We caught up with Hollywood royalty Drew Barrymore to talk lipstick, life lessons and her exclusive-to-Superdrug makeup line. Senior beauty editor Natalie Ticehurst reports
There’s no doubt about it, Drew Barrymore is the definition of #girlboss. Actor, producer, director, author and now makeup maestro, she’s been busy since her Never Been Kissed days. So, you’d be forgiven for thinking the star’s ego would be as big as her CV, right? Yes, she walks into London’s Rosewood Hotel looking red carpet-ready – all perfectly coiffed hair and facialist-style skin – but she’s decidedly unstarry, hugging us when we meet, and moments later daubing swatches of products on the backs of our hands, saying, ‘The pigment is INSANE, right?’
Drew’s stuff is the real deal – incredible colour payoff, long-lasting, blendable, buildable. But then we wouldn’t expect anything less from someone who’s spent decades in makeup artists’ chairs (‘Pat McGrath taught me everything,’ she quips). So, with the exciting news that Flower Beauty, her cruelty-free line of pore-perfecting primers, foundations, concealers and 3-in-1 lipsticks, has arrived on British soil, we settled down with the 44-year-old mum of two to hear all about it.
Where did you get the idea for Flower Beauty?
About eight years ago, I was coming to the end of my contract with Cover Girl, where I was co-creative director. I had a college degree and wanted to do something with it. I’ve been in a makeup chair my whole life, and I love products, and I love beauty. It all comes from a place of loving to see women getting ready in a makeup trailer – a woman’s confidence completely changes through the power of makeup. So, just those few reasons…
What’s the best beauty tip you’ve ever picked up?
I really love putting my foundation on with my hands. I mix our Supernova Celestial Skin Elixir Primer with my Light Illusion Foundation and pat it on. I don’t think I’d know how to mix it and swirl it on if it wasn’t for Pat McGrath, who taught me all that.
What are your favourite products from the range?
The Celestial Skin Elixir Primer and the Light Illusion Foundation in Nude. They have such a wonderful undertone
– I think you’ll find something that suits your skin really nicely. Then I’d have to pick a lip – probably Mix N’ Matte Lip Duo in Violet Vixen. One end is a matte and the other is a gloss but with some highlighter – so it’s really a 3-in-1. It’s a desert island classic!
Why was it important for Flower Beauty to be affordable?
I have no interest in making a $58 lipstick and selling it at an elite retailer. That just isn’t the way I shop. I don’t respond to that, and I know how hard people work for what they have. In film making I have always been an all-economics party, an all-ages party and, for me, everyone is included, so I gravitate towards inclusiveness. That said, we are formula first. We’re able to get prestige formulas because we don’t spend the money on marketing. We figure out other ways to attract attention. With less money, you get clever. But we put the money in the formulas, not into the advertising.
How involved are you in the formulations?
I care about every detail, and formulations to me are everything. I never want a woman to have her lipstick feathering or be overly drying. You can’t know much about a lot of formulas with just one try – you have to wear them for a week. And then you’re, like, that’s not good enough – or we have to make this work.
What’s it like being an entrepreneur?
I probably don’t consider myself one – I just believe in the things I’m doing. So, in some ways, I’m just betting on myself and the team that’s putting things together because you don’t do anything alone. You have to get behind what it is you’re doing, work hard at it and support it. I’m a workhorse and I have a strong work ethic. I don’t think anything happens by hoping or wishing. You have to earn it.
What does success mean to you?
Employment. Seriously, never take it for granted. It can all disappear in a moment, so keep your head down and work hard. That said, sometimes you miss the celebration of things because you’re all about the work, work, work, so it’s nice to stop and see what you’ve accomplished. It can be motivating and incentivising to keep working hard.
How do you juggle your career with two small children and make it work?
I never feel as if I have it figured out. You feel if you’re always with your kids, you’re not tending to the work garden, and if you’re tending to the work garden, you feel guilty as a mum. We beat ourselves up, but I think it’s about reminding yourself that if you’ve ticked a few boxes today, that’s a good day.
You’ve been in the spotlight forever… how have you coped?
I really don’t know any other way – it’s ironically totally normal, and I just appreciate all of the good things in my life. It all feels like a blessing. Life is about integrating with people, whether you work in my industry or any other. We all have to be aware and have self-preservation, but we’re in it with everyone else, so we can’t check out.
How do you switch off?
Usually a glass of wine will do the trick, or a good dinner with friends. I also try to sit by myself if I have that luxury – sit and watch a movie, eat dinner by myself. Even just being on an aeroplane with headphones on can feel really solitary.
The girls, Olive, six, and Frankie, four, have their own sense of style. Where do you think that comes from?
Kids are expressive! I had a mother tell me the other day that she can’t get her kid out of super-hero costumes, and I was, like, so what? Great. One day he probably won’t. Or he will. And then you’ll have to worry about it but, for now, it’s fun to let kids play. You also save yourself being uptight. Life is short. People are worried about their own stuff – don’t make your children take on that energy. That’s what grown-ups do – kids don’t have to do that. We should preserve that for them as long as possible.
DARE's Flower edit
Flower Beauty is available exclusively at Superdrug now