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Whitney a BEAUTY PIE Insider

Whitney a BEAUTY PIE Insider

Written by Marcia Kilgore

1 Mar 2023

Beauty Pie Founder Marcia Kilgore and Flowerbx Founder Whitney Bromberg-Hawkings

Whitney Bromberg-Hawkings is the incredible Dallas-born, London-based founder of our favourite flower company, FLOWERBX. Having previously worked closely with fashion and beauty genius Tom Ford, Whitney saw a gap for chic and beautiful flowers, cut to order and internationally delivered. Opened in 2015, with a simple, pared-back aesthetic (bouquets consist of one type of flower only), the company instantly became the go-to choice for the world’s most stylish people and brands.

“Flowers are beauty,” says Whitney. “They’re one of the only single things - material things - that can actually improve your mood.  If someone sends you flowers, it’s about more than the flowers. It’s a symbol of someone thinking about you, taking time for you. Flowers to me, are connection.”

In a special installment of our series of beauty’s most searching questions, Beauty Pie founder Marcia Kilgore asked Whitney for her beauty 411.

1. Describe your relationship with the world of beauty? Enthusiast? Novice? Fanatic?

WB-H: I'm not any of those really. I'm sort of a ‘beauty purist’ For me, having a ‘beauty uniform’ just simplifies everything, so I'm not like a huge experimenter, but I love quality and as with flowers, I like things that are simple and beautiful. I like single stemmed flowers. I like tomato and mozzarella.

I don't like complex things and that’s one of the reasons Beauty Pie resonates so much with me, both in its aesthetic and with the product.

I don't like complex things and that’s one of the reasons Beauty Pie resonates so much with me, both in its aesthetic and with the product. It’s just a simple but genius idea. It’s just good quality, no BS.

2. Your biggest beauty ‘lightning bolt’ moment? The thing that has changed your beauty game?

WB-H: I had one when I was around 23. I had just started working at Gucci for Tom Ford. I came from Dallas, Texas. I never knew that people took care of their eyebrows. I just didn't know eyebrows were a thing! And Tom, I'd been working for him for like a week and he pulls me down into the showroom with this amazing makeup artist Pat McGrath - and he's like: 'Pat, can you show this girl how to do her eyebrows?'

I was sort of horrified, but also really excited. ‘Oh my God, Pat McGrath’s doing my brows!’ So she gave me the tools, showed me how to brush my eyebrows. And Tom was like, ‘you need to do this every day’. So that was like a lightning bolt moment for me. And now I'm always like, are my brows perfect?

MK: I remember seeing Tom Ford speak once at a Women's Wear Daily conference. He was the keynote speaker. And he said: ‘you know, someone asked me once why I get this groomed'. And he said, 'I just feel like it's polite’. And I thought, yes! He always looks perfect, a whole new level of grooming!

3. List the steps in your morning skincare routine in 10 words or less (we hope)

WB-H: Well, I’m a wash and go girl. Wash and go. And moisturise. Tinted moisturiser.

MK: Dare I ask, SPF?

WB-H: Well, no,  but SPF is in my tinted moisturiser. If I’m going out in the sun, I will apply SPF. But I do want to get Vitamin D, which is also important!

MK: You can also take vitamin D in a supplement!

WB-H: I do! But I feel like I don't go out in the sun enough here to wear SPF. Sadly, in London, I think tinted moisturiser is enough. But if I'm on holiday, 100% SPF is always first.

MK: Yes, definitely - because it’s a shame to be doing all that anti-ageing skincare work, you know, with Retinol or Vitamin C or whatever, and then not applying sunscreen.

WB-H: You put it on in London? Proper SPF?

MK: Yes! I use SPF25 during the winter and then SPF50 during spring and summer.

4. Beauty gadgets, yay or nay?

WB-H: Yay!

MK: What do you use?

WB-H: I use red light, which I think helps with seasonal depression. I think I have quite sensitive skin, so I can't use so much topical stuff. So, you just feel better, you look better. I put my daughter to bed, read her a story, run the red light and I feel it's great.

5. Aging gracefully? Pro or NO?

WB-H: Recently, gracefully.  But I think my motto would be ‘gracefully, with some help.’ 

Whitney Bromberg-Hawkins

6. From 1-10, how hot do you like your shower water?

WB-H: Eight!

MK: Me too!

WB-H: It’s not good for you, I know. My husband does the Wim Hof method [ice-cold showers] for like 3 minutes, even in winter. And I’m so jealous because I’m sure it’s so good for you.

MK: I’m sure it is. I’m trying as well - but it’s really, really tough. I’m trying to get there. Maybe by the time we next meet!?

WB-H: Well, let’s hope we don’t meet for a while then!

7. Are you married to a particular fragrance, or more of a Tinder fragrance type?

WB-H: I’m a purist. It’s Tuberose all the way.

MK: Which is your favourite one?

WB-H: Fracas for ever and ever. But also, one of my good friends has a company called Sana Jardin, which is a really beautiful super sustainable fragrance brand. I invested in it and I love her Tuberose. It's actually the first time I've switched to another Tuberose scent.

8. Which beauty items are always on your person?

WB-H: Always the Unlipstick!

9. Please share your most helpful makeup tip.

WB-H: I think brows. I mean, I got a lot from Tom [Ford], I have to say. He's a beauty expert and when we'd have to go out to an event straight from the office, he’d be like ‘just put some of this illuminating primer on over your makeup’. And it would just sort of wake everything up and you'd be  like, ‘oh, well, that made everything look fresh again’.

So that was a good one…and then there’s the two Coke cans. I don't drink Coke, but two cold cans of Coke on the eyes if you're feeling stuffy, puffy or just like tired - they just sort of tighten everything up.

MK: Well, whatever works!

10. How do you get into the ‘evening out’ beauty zone? Bubble Bath? Killer smoky eye?

WB-H: I feel like these days I’m always running out of the door - finish work, get the kids sorted and then rush straight out. So I don't really have time to get into the zone. I would love to have a bath before I go out, but I feel like before i know it I’llI have my whole life for that. When the kids are a bit older I can bathe all I want!

MK: Yeah. Entrepreneurs bathing, right? What is a bath?

WB-H: I think some sparkles on my eyes always help. It just sort of makes you look a bit festive. And when in doubt, just a lot of dark eyeliner. It makes you look moody and dramatic.

MK: I agree! Pati Dubroff did this beautiful smokey eye kit for us which has the perfect eyeliner and then the perfect palette and you just put it on and then you just need a very neutral glossy lip and you just look serious about going out.

11. Advice for your 16-year-old self?

WB-H: I would say: ‘you're better than you think you are,’ because I had so much self doubt at that age. And also ‘don't compare yourself to other people’. I used to obsessively do that, and it’s just a waste of time.

MK: Somebody said to me once that comparison is the thief of joy.

WB-H: So true! Even now, I don’t even look at what other people are doing. I have so much to worry about - about myself, my own game, my own world and my own family!

MK: It’s why I like to stay busy - so I don’t have time to look at what everybody else is doing.


12. Weirdest treatment you’ve ever had at a spa?

WB-H: A colonic! I will never be doing that again! It was just AWFUL.

13. How many pull-ups can you do in a row?

WB-H: Oh I don’t know! I sometimes do push ups on the pilates reformer, but I haven’t done a pull up in a long long time. How many can you do?

MK: Oh, none. But when I was a bodybuilder, which was in my early twenties, I could do 30 pull ups, which was pretty incredible. I had a six pack!

14. How would you break it to your hairdresser that you need something ‘new’.

WB-H: I actually wish THEY would break it to ME that I need something new! I’m such a creature of habit. I’ve got the colour person, the hair person, but I’m such a routine girl.

I don’t want to be stuck in my ways. It would be great if someone would say to me ‘do you know what would be great?'

And you know what? I don’t want to be stuck in my ways. It would be great if someone would say to me ‘do you know what would be great?' When I worked with Tom [Ford], he would always do that. I feel like I need to mix it up!

15. Supplements?

WB-H: Vitamin D, as we’ve already discussed!

MK: Any others?

WB-H: The omegas and calcium!

16. Your ‘go-to’ beauty birthday gift to give someone?

WB-H: A Beauty Pie subscription I think is a great gift!

MK: It IS a great gift!

17. Your beauty icons?

WB-H: You of course Marcia!, Jenna Lyons is also totally amazing. I love those sixties models like Twiggy, I thought she was so beautiful. I loved Jean Shrimpton and those dramatic eyes. Audrey Hepburn. Current beauty icons, I mean, Beyonce to me is just my icon in everything and all things beauty and womanhood and motherhood, amazingly talented and beautiful. And works so hard, and keeps getting better! Sometimes you just think, how did you make that song or that performance even better?

18. What’s your ‘I am totally crushing it’ indicator?

WB-H: I’m waiting for that moment! I think when everyone's in harmony, when my family's happy. That saying ‘you're only as happy as your least happy kid’ is so true. So when we're all together and everything’s good. And I hate to say it, but sales are such a barometer of how I feel. Either you’re like, woo-hoo, we’re meeting the target or you’re like, ‘this is crazy’.

19. Five Must-Have Beauty Pie products?

WB-H: That Super Healthy Skin Hot Oil Double Cleansing Balm is so good! My daughter is seven and she loves it too. The Triple Hyaluronic Acid Lipopeptide Serum is also amazing. The Unlipstick, is totally genius. And I love the Superbrow™ Angled brow pencil. And number five, is going to be the Arch-Ology Tinted Eyebrow Sculpting Gel.

20. At Beauty Pie, we believe that overpaying is officially over. So we’d like to know: What things are YOU ‘officially over’? And why?

WB-H: I think anything environmentally damaging is really officially over. It's just wrong. Food waste is also wrong. I think I’m just over waste in general. And I’m over high street fashion where you buy something for £10 and it doesn’t last the season. All that has to be over now.

MK: Great, thank you so much Whitney! It’s been really great! We have so much in common!


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© 2023 Beauty Pie. All rights reserved.From The New York Times. © 2020 The New York Times Company. All rights reserved. Used under license.

© 2023 Beauty Pie. All rights reserved.From The New York Times. © 2020 The New York Times Company. All rights reserved. Used under license.