Drew Barrymore explains the next steps for her beauty business and why Instagram is her favorite social channel

Drew Barrymore is no doubt best-known for her huge Hollywood roles in blockbuster titles — “E.T,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “Never Been Kissed,” and “Donnie Darko” — and while she still plays a major role in the movie and TV industry through her production company Flower Films, a big focus of her life now is situated at the helm of her cosmetics business.

Barrymore founded Flower Cosmetics in 2013, which offers an affordable cosmetics line, sold exclusively at Walmart.

The cosmetics industry has many established players and the sector is extremely competitive; something Barrymore clearly knew a thing or two about when she launched Flower — her ex-husband’s father, Arie Kopelman, is the CEO of Chanel.

Speaking to Business Insider at Advertising Week New York on Wednesday, Barrymore explained the three reasons why she made the leap.

“It was getting my sort of college degree in being a co-creative director for Cover Girl for eight years, being part of the campaigns, and concepts, and marketing, and photography,” she said. “Working with [makeup artist] Pat McGrath and trying to drive the brand into something I felt like could best serve, as well as the women we were trying to reach gave me so much education that it felt like a waste not to do something with it.”

Barrymore then joked: “I’ve also been in a makeup chair since I was 6-years-old and had the fortune of working with the icons of the beauty industry, so learning, being in love with products, pigments, brands, companies, and just being a constant student of makeup.”

She described the third reason as a “hybrid” of the love of makeup and the advertising of it.

“I think there’s such a crucial necessity for positive messaging so that women feel empowered and are not making themselves up to be something else,” she said. “It’s always about being the best you. Who you are inside and your joy levels and a smile is better than any lipstick. It’s sort of anti-makeup messaging, but I think it’s more human-messaging and the rest will fall into place.”

What most surprised Barrymore about running a cosmetics line was the “level of time-consuming anxiety” that comes with constantly attempting to track down the latest innovations.

Barrymore said: “That’s really what the beauty game is all about. It’s about constant new-to-market products. So traveling to labs and creating 30 to 50 new products every single year is so much more all encompassing and consuming than I would have assumed.”

“When we launched, we launched with 180 products and that felt like an undertaking. But every year there are 30 to 50 [new products]. Chasing innovations and being competitive with the labs is one of the most challenging and exhausting [aspects] but when you win a victory, you feel like you want to throw a party. You got that formula? This is a good day,” Barrymore added.

The Flower brand has since expanded into other verticals including eyewear and a recently announced home line. We asked where she might take it next.

“[The idea is] to build the branches of your tree from a nucleus. The nucleus is color cosmetics with Flower: Fragrance, brushes, bags, eyewear — things that naturally evolve and don’t feel like they are greedy and all over the place,” Barrymore said.

“With the [home] line comes the love of home, and design, and lifestyle — those are natural branches to that tree. Slow and steady wins the race and being on point with what you’re trying to do, rather than just throwing it out there and seeing what sticks,” she said.

As far as marketing is concerned, Barrymore remarked that there has never been more content available from beauty bloggers and companies offering makeup “how-tos.”

“If anything, it’s overloaded. Where do I begin to go down the rabbit hole of people showing their knowledge, application, love, passion, their latest thing? It’s all being shared out there and that’s fun to see major companies that used to just rely on TV and print accessing these women bloggers out there and wanting them to talk about their products because it’s a more human channel,” Barrymore said.

As for herself, Barrymore says Instagram is her online channel of choice. The actress, producer, and entrepreneur has more than 5.3 million followers and regularly shares updates about her businesses.

“Instagram: that’s my platform. I need one and one only. I’ve never done Snapchat, never done Twitter. Facebook is important but I’m personally invested in Instagram — that’s my channel,” she said.

Barrymore participated in an Advertising Week New York panel on Tuesday afternoon with her ex-husband Will Kopelman’s father Arie Kopelman, who is the CEO of Chanel, and her ex-husband’s brother-in-law, ad tech company Kargo’s founder and CEO Harry Kargman.

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Drew Barrymore on Flower Beauty and the Celebrity Sellout

The Daily caught up with Drew Barrymore, who founded her cosmetics line Flower Beauty in 2012, last week at the Financo retail forum in New York where she was in conversation with her father-in-law, the former CEO of Chanel Arie L. Kopelman, about her burgeoning beauty empire and her plans to roll out the concept in China, Australia, the UK, and online.

On never wanting to be a sellout celeb:
“After E.T. an onslaught of product placement opportunities came my way and for someone living in a single mother house in West Hollywood who didn’t have two nickels to rub together, it seemed very enticing. But I remember Steven Spielberg saying, “No. Don’t. Think about the longevity of your career. If you sell out now you can cheapen your message. Somehow at 7 years old it totally clicked and made so much sense to me.”

On saying no to that Covergirl contract:
“After that advice I had an allergy and fear of endorsing anything for the rest of my life. So when Covergirl came knocking, we had a wonderful, inspiring conversation but I said, ‘Thank you so much, I really love your brand but I just don’t endorse things.’ They came back to a year later and said, ‘What if we made you co-creative director and you would be in charge of all the marketing?’ I actually love marketing and would die to go into the advertising business because I think it’s so powerful. Covergirl saw the kind of person I was and gave me an opportunity that they thought might be more inspiring and fitting to me at this time in my life. And I loved it, especially the empowering messages for women. You know, girl dancing in her closet, Helmut Newton timeless style backdrop. These are the kind of women that I relate to because they’re telling you to be your best you, not to be someone else.”

On what inspired the launch of Flower Beauty:
“It was an auspicious aligning of the stars. I had been a co-creative director at Covergirl for seven years and as my contract was ending the woman who was the head of Walmart said she was looking for a different type of venture in her beauty department. So we met and came up with the philosophy of doing luxury goods at mass price point.”

On the concept of mass luxury:
“When you’re forced to think differently, you really do think outside the box. We tried to bring a brand promise and stay true to it and we actually managed to create really expensive high-end luxury formulas at those labs by changing the margins and putting all of our marketing and advertising dollars into the products. Now you see every big company putting their marketing money into social media and Snapchat anyway.”

On taking advice from her father-in-law:
“Arie has been such an amazing sounding board. I would go to him and say, ‘I’m struggling with the packaging, my heart’s over here, my guts over there,’ and he’d say, ‘Walk into a store, look around, tell me everything you see.’ And I would come back to say this and that. Then he would say, ‘Now look around and tell me what you don’t see.’ And it was the best advice ever. Arie and I also talked about the difference between name slapping companies and companies that really are thriving, where you can feel the investment of the people involved who are giving their lives over to it and caring about every piece of it.”

On her idea of success:
“The definition should be relief and employment. And I think it really does come down to the product, the formulas, and they way things are performing. Women know the difference. Flower Beauty is growing by the day. We started in 1,600 doors and now we’re in almost 4,000. We also just launched Flower Eyewear, and we’re number one at Walmart, which I’m very proud to say because I’m relieved it worked. Reviews are important—social media and creating a good marketing campaign that really speaks to women.”

On empowering women through makeup:
“As a woman, makeup is the greatest thing ever. I looked like the Crypt Keeper before I came here. A little foundation and lipstick on my lips and cheeks—and OK, a blowout—and it’s amazing how that has changed my whole perspective and my confidence. If you walk into a room and you’re insecure and looking for people to validate you, you’re screwed. You walk into a room and present who you are with some level of self awareness, confidence, and a kind heart, and you’re on a different cylinder. I think makeup is a great gateway to that.”

On marrying motherhood with the beauty business:
“I come from the world of movies and storytelling, so the story of empowering women has never been so vital to me because I now have two daughters and I am responsible for their journey and raising them into wonderful women. Flower Beauty has enabled me to spend my time being the kind of mother that I really wanted to be. I didn’t want to be on a film set from 5 a.m. until midnight, missing out on my children’s childhood. This way, I can be a businesswoman that wakes up with my kids, feeds them dinner, puts them to bed, and spends my weekends with them. When they’re 16 and slamming the door in my face, then maybe I’ll think about going back to film. But right now, these businesses exercise a different muscle for me. Being in films makes you lazy because you can wake up and be like, I want to be a news anchor today in Paris and you make a film about that, but oh my god the beauty business…wow, it’s challenging.”

On the future as a slow burn:
“Nothing happens overnight. Which is scary, because you want it to financially work overnight. But slow and steady wins the race. The companies that I aspire to be, like Honest and what Gwyneth Paltrow is doing with Goop, have taken years. You can see that it is their blood sweat and tears and it’s isn’t celebrity name slapping. More power to those people.”

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Drew Barrymore has some serious ‘Flower’ power

Drew spoke with AOL about her beauty line, Flower Beauty and the challenges and rewards of working with her brand.

Drew Barrymore, the award-winning actress, producer, director, author and founder of Flower cosmetics is a force to be reckoned with. Having conquered the film and television industry, the star decided to try her hand in the beauty industry in 2012. Since then, Flower products have rocketed to success, named in Allure’s Best of Beauty Awards and Redbook’s Most Valuable Products. We sat down with her at the Financo CEO Forum on Monday evening to talk all things beauty.

The collection, which is sold exclusively at Walmart, is custom-formulated with the same ingredients used in higher end, luxury makeup. Rather than pay for advertising, all marketing dollars are put into the formula, Barrymore said, which makes the line significantly more affordable and available to a larger demographic of women.

“I’ve always been about an all-ages party, and I really think that goes for economics as well,” the reigning beauty queen said when we sat down with her. “Women deserve to get the same quality makeup at a mass retailer that they do at a department store, and we as a company figured out a way to do that, so that’s our brand promise. And it is really challenging, but it feels really right,” she said.

Instead of paying for print advertisements and commercials, the beauty brand’s sole promotion comes from Barrymore herself and real people who actually love Flower products.

“I have the luxury and ability and privilege of getting to do lots of magazines…which really helps,” the actress said. “And, you know, you can go on shows, but really the social thing for me I find most challenging.”

Social media plays an enormous role in Flower’s marketing strategy. While many companies will buy product endorsements from bloggers and vloggers, Barrymore’s philosophy rests on authentic promotion. “In the social world,” she said, “Authenticity is the name of the game.”

Despite Barrymore’s obvious success as a female leader in the beauty industry, she’s way too modest. “The beauty industry is just like my ego,” she laughed. “It will not allow me to think I’m a leader in anything. It makes me feel like I’ve got to get up every day and work really hard.”

The business is certainly humbling, “but I’m okay with that,” she said. “I like humble pie a lot — I eat it all the time anyway so it’s good. It’s a good business for me.”

The actress and businesswoman’s attitude is inspiring, and has clearly proven rewarding. After a phenomenal year in 2015, the brand has a lot in store for 2016. One of the many new products rolling out in the coming months is a revolutionary lip cream. “It’s like a new innovation in matte,” Barrymore said of the cream, which she was wearing when we chatted. “It’s actually a creamy matte and it is so pigmented and has such amazing staying power that doesn’t fray into the cracks of your lips.”

She was actually wearing two Flower products when we spoke — the foundation and lip cream — and she couldn’t have looked more natural or flawless. There’s no doubt that when it comes to Drew Barrymore, nothing is off limits. A total powerhouse, she possesses business savvy, genuine enthusiasm for her work and a vested interest in bringing great products to as many women as possible. It’s safe to say that here at AOL, we’re big fans of Drew.

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Drew Barrymore looks to extend beauty line beyond Walmart

Walmart helped launch actor Drew Barrymore’s retail career — but now the Hollywood star is getting ready to spread her wings.

The 40-year-old founder and chief executive of Flower Beauty, a five-year old make-up venture whose products are sold exclusively by Walmart, is launching her own e-commerce web site this year and is in talks with retailers abroad about carrying her assortment of products.

“It’s a big opportunity for us to attract new customers,” the actor said during a presentation at the annual Financo CEO forum, where her father-in-law Arie Kopelman, the former president of Chanel Inc., interviewed her.

Barrymore’s line is marketed as luxury quality sold at inexpensive prices. It includes lipstick from $5 to $7 and eye shadow for $10 and foundation for $14, according to Walmart.com.

The eye makeup is the No. 1 brand sold at discount chain.

Barrymore told The Post she is being approached by international retailers “of all types” and that she would like to introduce Flower Beauty in Australia, the UK, China and South America.

“But I won’t hike up my prices,” Barrymore said of her expansion plans. The actress declined to disclose Flower Beauty’s sales, but pointed to the fact that it’s sold in nearly all of Walmart’s 4,000 stores.

“They would drop us like a hot potato if we didn’t deliver,” she added.

The discounter recently renewed its contract, which excludes international rights.

While Barrymore said she is “proud” to work with Walmart, she conceded that “I get this look when I say I’m exclusive to Walmart, and yeah, I get it.”

The daughter of John Barrymore and a mom or two young girls, Drew has dialed back her acting career to focus on motherhood and her business, she said.

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Drew Barrymore Focuses on Flower Beauty

Drew was featured in today’s issue of WWD.

The setting is the Surrey Hotel’s posh Presidential Suite in the heart of Manhattan’s Upper East Side, but when Drew Barrymore comes bursting through the door, her glamsquad in tow, there’s nothing stuffy about her. Wearing jeans, a sweater and brown suede Ugg boots, she briskly directs her team where to set up, changes into something more suitable for photography and gets down to business.

That Barrymore is as focused as she is famous is no surprise. This is a woman who gets things done. In the last year alone, she’s starred in a movie, produced another, written a book (her third), all while overseeing her growing business concerns, including Flower Beauty and the launch of Flower Eyewear, and being a very present—and passionate—mother to her two young daughters.

Barrymore frequently talks about the flexibility afforded by running a business versus the time drain presented by movie production, but she does see some similarities between the two. “Color cosmetics is tough. It’s like movies in that you put in so many weeks, months and years of work for something that can feel short-lived and then it’s right back to work,” she says, snapping her fingers. “But I’m OK with that. I like the do-the-work aspect.” Barrymore’s hands-on approach seems to be paying off: Industry sources indicate Flower’s sales continue to blossom at Wal-Mart, and as the company gears up for 2016, plans call for the launch of e-commerce and international expansion.

Flower Beauty has been in stores for more than three years. How do you describe the growth?

It’s really good roots for the tree we want to grow, which will include multiple branches. The branches change with interests as I evolve as a person. There are branches, like hair or accessories, which seem like natural progressions and I have opened my mind up to things I had no idea I would be opening my mind up to when I started Flower Beauty.

Why Drew Barrymore Likes Her Beauty Imperfect

I love how Drew speaks candidly about her favorite things related to beauty, how she feels about her body post babies and more with Glamour!

Drew Barrymore, star of the upcoming film Miss You Already—and creator of Flower Beauty—shares her personal truths.

Her favorite feature: My hair. It takes a licking and keeps on ticking. I destroy it time and time again, and it’s still there, semi-happy. I love playing with it; it’s like my personal plant—I keep getting to prune it.

Her favorite look on a man: I love beards. They’re the sexiest. But I will say that under no circumstances is a goatee OK. And soul patches are insanity! What is that all about?

Her signature look: I feel perfect when I match my cheeks to my lips. It brightens up my whole face, that monochromatic color splash.

Her body wisdom: After making two babies, holy cow, does your body do some crazy stuff! It’s hard to stay positive and love yourself. You feel like a kangaroo with a giant pouch; everything’s saggy and weird. But you think about how beautiful it is that you’re able to make children. When I lose sight of that, I exercise, read Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, and spend time with my kids. Then I start to see things that are bigger than myself.

Her desert-island essentials: I’m lost without Aquaphor Healing Ointment [$8, at drugstores], as lip balm and for every other odd emergency. I’ll give anything not to have a zit, including buying Christine Chin’s Hydrating Toner [$28, christinechin.com].

Her selfie secret: You don’t always have to look stunning on Instagram. I’ve been makeupless, pregnant, and stuffing food in my face in many pictures; that makes it all the more exciting when I do do something more attractive. I don’t like it when everyone looks so perfect all the time. Where’s the humor in that?

Her Signature Scent: “It’s inspired by the morning and that light that pours into your windows. A beautiful chaos of vanilla, lemon, and cabbage rose.” Flower Cherished Fragrance eau de parfum ($25 for 1 oz., walmart.com)

Her Proudest Product Creation: “It’s a rollerball concealer you can use under the eyes or on sun damage. It’s awesome: It gives great coverage and works on everyone.” Flower D.B. Daily Brightening Undereye Cover Creme ($9, walmart.com)

Her Favorite Makeup Look: “I love a bright lip and bright eyeshadow. Just don’t throw a ton of liner or mascara on top, and it can still look clean.” CoverGirl Colorlicious Lipstick in Tempt Berry ($7, ulta.com)

Her Boldest Beauty Move: “I found this photo of myself [from 2003] with burgundy lips and canary yellow shadow, which was all over my lids and possibly past my brows! It was very hard to pull off, but I’m glad I rocked it.” Make Up for Ever Artist Shadow in #S-402 ($21, sephora.com)

Drew Barrymore Has Tricks That Will Change Your #COMMUTERBEAUTY Game

Drew shared with Marie Claire some of her best beauty tips!

You know that beauty myth that guys hate a red lip? Drew Barrymore is here to tell you it’s not true. And if you’re still hesitant, she has a few suggestions. (PSA: We should all be subscribing to the Barrymore Beauty Bible.)

There are many things we’d love to bend Drew Barrymore’s ear about. There’s style, which she’s got in spades. There’s music—she has immaculate taste and has even penned lyrics for fellow cool girl Jenny Lewis. There’s boys, because she taught us a sacred lesson: He’s just not that into you. And then there are the tall tales that come with being a Hollywood star for over three decades…

But still, if we could only choose one topic for a Barrymore heart-to-heart, it’d be beauty. With her line Flower Beauty, she’s not only brought luxe and affordable botanical-infused products to the masses, but has done so with a fun, real-girl MO that’s just so refreshing. Whether she’s painting her nails on the subway (#commuterbeauty), easing our mind about our product-hoarding tendencies, or waxing poetic about the perfect shade of red, she just gets us.

In advance of launching her Spring 2015 collection, we chatted with Barrymore about her tried-and-true beauty tricks, handbag essentials, and hacks for doing your makeup en route.

Marie Claire: What are your most sacred beauty secrets?
Drew Barrymore: 1) Eye brightening! Undereye concealer just isn’t enough, so we created a brightening primer (Flower Lighten Up! Brightening Concealer Click Pen, $7.98). Instead of try to patch-up a dark spot, brighten it. Reflect out. Stop covering it up!

2) Brows are everything. I’ve started working from a kit rather than a pencil because it’s not just one color all year long for me. If I’m wearing a dark lip, I want light brows. If I’m wearing a light lip, I want dark brows. I also change the color of my hair, and that changes what color I want for my eyebrows. Plus, it has a taming wax I love because it makes brows dewy without being greasy.

3) My biggest criteria is lips that don’t feather. Whether it’s a lip balm, lacquer, or a stick, an anti-feathering formula is what I want and what I put in the line. It’s the most expensive from a lab perspective because it works better. It’s so important to have that experience for your lipstick.

MC: What skincare ritual do you swear by?
DB: Washing your face morning, noon, and night—most especially after those long nights. Fall asleep with your makeup on and you’ll wake up doomed is my philosophy.

MC: When it comes to carrying around products in your purse, are you a minimalist or a hoarder? We’re totally the latter.
DB: I hate a heavy bag because I carried one around for 40 years, and now I’m trying to lighten it up. And now I have a diaper bag, so that changes everything… But I always have a dark and nude lip, a concealer and a powder, and something for the eye, whether it’s an eyeliner or a mascara. What it really comes down to is something for eye, lips, and face. You can really get away with three things, but I like to double up and have the opposite sides of the spectrum for each product.

MC: We love and can seriously relate to your #commuterbeauty hashtag—what’re your best tips for beauty on the go?
DB: Just today I did my mascara in the rearview mirror of an Uber going to my next appointment. So a rearview mirror is really great—but only if you’re a passenger. You cannot do it as a driver. [Laughs] Safety first!

I think the most important thing for commuter beauty is finding innovative ways to find a reflection that you can do your makeup in. So, think the window of a subway or a spoon at a dinner table. I always judge a restaurant by whether or not they have a clean knife because it’s the best mirror.

MC: And what about painting on a cat eye in a moving vehicle—that’s kind of our thing…
DB: Wait for the stop!

MC: Your February 2014 MC cover got nominated for a National Magazine Award! What set it apart from other cover shoots you’ve done?
DB: You know, having a beauty company, I love tight shots on a cover. And I think people love it too. It’s so eye-grabbing and yet magazines are doing it less and less. So I applaud Marie Claire because we really pushed for it as we wanted it to be about the beauty.

MC: And remind us what smashing Flower shade you were wearing on the cover?
DB: Rose Bud!

Drew Barrymore’s Cosmetics Are Cruelty-Free

Peta has released a statement recognizing Flower Beauty as a Cruelty-Free organization.

Just in time for the holidays, we’ve learned that Drew Barrymore’s cosmetics line, FLOWER Beauty, is cruelty-free! The company does not conduct, commission, or pay for tests on animals anywhere in the world, a move that has landed it on PETA’s “Beauty Without Bunnies” list of cruelty-free cosmetics companies. FLOWER will also be using PETA’s product logo, proudly showing that no animals were harmed in tests.

“FLOWER Beauty is about all things good,” Barrymore says. “Thank you, PETA, for the acknowledgment of our cruelty-free brand.”

Every year, hundreds of thousands of animals around the world are force-fed chemicals or have substances dripped into their eyes or rubbed onto their raw abraded skin in archaic, cruel cosmetics tests, which are not required by law in the United States. These painful and often deadly experiments have been banned in the European Union, Israel, and India.