?The people, places and products that make New York pretty.
Photo by Lauren Fleishman, Hair and Makeup by me. Dress by Zac Posen
Jennifer DeChristoforo is one of the livliest people you will ever meet. She rocks the beauty department over at Brides.com and she can fill out a Zac Posen dress like nobody's business.
Where are you from?
I'm a Boston Girl -- I'm about as "Yankee Doodle" as you get - July 4,1976 -- my entire family was at a barbeque taking turns to see "if the baby was here yet."? I was late -- June 28th just wasn't cool enough for me -- I had to come in to this world with a BANG! Even in the womb, I knew when and where the good parties were.? And per the ?Push Stars? ? ?If you want to fall in love find a Boston girl.? (I?m taking resumes ?)
How did you come to New York?
Honestly, I was getting ready to graduate and my then best friend from high school said I should move in with her in New York City.? I was really big into music, magazines, fashion and beauty so I thought -- I'll figure it out when I get there.? Then I was in a wedding with a girl who worked in HR at Cond? Nast and she asked if I wanted an interview.? Ah ? YEAH!? But I had to do some horrible temp jobs before I actually made it into the "Media Mothership."? I got lucky because one of the temp jobs I got was at Bride's Magazine in the Merchandising & Promotions Department with INCREDIBLE women who really fostered my career ? but I'll talk about them a little later.? I was also really involved in volunteering & Catholic Campus Ministry in college, so I thought if I couldn't make NYC work; I'd volunteer in Gnome, Alaska at "Radio Gnome."? My friends made fun of me saying that I could never do Alaska because there were no day spas in Alaska -- because there was NO DAY for, like, six months out of the year.? And, let's face it; my parents weren't exactly thrilled about me working for free in Alaska after footing the bill for school.? So that's the story.
What do you do now?
Right now I work at Brides.com -- the new Cond? Nast web launch -- as a Contributing Editor.? I love it and love the people I'm around each day.? There are rumors about Cond? Nast and difficult personalities, but I have to say, I have never experienced that and I've worked at Cond? Nast pretty much since I graduated college.? I work directly with the Editor-in-Chief, designers, and the Senior Executive of our division and it's great.? There are no egos, only the drive to produce an excellent product.? I also freelance for WWD.com (which I love) interviewing designers for the "At Work With" feature.? And ? this is the scoop, Kim!? I just got my own column at another magazine/website ? I'm basically "The Breakup Babe."? That's all I'm going to say about that one for right now.? We'll have to do a "follow-up" for that!
What is a typical work day (if there is one)?
There really is no typical work day. I get to do the beauty call-ins and have a say in beauty product editorial -- I respond to reader mail, I help proctor the Brides.com Forums, write guides and research when needed. We are a small staff and everyone pitches in -- if I'm asked to do something, I do it. And as I said above, I also freelance for WWD.com, so some days I'm talking to PR people or actually interviewing designers and celebrities. I'm also always thinking about what to do or who to interview next whether it?s for Brides.com or WWD.com. I keep myself pretty busy. Sometimes I go to events -- which can be fun -- but there's always an element of work involved and you really need to remember that. You can't just go crazy -- its media, so everyone is always watching and the "degrees of separation" aren't event six.
What is your favorite part?
Oh my goodness! I LOVE the beauty stuff! It's like Christmas at my desk on certain days -- products to look at, products to try. People wanting me to come to their salons -- and the access I get to certain things because of my own personal networking skills. What's hard is politely saying, "No." If you are a lady, you never ask for or call in product or services unless you know you are going to truly consider it. A lot of time it's purely timing -- and when I freelance for anyone else -- I stick to this policy.
Who is the person that you would most like to interview?
I don't think there's one person I'd most like to interview, but there are definitely people I'd like to just hang out with. Oh my ? there are so many. Mariah Carey. Cyndi Lauper -- I LOVE HER! I want her and Etta James to play at my wedding ? and Chris Botti (but right now I'm just "The Breakup Babe"). I'd love to sit in on a jam session with Sting, Matchbox 20, and BRUCE!!! I'm fascinated by musicians -- it's really because I think I was a rock star in a former life -- probably a drummer like Dave Grohl who then emerged as a lead singer. But I can't sing. At all.
Who has made you star struck?
Nobody has made me star struck yet -- BUT -- I did just interview Mandy Moore for her Mblem. line and she was the most gracious, kind and sincere woman. She is someone I'd love to just hang out with. I got a great vibe from her and truly just want to see her succeed with everything she does. She made that much of an impression on me. When I was working on Good Morning America with Bride's Magazine, I met a bunch of people over bagels in the Greenroom and struck up a conversation with Hilary Swank at the elevator. The weird thing about being around celebrities is they know you know who they are -- so just be normal and then they feel normal -- and it's just all good. My PR Director's comment was, "Only you could have a normal conversation with Hilary Swank." She was at a concert I was at -- so I brought it up and we talked about Tori Amos. And by the by -- she said, "Hello" to me first. Beautiful and obviously, ridiculously talented woman.
When, do you suppose, you will be the top beauty editor of the world?
Soon I hope! I have been such a beauty junkie for so long -- I mean waaaay back. In Kindergarten I wouldn't play T-ball, I refused actually -- but I totally signed up for Mrs. Pelletiere's "Beauty and Etiquette" class. We basically learned how to paint our nails without "cheating" -- you know -- having someone else paint your opposite hand. I know -- pretty sad. Oh ? and after top beauty editor of the world ? Editor in Chief of the world.
What makes bridal beauty special?
Bridal beauty is so special because it encompasses so much. It's not just makeup. It's skincare, nail care, hair care, fitness ? which is really a part of beauty. And when it finally does get to makeup, there are so many different aspects of bridal make-up. There are engagement photos, meeting the extended family, bachelorette parties, showers, rehearsal dinners, and obviously the BIG DAY! And you are constantly being photographed. This is something to think about. Know what is appropriate for the day and do or have your makeup done accordingly.
What are your favorite tips for brides?
Seriously -- see a dermatologist if you have something weird about your skin. It can probably be fixed, but make sure you make the first visit far enough in advance. If you are going to do the "spa thing" know what treatments your skin can handle with the time you have before your wedding. Don't get a facial two days before your wedding -- everything is going to "come out" -- that's what facials do.
What is your favorite beauty secret?
It doesn't have to be expensive to be good. In the winter -- I use A&D Diaper Cream on my face -- it works wonders! And I have to give a shout out to Daily Candy for that one -- it was in a mailing called "Butt Face" and it's a great tip. I also HIGHLY recommend L?Oreal?s Tear-proof and Waterproof mascaras ? they?ll get you through ANYTHING and NO raccoon eyes. Trust me on this one.
What is your favorite part of New York?
I do have to say I love standing in front of the window at Harry Winston's ?sigh ? but I really love Irving Plaza and Hammerstein Ballroom (back to the musicians). For instance, at Hammerstein I got rocked at a Nickelback show, partied with the band later at Bungalow 8 and the next time I was there, I was going to a revival church service with a girl and her husband from when I pimped out shoes and bags at Cole Haan ? yes, there are some not so glam times when you just want to get by ? but my discount was fierce!
Pat McGrath or Dick Page?
I'm not allowed to say "Kim Weinstein" so ... Neither. Kevyn Aucoin all the way. I adore him and waited in line for three and a half hours to meet him and have him sign my copy of "Face Forward." He was lovely and we chatted for a while NOT about makeup -- then I ran into him at a charity event and he remembered me! Then he wanted to introduce me to his friends Shalom and Liv ? as in Harlow and Tyler. Pictures do not do those women justice. Both are beyond beautiful. When Kevyn passed, his cosmetic line was just coming out and I must say, his team, despite his passing, kept his feel for perfection alive. His eyelash curler RULES! (You even used it on me for the shoot) And the product is so smooth. And by the by -- I had a Kevyn tribute on my door for a week when he passed away. He was a make-up genius -- and there's nothing more you can really say -- he emanated warmth and was a tremendous talent.
Anna Wintour or Glenda Bailey?
Well? Anna Wintour is a Fashion Icon and legend in her own right. She is excellent at what she does and you can't deny it -- but I'd rather say Kim France. She was the founding Editor of Lucky -- and from the beginning I was hooked. Ms. France makes beauty and fashion accessible to all women and for that -- as well as having such an incredible magazine that I LOVE ? I would like to personally recognize her for that.
* A very heartfelt THANK YOU to Mr. Zac Posen and his team (especially Sarah Rosen!) who allowed me to borrow the most beautiful garment I have ever put on my body.
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