September 2 2014

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Beauty 411: Jessica Gillin


jessicaBesides being a much-loved and -lauded hair phenom herself, Marie Robinson has, since opening her sprawling flagship salon in Manhattan’s Flatiron District a few years ago, also proven to be quite adept at spotting talent. And stylist Jessica Gillin is the best evidence of that. The gifted hair pro has bided plenty of time backstage alongside Orlando Pita and Danilo; contributed to Vogue, W, and Town & Country editorials; and tended to the crops of Michelle Williams, Vera Farmiga, Mary-Louise Parker, and fashion inner-circlers like Tory Burch, Jennifer Fisher (“She has the coolest jewelry in the world!” says Gillin), and Dani Stahl, whose hair I myself always had ample chance to admire while sitting a few desks away when we were on staff together at Nylon. Here, one of Robinson’s star players shares some of her own beautifying (and beyond) hot spots.

“I have been doing a combination of Barry’s Bootcamp, Flybarre, and Pilates classes lately. Barry’s is great for a hard-core workout. It’s high intensity, and I shoot for doing it three times a week. It makes me feel really strong and also improves my pace for longer runs outdoors. I think Flybarre is the hardest barre class in the city. I leave there literally shaking. The instructors are great at correcting your form, and all the little pulses really tone your body. I love my Pilates instructor, Karen Lord, most of all! I stand for at least ten hours a day and lug my kit up and down the subway stairs. My job is really physical and it takes a toll on my body. Karen kills my core, but also realigns my back and releases tension in my shoulders. She’s super-intuitive and amazing at healing injuries. She is opening a huge new studio in Tribeca this month and I’m so excited for her.

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“I love Le Labo’s Santal 33. It’s pretty masculine, but I don’t care. I like to combine that with a custom scent I had made by Julia Zangrilli. Her studio, Nova, is based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She creates one-of-a-kind fragrances and offers perfumery classes. The whole experience is so awesome. After your initial visit, Julia sends you all these little trials that you test on your skin. You have to try them out because they smell differently on everyone. It has something to do with pheromones. I think she sent me seven different testers before she was happy with it.”

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THE HAIR TEAM: Angela Haight and Allison Woodruff at Marie Robinson Salon
“I have worked with Marie for nine years, but when she opened her own salon and had a baby, I couldn’t ask her to stay late and do my color any longer. I have had everyone at Marie’s salon do my color—I’m lucky, as we truly have the strongest color department of any salon I’ve ever worked in. Angela has been doing it lately. She is so talented. She recently took me super-blond and I have zero breakage. Allison cuts my hair. She is a good friend of mine and gives the coolest cuts.”


THE BROW TAMERS: Landy Dean or Joette Balsamo
“I have really light eyebrows, so I color them darker. It’s so crazy when I do it because my eyebrows are so light that you don’t really notice them. Post dye job it’s like, “There they are!” Then Landy or Joette tweeze all the little hairs you couldn’t see before. I wish I had naturally dark, thick eyebrows, but Landy and Joette both totally fake it for me.”


“I don’t really get facials—I’m really low maintenance in that department—but I’m strict with my skincare regime. I use Radical Skincare exfoliating pads at night; they make my skin really bright. I also use its eye cream. I wash my face with Tracie Martyn’s cleanser and use her moisturizer. I take my makeup off with coconut oil. I use that and oil of oregano for everything. Oil of oregano is a natural antibiotic. I take it in capsules when I feel like I’m getting sick, and I use it topically, mixed with coconut oil, for sore muscles. If I get a breakout, I use Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, and it works overnight.”

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“In Williamsburg my go-to is Bird. I get anxious in big department stores and prefer shopping in a smaller, well-edited environment. Bird has everything I’m looking for. I also love scarves from this company called Upstate. They hand-dye raw silk in this Japanese tradition called shibori. They’re so beautiful!”

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“I’m a vegetarian, and my boyfriend is a really picky eater. Everything at Mogador tastes amazing, and it offers items we both can enjoy. It’s a really beautiful restaurant, too. The back is totally enclosed in glass so you feel like you’re outside—makes for a great mood booster in the winter.”


THE DATE NIGHT: Nitehawk Cinema
“My boyfriend and I both work long hours, so I used to hate wasting a date on a movie. Nitehawk changed that for me. It’s the only way I go to the movies now. You sit in these little theaters where there’s a table between the seats with a tiny light. You write down drink and food orders, and the waiters pick them up throughout the film. It’s genius.”


“I learned a lot of makeup tricks from working with Berta Camal. She introduced me to Koh Gen Do Aqua foundation, and I am obsessed with it. I mix it with moisturizer and it’s so sheer that it keeps my skin looking fresh. I also use Guerlain bronzer in Blonde because it’s not too dark or shimmery. For lipstick I like Rebel or Lady Danger by MAC. I also love RMS Beauty’s Living Luminizer and “Un” Coverup. Rose-Marie’s products are 100 percent organic, so you could sleep in them if you wanted. I put the Luminizer anywhere I want to draw light to—cheekbones, inner corners of the eyes, etc.; it’s so subtle but it really brightens up your face. And the “Un” Coverup is great when you don’t want to wear makeup but need a little coverage.”

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THE NAIL SPOT: Tenoverten
“I like this place when I want a relaxing manicure and pedicure. They do a super-meticulous job, and it’s so clean.”


THE HAIR REGIMEN: Oribe and L’Oréal Paris Elnett
“I color my hair really blond, so it tends to get a bit dry. Oribe shampoo and conditioner for moisture and control keep it soft and strong. The Supershine Moisture Cream keeps it from looking frizzy and the Dry Texturizing Spray is my favorite thing in the world. It creates volume in your roots and prevents your hair from getting greasy. Elnett will always be my favorite hair spray. You can spray many coats of this on your hair and still brush though it. It is the finest mist in the world, and it never goes on wet or gets sticky.”

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THE GETAWAY: Deer Isle, Maine
“My family has been going to Deer Isle since I was a child. It’s this little island off the coast of northern Maine about a ten-hour drive from New York, but you can fly to Bangor in half an hour. I go a few times a year. My grandmother has a cabin there on the water. I’ve done a lot of traveling, but I still think Maine is the most beautiful and peaceful spot in the world. It’s the only place where I feel completely relaxed.”

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