Real dilemmas; real solutions – from our real-life superheroes. This month, mother-of-three Bobbi Brown, who left her eponymous cosmetics brand after 25 years at the helm and now heads up a wellness brand, a hotel and a website, Justbobbi.com, loves drinking tequila in her spare time and wishes she could eat French fries without calorific consequences…
What makes you feel wild?
Drinking tequila in the Bahamas on the deck with my posse while listening to hip hop.
What are you doing to make the planet greener?
Besides recycling everything I can, I am refilling glass water bottles, not using plastic straws and being mindful of water and electricity when possible. But I’m sure my hubby would say he still has to remind me to turn the lights off.
Where does your soul most happily reside: city, countryside, or both?
Not a city. I am my absolute happiest at a beach with the still seas or the sounds of the waves crashing onto the sand. Or in my bed or kitchen in my home, which is 12 miles outside NYC in a nice town.
The DJ fails to show up. What’s your go-to track to get everyone dancing?
My hip-hop list. Biggie, Kanye, Flo Rida, Jay Z….
Who is the hero or heroine you’d be tongue-tied to find yourself sitting next to at a dinner party?
The Queen. Forever a dream I have.
What would be your message to your younger self?
Chill. Find a hobby. Don’t give up weights. Learn when you have to say “no”.
Which world conflict would you like to see resolved first?
Unfortunately, there are so many. If I had a magic wand? I’d make peace in the Middle East, and I’d do so by making women the leaders there instead of men. I’d ban guns worldwide. I’d offer free healthcare and education opportunities to all. I’d open trade schools that actually helped people become self-sufficient. And my ultimate dream, I’d make French fries a diet food.
You’re on a raft adrift in the ocean and the sharks are circling. Who is your companion to get you to shore safely? And who would you feed to the sharks?
My husband can fix anything, so I’d take him as my companion. I know exactly who I’d feed to the sharks but I’m too nice to put it in writing. But ask me next time I’m drinking tequila and listening to hip hop.
What do you look for in a deputy?
Someone who reads my brain and understands what I’m saying even though I am not using complete sentences. Someone who, when I forward an email or a screenshot of a text with a direction, knows what to do or knows to ask me as soon as I see them.
And what’s the key requirement for a lifetime partner of the romantic kind?
Love, friendship, understanding, communication and good sex.
What’s the retirement plan?
What’s your favourite lazy-at-home dish to cook?
Italian tuna in a jar, hot pepper and garlic flakes, Rao’s sauce and olive oil on top of zucchini noodles. Or bean pasta and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
What is the proudest moment of your career?
A Vogue cover or the first beauty spread in Vogue. Or the Bruce Weber film celebrating 20 years. Or the parties at the American embassy in the UK, Paris or China.
When you left the cosmetics company Bobbi Brown, owned by Estée Lauder, how did you decide to reset your career? And what steps did you take to make it all happen?
I was done fighting for what I believed in. I didn’t plan any action for the future. I actually had no idea what the plan could be.
What do you miss from your “old” career? And what do you love about your new one?
I miss when things were really, really good and I was in control of all the elements to make the brand a cool place to work and an authentic one to buy.
Career advice for the Bobbi wannabes?
Be open. Don’t be afraid. Failure is just a call to action to do something else. Be unique.
What do you wish you had said to someone who has departed this earth?
I wish I thanked my grandparents for coming to America. (Her grandmother and grandfather came from Yugoslavia and Russia, respectively, as children).
The last time you prayed, what was the occasion, to whom did you pray, and were your prayers answered?
I wouldn’t say I pray per se, but I like to put good vibes out there for the health and safety of my loved ones.
Who do you currently have a crush on?
My hubby. Still 30 years later. But I go between George Clooney and Javier Bardem and Daniel Craig.
What would your Tinder profile say?
Loves really good food, hip hop, Tito’s martinis and detoxes. Looking for nice, funny, smart guy.
What superhero power would you most like to have and why?
Get rid of calories with a wand and protect people from harm.
Where do you get your therapy from?
A good long walk with a friend.
Your book at bedtime?
I just finished Michelle Obama’s autobiography and I’m now going to read Steve Jobs’s daughter’s memoir, Small Fry (by Lisa Brennan-Jobs).
She was awesome. She empowered people.
What did you learn from the toughest time in your life?
Attitude is everything and although you can’t always control situations, you can control your attitude.
And from the happiest?
It’s the simple things that matter. It’s being around people you love. Also, your health is everything.
You’re blowing out the candles on a cake. What do you wish for?
Health and happiness. And a healthy chef.