Born to a Jewish family in Chicago, Illinois. Brown has 5 siblings including her step siblings. Brown graduated from Emerson College in Boston with a self-directed degree in theatrical makeup. In 1980, she moved to New York City to work as a professional makeup artist. Brown became known for a makeup style that included moderate and natural tones, which was a stark contrast to the bright colors used at the time. She and a drugstore chemist created a line of lipsticks (10 lipsticks on beige pigment). In 1991, Brown and her husband partnered with another couple to launch the brand Bobbi Brown Essentials, which debuted at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City. A chance meeting with the grandmother of an NBC Today Show producer led to a 12-year run as a regular beauty consultant on the show. The revolutionary success of her makeup line prompted Estée Lauder to buy the company in 1995, retaining Brown as an employee. Her work has since been featured on the covers of magazines such as Elle, Vogue, Self and Town & Country. Brown was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2013. Brown served as Yahoo Beauty's Editor-in-Chief from February 2014 to February 2016.