Women in Beauty: Jillian Dempsey on Career, Family Life and Her All-time Beauty Heroes

May 30, 2020

Jillian Dempsey is a true powerhouse beauty entrepreneur. She’s one of the most well respected makeup artists in the business, has an award-winning beauty collection and most recently, has launched a revolutionary virtual makeup app. She also happens to be one of the most genuine and warm women I’ve ever interviewed.

So how does one woman do it all? Here, Jillian Dempsey shares the people who have inspired her along the way, and of course— the beauty buys she can’t live without… 

‘It is easy to feel insecure and doubt yourself as an artist. I have fallen into that trap a few times and the way I deal with it is to keep working and learn from your experience. I stay open and go with what feels right. If you fall down, get right back up and turn it around as fast as you can, to see it in a positive light.’

Jillian recalls her first big break back in 1993. ‘I worked with Brooke Shields for an editorial shoot with Vanity Fair magazine.’ This foot in the door eventually led her to forming strong relationships with the majority of the Hollywood A List.

In fact, Jillian’s worked with everyone from Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Winslet to Leslie Mann, Jennifer Lawrence and Kristen Stewart.

‘I have always admired fashion photographers like Craig McDean and Steven Meisel. The way they capture beauty is truly captivating and inspirational to me.

They taught me to always be prepared for anything and [to always be] organized.’

In 2015, Jillian launched her own namesake makeup line, and rather than offering an endless line of products, she focussed on ‘hero, easy-to-use multitaskers’.

‘I do half of my face in my car… as long as I get mascara on with a lash curler pre-drive! I focus on smudged eyes, concealer, cream blush on the cheeks and a brow. I like to do minimal make up.’

And if having half of Hollywood on speed dial and an award-winning beauty line wasn’t enough, recently Jillian has moved into the beauty tech realm with a new virtual beauty app ‘FYFE’.

‘For the past three years, I have worked with my tech team to combine beauty and grooming tutorials along with virtual makeup try-ons.

The FYFE app is also a new platform for other professional artists to show off the tips and tricks of the trade in very fast paced instructional way. It is only available in the US (as of now) but hoping to open to the wider world soon.

The thing I’m most proud of though is giving birth to three beautiful, healthy children— and the strong will that I have to work and balance life with having a family. ‘

Jillian on Beauty:

Who are your beauty icons?

Bridgette Bardot transferred to Kate Moss.

How does beauty make you feel?

I like having options to wear different looks whether natural or kicked up for a more dramatic vibe. I sometimes go with my mood to dictate the makeup look.

What would be your hero beauty product?

It’s my Gold Sculpting Bar. I relax with because it releases all the tension in my face and any headaches. It also smooth out lines, de puffs and contours my face. I truly feel refreshed after five minutes sculpting on my face. I am having a big love fest with that. I couldn’t do my job or my personal routine without it. 

Are there any workouts you love? 

I really love exercising and I am a big fan of finding your favourite sport to stay active with. It helps to support your mind and body. I love boxing and cycling. 

Shop what’s in Jillian’s beauty bag

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