60 Seconds With Drew Barrymore

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drew-barrymore-flower Call us jaded if you like, but when a celebrity links up with a beauty brand, it's not exactly an unprecedented, stop-the-presses development. But when a mega-star decides to create her own luxe cosmetics line and make it more affordable than most? Well, Drew Barrymore, now you've got our attention.

Fresh off a stint as the longtime face of CoverGirl, she's launching her own concept-to-creation beauty project: Flower, a 181-piece color collection sold exclusively at — surprise! — Walmart. Encompassing everything from nail polish to foundation, Flower aims for a premium, department-store feel — think quadruple-milled powders, pigment-rich lipsticks — while keeping all prices between $4.98 and $13.98. (The Zoom-In mascara, with its adjustable wand, is one of those can't-stop-playing-with-this innovations.)

At last night's launch event in NYC, Drew — recently wed, newly a mother — talked with us about what drives her to do so much. Read on to see how she juggles an enviable career, her "education" in beauty, and why she's so excited (okay, and a little nervous) about her latest endeavor.

You just had a baby, you just got married, you have a film career, and you launched a cosmetics line. Um, do you sleep? How do you do all of this?
"I don't sleep that much, but I do sleep! I don't bedraggle myself to a point. You know what? You realize that you can't have it all — that something will have to give."

That's profound, because so many women were brought up to believe that you can have it all. It's almost liberating to realize that you can't.
"I can't have a good marriage and be a good mom and do everything that I want and not have something compromising my personal life, which has to come first now. Also, I now believe that I am not in the place of my life where I can do five things perfectly and fantastically. I love to put myself into something with an infinite percent and a passion and a focus, and you can't do that if you're doing a bunch of different things. I can't, anyway. So, I really put everything to the side and did this for a year and a half. My focus got narrower, but it got clearer."

What made you decide to go out on your own and do Flower?
"Well, I've been in the makeup chair my whole life and I've loved the aspiration of environments of women getting ready. It made such an impression on me as a young girl. And then, I was around a lot of fashion and working with the best makeup artists in my teens and twenties. I started learning about every product and every trick. And I was always playful, so I loved that world. I would go to a concert with blue war paint and then I would go on a job and wear something very natural and mature and more glamorous. I liked how all of that was possible through makeup, and that there were no rules. I didn't want to ever worry about what anyone would think. Just have fun, you know?

"And then I was with CoverGirl for six years as a co-creative director and it's almost like I got a great degree from college. Timing is everything in the universe, and when I met [the team from] Walmart, there was a profound unity to a vision to try and basically build a brand — not a celebrity brand, that was imperative — but to build a brand that aspired to be different. We were so focused on formulas and positive messaging and bringing luxury to mass, and trying to game-change. How could we do something different? How could we get better formulas and change the economics and figure out how to actually deliver this message and not a false promise? That was exciting to me. Long answer. I am so sorry."

That's okay. Before we move on, I have to say this packaging is beautiful — very vintage-meets-prestige.
"I wanted it to go back to that vanity table moment where I felt women used to take a lot more time getting themselves ready. We're such girls-on-the-go, you know? I do my makeup in a rearview mirror, not a vanity mirror. And I was like, 'We need to treat ourselves to something really nice.' We don't have a lot of money going into a lot of areas that bigger makeup companies do, so we were able to put all the money into the components and the formula. That was a blessing in disguise."

So does launching Flower make you excited? Nervous?
"I'm both. I get really excited because I love that my husband [Will Kopelman] believes in this so much. He's so encouraging of it. It really helps. Because I think we're in places in our lives where we're fighting against the grain on a lot of levels, trying to prove ourselves in business.... I like my life and my husband's like, 'Go work hard on this. Work harder!' I'm like, 'Okay!' That's good!"

Good man.
"Yes. And, it's scary, because I would love to see if this works. I know we're going to have to keep working. We're launching, but now it's about what we need to do next that's important."

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Photo: courtesy of Sara Jaye Weiss