The renowned beauty expert opens up about stepping away from her namesake brand and launching a new makeup line, Jones Road
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Bobbi Brown
Credit: Lesley Unruh

It wasn't until Bobbi Brown had a conversation with her 90-year-old Aunt Alice that she decided it was time to walk away from her iconic namesake brand, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, after 30 years.

"She said, 'Every time I talk to you, you talk about all the things you have to do, and you're just not getting them done,' " Brown recalls. Still, "it was not an overnight decision."

Brown spent the first few days after leaving the helm of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics as you might expect: surrounded by close friends and big bottle of tequila. She had "a really good cry" — and then got ready to move on. "I was like, 'Oh, I feel awful. Well, I don't want to feel awful. So I'm going to drink some water, hydrate and go on a walk and clear my brain,'" she tells PEOPLE in this week's issue on newsstands now. "I'm kind of a positive, upbeat person."

Bobbi Brown
Credit: Ben Ritter

The makeup artist pursued new passions in the wellness space — becoming a certified wellness coach, writing her ninth book, Beauty from the Inside Out and launching a line of supplements at Walmart, Evolution_18. Initially, Brown didn't think she would ever go back to makeup, until her creative wheels started spinning.

"I thought, 'Why would I put things on my face that aren't healthy for me?' I wondered if I could create clean, efficacious products that were as good as anything I'd ever tried," she says. "I just went forward with this kidlike excitement—what if and how?" It was the beginning of her new brand Jones Road — a collection of makeup that adheres to strict clean-ingredient guidelines — which, undeterred by a global pandemic, she debuted last October.

Brown maintains that her "fearless" mindset kept her going during the pandemic. "I realized that if I didn't have an upbeat, positive attitude and I weren't open to change, I never could have done this," she says of launching Jones Road in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Quarantine, she adds, "teaches you that you have to really reinvent everything. Every single thing."

She calls her father Joe Brown her role model, who has inspired her to find what you love doing, regardless of your age. "Fifteen years ago, at 70, my father retired from being a lawyer and became a children's book author. He's written more than 10 books, is working on a screenplay and just hired a social media manager. He's happier than he's ever been in his life," Brown says. "It's never too late."