Bobbi Brown launches new beauty brand

Bobbi Brown holding a sign posing for the camera

© Bang Showbiz
Bobbi Brown

Bobbi Brown has launched a new beauty brand – four years after leaving her eponymous brand.

The 63-year-old professional makeup artist has started a new venture, Jones Road, which she has described as the “makeup equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife”.

In a message posted to the brand’s website, she said: “Four years ago, after I left Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, one of those questions [I asked myself] was: Why can’t I find makeup products that are both clean and high-performance – that don’t sacrifice one for the other? Jones Road was born from a search for something that didn’t yet exist. Because it didn’t exist, I had to create it. What I wanted was the makeup equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife: easy, cool, multi-purpose products that could be used to nail any look, whether it be no-makeup makeup or something with more drama.”

Bobbi feels most herself doing simple makeup routines, rather than the glam she was used to with her previous company.

Speaking to Women’s Wear Daily, she explained of her preference for “simple” looks nowadays: “When I was promoting my books as part of the brand, I had stylists and PR people and cars and drivers. When I promoted a book after [I left Bobbi Brown Cosmetics], I’d get a blowout from one of those places, and show up in the studio in jeans and sneakers – and me doing my own makeup by the way – and I felt, ‘Wow, this is who I really am.’ I really liked being my simple, normal self.”

Bobbi feels things are completely “different” today than when she set up her previous brand.

Speaking about her new brand, she said: “I created my original brand in the ’90s. Things are different today. Women shop differently; there is a new definition of what beauty is. Imperfect is beautiful.”

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Makeup Mogul Bobbi Brown Launches New Beauty Venture Jones Road

“I don’t remember when I wasn’t aware of who Bobbi Brown was,” says Mickey Drexler, former CEO of J.Crew and the Gap and a current strategic partner at clothing brand Alex Mill. “I didn’t even know her and I knew who she was because her name lends itself to who she is: it’s not a fancy cosmetic company name, it’s Bobbi Brown.” That sense of relatability is at the core of the makeup mogul’s personal appeal and her business credo. Even so, Brown herself hasn’t been the person behind the Bobbi Brown Cosmetics brand since 2016, when she left

Estée Lauder.

She had worked there for over two decades after selling the company her brand in 1995 in a reported $74.5 million deal. After waiting out a four-year non-compete agreement, she’s starting a new beauty venture.

With her skin-toned lipsticks and shimmer brick bronzers, Brown has long touted a minimal, fresh-faced look that is also her own. While her new line has a similar aesthetic, it cannot come out under her own name. When she left Lauder, she relinquished the rights to use her name for another cosmetics brand. Instead, she’s calling it Jones Road, which she came up with while navigating around the Hamptons with Waze. “It’s the ultimate no-makeup makeup,” says Brown, 63. “You look better but not like you’re wearing anything.”

When Brown first entered the collective beauty consciousness, she was, for many reasons, an anomaly. A precursor to other successful makeup artist-founded lines—François Nars created Nars Cosmetics in 1994, and Laura Mercier started her namesake label in 1996—the Bobbi Brown brand had a natural aesthetic that ran counter to the theatrical, over-the-top stylings of, for example, M.A.C, which was gaining popularity at the time. Brown’s focus on a wide range of skin tones was also novel at the time. These days, however, makeup artist-backed lines are no longer an unusual concept (Kardashian go-to Mario Dedivanovic is a recent launch), nor is the idea of skin-tone inclusivity: Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty offers an extensive shade range. While beauty lines once relied on the department store for success, that traditional route has been upended by a direct-to-consumer approach. In 2015, Kylie Jenner released her signature lip kits online, announcing the launch on her social-media channels. Her first run of 15,000 units each sold out immediately, and, the following year, she upped the quantity to 500,000 each, which sold out in under ten minutes.

Brown making up a model at the Ford Models “Face of the 80s” fashion show


Bobbi Brown’s Personal Archives

Brown has evolved to meet the demands of this new marketplace. Jones Road, which she and her husband, Steven Plofker, self-funded for just under $2 million, a fraction of what most brands spend, will forgo the makeup counter in favor of a direct-to-consumer model. The company currently has five full-time employees. “We didn’t want to be squeezed by retailers for margins,” says Brown. “We simply want to bring a quality, accessibly priced product to market

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