Five minutes with celeb make-up artist Kayleen McAdams

Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Kayleen McAdams found her calling when visiting a movie set and never looked back. Now a popular go-to among the Hollywood crowd, glamorous makeup is her calling card. The La Mer Global Makeup Ambassador  and sister of actress Rachel McAdams shares her beauty secrets with us.

How did you get your start as a makeup artist?

I had been encouraged to pick a practical career, so I majored in psychology. My sister Rachel was just getting started as an actress and I flew down during winter break to visit her on the set. There, I fell in love with everything makeup and realised I could turn it into a career. I went home and finished my degree, but then immediately enrolled in makeup school.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Every look I create inspires me in a new way. For example, red carpet make up is a very collaborative process and I sometimes see an Oscars dress as far as a week in advance. We often think of iconic movie stars or moments, and draw from there. I share my thoughts with the actress and her team, and we all brainstorm together.

What does beauty mean to you?

Beauty takes on a whole new meaning now that it’s my job. I’m so lucky that I get to go to work with such incredible women and make them feel confident about themselves. I always want the woman to shine through and never want to make it look like I’m applying a mask of makeup that’s hiding her. When you feel amazing, it affects everything – from your career to personal relationships.

How important is skincare in your beauty routine?

Skincare is the most important step of the entire makeup process. If your skin doesn’t look good, you have to work twice as hard and use a lot more product – and formulas don’t lay down as well. It’s not about having perfect skin. It’s about taking care of the skin you do have, and keeping it feeling and looking healthy—that’s why I love La Mer!

What about La Mer is special to you?

To me, it’s more than just a very aspirational and luxurious brand. It’s a brand that performs. La Mer never compromises, and they put all their time and energy into making amazing products that truly make a difference.

What is your go to La Mer Product?

I love the glow that The Perfecting Treatment gives to the skin. It is especially perfect for wearing underneath La Mer’s Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation. It buffs out any lines and imperfections and helps foundation last all day.

What is your favourite place to travel to?

Tokyo has always been on my bucket list, and I was finally able to visit this year. It was so gorgeous and the rituals, like receiving a warm towel everywhere you go, were so wonderful. There’s a strong belief in investing the time and money into finding beauty products and a style that really works for you.

What can you never leave the house without?

Mascara – it just makes your eyes pop.

The science behind Kiwi skincare brand Snowberry

Snowberry’s Radiance Face Serum, created right here in New Zealand, has created waves in the beauty world – if you’ve tried it you’ll know why, and if you haven’t now is the time to add it to your beauty regimen. In a few weeks Snowberry will release its latest skincare creations – Super Serum. We chat to Snowberry’s chief scientist Dr Travis Badenhorst, and find out everything we need to know about the new release.

Can you tell us about the active ingredients used in the new Super Serum?

The Super Serum will contain eProlex™. This is a Snowberry anti-ageing complex of several proven actives that have a range of beneficial effects on skin. eProlex™ contains natural growth factors and peptides that help to stimulate epidermal cell, collagen and fibroblast development; as well as niacinamide – a Vitamin B derivative that helps to counter inflammation, strengthen the lipid barrier and suppress melanin. It also contains the copper tripeptide 1, skin remodelling peptide used in the New Radiance Face Serum.

In addition, the Super Serum will contain powerful anti-oxidants to help reduce free radical damage; and highly effective humectants to provide rapid hydration. Consumers will be able to think of the Super Serum as a multi-pronged attack on the major causes of ageing in skin!

How will it be different to the Radiance Face Serum?

There are two fundamental differences between the Super Serum and the New Radiance Face Serum. First, the New Radiance Face Serum has just two active ingredients – the skin remodelling peptide copper tripeptide 1, and the very effective hydrating humectant, sodium hyaluronate. The Super Serum’s eProlex™ multiplies this functionality substantially.

Second, where the New Radiance Face Serum has a gel (water) base, which gives the very clear and light feel that it has, the Super Serum has an emollient base, which produces the more luxurious feel that some consumers prefer, as well as conferring the skin softening benefit of an emollient.

Consequently, it is fair to say that while the New Radiance Face Serum is a highly functional and very effective anti-ageing serum, the Super Serum simply does more.

There’s remarkable science behind the Radiance Face Serum. Have you taken a similar approach to the new Super Serum?

The success of the New Radiance Face Serum is not based on so-called ‘miracle ingredients.’ Rather, it is a result of five years of development of a unique delivery system. We know which active ingredients will help to repair and rejuvenate skin and so we don’t need to invent these. The real challenge is in being able to deliver them into the skin where they can do their job and the CuPEP™ technology that Snowberry developed for this purpose is world-first. However, we did not have the option of making the New Radiance Face Serum an emollient serum and this is what our most recent science has achieved. We can now carry virtually any active ingredient into the skin, but in an emollient base. This is the breakthrough we wanted for the Super Serum.

The man behind the skincare science, Dr Travis Badenhorst.

Tell us a little about the gold standard trials. Will this be applied to the new Super Serum?

In our view, consumers of anti-ageing skin care need a truly objective way of deciding whether they are buying marketing puffery or an authentic product. The gold standard clinical trial is the only truly independent and scientifically valid way of providing that evidence. Consequently, the Super Serum will also be subject to a gold standard clinical trial at a leading French dermatological institute. And because it is a gold standard trial, not only will we be unable to fudge the results (even if we were so inclined), but we will make that trial available to any customer who wishes to see it. Incidentally, it is because the New Radiance Face Serum’s effectiveness was proven by gold standard clinical trial, that it was the only anti-ageing serum on earth invited to be presented to the 23rd World Congress of Dermatology, and has now been reported in the prestigious international Journal of Aging Science.

What innovative ingredients are you excited about seeing in skincare in the future?

Essentially, an anti-ageing product that is targeting smoother skin needs to be able to reduce epidermal water loss, strengthen the cellular matrix and also limit damage to the cellular matrix – including that engendered by chronic low level inflammation. Ironically, there are many wonderful anti-ageing ingredients, particularly peptides, growth factors and vitamins available to skin care formulators right now that will provide these benefits. As mentioned though, while it is relatively simple to mix these ingredients into a product, it is extremely difficult ensuring those ingredients won’t just sit uselessly on top of the skin or simply degrade in the product before it’s even used. That’s where the kind of University science that Snowberry has been doing for several years is so important.