Top Women in Focus: Jill Dunn

Jill Dunn Jill Dunn is the Beauty Editor for Glow Magazine. This Canadian publication comes out eight times a year and shares realistic ideas, tips, tools, and shortcuts to help make taking care of yourself easier.

When you were a little girl, what did you want to be?
I thought I was destined to be a lawyer.

Why did you become a journalist?
From a very early age, I was always interested in current events and I loved to write. I realized that being a journalist would combine both of these interests in a fun way. I guess I always had more questions than answers, so it’s the perfect gig for me.

What was the first story you ever reported on?
I will never forget it. In 2003, I was interning at a large women’s magazine. After a few weeks of earning my stripes around the office (fact-checking, stuffing envelopes, etc), my editor entrusted me to write a review for the entertainment section about a new female erotica series that was to debut on Showcase. She handed me the preview VHS tapes, and off I went for the weekend. I was so desperate to show that I was up to the task that I couldn’t bear to tell her that I didn’t even own a VCR at the time. So on my way home, I popped in to Future Shop, bought a VCR, and settled in for four hours of erotica viewing. All in all, the content wasn’t that stimulating, but the racy topic was definitely a fun one to write about. I called it “Pleasure Principle” and I was so excited when it was published. But, I never did send that clipping home to mom!

What do you like about being a Beauty Editor?
I love the dynamic pace of the beauty business—there’s always something new to talk about. I still get excited every time I open a box that’s brimming with new makeup samples. The packaging, the textures, the colours – I love it all! I’m also a bit of a science junkie—I’m fascinated with high-tech innovation in skin care (from laser treatments to miracle ingredients). Scientists are constantly learning more and more about the skin and how it behaves, which in turn, trickles down to how we care for it and treat it. It’s fascinating. I like being in the know about the latest and greatest so I can relay the info to our readers. Plus, what other job in the world is it ok to test out nail polish at your desk and it be considered work?

I also love that there are so many wonderfully influential and successful women in this business. Beauty luminaries like Estee Lauder and entrepreneurial Canadians like Lise Watier, Hana Zalzal from Cargo Cosmetics, the sisters who created Vasanti Cosmetics and Heather Reier at Cake Beauty are all inspiring. It’s a privilege to be able to get to know some of these women and showcase their products in the pages of the magazine.

How do you keep up with beauty trends?
I’m obsessed with reading about fashion and beauty. In particular, I can run up a hefty bill at international newsstands buying foreign magazines (and when I go to Europe, my carry-on is always crammed with jumbo magazines to take back). I find it inspiring to see how beauty and fashion trends are interpreted in other parts of the world.

I also think what sets beauty editors apart is that we’re granted access to the most talented hair and makeup artists in Canada, if not in the world and they are a tremendous resource in terms of keeping on top of trends. Whether I’m backstage at fashion week or on set at a Glow photo shoot, I am always nosing around makeup and hair kits, looking to see what products artists using on the front lines and how they are using them. In all of the interviews I’ve done over the years about hair and makeup, I have to say I almost always come away with a new tip to try out, which I love to share with our readers.

What publications/websites do you read?
My favourite magazine right now that I devour from cover to cover is Glamour US. Every month, I also read: Allure, Marie Claire, Vogue UK, Fashion Mini, Elle, Fashion, New York magazine, T magazine and Women’s Wear Daily. Really, whatever I can get my hands on without completely diminishing my bank account.
Currently, I have several sites in my online reading rotation: thesuperficial.com and people.com (I know, I know, but I like the celeb indulgence from time to time)
Lucky magazine beauty blog

What beauty staples do you use daily?
Skin Resurfacing Cleanser, Multi-Vitamin Power Firm, Daily Microfoliant and Daily Resurfacer, all from Dermalogica.
Lancôme Bienfait SPF 30 Moisturizer.
Lancôme Hypnôse mascara.
Giorgio Armani Matte Silk Foundation.
Bobbi Brown Eyeshadows.
Lise Watier eye pencils.
Matrix Biolage Ultra-Hydrating Shampoo and Ultra-Hydrating Balm Conditioner
Philosophy Raspberry Sorbet Body Wash

A couple of times per week, I do a facial peel. I love the NeoStrata Glycolic facial peel. It’s 10% glycolic, so it makes skin feel soft, and radiant. And it does’t irritate my already flushed complexion.

What is in your purse today?
About 6 lip glosses: (Chanel Aqualumiere Gloss, a Lancôme Juicy Tube, Clinique Long Last Glosswear SPF 15, Clarins Gloss Appeal and a Shu Uemura Gloss Unlimited). The Clinique Almost Powder SPF 15 makep. And always, ALWAYS, my Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage. It’s the best concealer, bar none.

What beauty tip can you share with our readers?
A great one that I heard recently from Shaun, the product trainer at Smashbox, is about avoiding clumps on your mascara wand. Don’t pull the wand straight out of the tube. Instead, twirl it out of the tube clockwise– the brush is will be cleaner as the twirling motion allows just the right amount of product.

Who are you influenced by?
I’m influenced by all of the bright and intelligent women that I work with at Glow. Putting together a magazine is such a collaborative effort, so you need to be surrounded by smart people with fresh ideas to make it work.

What makes you smile?
Will Ferrell, Clive Owen and Johnny Depp. Sigh.

How do you juggle a career and a personal life
I have a supremely organized editor-in-chief who keeps everything running smoothly (this structure is something I need considering my leanings toward procrastination!). We work hard, at a steady pace, but thankfully, I don’t have to put in too much overtime (aside from after-work events), so juggling isn’t really that difficult.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Professionally, I hope to be doing something as fulfilling and exciting as I am right now.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to become a beauty journalist?
For any budding journalist, it’s imperative to hone strong research and writing skills. With beauty, of course, some of the topics are a little lighter that you can really have fun with (like keeping up with Hilary Duff’s hair colour changes). But on the flip side, there are more serious, scientific topics that require critical thinking and the ability to be able to cut through a lot of jargon to get to the crux of the story. At the end of the day, people trust you to deliver the most current info in an honest, entertaining way, and that is a responsibility that you should not take lightly.

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