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Makeup Mogul Bobbi Brown & SA Singer Lira Talk Skin Tones & African Beauty

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Bobbi Brown revolutionized the beauty industry in 1991 with the launch of 10 brown-based lipsticks and a simple philosophy that “makeup is a way for a woman to look and feel like herself, only prettier and more confident.” In 1995, the brand was acquired by The Esteé Lauder Companies, however, Bobbi retains an active role in the company as Chief Creative Officer.

Now, 25 years later, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics is the number one make-up artist brand founded by a woman. The brand is available in over 70 countries and offers a full range of color cosmetics, skin care, fragrance and accessories.

Singer Lira will serve as the brand’s first South African influencer. As part of her lucrative collaboration, Lira will appear in print editorials and online promo ads for the giant cosmetic brand. The ad campaign will be shot in the heart of Johannesburg, using local talent and featuring local fashion designs including Loin Cloth & Ashes by Anissa Mpungwe.

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In a recent interview with Sunday Times South Africa, Lira and Bobbi Brown spoke about make-up, women, inspirations and Lira’s upcoming print campaign for Bobbi Brown Cosmetics South Africa. 

How did the two of you decide on this amazing collaboration?

Bobbi: I was told about Lira by my South African team and was in awe – not only of her beauty but also her story and her powerful voice and where she started from and what she does and all the good things she’s done with her success. I thought she was a perfect role model and a perfect spokesperson for my brand.

Lira: I’ve always been aware of the Bobbi Brown brand and I love and appreciate how you honour the natural beauty of women. You gently introduce women to the concept of makeup as a tool that enhances who you are and respects your natural beauty. I love that. I love makeup and I’ve introduced it to so many women around me as a tool that helps you feel good about yourself without taking anything away. So from a brand-value perspective there were so many things that were aligned for me, it was a no-brainer. I felt like I was attracting opportunities that allowed me to do what I do anyway.

Bobbi: Whenever I create a product, it’s for women all over the world, of all colours. You have such beautiful skin colour and it’s always been important for me that women can come to the counter and find a foundation that matches her skin.

Lira: It took me a while to get into foundation because there weren’t enough brands that considered women of colour. It was frustrating, but now it’s exciting. Everyone wants to feel young and fresh and beautiful with something that has been made exactly for you.

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Lira, how does it feel to be named a local influencer for Bobbi Brown? Bobbi, how did you decide on Lira?

Lira: It’s an honour to be associated with the brand in terms of the value it puts on women’s natural beauty. It also empowers them with skills to work with makeup. Makeup is your friend – you should play with it and enjoy it. It can be an empowering tool in your journey to self-expression and self-love. The things that make me feel good also make me feel beautiful – and makeup is a thing you use to bring out the feeling. It’s opened up all kind of avenues to do more incredible things.

Bobbi: It was an amazing thing for me to suddenly have this new, powerful woman, halfway around the world, who I didn’t even know. It gives me chills to think about the power we have and I feel very fortunate to be able to start this relationship.

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Lira lists Miriam Makeba and Lauryn Hill as her beauty icons for their natural hair, full lips and beautiful dark skin. One more fun fact, Bobbi Brown can do her makeup without a mirror! She said, “I can! I’m probably not very good at lining my eyes but I can smudge it. I’ve done it walking down the street – it’s not a full face, but it’s there and it’s pretty quick.

We cant wait to see the campaign photos!

Credits: Story originally ran in Sunday Times South Africa