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Makeup artist Bobbi Brown launched her popular cosmetics line -- Bobbi Brown Essentials -- a decade ago with 10 lipsticks and a simple philosophy: "Women want to look and feel like themselves, only prettier and more confident." Though she's worked her magic on such stars as Meg Ryan, Susan Sarandon, Brooke Shields and Drew Barrymore, Bobbi is also committed to helping non-celebrities look great. And no one knows better than this married mother of three sons (ages 3, 9 and 11) how difficult that can be while juggling family, friends, work and more. We love Bobbi's practical, down-to-earth advice so much that we asked her to be LHJ.com's beauty expert. Each month we'll bring you Bobbi's best beauty advice. We recently caught up with the makeup maven for a quick Q&A.
LHJ.com: What's the one beauty product you feel no woman should be without?
Bobbi Brown: Concealer is my top beauty must because it makes the biggest difference to a woman's look. It's the first thing I apply after cleansing and moisturizing my face. After covering-up under eye circles, you'll often find that you don't need as much makeup -- especially foundation -- as you thought you did.
LHJ.com: What's the most common makeup mistake you see women make?
Bobbi Brown: I see a lot of women wearing pink-toned foundation -- which makes them look like they're wearing a mask. The right foundation should make you look like you're not wearing any -- just like you naturally have even, perfect skin. Over the years as a working makeup artist, I've learned that yellow-toned foundation looks the most natural on all skin tones. [Editor's note: Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick and Awake Oil-Free foundation are two good choices] You know you've found the right shade when it seems to disappear into your skin.
LHJ.com: How do you keep yourself looking great while raising three kids and running a thriving business?
Bobbi Brown: Since I'm constantly on the go, I keep my makeup simple and opt for products in stick formulas, which are spill-proof and can be applied with my fingers. I always have a little face palette from my collection in my bag. It fits in the palm of my hand and has six empty compartments, which I fill with my makeup essentials: creamy concealer, foundation, blush, lip balm, and two shades of lip color.
I keep my daily beauty routine simple. I start with creamy concealer under my eyes, then even out my skin by spot-applying foundation. I never go without a pop of pretty pink blush on the apples of my cheeks. For low-maintenance eyes, I brush on a coat of black mascara. Lip gloss in a neutral shade like buff finishes the look.
When it comes to clothing, I stick to clean, classic lines and more than anything, I look for comfort. My staples include white button-down shirts, flat front black slacks, a cropped denim jacket and loafers.
LHJ.com: What's your best quick pick-me-up trick?
Bobbi Brown: A good concealer is the secret of the universe. When you find the right one -- look for a creamy formula that's yellow-based and blends easily into your skin -- it can instantly brighten your face and make you look wide-awake.
Here's how to apply it: Start by prepping your skin with eye cream -- it creates the perfect canvas for concealer. Then, use your finger or a concealer brush to apply a generous amount of concealer under your eyes, up to the lash line and at the innermost corners of the eye. Smooth and blend by gently tapping with the pads of your fingers. (Be sure not to rub, or you'll wipe everything off.) To keep concealer crease-free, layer with a dusting of pale yellow powder, applied with a powder puff.
LHJ.com: What do you do to de-stress?
Bobbi Brown: Regardless of how hectic my life gets, I always squeeze in time for exercise and healthy eating. I discovered the Lotte Berk workout [an exercise routine based on modern dance and yoga moves] years ago and have been a fan ever since. It makes me feel strong, toned and flexible, and gives me positive energy and a better sense of self.
When I'm on the go, I steer cleer of caffeine and carry a thermos filled with hot water and a big slice of lemon to help me feel refreshed and awake. I avoid the temptation to snack on junk and stay healthy by packing a bag filled with energy bars, nuts, and vitamins.
LHJ.com: Your professional mantra is "Keep it simple, real and approachable." How do you try to apply this guideline to your personal life?
Bobbi Brown: Over the years I've learned how important it is to prioritize and keep things in perspective. Family and friends make me happy and keep me balanced. I take care of my personal well-being with exercise and lots of water. I try to have long term goals and mini goals. It helps to have a plan that you can re-evaluate regularly, and adjust according to where your life takes you. And most importantly, I listen to my heart ... not always to my head. If your heart says it feels right, listen. Instinct always leads us in the right way.
For more about Bobbi Brown, go to Bobbibrown.com.