Friday, April 19, 2013

First Look Fridays: Bryn Kenny, Public Relations Director for Dior Beauty

In the world of luxury, there are a few brands that really stand out to me. And at the top of the list? Dior. I've long been in awe of all the beautiful creations Dior turns out season after season, both in fashion and beauty. And working with Bryn Kenny, the Public Relations Director for Dior Beauty, is one of the highlights of being a beauty blogger. She's quick to respond, she sends the most fabulous options for each and every story, and she basically makes MY job so much easier by being on top of her game. Read on to find out what made her first gravitate toward the beauty world, the mascara she can't live without and so much more.

Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I grew up on Long Island near the Hamptons. I am and always will be a total beach girl. I was a competitive swimmer and an ocean lifeguard for years. I went to high school in Westhampton and then Middlebury College in Vermont where I studied creative writing and film.

How did you first become interested in beauty, and what led you to work in beauty PR -- and more specifically, for Dior?
I grew up in the 90’s, which was a very fashion-obsessed time. Even the grunge movement, which was theoretically anti-fashion, was about a very specific way of dressing, and I was always fascinated with the concept of communicating through clothes. It was also the era of the supermodel -- Christy, Linda, Cindy, Naomi -- and I think that shaped me a lot. I started reading magazines like Vogue when I was around 11. I would tear out all of the Versace ads and tape them on my walls instead of boy band posters. At the same time I started writing. In the summer my mom would force me to set aside an hour each week and write a story in a notebook ... she’d paste a picture onto a blank page and say, “Go!” I was a reluctant writer at first, but then I fell in love with the process. I started as an editor at WWD and then went to W as a beauty writer. To be completely honest, I’ve never been a beauty junkie. I was always more interested in the fashion side, but when you look at my career trajectory, I’ve always worked for brands that are about fashion at the core. Dior Beauty products aren’t just about ingredients and science. They’re about the heritage of the brand, the original vision of Mr. Dior. Everything can be traced back to that first collection in 1947.

What is your favorite part about working for Dior (or about beauty PR in general)? Any highlights throughout your career?
I’ll never stop wanting to meet fascinating people, and working in public relations for a brand like Dior, in a city like New York, has exposed me to some of the most talented, innovative, creative people in the world. Every day I’m meeting or speaking with someone new and that’s what keeps things exciting. As for a career highlight, I would say the dinner we hosted last year at The Hole Gallery to celebrate the 60th anniversary of our nail collection. We collaborated with the artist Holton Rower, who creates these incredible “pour”-style paintings. After dinner, Holton did a live pour for our guests in the gallery and incorporated shades of Dior Vernis. It was truly a one-of-a-kind event.

What are your 5 favorite Dior products?
Dior Hydra Life Beauty Awakening Rehydrating Mask. I have super dry skin and this really plumps without being too thick or greasy. I use it as a basic moisturizer in the winter.

Dior Capture Totale Peeling Lumiere. The best exfoliator ever.

Dior Addict Lip Glow. It just looks so natural, it’s moisturizing and it has SPF!

Dior Diorshow Blackout Mascara. Blackout is like the “emo” mascara of the Diorshow family -- it’s dark and moody and dramatic.

Dior Diorskin Eclat Satin Foundation. I just discovered this in the beauty closet. I’m not sure why it took me so long because it’s been around for a while, but I’m hooked. Again with my pesky dry skin ... it adds a bit of coverage without looking cakey or too matte.

Are there any other beauty products or brands that you absolutely love? What makes those products stand out for you?
NARS Lipstick. NARS makes the best lipstick shades. Heat Wave is the perfect matte orange red and Schiap is a genius bright pink.

NARS Orgasm Blush. I also love this (like everyone else in the world). It’s the perfect glowy, warm peach.

Fresh body products. They're my weak spot. The packaging is amazing and the formulas are luxurious without being overdone.

Guerlain Super-Aqua Intensive Mask. It’s one of those “Friday the 13th” style paper masks that should only be worn in the privacy of your own home. Even my dog is like WHAT do you have on?

Working in PR must be fun, but what do you do in your spare time?
I write! I’m working on a novel and a few screenplays. More than anything, I love telling stories and creating characters. Words can be very powerful and (at the risk of sounding cheesy) healing. I also go to comedy shows a lot. There’s so much raw talent in New York and I love watching comedians work, especially when they’re testing out new material. It takes some major you-know-what’s to stand up in front of a bunch of strangers and try to make them laugh. I really admire that kind of chutzpah.

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