Makeup guru Bobbi Brown is coming out with a new book for women in their teens and twenties, titled Beauty Rules, which dispenses advice on makeup, hair, and the pitfalls of buying cheap drugstore concealer (you know who you are). Some pearls of Bobbi’s wisdom: Don’t put skanky photos of yourself on the Internet, and if you need an honest opinion about your lipstick, then ask your little brother. She also doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to makeup trends, like those shockingly bright lips we saw all over the spring runways (Brown herself did the makeup for Rachel Roy, Tibi, and J. Mendel this season): “One out of ten girls will look amazing with that,” she said, “but it’s very hard to pull off.” Click ahead to read the full interview.
We saw some really bright, colorful lips on spring runways. Any tips for pulling this off?
There’s definitely a bolt of color this season. I think the bolt of color looks great on young girls when they have no other makeup on, and when it’s just blotted on their lip and not with a lip pencil and overdone.
Bright lips can be risky. How do you know when looks good?
The only way to know if a color is right for you is if you put it on and it’s you. If you put it on and you feel funny, then don’t wear it. One out of ten girls will look amazing with that [bright lip], but it’s very hard to pull off. When you put a lipstick on and you say, “Oh my God, I love it,” or “Oh my God, that’s awful,” you should trust that first impression. And if you’re not sure, then ask your younger brother or someone in your family, and they will definitely tell you the truth.
What’s the biggest makeup mistake you see young women making?
I see a lot of young girls, especially girls that don’t have great skin, wear a ton of foundation that they’ve probably bought in their drugstore because they don’t have a very big budget, and it’s usually not the right color for their skin, so it doesn’t look good. Also, sometimes girls will experiment with really strong eyes and no concealer or blush, so it looks a little goth to me, and that’s not pretty either. I think a great place to experiment with colors is on your nails. A dark purple or even black or blue, or the muddy browns and khakis that are out right now, I think you can get away with them on your hands, but when they’re on your lips it’s just not pretty.
What has changed so much in the past ten years that made you feel like your last beauty book for young women was outdated?
I think the biggest change is the Internet. I tell girls all the time, “Be careful what photos you put up on the Internet! Once it’s on there, it’s out there forever.” I once caught my niece with a really provocative picture up — she had her hair over her eyes, and black eyeliner on. She was twelve at the time. So I called her up immediately and said, “Get that picture off the internet!” Also, I think a lot of TV shows, whether it’s Gossip Girl or some of the other ones, show these beautiful, sophisticated girls wearing really expensive clothes, and that is not real or attainable for most girls. So I think it was important for me to show that you can be a nice, simple girl and still look great.