Jillian Dempsey's Self-Care Secret Is Farm Animals

Here, 24 hours with the legendary makeup artist.

jillian dempsey
(Image credit: Courtesy of brand)

Welcome to Beauty Around the Clock, Marie Claire's weekly peek into the daily lives of some of the most game-changing women in their industries. Ever wonder how they get it all done in a day? Here's your answer.

Jillian Dempsey has the career every aspiring makeup artist dreams of: She's beautified Hollywood's A-list—think Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Winslet— for decades and worked on the sets of award-winning films and television shows. In 2014, she launched her eponymous makeup line, which quickly became and industry favorite. And she democratized her transformative talents with FYFE Beauty, a tutorial app she launched in 2020 that teaches viewers how to create professional beauty looks at home. Here, she shares how she gets it all done.

Rise and Shine

I usually wake up around 6 or 6:30 a.m., and coffee is always first! Then I peruse my cell and call my husband, who is currently abroad working in a different time zone. After that, I go over the plan for the day with my twin sons (my daughter is in college). Then I'll work out, shower, and grab breakfast on-the-go (a cup of cold MUSH or a protein bar), and drive into Santa Monica to my studio office and FYFE Beauty headquarters.

Morning Sweat Sesh

Exercise is important for my mental health, so I either ride my stationary bike at home or do a toning class (usually barre or sculpt) with my trainer, Cynthia Webb.

A.M. Skincare

In the morning I typically use a foaming cleanser; I recommend Dr. Barbara Sturm Foaming CleanserSisley’s Radiance Foaming Cream, or Caudalié’s Instant Foaming Cleanser. Then I use my Eye Masks, a moisturizer like Tammy Fender Celestial Rose Creme or GOOP's Glow Lotion on the other areas of my face and neck, then use my Gold Bar for 10 minutes. After the Gold Bar, I use Yon-Ka Paris Dry Skin TonerAugustinus Bader The Face OilOmorovicza Budapest’s Queen of Hungary MistColleen Rothschild Black Tourmaline Face Primer, and EltaMD’s clear sunscreen before makeup.

Shop Dempsey's Morning Skincare Routine:

Go-to Glam

From my brand, I love Sunny, Petal, and Poppy Cheek Tints (layered, or just one shade) and then I use my Shell Lid Tint for my upper cheekbone highlight. I switch between my line of Lid Tints depending on what I am wearing. They are fast and finger-friendly so they take no time at all; that’s part of the beauty of it! I am addicted to Ruby, Peach, Bronze, Glimmer, and Dew, and I mix them with my Khol Eyeliners for a sultry smudged effect. Next, a quick hit of mascara (I am currently on the hunt for the best one ever made to date) and I wear a variety of lip balm. Then, it's Shu Uemura Hard Formula Eyebrow Pencil on my brows followed by a clear brow gel.

Shop Dempsey's Makeup Routine:

Hair Sitch

I'm a real wash-and-go person: I use Virtue and Oribe styling creams, mousses, and dry texturizing sprays, and do minimal things to my hair. As for color, Tracey Cunningham does mine the best.

Typical Work Day

I am very comfortable multi-tasking and juggling a million things at once—I've done it my whole life. Monday through Friday, you can either find me doing a freelance makeup job or at my studio office working on my brand and my FYFE Beauty app—think of it as a creative studio, and each day we [focus on whatever] is the priority. We do a ton of shoots for FYFE, and I am constantly doing makeup or [product] testing. Each day is different.

Mindful Moment

I have a lot of rescue farm animals, and spending quiet moments with them allows me time to reflect. I have a deep appreciation and respect for all animals, so I feel very connected to them.

Instant Grounding

When I feel off-balance, I call my mom.

Beauty Muse

I love British icons, so probably Kate Moss. I am fortunate to work with many women, so I consider them all to be my in-person beauty muses!

Cheap but Chic Product

Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara by L'Oréal.

Evening Wind-Down

After I get through the dinner rush, the family usually winds down by reading or watching a favorite program. Sometimes I work on my projects like painting, sculpting, and designs. Just depends on my mood.

Evening Skin Routine

I remove mascara and concealer with a makeup remover, then switch out washing with an enzyme scrub or foaming cleanser. I use Paul Scerri Eye Contour Corrector CreamRetrouvé Nutrient Face Serum, a retinol twice a week (Shani Darden has a light one), moisturizers, Prism Plump It Up Squalane Oil from Prism Botanics, and a mist. And neck creams! I use the Natura Bissé neck cream—I am a full-on junkie. I have lip balms for night time (Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm or Tatcha Kissu Lip Mask) and some body lotions. That’s it!

Lights Out

The last thing I do before bed is kiss my family and tell them I love them.