December 20, 2016

Bobbi Brown Leaving Bobbi Brown Cosmetics At The End of 2016

Bobbi Brown The Nude Library 25th Anniversary Edition

If you read the news yesterday you likely already know Bobbi Brown is leaving Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. It’s confirmed news that Bobbi will leave her namesake makeup brand behind at the end of this year much to my shock.

Bobbi’s an accomplished makeup artist but I’ll honestly say that when I picture her, I instantly think of her makeup brand. It’s the first thing that pops into my head when I think “Bobbi Brown”.

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics was started in 1991 and was sold to Estee Lauder in 1995 and since that time Bobbi has always been closely involved with the brand’s operations which is why this is such shocking news.

I look forward to seeing what 2017 brings for both Bobbi Brown personally and also Bobbi Brown Cosmetics because for a long time now the brand has staggered a little bit in my opinion. The introduction of celebrity faces like Katie Holmes and Kate Upton was one of the most interesting changes for the brand but also, I think we can all agreed that the line has been hit or miss for the past three years. The formulas on many items has seemed to have changed and the repetitive shades in each limited edition palette release has become a sore spot for fans of the brand. This Holiday season, there’s been a good deal of 25th Anniversary releases such as the Bobbi Brown The Nude Library 25th Anniversary Edition. I guess this was Bobbi’s way of going out with a bang!

Bobbi’s makeup line has been an inspiration to me and a fond favorite for many years. I’m curious to see where Bobbi goes in 2017 and what we can expect to see from her in the future. And most important as a fan of her brand, I look forward to see what Estee Lauder does with Bobbi Brown Cosmetics in the future.

What do you think of Bobbi Brown leaving her brand?


About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Dee

    I was surprised as well! How much of the line did she have control over since it was sold in 1995?

    • Isabella Muse

      she was CEO, I believe she was creative director as well, she was overseeing a good deal of the creative portion of the brand from my understanding.

    • Michele

      I use to love Prescriptives too. I was surprised about Bobbi Brown. U liked the consistency of mostly neutral matte shades. just hope they don’t change the gel eyeliner.

  • Kimmwc03

    I was shocked when I read the article yesterday. However, it looks like Bobbi is moving on to other things so good for her. Maybe the brand will make some positive changes under new leadership (like less repetitiveness). I do like her high-shimmer glosses and a few other things.

    • Isabella Muse

      I was as well. I couldn’t believe it. Bobbi’s an accomplished woman, she’s dabbled in many different things, but I still always associate her with makeup brand, it’s the very first thing that pops into my mind when I think of Bobbi Brown. It’s rather sad she’s leaving. I hope changes are for the better! I’ve always liked Bobbi’s more natural approach to makeup! I’m curious to see what goes down!

  • Wendy

    I was never a big fan of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. But it’s interesting that this is coming on the heels of Too Faced buy Estee Lauder. I’m wondering what plans Estee Lauder Companies has for their remaining brands.

  • Barbara

    Estee Lauder seems to drive out the original creator after buying out. Jo Malone and now Bobbi Brown….a few years down the road maybe Kerry Cole and Jerrod Blandino?!

    • Isabella Muse

      Leslie Blodgett gone too! BE is owned by Shiseido but still Leslie is gone :-/

      • Isabella Muse

        and Tom Ford and atelier cologne, they are snatching up niche brands like crazy!

  • Dia

    Ah… that’s too bad. Bobbi Brown is one of the few non-Asian prestige cosmetic lines that make decent foundation shades for Asian skin tones.

  • bella

    I have a rant about this on your post above! I love Bobbi and the brand, but the quality is not there and it is Estee Lauder’s fault–not hers. The prices just kept creeping up and the quality and quantity was going down. All of this is Estee Lauder’s fault!! I feel like Estee Lauder does not get the people can figure it when we are getting gauged. Take note of the Estee Edit line. I l love how they are marketing it towards younger market, but the prices are in line with Estee Lauder and not at all cheaper! I guess we are paying for Kendall–literally.

    • Isabella Muse

      I don’t blame her at all, I def blame EL. EL ruined a lot of fantastic brands, right now I fear for Atelier Cologne’s life, not to mention Tom Ford! πŸ™ I agree on Estee Edit, I’m not convinced I like the line but I do like the youthful take, it’s chic and modern and very appealing compared to Estee Lauder’s more mature image but yes, apparently they are paying for Kendall!

      • Wendy

        I was an Estee loyalist from about 1991 to 2013 when they quite literally priced themselves out of my range. I make pretty decent money, but I’m no longer willing to pay the prices they want. That goes for Lancome too. I’m much happier in the mid-range with IT, Tarte, Smashbox, Too Faced, etc. Plus the drug store beauty brands and come a long way in the last 10 years.

        • Isabella Muse

          I used to be a very high end kind of girl. Givenchy, Guerlain, etc…but I honestly stopped at some point and decided to go mid-range too. I feel like quality is hit or miss lately on higher end products and it’s a lot of repetitive releases as well especially with seasonal LE items. I can’t recall a time in recent year’s that Guerlain’s Holiday Collection appealed to me. Not to mention drugstore makeup as evolved so, so much and is even outranking mid-range in terms of quality although prices are going crazy at the drugstore lately. I totally get what you mean about prices going up but I also think quality went down with the prices raises! I don’t mind paying so long as I’m getting something that’s good!

          • Wendy

            Have you noticed how expensive NYX is getting? Well, not expensive, but the prices are going up!

          • Randi MacDonald

            Have you tried the La Mer foundation? Its around 100.00 a bottle. I tried a sample from Nordstrom and I loved it. I wish I didnt.

            I’m stunned Bobbi Brown is no longer with her brand. Sad : (. I bought the anniversary palette because I got 15% off and a 40.00 credit on the website. In other news, I emailed their customer service asking where a brush was made and in two emails, I never got a clear response. I gave up.

          • Isabella Muse

            I haven’t but I do own the powder and adore it πŸ˜€ Ugh! What is with all the bad customer service lately?!?

    • Jane

      I was a beauty advisor for Lauder a million years ago when Estee was still alive, and since then, the “family” nature of the business has disappeared. That’s when I noticed things really getting ruined. Take for example what they bottle their “heritage” colognes in: why didn’t they use the lovely, rounded shape of the Youth Dew bottle (the turquoise one)? Why Kendall? (Liu Wen, Karen Graham, Elizabeth Hurley, Liya Kebede…. and then they go to Kendall?) I have so many issues with the sad way Lauder is run now.

      • Sas

        I feel like were talking to a celebrity! Ha Good information.

        Do you know about the sunglasses, glasses business? I wonder if EL is like that. Vertical int egration, the thing that should not be allowed.

  • Deb

    Imagine how those of us in the much more “mature” demographic feel. Bobbi made many products that worked well for us older makeup lovers. The cold hard truth is, at a certain age one starts to look a little ridiculous covered in glitter and shine. It’s not very flattering on wrinkles! Estee also has/had many products that were wearable and flattering on older skin. My fear with Bobbi stepping down and Estee moving into people like Kendall as the face of the brand, is the entire product line will start shifting towards Instagram style makeup. That’s great for the younger beauties but just a big fat no for me.

    • Isabella Muse

      I think instagram makeup can’t be pulled off for everyone both young and old. A lot of it is filtered and photoshopped to death :-/

      • Agona

        Plus, when you see it in person and up close, it often looks overdone. It’s the same adage as ever–more is more on camera but it doesn’t translate as well off.

        • Isabella Muse

          I completely agree. If you see it in real life, it’s A LOT of makeup. The camera diffuses it and makes it look really fantastic. But in reality, there’s about 10 lbs of highlighter on someone’s face in those pics!

  • Leah

    A Bobbi Brown rep told me recently that Estee Lauder closed Prescriptives because both BB and Prescriptives were vying for the same market and Bobbi Brown had a face behind it, so they kept that brand. Interesting that now the face of it is leaving, but to be honest, I never read good reviews of BB makeup. It’s a shame they never marketed Prescriptives (there were never GWPs, for example), because their products are far superior to a lot of what’s out there.

  • Wendy

    did I have that backwards — Estee Lauder bought Too Faced? I thought it was the other way around. Ugh. My memory is shot.

  • Bonnie

    Muse, do you still think that Chanel products are worth their hefty price tag? It’s been a while since I’ve bought anything outside of perfume from them but I do remember their skin care being pretty amazing in the ’90s! (Which was a glorious time when I worked at a bookstore in the mall and was pals with all the makeup salesgirls and so got free “makeovers” and samples all the time from Chanel, Lancome, et al! πŸ™‚ I do remember Lancome being quite good as well, although I’ve read since that L’Oreal products are almost as good (same company, correct)? I also loved Origins at the time. Estee Lauder never captured my attention–I think at that age I viewed them as a brand for much older women than I was at the time–but I did indulge in the Mad Men collection a few years ago as I am such a big fan of the show. I liked the stuff that came in that set but not to the point of like, wow, I’m going to check out EL more. I have heard that the Aerin products are amazing…

    • Isabella Muse

      I purchased some of their skincare recently and I was quite happy with it! And over the years their makeup line has stayed consecutively good (unlike dior cough cough). I wouldn’t say L’Oreal is as good as Lancome even though Lancome is the parent brand. L’Oreal has a good deal of misses but more often than not lately they are getting trends out earlier! Formulas do rival their parent but I think there is still room for improvement. I think if you’re looking at their core collection with say base products, those are relatively good but it’s also a hit or miss situation sometimes. Likewise, for eyeshadow formulas. But like any brand, mid-range, high end or budget, there’s hits and misses throughout. Sadly, the only thing preventing L’Oreal/Lancome from climbing higher is their animal testing stance. I liked the Mad Men Collection too and yes, EL has always had an image of “grandma makeup” but honestly, if you explore it a little further you’d be surprised at how amazing their stuff is. I think most makeup users have to get past the mature packaging and the entire mature personality the brand puts off. EL, like Lancome started trying to garner the attention of a more youthful crowd with the introduction of Kendall and the Estee Edit range. Lancome attempted and succeeded with this when they introduced faces like Emma Watson and Lily Collins. Suddenly, Lancome went from being your mom’s makeup to something “cuter” and more youthful. Estee Lauder is attempting that with Kendall although I’m not sure they actually succeeded as fabulously as Lancome did. They might have to work the angle a little more. Aerin is indeed an amazing niche feather in EL’s hat. The fragrances are truly outstanding and I hate to say, because I have many fond memories of EL fragrances, but Aerin is a much fresher and unique take on perfumery compared to EL’s standard staler offerings. Let’s face it EL hasn’t exactly concentrated on creating anything really unique or new in their perfume category in a while. It’s still the 90’s and Beautiful is still the fragrance of choice in EL’s counter world lol! πŸ˜€

      • Bonnie

        Thanks for all of your great insights, Muse! I always thought Lancome was cool b/c they had Isabella Rosselini! πŸ™‚ But yeah, good call on their part to use Lily Collins and Emma Watson as well. Chanel is doing a great job with Lily-Rose Depp too IMO. Although Chanel is ALWAYS cool, they don’t have to worry about being known as the grandma brand! I will take your advice and explore EL a bit more in the future. I am also going to revisit some Lancome skincare. I remember there was a cleanser that was heavenly…I think it came in a purplish bottle.

  • Robin

    Sad to hear this, but BB products have been more of a miss lately with me. Although I do love my Pink Quartz shimmer brick. I hope they do something to revamp the line.
    I got the EL Blockbuster for the first time this years I loved the makeup products. I finally tried the moisturizer and OMG! It’s the best thing since sliced bread!!!this is the first time trying their skincare and it’s on my wish list now. I’m in my 40s and it made my 11s less severe looking. RevitalizingSupreme Plus is the product. Loves.

    I feel EL products are nice, but wished they weren’t expensive. Not been impressed with the EstΓ©e Edit. Was surprised the Beckham collection flew off the shelves.

  • Heather

    I met Bobbin Brown in 1992 at Neiman Marcus in Atlanta. She sketched out recommended makeup products for me on a pad of paper. She was lovely and friendly. I still have makeup brushes I bought 20 years ago. Then Estee Lauder came along and ruined it. BB eyeshadows are the worst…no pigment and too much fall out. I hope Bobbin launches her own boutique brand!

  • Alexandra

    MOST of my makeup bag is BB, but I’ve started to migrate toward Dior (love their shade of lipstick in “Classic Matte” and also their Red (Shade 999) lipstick. My grandmother wore EL exclusively (and used Pond’s cold cream of course), it was my first make-up (first lipstick: Hazelnut Souffle), and I was always brand loyal until I realised the quality was declining. The lipstick didn’t even last 10 minutes. The $34.50 price tag on BB’s lipstick, the foundation is over $40.00 now… it’s just too much. Plus, they’ve adopted more % off sales on the website, which I always think is a bad sign. Hope they don’t become the Macy’s of make-up with every day’s a sale.

  • Simone

    I am sad to see BB leaving her brand; although the quality has been a bit ‘hit or miss’ lately as commented, she consistently had colors that were wearable for black women that had yellow undertones and were not mahogany or chocolate or ebony (all gorgeous shades–but for those of us that are more yellowish-tan and on the lighter but-not-white end of the color spectrum, unwearable). It’s been my go-to brand for foundation, powder, blushes and etc. that worked with my skin tone. Hope EL retains the foundation shades and formulations!

  • Linda

    I love Bobbi Brown’s matte eyeshadows and lipsticks. I hope Estee Lauder doesn’t do away with these products. Find EL eyeshadows and lipsticks have too much shimmer and gloss to them. Not good for mature skin.

  • Robbie

    Clearly a trend when brands are purchased by big business…huge purchase deals, promises of future involvement, months of effort by the creator to hang in, eventual surrender to the power of the corporate bottom line. I can’t think of a single brand that has improved after selling or take over.
    It will be interesting to see if this happens with IT Cosmetics also.

  • Jane

    It’s has been some time since I commented on your blog, but I did read about Bobbi stepping down from her company and was very surprised. I have been a loyal customer since 1995 when i was in my mid-thirties. I am 57 now and am still using many of the product line, though recently I learned that some of my favorites are being phased out, especially the Moisture Rich foundation and tinted eye brightener. I have not been impressed lately with her eye shadow palettes as well. I also noticed that the prices were getting higher, but the quality was not as good. She still made some iconic products like the gel ink liner. I may have to search for some replacements with other brands. I guess will just have to wait an see.
    Have a good holiday!

  • Jo Anne Roberts

    With Estee Lauder holding the purse of Bobbi Browns collections, and Sonja of Target, we see how a big company like EL can change a cosmetic brands line, so quickly and lose favor among loyal customers of Bobbi Brown. This bothers me because, I’m a recent new fan of Too Faced Cosmetics and very soon, EL will again, be new owner of that brand also! I’m hoping EL won’t mess with The Too Faced cosmetics like they have when they buy out previously, private owned brands, like Too Faced. I’m almost peeved at Jarrod and can’t understand why he would sell out. 1.4 billion dollors probably has alot to do with it.. Well, we’ll see what the future holds. In the meantime, Im buying up Too Faced Eye Shadow Palettes, and starting a collection. Could be a thing of the past!! Hope not…

  • Jenn

    It’s been more than a year, but I am still devastated about Bobbi leaving her brand. It was the only brand I was a real fan of. Interesting how Lauder owned it for many years before starting to ruin the brand only recently, due to industry trends. The way Lauder is cranking out (bad) new releases constantly and jacking up all the prices… I think they are killing their geese that lay golden eggs. Apparently the inhabitants of Easter Island killed all the trees making those giant head sculptures and that’s why they are now gone. I feel like that’s what Lauder is doing to their brands. The pace of releases and the prices are unsustainable. Or maybe it’s more like an arms race between L’Oreal and Lauder. Each time one starts releasing more products, the other side has to counter with even MORE. I just hope they retain the classic basics that are so good. The foundations, the powder blushes and eyeshadows, and the traditional lipsticks are the real heart of the brand. They are so worth a premium price but much of the other stuff is questionable.

    • Isabella Muse

      Jenn, I could not agree more and this isn’t something exclusive to Bobbi’s brand but many other Lauder brands. It’s almost as if there are two monopolies at this point, L’Oreal and Lauder, who own every single mid or high range brand out there. I used to love Bobbi but it’s become more and more far from the brand I fell in love with each new launch they do. The quality just isn’t there considering the price they are asking πŸ™