On Friday I had a very interesting appointment to attend: I’d been invited to join Bobbi Brown in the Merrion Hotel, to take part in a masterclass* where she would be showcasing her 10-Step beauty routine. Excited? Oh, you betcha. Bobbi had never been here before, and while I’d met and interviewed her in Glasgow last year, I’d never had the chance to see her in action.
Myself, journalists from Ireland, France and as far-flung as South Africa packed out the room, where afternoon tea was elegantly provided. We chatted, nibbled on delicate finger sandwiches and Bobbi Brown-themed biscuits and sipped coffee at large, round tables as we waited for the main action. To the front of the room was a heavily-laden table, packed full of gorgeous products and tools. Then Bobbi made her entrance: tiny and petite, she looks far younger than her years – she’s 50 – and she set to work on her model, a gorgeous red-head.
10-Step is Bobbi’s suggested routine, but she’s very practical about it, saying, “if you’re new to makeup or pressed for time, try concealer, blush and lip gloss for an instantly pulled-together look”. So it’s not a case of having to do all 10 – if you find 5 or 6 that work for you, then that’s great. She emphasises, “looking your best is simple and achievable – all it takes is knowledge, a few easy steps, and the right products”. With that in mind, she kicked off with moisturisation.
Eyecream is essential, she insists, as is proper hydration. Urging us all to keep a check on our skins from day-to-day – as hormones, weather and stress can affect our skins – she recommended her Hydrating Cream for face and eyes, for their wet texture and ease of absorption.
Once those sank in, it was on to Step 1, the all-important concealer. This is done first, because Bobbi attests that once you’ve hidden the blemishes and dark circles, you’ll see you need less product on the rest of the face. “Undereye concealer should be one shade lighter than your skin tone”, she advises, adding, “if the concealer looks ashy, it’s too light. It it looks very yellow, it’s too dark”. Her amazing Creamy Concealer Kit is a staple in my makeup bag, and it’s what she used – with her own concealer brush – on the day. It doesn’t settle into lines and wrinkles, and stays put till you take it back off. So, where should it go? Definitely into the corner of the eye, right by the nose, as that’s the darkest spot on the face. “If you look less tired and brighter, that’s half the battle”, reasons Bobbi. In addition, you should take care to put concealer all the way under the eye too, she says, and blend it in with your finger. She also paid attention to patches of redness and blemishes on her models face – few and far between, I can tell you, as she was a complete beauty.
Once that important step was dispensed with, it was on to Step 2, Foundation. Using her Foundation Stick, she applied 2 shades to the model’s face to find a match. Bobbi’s foundations are almost all yellow-toned, as she says everyone has a yellow tinge to their skin. But I think our Celtic skintone might be the exception, as I know a lot of Irish women have a blue or pink undertone to theirs. I know personally that yellow looks wrong on me, and so I always plump for peachier shades, because they just look right for my skintone. But she does have foundation shades that are a match for me, in particular porcelain and alabaster, which are great for very pale gals. “It’s a good idea to have two shades of foundation”, Bobbi says, as this way you can mix and match as the seasons change. Apply your product with a brush if you want full-on coverage, she advises, or with fingers or a sponge for addressing specific areas. “Pay attention to the area round the nose, as there is nearly always redness here”, she notes.
How to choose foundation that’s right for your skin-type? Dry and very dry skins should opt for her Luminous Moisturising Foundation, Moisture Rich Foundation with SPF15, Foundation Stick or Extra SPF25 Tinted Moisturising Balm. Normal and normal to dry skin will like Moisture Rich Foundation with SPF15, Foundation Stick, SPF15 Tinted Moisturiser and Moisturising Cream Compact Foundation. Normal to oily and oily and combination will dig Oil-Free Even Finish Compact Foundation, Oil-Free Even Finish Foundation with SPF15 and her Smooth Skin Foundation.
That’s steps 1 and 2 – tomorrow I’ll be telling you about 3 and 4 – so make sure not to miss it!
*I know I’ll be asked, and no, unfortunately these aren’t available for anyone to attend. It was a press event, and it was for journalists. But you can of course always go to the counter and book a lesson from one of the makeup artists there.