We’ve been around for almost TWO YEARS now.
And you’ve been with us through the election of a new president, lots of beauty drama, as well as amazing stories we’re so proud of. We’ve been able to do so with a very small team of writers and freelancers. And you! Especially YOU– our extended Very Good Light family. Thanks for sticking around and being supporters by helping us redefine masculinity through a beauty lens.
So it’s super exciting that we’re expanding the team and adding two editors-at-large today! Together, we plan to continue our beauty coverage while also elevating our diversity stories as well. Please welcome Garrett Munce, former grooming director at GQ, as well as Arienne Thompson Plourde, a former editor at USA Today where she had a weekly segment on the Today show. They’ll be popping in and out of the site from here on out so please give them a warm Very Good Light welcome!
Below, get to know a little more about them!
Arienne Thompson Plourde
Okay – first thing’s first: let’s make sure we’re on the same page about how to pronounce my name. Just say “R-E-N,” and you’ve got it. (You’re welcome!)
With that out of the way, let me just say that I’m thrilled to dive headfirst into the Very Good Light universe as its inaugural editor-at-large! I’m a veteran journalist, with nearly 15 years of editorial (USA Today), television (Today show) and communications experience and an obsession for all things pop culture. No, really – I’m a beast at Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.
When VGL launched, I knew our EIC David Yi was onto something special and that I needed to be part of it. Together, we’ll continue to challenge and transform what it means to be male in the modern world. From A-list interviews to natural hair hacks, I’ll lead the charge for our celebrity coverage and diversity + inclusion content. And, when I’m not writing and editing fab new features for you to devour, you can find me glowed up, head to toe in Herbivore’s Rose Quartz body oil – with the Hamilton soundtrack on repeat in the background. Rise up!
I’m a [age redacted] editor with the skin of someone much younger, or so I’ve been told. I’ve worked in fashion magazines for over a decade (since before Instagram!). I was most recently Senior Fashion Editor and Grooming Director at GQ where I not only worked on all the fashion content of the magazine and special collaborations but oversaw all the grooming content as well. In addition to GQ, I’ve written for W, Men’s Health, Esquire, Askmen, Spotlyte, New York Mag and others; I’ve done fashion work for W, Teen Vogue, The Block, Saturday Night Live, What Not to Wear and the Today show. But this isn’t a resume, it’s an intro, right?
I’m a Sagittarius with a Leo rising and a Pisces moon (fiery but sensitive) and am a natural introvert who has learned how to be an extrovert out of necessity. It took me a long time to be okay with that. The Sag part of me is insatiably curious, which is I think what makes me a good editor.
I’m originally from Charlotte, NC and spent most of my life there dying to get out. I came to New York City fifteen years ago and have lived in Brooklyn for 11 of them. When I came here, I felt like I could truly be myself for the first time in my life.
I’ve been married to my husband (who is also a magazine editor) for 4 years. We never thought we would get married but here we are (and it’s awesome). We have a black pug named Elvira and she is a total Gemini.
David, editor of VGL, has called me a “beauty witch” and I guess I am. I use crystals, candles, spells, tarot and meditation in my personal spiritual practice but those things do not necessarily make you a witch. Witches come in all forms and whether you call yourself a witch or not, we all use our personal power in different ways to affect change. And beauty is something we can all find power in.
Things I’m interested in besides beauty, grooming and fashion: television, napping, scent stories, what my dog would say if she could talk, how I want to be a minimalist but am probably a hoarder, reading, healing, theater, how many plants I can fit in my apartment, ice cream, how many ghosts live in a one block radius of my apartment, Stevie Nicks, getting tattoos, conversations around masculinity, sexuality and subcultures, cozy British mysteries, dancing, iced coffee (black, please).
Things I worry about: waking up on time, inequality, whether my dog loves me as much as I love her, whether my husband would know if I got more tattoos, whether I’m watching too much tv, whether I’m missing out on something, body image, my diet (too much ice cream), our current national leadership, global warming, how little time there is in a day, mental health (my own, everyone else’s), the New York subway system, the state of the media industry, being late.
A big part of my job is trying out new beauty and grooming products and my favorite things to test are sheet masks, skincare, hair products and professional treatments (the crazier the better). Seriously, there is nothing I wouldn’t try for the sake of curiosity. I’m currently obsessed with natural/green/clean beauty and can’t get enough of brands like Tata Harper, Rahua, Odacite, One Love Organics, Naturpathica and La Tierra Segrada. Follow me on Instagram to see my daily trials!
I’ve been a huge fan of Very Good Light since it started. The conversations that happen on VGL are so important and I don’t see them happening anywhere else. Call it what you will: boy beauty, grooming, whatever; contrary to what a lot of people think, it’s more than just what shaving cream to use. I’m excited to join the team and help tell important stories that represent us all!