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Creative Spotlight: Dana Oliver, Yahoo Beauty Dir.

Creative Spotlight is a weekly Friday feature highlighting Black creatives making trailblazing moves. In this space, your voices are heard and your hard work is celebrated!

Name: Dana L. Oliver

Age: 31

Occupation: Beauty Director at Yahoo Beauty

Where You’re From: South Carolina, currently residing in Philadelphia, PA.

Website/Social: DanaOliver.com – Instagram

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Bio: I am the beauty director at Yahoo Beauty. I was most recently the executive fashion and beauty editor at The Huffington Post. My work has also appeared on AOL.com, Glamour.com, AllHipHop.com and The NY City News Service. I hold a Master of Arts in Journalism from the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with a minor in African American Studies from Temple University. Profiled by prominent brands, including Fashionista, Rank & Style, Philadelphia Magazine, I’ve also been featured as a guest expert on BBC’s “World Have Your Say” and the co-branded radio show “HuffPost on Call with Dr. Jane Greer.”

JET: Give a little insight on your role as Beauty Director. 

Dana: I oversee beauty features and market coverage, as well as original video content including a series called #CopyThat, which explains how to recreate celebrity and runway-inspired looks. Whether I’m writing on topics ranging from natural hair to celebrity beauty secrets, interviewing top makeup artists, hairstylists, celebrities and models, or testing out the latest and greatest beauty products, my day is never dull and I love that! I am also proud to be a part of a team that is equally passionate about diversity and inclusion. My mission in everything that I do is to create content where anyone who visits Yahoo Beauty can feel connected and motivated to join the conversation.

JET: What are your all-time favorite beauty products and  5 staple products all Black women should have. 

Dana: My all-time favorite beauty products are:

  • Bumble and bumble Curl Pre-Style/Re-Style Primer
  • Shea Moisture 100% Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • OPI Samoan Sand Nail Polish
  • Tom Ford Black Orchid Eau de Parfum
  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural

5 beauty products all Black women should own:

  • Sunscreen — protecting your melanin from harmful UV rays is simply non-negotiable.
  • Red lipstick that makes you feel amazing every time you wear it.
  • Satin scarf/bonnet. Enough said.
  • Hydrating moisturizer. Black may not crack, but it sure does age!
  • A signature fragrance that leaves everyone mesmerized.

JET: What are a few pieces of advice you would give to girls looking to land roles similar to yours?

Dana: Study the beauty world inside and out. Educate yourself on the major players, brands and influencers who have shaped the industry and those individuals who are redefining what that looks like today. In order to become successful, you must be willing to work hard and remain humble. Obtaining that “senior” title doesn’t happen overnight. Lastly, don’t be afraid to speak up! Your voice really does matter.

JET: What are some of your personal goals?

Dana: 

  • Continue to mentor young black women, especially those who are interested in creative writing. There is so much power in words and molding a generation who can tell our stories is crucial.
  • Create a journalism scholarship fund for students of color.
  • Launch my own multimedia site/platform where I can illustrate beauty through my unique lens.
  • Travel the world with my family and friends.
  • Finish paying student loans so that I can invest in my parents’ retirement.

JET: What are five things people don’t know about you? 

Dana:

  • My first job was at Ace Hardware, where I learned how to cut keys with precision!
  • I am afraid of roller coasters.
  • As a child, I learned how to play the piano, clarinet and drums.
  • I don’t have a sweet tooth.
  • I can make a mean vegan mac and cheese.

Diahann “Dee” Williams is a photographer, writer, and Social Media Specialist for the EBONY brand. You can connect with her on Twitter & Instagram or DeexDee.com.