With respected movie and special effects makeup artist Michael Westmore for a father, McKenzie Westmore grew up with two things surrounding her: makeup and movies. Westmore herself was discovered at the age of three when she appeared as Robert De Niro's daughter in Raging Bull. But her resume didn't stop there. Westmore had a successful ten-year run on daytime drama Passions, appeared in a number of other TV shows and movies, and is currently the host of SyFy's special effects and makeup competition Face Off, where she lends her makeup expertise to some of the best in the biz.
With a career and background such as Westmore's, it seems like a natural transition into the beauty industry. This month, the star launched her own beauty line, Westmore Beauty, exclusively with QVC. We caught up with the actress and makeup expert to get the scoop on her best beauty tips and life surrounded by makeup.
What made you want to launch a cosmetic line at this point in your career? "I never intended on going into the family business; however, with so many people asking me what the best foundation out there is, I didn't have an answer. Being a Westmore, I should! For me, it just didn't exist, so I was determined to make it. In my 20s, I could throw anything on my face but now in my 30s I have to be much pickier."
How has your father's work and your role on Face Off influenced your interest in beauty? "I've always had a love for and interest in the beauty world, however, working alongside my dad now has been the most inspiring thing to watch. From gore to glamour, he knows it all."
When did you first fall in love with makeup? "When I was about ten years old my mom showed me a few things. Obviously, it was never taboo in our home. I could see that it wasn't about masking yourself but more about enhancing what God gave you."
What are the best makeup tips you've learned from being on screen and working with such talented makeup artists? "I've learned less is more. That's for me the beauty of Coverage Perfector [$32, the first product to launch from Westmore Beauty]. It has saved me so much time and stress on set knowing it won't get cakey as the day goes on and will barely need touchups."
So what are the best foundation application tips you've learned? "I prefer using my fingertips and using what I call the 'glam dot system': a dot on each cheek, forehead, tip of the nose and chin, and blending from there. I make sure to gently rub the product in, even on my ears, going down my neck and into my hairline, so there are no streaks or lines of demarcation. I use the brush to gently glide over my eyelids and lips to act as a primer since it has grippers in it to keep my eye shadow and lipstick lasting longer. I then finalize by pressing my fingertips over my skin, allowing my own natural oils to bring out even more of a setting glow."
How has your beauty routine changed since starting your acting career? "I definitely added in a stronger nighttime routine of products to keep my skin healthy and glowing. I stopped washing with soap and water in the morning and instead splash water over my face with a sea sponge."
What's the biggest beauty risk you've personally taken? "Cutting my hair off and adding bangs! Not the best combo for me!"
So if you could try any beauty trend—and know it would look good on you—what would you try? "Funny enough with the last question, I've been tempted to just cut all my hair off. I'd never do it just because I love having longer hair now. I'd love to dye it a vibrant red though."