Growing up with music mogul Teddy Riley as a father taught professional makeup artist and beauty enthusiast Bobbie Riley a core trait that would apply to every facet of her life. Hard work has been instilled Bobbie since birth. She started her cosmetology career at the young age of sixteen and by seventeen, she was shadowing celebrity MUA Joanna Simkikn. After some years in the game, her robust resume speaks for itself.
We caught up with the young entrepreneur and self-taught artist, who admits it was her mother, Donna Riley, who sparked her love for beauty. Bobbie’s close relationship with her Donna shaped her ideals about beauty and hair as a Black woman.
“My mother to me and I’m sure that we can all agree, was my image of beauty growing up. She was always so naturally beautiful,” Bobbie shares. “To me, she looked like Pocahontas – straight up Disney princess. From an early age, I was readily imitating my mother’s beauty routine and that is the very moment I fell in love with emulating what I felt beauty was.”
Mothers are the first role model, queen and supermodel to stand before their young daughter’s existence. When a young girl is born, oftentimes their relationship with their mother (along with other factors of their childhood upbringing) is a determinant for how a young lady will, or will not, carry herself in the future as a mom, as a spouse, as a friend and as a human being. A mother’s relationship with her daughter will have their ups and downs, but will hopefully be filled with joyous memories of beauty, fashion, poise and sass. Bobbie’s relationship with her mother was the starting foundation for her career in beauty as she began to emulate Donna’s beauty routine from a young age.
“My mother always carried herself with respect, poise and she was kind of conservative in dress but very fashionable. Her makeup minimal but she always had on her MAC “Chestnut” liner and nude gloss or “Frost” lipstick – my now signature, too – and beautiful cascading bone straight hair which takes me a full day to attain but I find that to be when I feel most beautiful,” as Bobbie paints the picture for HelloBeautiful.
As she reflects on her earliest beauty memories, she remembers secretly making concoctions and potions with hairsprays and playing in makeup under her sink which she admits, “I’d get in trouble for.”
She continues, “Snagging my mom’s shampoo and using it – totally wrong – playing in my mother’s MAC makeup, and of course walking in her shiny high heels,” she continues.
As she tips her hat to all of the mothers out there, she gives a final salute to her own. “Love you, Mommy! Thank you for putting me first and [putting] my bubble bath before yours,” she giggles to HelloBeautiful to deliver the heartfelt message.