LOS ANGELES – Drew Barrymore has a childlike sense of play when it comes to makeup, from the vampy dark red lipstick and pin-thin eyebrows she embraced in the 1990s, to the cat eyeliner and pastel shadows she sported in the early 2000s to the cool turquoise eyeliner I spotted her wearing a year or so ago as she spent a free Saturday at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs.
“That was an amazing Shu Uemura blue crayon that’s been discontinued,” she recalled recently. “I still have it.”
The actress, a movie star since age 7 when she appeared in “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” was a creative director and spokeswoman for CoverGirl before launching her own line of cosmetics called Flower earlier this year.
“I grew up in a makeup chair,” she said. “And I love the emotionality of watching women transform themselves, and the chaos and empowerment of it.”
She recently threw a party at the new Olive & June nail salon in Beverly Hills to celebrate the debut of 16 new nail polish hues, including a metallic green called Evening Primrose and a cool blue-gray called Bluebell of the Ball.
“When I was a teenager, I got into the fashion world, which made no sense because I had the legs of a corgi dog,” said Barrymore, who is expecting her second child next year. “But the benefit of being there was getting to work with great makeup artists and learning so much from them.” She counts makeup artists Pat McGrath, Dick Page and Gucci Westman among her mentors.
Barrymore became part of one of the most powerful fashion families in the world last year when she married art consultant Will Kopelman, whose father, Arie, is the former chief executive of Chanel. Barrymore wore a Chanel wedding dress then, and at the recent Flower event, she sported a Chanel watch and handbag (along with a J. Crew top, camouflage jacket and some killer striped and two-toned nail art).
“Arie was such a pioneer with fragrance and beauty, so I have the most incredible person to go to for advice. I had no idea the auspiciousness of starting this business, which I did when I was dating my husband. That was not planned at all. But they are the most wonderful people.”
Her new brand was recognized as WWD Beauty Inc.’s mass market newcomer of 2013. And so far, she relishes life as a mogul.
“I love business. I love it!” she said. “And this allows me to be in the boardrooms, the labs, to do marketing and be involved in every aspect of the formulas, pigments and colors.”
Barrymore likes to get her hands dirty, too. From her living room in Montecito, she conducts makeup tutorials on her website during which she transforms her own face from bare to made-up in front of our eyes.
She uses everything in her line, which is carried exclusively at Walmart and includes 181 products, and she names the Skincognito Stick Foundation as her must-have. “It’s like an eraser,” she said. Her favorite lipstick shade is Get to the Poinsettia — “It’s like this bright, happy, poppy neon sign that works on all ages, skin types and hair colors.”
Besides her work on Flower, Barrymore just finished “Blended,” a comedy with Adam Sandler scheduled for release in May.
And she has a book, “Find It in Everything” (out Jan. 14), of photos she’s taken of heart shapes found in everyday situations.
What’s the most unusual place she’s seen a heart? “In a ball of lint on the floor and a weird light storm in the sky. Something that was barely there to begin with and won’t be there in a moment.”