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Bobbi Brown, one of the pioneers of the makeup artist brand and a diehard proponent of the “natural look,” is leaving her namesake line.
Brown will depart at the end of the year, according to WWD. It’s not clear if she’s leaving of her own accord or if Estée Lauder, which has owned Bobbi Brown Cosmetics since 1995, asked her to leave. She said in a statement to the trade paper that the brand’s recent 25th anniversary “made me realize it was time to start a new chapter and move on to new ventures.”
Brown started her company with a line of lipsticks that ushered in a new era of natural-looking makeup after the excess of the ‘80s. It’s an aesthetic that Brown has stuck by zealously, including not hopping on the contouring bandwagon that’s been all the rage the past two years. “I'm not coming out with any products that are called contouring,” she told me at a conference last year. “It's not what I believe in. It's almost like a car wreck when you're watching people do contouring on YouTube.”
The brand is beloved by many, but indie brands (like Becca and Too Faced, both of which were just acquired by Estée Lauder) have been really nimble in responding to social media-driven beauty trends. It will be interesting to see if Bobbi Brown Cosmetics introduces new, trendier categories in 2017.
In the meantime, Brown herself will likely have a beauty non-compete, but I have no doubt that she’ll launch another venture soon. I’ve reached out to both Brown and Estée Lauder and will update this story accordingly.