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Bobbi Brown: Katie Holmes 'is the new Ali McGraw'

TODAY beauty editor Bobbi Brown talks about her newly announced partnership with actress Katie Holmes, who will be the first celebrity face of Brown's 21-year-old makeup brand, saying Holmes reminds her of her beauty icon, Ali McGraw.

By Eun Kyung Kim, TODAY contributor

Makeup artist and cosmetics mogul Bobbi Brown nabbed Katie Holmes as her makeup brand's first-ever celebrity representative because of the actress's natural beauty and presence — not for her star status — she said Friday on TODAY.

“I didn’t hire a celebrity. I hired a woman who I think is really cool, who is down to earth, who sparkles when she enters a room, and she photographs really well,” she told TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie. “She’s beautiful and she’s relatable.”

Holmes will represent the Bobbi Brown cosmetics line in print ads and editorial features starting in spring 2013. Brown said she met the 33-year-old “Dawson’s Creek” actress over tea just eight weeks ago — fresh off her divorce from Tom Cruise — after being introduced through mutual friends.

“We just connected. We clicked. We’re both from the Midwest, we’re both entrepreneurs, we’re both working moms,” Brown said. “We had a really great time together.”

Talk eventually turned to Holmes' first New York Fashion Week show on Sept. 9, where she will feature Holmes & Yang, the fashion line she launched with stylist Jeanne Yang.

“I told her, 'I would love to do the makeup,' so we decided to collaborate and then organically it was just like, 'oh my God, would you ever consider,' and she said yes,” Brown said.

Holmes’ appeal reminded Brown of her beauty icon, actress Ali McGraw, whom she called “the most beautiful brunette, natural, outdoorsy. Katie is the new Ali McGraw.” 

Getty Images,

Similar beauties? Bobbi Brown compared Katie Holmes to actress Ali MacGraw (R), as scene in a scene from the 1969 film Goodbye, Columbus.

Brown said she plans to play up that natural look with Holmes, who is not known for wearing a lot of makeup.

“I don’t necessarily see her with red lips and smoky eyes, but that’s not my style,” Brown said. “My style is natural, pretty, wearable, and she’s the perfect iconic face.”

In the statement issued by the company on Thursday, Holmes praised the makeup line, which Brown founded in 1991 and sold to beauty giant Estee Lauder a few years later. WWD reports industry sources value the brand at more than $500 million.

"It is makeup that is very accessible and makes you feel pretty,” said Holmes, adding, “sometimes it is just a lipstick or a blush that makes you feel like you can do what you need to do. Makeup is powerful and I am thrilled to be a part of this brand.”

Eun Kyung Kim is a TODAY.com contributor who could totally be the face of sleepless, over-committed moms everywhere. She welcomes tips on how to apply makeup in 30 seconds or less on Twitter @eunkim.

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See the actress rise from "Dawson" pal to Tom Cruise's former leading lady.