If you find yourself a bit overwhelmed by the sheer volume of YouTube makeup videos and influencers who act like they have degrees in skincare, then legendary makeup artist Jillian Dempsey has a solution: the makeup app, Fyfe. The subscription-based platform, which just celebrated its first anniversary, offers video tutorials by beauty-industry experts as well as a shoppable component.
“Fyfe will be there to hold your hand by cutting through a lot of bullshit in the beauty industry,” Dempsey tells Glamour. “We’re here to answer questions, like how professionals are approaching their skin-care and makeup routines. Or to get even more specific, do you apply concealer before foundation? Or after?”
Dempsey—who has her own organic, cruelty-free cosmetics line, Jillian Dempsey—is passionate about sharing her wisdom. As one of the most sought-after makeup artists, she has pretty much tested and tried everything. She knows what’s worth the money and what isn’t. And even when she points you in the right direction, she wants to make sure you know how to properly use a product (case in point: our 30-minute Zoom turned into an hour-long session so she could demonstrate how to properly use her iconic Gold Sculpting Bar, of which Jennifer Aniston is a fan).
She’s also incredibly honest. “I did my fair share of suntanning early on, so I’ve had dark spots,” she says. “And I recently did a laser on my neck called Morpheus8. It’s a neck-tightening laser, but I’m a wimp when it comes to pain, so I stopped. Since the neck area ages faster than the rest of the face, I’m constantly layering up with oils, creams, etc. I use the Natura Bissé neck cream pretty religiously.”
And speaking of oils, Dempsey is a big fan but advises against those that make your face look like an oil slick. So what are her faves? For Glamour’s latest installment of Drop the Routine, she reveals all that and more.
I use a couple different things. I use Sisley’s Eau Efficace cleanser to remove mascara and lipstick, or Natura Bissé’s CC Vitamin Micellar Cleansing Water. I also like Nature of Things Clarifying Facial Polish; it’s a powder that you mix with a bit of water, and it gives you a gentle, natural, fine-granule scrub. I massage it all over my face. Don’t scrub around your eyes, but I like to go into the T-zone areas and chin. It’s too aggressive for me to use every night, but I do use it frequently, three to four times a week. For everyday, I recommend Dr. Barbara Sturm Foaming Cleanser or Sisley’s Radiance Foaming Cream or Caudalié’s Instant Foaming Cleanser. Anything foamy, I like to use as a gentle rinse-off.
Yon-Ka Paris Dry Skin Toner. It’s strong, but also alcohol-free and smells like rose. It helps hydrate and revive dull skin. You have to have Yon-ka!
My retinol serum
Shani Darden has a light retinol that I really like because sometimes retinol can be too strong for my face. I use hers twice a week.
My everyday serum
Retrouvé Nutrient Face Serum. The price tag is really high, but it’s really good. It’s like a good meal for your face where you want to return time and time again.
My face and body oils
In the morning I use Augustinus Bader The Face Oil. It’s an oil every makeup artist loves because when it goes on the skin, it dries matte. You don’t want a shiny face out there. And then for evening, I recently discovered Prism Plump It Up Squalane Oil from Prism Botanics. It’s like a plumper for your face, but it’s an oil.
My replenishing cream
Tammy Fender Celestial Rose Creme—I use it whenever I can because it makes me feel good. I love when a product captures the rose scent, but it’s not overwhelming.
My face mask
The Sisley-Paris Black Rose Cream Mask is a staple. You can use it a few times a week and keep it on for 10 to 15 minutes before washing your face, or leave it on overnight for a more intense overnight mask.
My eye cream and eye mask
Since I was 20, I’ve used Paul Scerri Eye Contour Corrector Cream. It’s very heavy, and I use it every single night. No one has ever been able to take me away from this. This is my staple. I can’t be without it. It was $18.99 and now it’s around the $60 range. That’s how long I’ve used it! [Laughs.] I’ll jump ship on a lot of different things and try a lot of products out, but I always return to this cream. And then for my eye mask, I have eye patches that are biocellulose and feel like a second skin. You can use the gold bar roller [Editor’s note: See below.] to roll over the patches for added benefits.
My sculpting device
My gold sculpting bar is pretty life-changing. You put your favorite moisturizer on, twist the roller so it starts vibrating, and just roll. Go in one direction, because you want to lift everything up. You can take away those sodium eyes like nobody’s business, and if you get sleep wrinkles from your pillow or your arm, this will really help iron those lines out. I would do it for 15 minutes every single morning if I could, but even five minutes on each side of the face is great. I completely stand by it. [Editor’s note: We do too.]
My daily primer
I’m obsessed with Colleen Rothschild’s Black Tourmaline Face Primer. You think, Why put a black primer on your face? But it goes on and disappears without leaving a heavy texture or a silicone slick, and lets your skin breathe. And I like how it performs under my makeup. It works. Colleen’s products take up an entire shelf in my bathroom. I also love her Dual Enzyme Polish and the Extreme Recovery Cream.
My spot treatments
Heather Bradley does my facials, and I call her the magic hands magician. She’s like a sculptor with her hands. She has a product she makes called Bradley Beauty’s Barnacle Buster, and you put it on a cotton pad and press it into your nose or little areas, and it fixes you right up. I like solution-based products to target a pimple or something. Dr. Barbara Sturm has a great spot treatment that comes in several shades, and there’s also one called End-Zit Acne Control Drying Lotion, which is the worst name ever, but it works!
My lip balm
I’m a big fan of Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm. It’s the thickest lip balm ever. If you have really dry lips, this is perfect for you. My kids steal mine. And the Tatcha Kissu Lip Mask. It’s the best.
My face mist
I’m a bit of a freak about this. I love Vertra. I live in Malibu and I do go surfing with my kids. I know if I wear Vertra’s stick, I won’t burn. I put it on my hands too. They have one called the Daily Driver that’s a spray, but if you don’t like that white veil, you won’t like it. I don’t mind it. It just reminds me I’m being protected, and I like that security. It’s great if you’re out in extreme-heat environments. And I also love EltaMD’s clear sunscreen. It’s a favorite of a lot of different people. And iS Clinical’s Eclipse SPF50; it’s a sheer daily sunscreen with mineral UV filters and vitamin E.
Jessica Radloff is the Glamour West Coast editor. You can follow her on Instagram at @jessicaradloff14.