FOUR EDITORS TRY

Putting Bobbi Brown’s Latest Beauty Venture, Jones Road, to the Test

How do The Mascara and The Miracle Balm stack up to the storied natural beauty brand of the 1990s? Four W editors gave their honest opinions.


Photo by Maridelis Morales Rosado for W Magazine

Twenty-five years ago, Bobbi Brown was the It cosmetic brand for teenagers and adult women alike. The company’s push for natural beauty—makeup that enhanced facial features rather than masking or changing them—was a hallmark aesthetic aspect of the minimal 1990s. In October of 2020, Brown released Jones Road, a new venture whose line consists of strictly “hero products.” They are multifunctional in use—and notably, are a modern-day update to the central tenets of the makeup mogul’s identity. Four W editors tried two pieces from the Jones Road collection (the mascara and the Miracle Balm,) and gave their honest opinions.

Andrea Whittle, Features Editor

Describe your first memories of Bobbi Brown.

I’ll always associate Bobbi Brown with her seminal text Bobbi Brown Teenage Beauty. It was so ahead of its time in terms of talking about beauty in an inclusive way. It was about experimenting and having fun with simple, natural-looking products. Bobbi’s brand (even though it’s been owned by Estée Lauder since 1995) has always felt chic in the nicest, lowest-key way to me—I remember loving the “Beach” products when they first came out, and I’ve had a lovely pink powder blush of hers in my makeup kit for years now.

What was your initial impression of Jones Road?

I love that it’s simple, light, and neutral—it feels very much like the Millennial version of what she set out to do with her eponymous brand back in the early 90s—Glossier if it grew up going out to the Hamptons. I’m a no-makeup makeup kind of gal, so the aesthetic of this line really appeals to me.

How did the mascara work for you?

It goes on a lot like the Glossier and Fenty formulas I’ve tried—slick, light, not too “done.” It’s easy to apply, not clumpy at all, and not too dramatic to wear every day. No smudging or raccoon eyes after a full day of wear, either. My ideal mascara, honestly.

How did the Miracle Balm work for you?

First off, the container is massive—it’s closer to the size of a Nivea hand cream tin than a typical cream blush or lip balm, which makes it hard to cram into my little makeup kit. I found the formula a bit waxy and not particularly saturated: On cheeks, the Dusty Rose color is very subtle to the point of being almost invisible, and on my lips it reads as more of a shimmery balm than a tint. The benefit of that is that it’s almost impossible to screw up—if you feel like your face needs a little perking up on the go, this is a great way to add a little glow without even needing a mirror.

Would you use these products again?

The mascara is definitely going into regular rotation. The balm isn’t going to replace my usual blush or highlighter, but I’ll keep in my purse for touch-ups or a boost of moisture when I’m out and about.

Maridelis Morales Rosado, Visuals Editor

Describe your first memories of Bobbi Brown.

Bobbi Brown is one of the brands that, in my head, has always held natural beauty at the helm of their values. I don’t recall having any experience with their products, because when I started experimenting with makeup I was rocking very glam and saturated looks.

What was your initial impression of Jones Road?

I maintain a minimal makeup kit, and love keeping to what’s neutral, simple, and quick; I want to apply products that elevate my natural features, and I felt that Jones Road and Bobbi Brown are similar to one another in that sense. Jones Road seems more in line with my taste in terms of product versatility and branding as well. Since I had never used Bobbi Brown products I came into this with a blank slate, but expected durable wear and subtle but effective pigmentation.

How did the mascara work for you?

I haven’t used a different mascara since I got this one. I only need one or two swipes to lift my lashes and make them feel seen. It lasts through a whole night with very minimal flaking or wearing off under my eyes, but it does clump a little bit upon application. I am dreaming of the day I can finally wear it to go dancing and not have to worry about it melting away.

How did the Miracle Balm work for you?

The Miracle Balm (which I got in the shade Tawny) was fun to experiment with—I used it to give my cheeks a glowy lift before applying blush or as a base on my eyelids before applying eye shadow. I love having one product that serves multiple purposes, and makes traveling with it very easy. I love the amount of product the package has too, and smells like really fresh perfume.

Would you use these products again?

They’re perfect for a quick lift to go meet a friend or look presentable at my next Zoom meeting, so the answer is a hard yes.

Julia McClatchy, Assistant to the Editor in Chief

Describe your first memories of Bobbi Brown.

As the youngest of three sisters, I have definitely acquired my fair share of cosmetics. Through years of trial and error, Bobbi Brown has always remained synonymous with timeless, luxurious beauty and Jones Road has further raised the bar.

What was your initial impression of Jones Road?

These days, I rarely wear makeup, so I am always interested in multifunctional (and clean) beauty products that keep my routine and look simple. Jones Road products check every box here and certainly deliver on behalf of Bobbi Brown.

How did the mascara work for you?

I am still adjusting to the mascara, as I have found that the curved applicator applies more product than I prefer and leaves my lashes feeling rather clumpy. Regardless, I really do love this formula and look forward to using this long lasting mascara for a night out in 2021. (Fingers crossed!)

How did the Miracle Balm work for you?

The Miracle Balm (in the shade Dusty Rose) is hands down my favorite Jones Road product so far. This product smells phenomenal and the color gives the perfect sun-kissed glow. I used this product on my cheeks (applied with a beauty blender), lips, and eyelids (on which I used my fingers). But honestly, you can put it anywhere—it truly is a miracle balm.

Would you use these products again?

Ten out of ten, yes. The Jones Road products have found a home in my makeup bag and I highly recommend you open yours and invite them in as well.

Maxine Wally, Senior Digital Editor

Describe your first memories of Bobbi Brown.

When I was in elementary school, the wealthiest girl I knew had the book Bobbi Brown Teenage Beauty: Everything You Need to Look Pretty, Natural, Sexy and Awesome. Anytime I’d go to her house, I just stared at the cover; a brunette young woman with a smoky eye and natural lip stared back at me. At the time, I found her to be strikingly beautiful.

What was your initial impression of Jones Road?

I’d heard rumblings about the upcoming release of Jones Road—there was lots of hype. Beauty junkies were eager to see how Bobbi Brown would introduce a new, seminal brand for 2020. When the Jones Road hero products arrived in the mail, I found the minimal packaging and boxy text felt very of the now, but still maintained a classic Bobbi Brown feel.

How did the mascara work for you?

As I have previously noted, mascara is the only eye makeup I use, and due to my thin, sparse eyelashes, I like to pile it on thick. For this reason, I loved the Jones Road mascara—the formulation is luxuriously viscous; it reminded me of Benefit’s Bad Gal Lash. The fat, curved brush allowed me to apply liberally, while giving my lashes a nice lift.

How did the Miracle Balm work for you?

I used the color “Au Naturel,” which is a shade that essentially goes on the skin clear. Because it’s so subtle, it barely shows up—it just provides a little shine. I used it on my lips and as a highlighter on my cheekbones for the W holiday Zoom party.

Would you use these products again?

I absolutely would, especially the mascara, which will become a mainstay in my kit. When it’s safe to venture out into the world again, I look forward to tossing the Miracle Balm into my purse when I leave for work in the morning, to use whenever I need a touch-up.

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