Some of the most innovative cosmetics collections come from the people who work with beauty every day – professional make-up artists.
Bobbi Brown may be saying goodbye to her brand, but the trend for make-up-artist-led ranges is stronger than Bobbi’s no-budge eyeliner. Louise Emma Clarke picks the best
When Bobbi Brown Cosmetics celebrated its 25th anniversary in suitably joyous fashion last year, few could have predicted the news that would come on December 19, 2016 – the announcement that Bobbi Brown was leaving her own brand
Estée Lauder, which owns the brand, said that Bobbi (right) was leaving ‘to explore the next phase of her extraordinary career’.
‘The anniversary was a wonderful milestone that made me realise it was time to start a new chapter and move on to new ventures,’ said Bobbi, adding: ‘I’m excited to see what the future holds.’
The news sent shock waves through the industry – but it also served to highlight the very real success that cosmetic brands can have when fronted by a top make-up artist. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics is now sold in 70 countries worldwide and described by Estée Lauder Companies as ‘a global prestige powerhouse’. Industry insiders have no doubt that the success of the company will continue
‘If an artist puts their NAME to a collection, it ensures the products will be good – after all, they VET everything. But it also gives CONFIDENCE to consumers to buy something that would most likely not disappoint’
to grow, even without her at the helm.
But Bobbi is far from being the first or only professional make-up artist to create a successful line of cosmetics. From Dany Sanz’s highly acclaimed Make Up For Ever, to local artist-turned-blogger Huda Kattan launching Huda Beauty to sell-out success, affiliating a top make-up artist with a cosmetics collection appears a sure path to a hit.
Take Laura Mercier, for example, who launched Laura Mercier Cosmetics in 1996 after 10 years working as a professional make-up artist. The line is now available in 27 countries worldwide and has a reputation for being one of the best make-up-artistcreated collections. ‘I feel like Laura Mercier in particular is leading the pack when it comes to professional make-up artist make-up lines,’ says Dubai-based beauty writer and former professional make-up artist Simone Gannon.
‘She was famous for skin when working with fashion and celebrity clients – real, beautiful, glowing, dewy natural skin. No one could do skin the way she could – and that has translated to her make-up line. Her foundations and tinted moisturisers in particular are still winning accolades years and years after they first hit the market. [There is] a wide range of shades, amazing texture and coverage, and they give you really good skin, without it looking heavy or cakey. There are so many non-make-up artist-led brands that have never managed to achieve that.’ It’s not just a matter of efficient products, says Dubai-based make-up artist Shomyza S – make-up-artist ranges give consumers more confidence, too. She explains: ‘If an artist puts their name to a collection, it ensures the products will be good – after all, they vet everything that is launched. But it also gives confidence to consumers to buy something that would most likely not disappoint – and while it might increase the cost of the product for the company, it doesn’t necessarily increase the selling price to the consumer, because brands know they have to remain competitive in the market.’
There are now more ranges by make-up artists than there are shades of lippy – which ones should you plump for? Here’s our guide.