Bobbi Brown’s New Secret Weapon Is A Parasitic Fungus

Photo: Courtesy of Bobbi Brown.
This has been Bobbi Brown’s favorite year, ever. That's quite a statement, considering I was seated across from her in the Miami Soho House during the third week of January as we spoke. It's also quite a statement considering Bobbi has led a fabulous life. Her eponymous cosmetics line is, she says, approaching billion-dollar status. “If I could find my third-grade math teacher, Ms. Greenblatt, she’d be pleased to see where I am today. She used to give me D's,” says Bobbi. Last year, she was named the editor-in-chief of the new Yahoo Beauty, overseeing a redesign of the website and a significant uptick in original content production. She’s also had major, household-name success as a makeup artist, is the mother to three boys (“They don’t listen to me. I love being a boss, because people actually listen to me”), and is responsible for many of the most important innovations in makeup: Her gel eyeliner, a category she says she invented in 2001, is chief among them.  No wonder Bobbi is optimistic and enthusiastic about 2015. In January, she had just come back from a rather rigorous retreat with her husband that involved lots of hiking, yoga, portion-controlled meals, and no technology. It acted as the perfect precursor for her big trip to Miami, where acupuncture and yoga on the beach were on the itinerary — and where she celebrated the launch of her brand-new product, the Intensive Skin Serum Foundation with SPF 40, which is the perfect marriage of her expertise in makeup and her passion for healthy living.   To understand the foundation, you have to understand the inspiration behind it: a serum in her skin-care range. “Women have stopped me to say that my Intensive Skin Supplement has changed their lives,” Bobbi says. The product is made with grape and birch extracts to brighten and add a dewy freshness to the complexion. The customer feedback was so robust (it has five stars and over 200 reviews on her website alone) that Bobbi’s team started to brainstorm more ways to replicate its success.
Serum-inspired foundations began gaining popularity at market last year, perhaps bolstered by our obsession with all things K-beauty. But, with this launch, Bobbi decided to take it to the next level: “This formula starts with a serum base, and then the pigment went in to emulsify it and make it a foundation.” The result? “There’s a silkiness to it, which gives the skin a luminosity without it being too high-shine. It actually looks like you have amazing skin — it doesn’t look like you’re wearing foundation.”  The real kicker: The formula contains cordyceps, a fungus found in Chinese medicine. Bobbi has been a longtime advocate of the ingredient — you can drink it, or sprinkle its powder on top of your food. It has apparently resulted in “promising” effects “on renal and hepatic function and immunomodulatory-related anti-tumor activities.” Bobbi asked her parent company, Estée Lauder, to test its efficacy on the skin. It turned out to “[increase] the energy of cells…[and improve] the skin’s barrier and collagen production.”  So, she added this ancient super-fungus, which is parasitic on insects (like caterpillars), to her serum foundation. She also threw in bamboo grass and lychee, for good measure — that way it sounds less disgusting, and more like a healthy drink for your face. To apply, Bobbi recommends shaking the bottle, and then putting a drop or two on your fingertips, starting around the nose, blending into the hairline and adding a little bit on the forehead. It glides easily and blends into your complexion, rather than covering it, making it an easy addition to a morning routine (and an ideal substitute for the BB-addicted who require a little more coverage). 
Perhaps the best part — yes, even better than the fungus — is that it lasts up to eight hours. So, you can apply it quickly, run out the door, and feel good about your skin all day. This is in line with Bobbi’s philosophy — of makeup and life. “Balance doesn’t come to you,” she says. “You have to take the opportunity and get it for yourself. I don’t believe anyone’s a victim — walk instead of taking the subway, work from home on occasion if you need to, say no to events and business meetings and early-morning breakfasts. Skip the blowout, and get some exercise.”  After a moment, she pauses. “I usually pick the blowout over the exercise, though. Maybe I don’t need to do that.”     Related Content:
How To Get The Most Out Of Your Skin-Care Budget
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The 5 Skin-Care Products You Need To Be Using Now
Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation SPF 40, $62, available at Bobbi Brown.

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