“Foundation has to be easy,” Drew Barrymore proclaims. “It has to be like, whick, whick, whack! A little blending, move on.” As a film star and mom to two tiny daughters, the actress, 39, has had little time for complex cosmetic manoeuvres. She has even less time now that she’s a beauty magnate herself—last winter, she launched her own company, Flower, currently landing in Canada at Walmart. After a lifetime of getting spackled on film sets and hoarding beloved beauty products that had been discontinued, she wanted to get into the biz as a hands-on creator rather than your standard celebrity face. “Movies are not where my head is at. I’m much more into building this company,” she reveals. “I love it so much, it really has my heart and attention.” Her niche: high quality at painless prices, and easy-peasy, natural-look products, like the aforementioned Skincognito stick foundation, highlighter chubbies and eye marker/mascara duos. “I want to be the best version of myself, but I want to be realistic. My life is, like, sweatpants all the time, but you have to step it up and remember you are a woman—it should be about attainable aspiration, and about you, not someone else,” Barrymore says. “I hate alienating. I feel very on the outside of things sometimes and there is nothing better than when you are made to forget about all that, and you just feel like you’re in the middle of a rager. It’s the best thing in life, you know? When everything is inclusive and warm and inviting. It’s so important to make each other feel that way, especially as women.”
Want more Drew? Check out the full interview below!
What beauty look makes you feel most empowered? Any time I get a good concealer—if I can make my canvas look even, then I’m already off to the races. I feel like I have good skin, but I have to fight for it. I get really patchy; I don’t tan. The older I get, the more discoloured it’s getting. If I don’t wash my face compulsively, I break out, so I have to earn it. I love that feeling when I’m like, Oh my god, it actually looks kind of even right now, this is so nice, and that’s all about concealer.
What do you want your daughters’ idea of beauty to be? Just how important kindness and goodness are. Having a positive exchange with another human being will make you feel better than any makeup: a smile is better than any lipstick you can buy. [I want them to know] that aging is a fantastic part of the life cycle; do not fight it, ’cause you will be shadowboxing a phantom figure and be miserable. I think everything pretty lives on the inside and it affects the outside so much. If you’re worried and stressed, which I always am, that’s not a good look. Just [learning] how to be happy is so important.
How has motherhood changed you? I had to prioritize. I’m such a workaholic and an overachiever and I just love what I do, but I genuinely had to let certain things go. I want to be spending more time with my kids and then fighting to work, rather than being at work and feeling like I’m not with my kids enough.
Why did you choose the name Flower? If you could be a flower, which one would it be? I love the name Flower because my [production] company is Flower Films. When I first started that company, when I was 19 and going through copyright, trademark-y stuff, I wanted to call it Daisy Films, but funnily enough, Marlo Thomas had that. I’m happy I ended up going with Flower because that’s less alienating: that’s any flower you want. I definitely used to be a daisy, but now I aspire to be a more ornate rose. I don’t know if I am.
What’s the story behind Flower? First, I wanted to apply all the knowledge I had from being with CoverGirl [as a spokesmodel and creative director of the accompanying ad campaign]. People have asked me my whole life, “What would you do if you didn’t do what you did?” and I always say travel writer, but really I would be in advertising. It is so profoundly interesting, clever, important, inspirational, aggravating. So going into this, I was thinking there are so many beauty brands, how could this be different? We saw an opportunity for prestige [quality] at mass [price points]. We put all our money into our formulas, so we don’t have advertising, and when you don’t have things, you’re forced to get clever. I’ve always been fascinated by pigments and formulas. I’ve saved everything that has been discontinued; I know what I like. I find inspiration in odd places: This is the most gorgeous shoe—what is this colour? And I’ll take it to the lab and match it for an eye chubby. It’s a lot of work, but there is such a playful aspect to it.
What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self, your 30-year-old self, and your future 40-year-old self? I would love to tell my 20-year-old self not to worry as much, but my 20-year-old self would have given me the middle finger, and kept on worrying. I don’t know if I would have achieved all the things or worked as hard on all the things if I didn’t care and stress so much. Then I would tell my 30-year-old self, “Oh god, you need to start thinking about pulling your shit together, because you maybe want to have a family and kids, but you still have a few years, so just start thinking about it.” And then I would tell my 40-year-old self, who is literally around the corner, “If you want to have a happy rest of your life, now is the time to stop stressing so much.” It doesn’t mean you have to care less, but if you have this much constant worry about everything when you’re 50, that’s not gonna be good.
When it comes to your future roles, do you have any that you’ve been dreaming about? I’ve done a movie here or there, and when I get into it I jump in, but it’s not really where my head is at in general. I’m much more into building this company. I love it so much; it really has my heart and attention. It makes me very happy.