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January 26, 2023

In May 2022, makeup mogul Bobbi Brown had a decision to make: should she clap back at the TikTok influencers who were misusing her newest product, a moisturizer-like foundation, or should she keep her mouth shut and avoid feeding the outrage cycle?

Brown split the difference. She recorded educational videos about how to properly use the foundation (sparingly, not in fistfuls, as some wayward TikTokers had done) and one joke reel that poked fun at the gobs of product the influencers were using. Naturally, the joke reel went viral, drawing north of 4 million views.

“I was like, ‘Uh oh, am We gonna get canceled?’” Brown said five months later. She mentioned the incident during a makeup master class for her new brand, Jones Road Beauty, in front of a live audience of some three dozen—wait for it—social media beauty influencers. She got laughs in response, because of course Brown was not canceled. “Foundation-gate,” as her son Cody Plofker refers to it, has only endeared Brown more to the social-media masses.

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