After her breakthrough as a makeup artist — doing the face of soon-to-be-super model Naomi Campbell for the cover of Vogue — Bobbi Brown found the world was her palette. And yet the world was not enough. However applied, most products appeared too fake for her tastes. So she started her own cosmetics company, championing a more natural look that has made her name a global brand. (She serves on the U.S. Trade Commission.) A similarly successful formula of "basic, with a twist" is how she describes her own style. We asked her to turn the magnifying mirror on herself, head to toe.
My look is ... classic and comfortable. I wear a lot of cardigans, either from Marni, which I buy at the outlet — or Uniqlo, which are ridiculously priced, like $69, and they last for a season, but they look perfect for a whole season. And jeans. I have worn jeans to the White House probably numerous times. Not only jeans, but also gray Converse sneakers. And I always have some kind of statement jewelry when I dress down like that. I go between Ted Muehling pearls on my ears and neck to J.Crew and all their vintage jewelry. They have amazing old rhinestones. I'm probably one of their biggest collectors.
What I wear when I want people to look: My very, very high YSL platform shoes — as high as they come — I believe 5 inches. (I'm 5 feet tall.) I saw Sheryl Crow wear them to the White House, and I had to get them.
What I wear when no one's looking: I secretly wear clogs a lot. I even customize my clogs. I have black velvet ones with a crest. I have blue suede ones with turquoise initials. I wear them to the office when I want to (tee) off my PR people.
Favorite recent find: Vince jeans. They're soft, with a modern cut. And their clothes are flattering for a woman's body, a very unusual thing in this day and age of fashion.
Oldest thing in my closet that I still wear: Iconic Prada penny loafers. They don't make them anymore. Whenever I need a hug, I wear my Prada loafers. They're probably at least 16 years old. I could not afford them when I bought them, and they are the best investment I made.
What I wear when I'm running late: A ponytail.
The shirts on my back: Gap, J.Crew, Vince and Hanes.
A chore: I unfortunately color my hair every two weeks, because underneath my beautiful dark hair is white. Oscar Blandi also has this little pen that lets out a little temporary hair color, it works really well when you're traveling.
An essential accessory: My Cartier watch, a men's watch with a big face with a rubber wristband. I've worn it every day since my 45th birthday, 9 years ago.
Where my wallet and keys are: In my handbag, which is a Hermes Birkin, or in my L.L. Bean tote, which I carry to the office as my briefcase.
Instant confidence booster: Concealer. Or a martini.
Surprise find: For shampoo I have just discovered Wen by Chaz Dean at QVC; it's a non-sudsing shampoo. It will change your hair. The frizzies go away.
People always ask me about ... the blazers I buy from Uniqlo. I take them to my tailor, and I have him sew in a colored lining. I have a tuxedo jacket that I had lined in bright pink. People think it's YSL. I also have a navy one I had lined with turquoise. I customize my clothes a lot. I have a friend who is the head tailor for Calvin Klein; he comes over on Saturdays and looks at my clothes and says, "Why don't we do this … ?"
A signature gift: Helen Ficalora necklaces. I have one with a peace sign and three D's for my kids' names. I bought Ann Curry one when she got her job on the "Today" show. It's a good gift to give another woman.
I covet … my husband's clothes. It's hard to find clothes for women that are as thin material and flattering as men's.
Signature style: Bobbi Brown
What makes up the makeup guru's look? Bold glasses, Vince jeans and Uniqlo blazers with a surprise sewn in
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