One quick glance at Los Angeles-based make-up artist Kayleen McAdams and you can immediately see the resemblance to her actress sister, Rachel, who starred in the film The Notebook. In fact, it was while on the set of that very movie that McAdams was inspired to pursue her current career.
Since then, she’s established herself as a celeb-favourite on the red carpet (besides her sister, she’s worked with Lily Collins and Emily Ratajkowski) and most recently was appointed global make-up artist ambassador for La Mer. Making a quick stop in Hong Kong, McAdams talked us through the brand’s new collection, Skincolor de La Mer, inspired by the healing powers of the sea.
The newly launched collection comprises three beauty products: a soft fluid foundation, a concealer and a loose powder, along with two luxurious brushes to get you that flawless finish – natural, matt or radiant.
I’ve read that you decided you wanted to become a make-up artist when you visited your sister Rachel McAdams on the set of The Notebook. How did that happen?
At the time I was in school for psychology and I loved make-up, but I just saw it as a hobby. It was something I’d do with my friends and I’d have fun with, but I never saw it as a career. And then I was on the set of The Notebook for a couple of weeks, and I spent all my time in the make-up trailer. So once I got on a movie set, everyone’s so passionate about what they do. Nobody just stumbles into the movie industry. Everybody has to work really hard. So for me to get to see the women that were working in the trailer on this movie, it was just really inspiring for me and I felt like I wanted to give this a go even if I just did it for a year, or I tried and failed. I just really wanted to try. It was that moment where I just really had the inspiration to pursue the dream.
Can you describe your relationship with La Mer?
It’s so fun. I get to travel all over the world, and it’s so amazing to be able to speak about products that you really love and that you use on yourself. I think what made this partnership so organic with La Mer is that skincare is really important to me, it always has been. I remember the woman who I assisted, who really helped me with make-up, always said the foundation is the most important part. If you don’t make the foundation look right, it doesn’t matter if you sculpt the most beautiful eyes, or draw the most perfect lips … it’s not going to look great if your skin looks bad. So that’s the foundation of where I start.
La Mer is primarily known as a skincare brand. What do we need to know about the Skincolor de La mer Collection?
I think it’s important to know that the products work so perfectly together. I don’t think a lot of lines do skincare as well as them. That’s what they’re really known for and I think they’ve really taken the time to craft these products that work so perfectly with their skincare.
What’s different about doing celebrity make-up on the red carpet?
With red carpet it has to last so long. Nowadays everyone’s taking photos everywhere they go. Even on your own phone, people are taking selfies. It used to be: you looked great on the red carpet and then that was kind of really it. Now, there’s HD cameras, so everything has to be flawless and perfect. You can’t get away with unblended make-up or the white powder under your eyes. So when it comes to red-carpet make-up it really has to be perfect.
Tell us something special about Skincolor de La Mer’s foundation.
I feel like the Skincolor de La Mer foundation photographs beautifully and the finish looks beautiful on camera. It really has a luminosity to it, which I think is really important. I think that it’s really important to be able to achieve that glowing look.