Drew Barrymore has some refreshing views on the beauty industry

The actor-turned-beauty mogul makes a case for democratic, no-fuss beauty with the Australian launch of her make-up company, Flower Beauty.
It’s easy to slip into a false sense of decades-long friendship when interviewing child-star and beauty brand founder Drew Barrymore. Even more so if you’re a Gen Y-er who can remember exactly where you were when you first watched one of Barrymore’s coming-of-age blockbusters like Never Been Kissed, He’s Just Not That Into You, 50 First Dates or Charlie’s Angels.

It’s a sentiment not lost on Barrymore. “I’m a mass girl. I make romantic comedies. I like Charlie’s Angels. I want optimism and joy. I think that life has plenty to serve up as far as obstacles and drama and I want the antidote to that,” says the 44-year-old on a sunny afternoon at Bondi bolthole, Icebergs.

It’s also why the average price of a product from her make-up collection barely nudges $10. “I can’t imagine busting my ass for two years to make movies so that one person can enjoy them,” she says in characteristic affable fashion. “I don’t want to work endless hours of my life away from my family so that one woman can buy a $70 lipstick at Barneys, it’s just not my path, I don’t relate to it.”

Although launching Stateside eight years ago – and into Australia via Chemist Warehouse just weeks ago – the seed for Flower Beauty was sown decades earlier on film sets, where Barrymore spent much of her time as a young actor. It was the transformative power of make-up, says Barrymore, that left a lasting impression. “I would see these women come in at four in the morning, and they were tired and very enclosed and then they would get their hot rollers, their make-up, and their caffeine and they would leave like different women…proud and confident, and to me it was like being backstage of a ballet where I saw all the magic happen.”

If the idea was spawned on set, the real enthusiasm to launch a make-up company came following the birth of her daughters – Olive and Frankie. “I started this company also when I wanted to stop working in film because I was going to have kids,” she explains. “I like that I’m working on something that my kids really liked, like the beauty business. They love playing with make-up – they loved visiting me on set with acting – but I think the world of business, over film, for me is more conducive to the hours I want to keep as a mother,” she says noting the gruelling travel and schedule required of an actor.

As with everything Barrymore approaches (and thanks to seven years as co-creative director at Covergirl), the collection is considered and thoroughly researched. The second-skin foundations are as velvet-y as formulations double the price (“I’ve studied every foundation from every company,” she quips), and as a self-professed highlighter junkie the illuminators within the range are so fine they disappear into the complexion without any residue disco-ball shine. “I have this whole theme of wake up your make-up: don’t put more on. Do fluids, do hydration, do moisturiser and then spot treat throughout the day. Don’t keep piling it on is my philosophy. I think I have an allergy to it too from being in film where they just keep reapplying [make-up] under hot lights and you just feel like a waffle. You’re like, this is so gross, my pores are screaming,” she laughs. And with that, Barrymore’s BFF status is cemented, not by way of the big screen but by way of our beauty bags.

Leave a Reply