Makeup legend Bobbi Brown: ‘I was a pioneer of teaching women to feel good about themselves’

Redbook & BPW Women Veterans Career Development ForumPaul Morigi/Getty Images for BPW Foundation

In the latest installment of the Lenny Interview, a series of features in Girls creator Lena Dunham’s popular Lenny Letter newsletter, makeup legend Bobbi Brown opened up about success, beauty standards and a few of her favorite things.

The Montclair resident made her mark in the beauty world by refusing to stick to the rules. Bobbi explained that in an industry where makeup was sold to fix imperfections, she stood out by becoming “a pioneer of teaching women to feel good about themselves, to be comfortable in their own skin.”

Make Up made simple ????by @benritterphoto tips at YouTube/BobbiBrown and @justbobbibrown

A photo posted by Bobbi Brown Cosmetics (@bobbibrown) on

Growing up, the only beauty icons Bobbi was exposed to were blonde-haired, blue-eyed models.

“I was a five-foot-tall, dark-haired, strong-eyebrowed girl. I always struggled with ‘Can I be that pretty?’ because I didn’t look like that. No matter how much I dyed my hair, I couldn’t look like that,” said Bobbi.

Instead of continuing to chase unrealistic beauty standards, Bobbi changed the game. When the time came to create her own makeup line, she made sure to include shades to match all skin tones. In the pursuit of the perfect nude lipstick, she realized that there is no such thing as one perfect nude tone.

“Not everybody has the same color lips, so it won’t look the same on them,” she said.

#fbf It started w a lip the exact color of lips. Launched #1991 @bergdorfs

A photo posted by Bobbi Brown (@justbobbibrown) on

Although Bobbi got her start in the cosmetics industry in the ’80s, a time when many advised her to glam up her signature natural makeup look, she found success by sticking to her guns. Bobbi’s been commended for her inclusive makeup brand for years, but to her, “it’s such common sense.”

“I just did what seemed right, and that’s how I live my life.”

Word. ???? @bb_linn

A photo posted by Bobbi Brown Cosmetics (@bobbibrown) on