‘My Family Members Have Been Hollywood Makeup Artists for 100-Plus Years—These Are 3 Tricks I Use Consistently’

Photo: Getty/Greg Doherty
In the makeup world, there are names that rattle off the tongue and really mean something: Pat McGrath, Kevyn Aucoin, the Westmore family. Each one has pushed forward how we think about and use makeup—however, the Westmore's stand alone in having made Hollywood makeup a family business. Three generations have worked on-set perfecting tricks and techniques that today feel like "the rules" we should use when applying product. And McKenzie Westmore, an actress and entrepreneur, is no different.

When I log on to Zoom to speak with her, I'm nervous. My entire childhood, I watched Westmore on the show Passions where she played Sheridan Crane—seriously, I taped it every single day in Junior High...on a VCR...and then watched it when I got home from school. Not only did she prove to be a walking-talking angel of a human, but she was also really real about the business of makeup. "As an actress, I had a makeup artist there at the drop of a hat. I had somebody that could show up at my house at 6:00 a.m. and do my makeup," she tells me. "I could be touched up every step of the way."

Her challenge in creating Westmore Beauty was to take artist-level technique and bake it into every product sold in the line. The result is an assortment of no-fail makeup and skin care that are the next best thing to having a makeup artist by your side. Here, she shares the three tips her family taught her—and the accompanying products—that make makeup a cinch to apply and bring on pro-level results.

  1. 1. 1. Learn how to map your brows

    “My family did invent that three-point system of how to shape the eyebrows, a hundred years ago, and we have some amazing diagrams that my great uncles and my great-grandfather, my great-great grandfather came up with,” she says. In mapping the brows, you’re able to detect where hair should start (the inner corner of the eye); where it should arch (the outer rim of the iris); and where it should end (on the diagonal from the bottom of your nostril). From there, you can wax or pluck them into the right shape, and use a brow gel to help to fill in any sparse spots.

    The Westmore Beauty Super-Size On-The-Go Brow Gel ($36) goes onto arches and does not come off, so you can feasibly do your eyebrows a couple of times a week and reap the benefits in the longer term. “The brow gel stays on for four days,” she says. “I have a photo of me doing my dad’s brows, because he loved the brow gel because it would stay put all week long. He could wash his face. He could do whatever he needed to do but not worry about it coming off.”

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  2. 2. 2. Fake fuller lips with a lining trick

    Another tip that Westmore learned from her family came when Bette Davis wanted to change her look, and her great uncle—Davis’s personal makeup artist at the time—suggested altering the shape of her lips to create a very pointed lip. “He decided to get rid of the Cupid’s Bow and drew past and beyond to create that straight, I almost call it, ‘fish lip,’ because I don’t know why it makes me think of a fish,” she says. “But it’s beautiful. He invented that for Bette Davis and then it became a trend.”

    Opt for a clear lining pencil or if you’re not keen on investing in one, try an ultra-pointy lipstick like the Westmore Blockbuster Hollywood Lips ($29) that can help you line with precision.

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  3. 3. 3. Find an eye product that works

    Over the course of the pandemic, Westmore shares that she found herself caring more about her eyes than ever before—given that the bottom of her face was covered by a mask. In addition to using mascara and brow products more frequently, she also turned to this razzle-dazzle firming gel. “I love the 60-Second Eye Effects, because I know it’s helped so many women,” says Westmore. “A couple of dabs helps take off 20 years within 60 seconds.”

    Bonus points: Not only can you use this product under the eyes where skin tends to get crepey, you can also use it on the skin between the brows—know as the 11s—which are commonly targeted through Botox or another neuromodulator.

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