Drew Barrymore Talks Wine, Beauty & Business at Hearst Master Class

by The Daily Front Row
Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore, wearing Topshop (Photography: Michael Simon/startraksphoto.com)

BY NANDA RAI

Yesterday, Good Housekeeping and Drew Barrymore hosted Hearst’s “Inside the Actors Studio”-style Master Class. The Q&A session, led by EIC Jane Francisco, was followed by a wine pairing avec Drew, featuring spirits from her Barrymore Wines company. The actress discussed her break from Hollywood, launching two businesses, being a mom, and juggling it all.

On her work ethic…
My parents are total hippies. My dad didn’t even want to wear shoes, so that shows his level of responsibility. They were both pretty crazy and interesting, more dynamic characters. They were awesome in their own way. 

On how she’s changed over time…
I’m always energized with new ideas…and maybe now is my time, where my passion and life changes. You grow up, your palate changes, your perspective changes, and your lifestyle changes. There is this line of consistency, and from that you can jump off and try so many things because you always know you can come back to yourself. I just want to gather a lot of different things in my butterfly net. Things will fall through and will be a quick fleeting moment. Then there are the things that stay and keep me up at night and get me excited in the morning. It’s like a fire that I can’t put out, nor do I want to put out.

On being a mom…
I’ve carved out so much time to be a mother, and I show my daughters that I have to go off to work because I want them to have a good work ethic instilled in them. I’m a self-made woman. Work is important, being motivated is important, and taking pleasure in it is important. Don’t walk out with an eye roll or an apology for wanting to create things and make your dreams come true.

On launching Flower Beauty…
I was ending my contract at Cover Girl. I was there seven years as co-creative director and worked on all my campaigns. I had this great beauty degree, graduating from the college of P&G, and I didn’t know where to put it. Pedro Moss found me and said, “Hi, Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, is looking for a new company that doesn’t exist for them and they’re looking to do something different. They’re looking for the right person to pitch themselves and prove what they can do.’

On the beauty biz…
I’ve been in the makeup chair my whole life. It’s a world in which I feel very comfortable. It’s very romantic, and it does help women feel really good about themselves—that is huge. There is no male equivalent to a women with makeup.

On what it means to be a woman…
I love that women are so thoughtful and complex. God, I know we drive men nuts with our dissecting and having to figure everything out, but that’s what makes us women. That’s what makes us heightened, sensitive, compassionate, and aware. I love that men can keep it simple too, but I’m a woman. I embrace us. 

On her hiatus from Hollywood to focus on family…
Putting my film job on the back burner was a very conscious choice that I made, and it did not feel like a sacrifice at all. It felt like the 100 percent right thing to do. I want to raise my girls, and I didn’t know how to balance that while doing films. In the near future I can experience how that works. But Flower Beauty allowed me to be entrepreneurial, be creative, be a business-minded person. I love to be creative. That always thrills me, but I love rules and how it all functions. You have to make money and be successful enough to keep it going. It’s not just about the money—you have to ask, How can I really make something thrive? Whatever your intentions are they’ve got to be good or pure, but it has to work on a certain level or it will disappear. I got to do all of those things while raising the girls the way I wanted to. 

On her goals for the company…
We’re going to take every cent of marketing dollars and put it into the formulas, and we’re going find a new way to get our message out there. We’ll be in a retailer where nearly 200 million people go to every week. We’re in our fourth year in [Wal Mart], and it is one of our strongest years so far. It takes so much work, focus, collaboration, energy, and trusting each other, challenging the ideas around the table all day every day. It’s such an incredibly powerful thing when you can be at work and believe in what you’re doing.

On what it means to have a desk of her own…
A desk for me was a metaphor of something consistent. I lived such a meandering, geographically wild life in film. I didn’t have parents. I was a really untethered person, and I think that was very conducive to me—being very free-flowing, curious, and hippie-like. I have another side of me that’s very grounded, with my kids. It’s very traditional and safe and consistent and full of values and pillars of wholesomeness of love. For me, those two sides don’t fight each other at all. They make the serious side more fun and the fun side more capable and accountable. 

On her newest endeavor, Barrymore Wines…
It’s so creamy, delicious, fruit-forward, and balanced beautifully with acid. I don’t like anything that finishes sweet. I like easy-drinking wines, but I don’t think that they should lack in complexity. I [wanted] to keep a lot of noise off the label so [the bottles] have shelf appeal.

On corks versus screw tops…
I never liked screw tops. I always felt “ewww.” However, screw tops are much more environmentally correct—it actually can preserve the flavor and integrity of the wine. When [we go] around the country talking to sales teams, they’re all saying, If you’re not a screw top, we’re not selling, because [people] have gotten too used to it. Now, running around the kitchen, juggling things, a screw top is awesome.

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