She's so Cult

She’s so Cult: Jillian Dempsey

The name behind Hollywood’s ‘glowiest’ looks, {Jillian Dempsey} has joined our illustrious line-up of cult U.S. ranges. An A-List make up artist with a roster of the highest profile ‘canvases’ (we’re talking Jennifer Lawrence, Kirsten Dunst and Kristen Stewart), Jillian’s edit of natural tints (and that cutting-edge gadget) has caused quite the stir in the states so, pull up a pew and read on to learn more about L.A.’s go-to MUA…

A beauty obsessive since childhood (even her dolls were be-lipsticked), Jillian’s passion (and flair) saw her selling her own ‘private label’ to students (and parents) while still just in high school – a ‘capsule collection’ of make up essentials her friends would all clamour to access. An eager artiste, Jillian was always on the hunt for willing guinea pigs (/human friends) to practise on and, in 1988, she decided to channel her passion and make ‘making up’ a profession.

She enrolled in the prestigious Charles Ross School of Beauty in southern California, at which time all students were versed in both make up and hair. {Dempsey} excelled in both realms but, by the early ’90s she knew it was time to pursue either one or the other… and make up came top (hallelujah!).

It’s tough to get gigs when you’re yet to establish a name for yourself but, Jillian’s portfolio was majorly impressive. In Paris (where she lodged with Milla Jovovich), she soon started doing the rounds of ‘go-sees’ and her work caught the eyes of top industry tastemakers. Before long, she was working on shoots and collaborating with the likes of iconic photographers (Julian Broad and Mario Testino to name a few) however, her major break came in 1993…

Having moved back to Los Angeles, Dempsey was booked to do Brooke Shields’ make up for a double-page feature in Vanity Fair and from there, she struck up an ongoing relationship with both the publication and photographer, Annie Leibowitz. The list of ultra-famous names that Dempsey’s worked with is as starry as Hollywood Boulevard – Johnny Depp, Drew Barrymore… name an A-List icon and we’ll bet your bottom dollar they’ve been ‘beautified’ by Dempsey’s magic touch.

But, it isn’t just those with a lead role in this season’s blockbuster able to access the fresh, dewy look Dempsey’s known for. Thanks to her newest endeavour – spawned through her friendship with ultimate ‘cool girl’ Kristen Stewart – {Jillian Dempsey} comprises a capsule collection of multi-use crèmes to enhance without looking too ‘done’. “I wanted to make something that everyone would know how to use without a pamphlet” says Dempsey, whose subtle, all-natural {Lid Tints} are perfect for lending a chic, slept-in sexiness – simply smudge over eyes for that instant ‘Kate Moss-at-a-concert’ aesthetic (goals!).

“I like to make the products I would choose to use but find it tricky to track down. I go for what I feel is authentic: easy, mistake-proof, finger-friendly and as natural and organic as possible” says Dempsey. However you want to apply the cool, clutch bag-compatible {Lid} and {Cheek Tints} is entirely at your discretion – there are no rules when it comes to these sheer, ‘sheeny’ colours that lend skin a wash of believable pigment for ‘I just woke up like this’ vibes. 

And for all those intrigued by the baffling {Gold Sculpting Bar}, this 24ct gold bar is the best way to upgrade your skin care regime. Like putting a jet-pack on your bicycle, this ‘buzzy’ gizmo aids the penetration of your products while it takes your facial muscles to the gym – lifting, firming, toning and assisting the expulsion of accumulated toxins for a clearer, smoother visage (what’s not to love?).

A Japanese secret, Dempsey decided to introduce this to her roster of high-profile ‘canvases’ (rumour has it, Emilia Clarke is besotted) and, thanks to Yours Truly, you don’t need an Oscar to get your skin glowing. A great way to rev your cells’ engines while softening lines and diminishing signs of ‘tech neck’, consider this your facial roller 2.0 – a good-looking gadget that does the hard work of de-puffing, contouring and circulatory-boosting while YOU do the tough job of scrolling your Instagram feed…


Verity Douglas

Verity Douglas

Content Editor

Verity is our Content Editor and a Cult Beauty veteran. Currently on maternity leave, raising Cult Beauty’s honorary ‘word nerd’, Tabitha, she speaks fluent ‘beauty’ and loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm (and cleanser and candles… ad infinitum). Nothing can stop her from quoting Nancy Mitford, treating herself to yet another Bella Freud candle for her desk or buying that pilgrim-esque collared or heavily fringed outfit she’s been eyeing. You can trust her to debunk widespread beauty myths and dispense invaluable advice with ease…