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 (opens in new tab)— 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 (opens in new tab) or a protein bar), and drive into Santa Monica to my studio office and FYFE Beauty (opens in new tab) 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 Cleanser (opens in new tab)Sisley’s Radiance Foaming Cream (opens in new tab), or Caudalié’s Instant Foaming Cleanser (opens in new tab). Then I use my Eye Masks (opens in new tab), a moisturizer like Tammy Fender Celestial Rose Creme (opens in new tab) or GOOP's Glow Lotion (opens in new tab) on the other areas of my face and neck, then use my Gold Bar (opens in new tab) for 10 minutes. After the Gold Bar, I use Yon-Ka Paris Dry Skin Toner (opens in new tab)Augustinus Bader The Face Oil (opens in new tab)Omorovicza Budapest’s Queen of Hungary Mist (opens in new tab)Colleen Rothschild Black Tourmaline Face Primer (opens in new tab), and EltaMD’s clear sunscreen (opens in new tab) before makeup.

Shop Dempsey's Morning Skincare Routine:

Go-to Glam

From my brand, I love Sunny, Petal, and Poppy Cheek Tints (opens in new tab) (layered, or just one shade) and then I use my Shell Lid Tint (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) and Oribe (opens in new tab) styling creams, mousses, and dry texturizing sprays, and do minimal things to my hair. As for color, Tracey Cunningham (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab).

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 Cream (opens in new tab)Retrouvé Nutrient Face Serum (opens in new tab), a retinol twice a week (Shani Darden (opens in new tab) has a light one), moisturizers, Prism Plump It Up Squalane Oil from Prism Botanics (opens in new tab), and a mist. And neck creams! I use the Natura Bissé neck cream (opens in new tab)—I am a full-on junkie. I have lip balms for night time (Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm (opens in new tab) or Tatcha Kissu Lip Mask (opens in new tab)) 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.

Taylore Glynn is the Beauty and Health Editor at Marie Claire, covering skincare, makeup, fragrance, wellness, and more. If you need her, she’s probably roasting a chicken, flying solo at the movies, or drinking a bad Negroni at JFK.