Having taken delivery of my two Bobbi Brown beauty books and almost finished devouring the first one, I finally got around to treating myself to a consultation at the Bobbi Brown counter in John Lewis recently. I went along intending to give both my makeup routine and bag an overhaul and continue on with what seems to be the never ending quest for The Best Foundation For Me. Note I’m no longer referring to it as The Perfect Foundation. Light finally dawned on marble head – foundation perfection doesn’t exist unless you have the perfect skin to go underneath.
As is Bobbi’s mantra, it was time to embrace my facial flaws and make the most of what I’ve got. There was no magic wand – the pores are still visible, the dark spots reside where they always did and the lines continue to mark my progress though my forties, pointing the way to life beyond. But with a little help from lovely consultant Jessica in the form of advice and tips on how to apply and which products to go for, I now feel like the Disney version of me when I leave the house. Albeit one minus the permanent but slightly annoying cheery disposition, fluttering bluebirds and rabbits hoppity hopping in my wake.
Bobbi Brown lessons are complimentary and come in a variety of guises – there’s everything from an Instant Make Up Update, Cheeks & Lips or Everything Brows to a Long Wear Look or Party Makeup. I choose the Secret To Perfect Skin lesson and as well as finding a great base coverage, I also wanted to conquer my fear of bronzer.
So what did I learn? The Extra Bright Skincare range is pretty darn amazing and I’ll be treating myself to some soon. I now use a Corrector underneath the Creamy Concealer Kit and then apply the fine powder that comes with to set. This combination makes a whole world of difference to under eye dark circles. The foundation for me is Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation stick in Warm Beige. But it’s applied to the back of the hand to warm up and then brushed on with the Full Coverage Face Brush. And oh my…talking of brushes – I love them and want them all. Gradual replacement and earmarking for birthday and Christmas gifts is the long term plan!
The face powder part was a bit of a revelation for me. I’d been happily dusting on the translucent for years but for my olive toned skin, it did nothing to enhance skin colour and lately I’ve found it quite ageing. Enter the Brightening Finishing Powder in Nudes. This stuff is incredible and the best part is that it’s portable for touch ups later in the day.
And finally to the mighty bronzer. Another eye opener for me. Jessica showed me how to load the brush, press the excess into the palm of your hand (no blowing or tapping the brush) and then only apply around the edges of the face, pushing it into the hairline, dusting around the jawline and a little over the neck if needed. None on the bridge of nose or where blusher should be which is the mistake I’d made in the past. Et Voila! It works, looks natural and what’s more, still looked good when I started doing it at home!
We touched briefly on lipstick shades and I discovered two gorgeous natural shades for day wear. Note that’s natural, as in close to my lip colour, not nude. Beige toned nude lips just don’t work on me – the lipstick featured is actually more of a deeper pink in real life. Once the lesson was over, I made careful choices as to which things I considered to be starting essentials and to try not to blow the beauty budget…too much. The rest is on my shopping list to acquire over time and I’ll be going back to see Jessica for a Classic Or Smokey Eye and Everything Brows lesson in the not too distant future.
I was hopeful that Bobbi’s ethos of embracing both advancing years and working with what you have wouldn’t be lost in translation from guru to makeup consultant on the ground and it really wasn’t. If you’ve ever thought about treating yourself to a Bobbi Brown lesson, do it now – it was the best early birthday gift to myself in a long while!