cover with renowned photographer Patrick Demarchelier and supermodel Naomi Campbell.

1990

Working with a chemist, Bobbi creates 10 super wearable lipstick colours.

1991

The Bobbi Brown Essentials line of lipsticks debuts at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City. Bobbi expects to sell 100 lipsticks the first month and ends up selling
100 in the first day.

1992

Bobbi changes the face of makeup with the launch of her unique yellow toned shades of Foundation Stick.

1995

Bobbi debuts her skincare line, designed to prepare skin for flawless makeup application. Bobbi sells her beauty empire to The Estée Lauder Companies.

1996

Bobbi launches bobbibrowncosmetics.com

1997

Bobbi authors her first book, Bobbi Brown Beauty, it sells over 100,000 copies and makes the New York Times Best-Seller List.

2000

Bobbi authors her second book, Bobbi Brown Teenage Beauty, and secures a spot on the New York Times Best-Seller List.

2001

Bobbi celebrates the 10th anniversary of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. Bobbi Brown forms a year-round partnership with Dress for Success.

2002

Bobbi publishes her third book, Bobbi Brown Beauty Evolution; it debuts on the New York Times Best-Seller list.

2003

Bobbi’s iconic Shimmer Brick becomes a permanent part of the line. Today, one Shimmer Brick is sold somewhere in the world every minute!

2006

Bobbi Brown launches her UK website BobbiBrown.co.uk and follows with the launch of her first UK Online Store the following year.

2007

Bobbi’s fourth book, Bobbi Brown Living Beauty, scores a coveted spot on the New York Times Best-Seller list.

2008

Bobbi’s fifth book, Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual, becomes an instant best-seller.

2009

Bobbi attends the inauguration of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, and she does the makeup for Dr. Jill Biden.

2010

Pretty Powerful, a campaign featuring before-and-after photos of “real women”, debuts. Bobbi is appointed by President Obama to the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations (ACTPN). Bobbi writes her sixth book,
Beauty Rules, to give young women the beauty basics they need to look and feel their most confident.

2011

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics—the #1 makeup artist brand founded by a woman— celebrates its 20th anniversary. Bobbi’s new online magazine-meets-blog, “EverythingBobbi.com” launches.

2012

Bobbi writes her seventh book, Pretty Powerful. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics partners with the Broome Street Academy in New York.

2013

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics launches its new global charity initiative, The Pretty Powerful Campaign for Women & Girls.

2014

In partnership with Safilo, Bobbi launches Bobbi Brown Eyewear, a collection of sunglasses, eyeglasses and readers. Bobbi writes her eighth book, Everything Eyes. Bobbi is appointed Editor-in-Chief of Yahoo Beauty.

1980

With a degree in theatrical makeup from Emerson College, Bobbi heads for
New York City to work as a professional makeup artist.

1981

Bobbi scores her first editorial shoot—with Glamour magazine.

1987

Bobbi lands her first Vogue cover with renowned photographer Patrick Demarchelier and supermodel Naomi Campbell.

1990

Working with a chemist, Bobbi creates 10 super wearable lipstick colours.

1991

The Bobbi Brown Essentials line of lipsticks debuts at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City. Bobbi expects to sell 100 lipsticks the first month and ends up selling
100 in the first day.

1992

Bobbi changes the face of makeup with the launch of her unique yellow toned shades of Foundation Stick.

1995

Bobbi debuts her skincare line, designed to prepare skin for flawless makeup application. Bobbi sells her beauty empire to The Estée Lauder Companies.

1996

Bobbi launches bobbibrowncosmetics.com

1997

Bobbi authors her first book, Bobbi Brown Beauty, it sells over 100,000 copies and makes the New York Times Best-Seller List.

2000

Bobbi authors her second book, Bobbi Brown Teenage Beauty, and secures a spot on the New York Times Best-Seller List.

2001

Bobbi celebrates the 10th anniversary of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. Bobbi Brown forms a year-round partnership with Dress for Success.

2002

Bobbi publishes her third book, Bobbi Brown Beauty Evolution; it debuts on the New York Times Best-Seller list.

2003

Bobbi’s iconic Shimmer Brick becomes a permanent part of the line. Today, one Shimmer Brick is sold somewhere in the world every minute!

2006

Bobbi Brown launches her UK website BobbiBrown.co.uk and follows with the launch of her first UK Online Store the following year.

2007

Bobbi’s fourth book, Bobbi Brown Living Beauty, scores a coveted spot on the New York Times Best-Seller list.

2008

Bobbi’s fifth book, Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual, becomes an instant best-seller.

2009

Bobbi attends the inauguration of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, and she does the makeup for Dr. Jill Biden.

2010

Pretty Powerful, a campaign featuring before-and-after photos of “real women”, debuts. Bobbi is appointed by President Obama to the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations (ACTPN). Bobbi writes her sixth book,
Beauty Rules, to give young women the beauty basics they need to look and feel their most confident.

2011

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics—the #1 makeup artist brand founded by a woman— celebrates its 20th anniversary. Bobbi’s new online magazine-meets-blog, “EverythingBobbi.com” launches.

2012

Bobbi writes her seventh book, Pretty Powerful. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics partners with the Broome Street Academy in New York.

2013

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics launches its new global charity initiative, The Pretty Powerful Campaign for Women & Girls.

2014

In partnership with Safilo, Bobbi launches Bobbi Brown Eyewear, a collection of sunglasses, eyeglasses and readers. Bobbi writes her eighth book, Everything Eyes. Bobbi is appointed Editor-in-Chief of Yahoo Beauty.

#PrettyPowerful

#PrettyPowerful

Empowerment through education—
that’s the mission of the Pretty powerful Campaign for Women & Girls, the non-profit movement founded in 2013 by Bobbi Brown. Launched on International Women’s Day, the Pretty Powerful message is more than just makeup—it’s the umbrella cause under which all our charitable outreach flows.

#PrettyPowerful

#PrettyPowerful

Empowerment through education—
that’s the mission of the Pretty powerful Campaign for Women & Girls, the non-profit movement founded in 2013 by Bobbi Brown. Launched on International Women’s Day, the Pretty Powerful message is more than just makeup—it’s the umbrella cause under which all our charitable outreach flows.

How does the campaign work?
Each year, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics launches a new limited edition Pretty Powerful product of which every pound sold supports programs around the world that provide women and girls with the knowledge, skills and experience to overcome the social inequalities and disadvantages that they face.

Our Partners

Under the Pretty powerful Campaign for Women & Girls, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics UK has partnered with Smart Works.

SMART WORKS

SMART WORKS

Smart Works, a nonprofit that helps out-of-work women find employment by providing them with a set of interiew clothes, styling advice, and interview training.Proceeds from the Pretty Powerful campaign will help maintain the two Smart WWorks centres in London, and help Smart Works to open more centres around the UK. That's Pretty Powerful.

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