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Dawn Burke Colvin

Principal Scientist

Mary Kay Inc.

Member Since: 1996

Southwest Chapter

What made you pursue a career in the cosmetics/personal care industry?

When I graduated from college, I was working as a microbiologist in an independent testing lab. Most of the clientele was food manufacturers, but there were a few cosmetic companies. I also worked part time at some medical testing laboratories, and of the three areas, cosmetics was the best environment for me. Over the years, I transitioned from microbiology to formulation, and still find it a fascinating field in which to work.

What advice would you give your younger self who is just starting out in the industry? 
Stay curious. Ask questions – learn from your mistakes. Develop your critical thinking skills – learn what questions to ask to get information or resolve issues.

What is the favorite part of your job?

The fact that there is nothing routine about it. Every day brings new technologies and new challenges -there is no chance to become bored!

What has been your most recent professional accomplishment?

Serving as President of the SCC in 2014!

How has membership in the SCC been of value to you?

Education and networking. The SCC has been a valuable source of continuing education at both the local and the National level, through the SCC Continuing Education courses, and the local monthly, National and International meetings. I’ve also established a solid network of professional peers both locally and nationally that I can and have contacted for advice on technical challenges, professional opinions and industry benchmarking.

What is a fun fact about yourself, outside of the SCC and your professional life?

As much as I love to run, climb mountains and ski, I never started any of those things until I was in my 30s.