INTERVIEW: AMC and Passions alum McKenzie Westmore dishes on makeup, the new season of Face Off, and a possible return to soaps

Posted Tuesday, January 17, 2017 12:16:53 PM
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McKenzie Westmore dishes on makeup, the new season of Face Off, and a possible return to soaps
All My Children and Passions alum McKenzie Westmore (ex-Dr. Riley Sinclair, ex-Sheridan Crane) opens up about the champion-filled new season of Syfy's makeup series, Face Off, and her future in daytime.

If you think makeup is simply a tool used for beautification, you haven't seen Syfy's hit show Face Off, a competition series hosted by All My Children and Passions alum McKenzie Westmore (ex-Dr. Riley Sinclair, ex-Sheridan Crane). The exciting reality show pits some of Hollywood's most talented makeup artists against each other as they strive to create unique and impressive makeup looks worthy of the most spectacular stages in film, theater, and everyday life. But the upcoming season of the show is one for the books. Called Face Off: All Stars, the season has the best of the best from former seasons going toe-to-toe in the world of makeup.

"This coming season is mind blowing," Westmore tells Soap Central. "This is the season that will completely reinvent Face Off in all the right ways. It's still the Face Off we all know and love, and all the same challenges, but having it be All Stars and fan favorites, it's nothing but success."

And if anyone can judge masterful makeup skills, it's Westmore. Not only is she the daughter of Hollywood makeup legend Michael Westmore, famous for his work on Star Trek, but she also recently launched her own makeup line called Westmore Beauty that utilizes the latest in beauty technology and is used by major stars like Britney Spears. And let's not forget the actress practically grew up in the makeup chair.

"I've sat in the makeup chair for gosh, thirty years!" she enthuses with a laugh. "I did Raging Bull when I was a little, little girl. I've worked my whole life, and starting Passions in my 20s, that was eight or nine years in the makeup chair, and then a year at All My Children, and now I have Face Off. So it's been sitting in the makeup chair my entire life. That means I've seen the changes. I saw the start of HD, I've watched the technology change, and I've learned tips with every era of makeup that we've had -- at least since I've been alive -- on top of what I've learned from my family and when my dad worked with Bette Davis and Elizabeth Taylor, and what he did to enhance their beauty. It's been fascinating to me, to sit in the makeup chair."

Because Westmore has had such long history with makeup, she has always respected it as an art form. But that didn't stop condemnation from her friends' mothers when she started wearing it much earlier than the other schoolgirls!

"I definitely started wearing makeup early; it was part of the family life, what we do. And I'm sure there were some parents who were crazy over the fact that I was wearing makeup before their daughters. It always starts controversy," she says with a laugh. "But it was never taboo, and it was never something I abused. Because I grew up around it, it was treated like something very special, not a throwaway. So I always respected it. I respected it as a craft and artistry. It wasn't just something to utilize to make me pretty because I felt I wasn't pretty or my self-esteem was low; it was a tool that we looked at as art, that it really is something to enhance what you already have. And that's what my parents always taught me. It's not to cover up, it's not to create something that's not you. It's to enhance something that's already there. And at the end of the day, it's who you are in the inside and who you are as a person that's most important. So because they always taught me that, I looked at makeup differently. And even to this day, right now I've got on tinted moisturizer and mascara and that's it. That's how I go about my day."

The tinted moisturizer, for anyone curious, is something she's testing for possible addition to Westmore Beauty in the coming year.

"Being that I'm the founder and co-creator of all my products, I'm the first one to test them on myself. They don't go to anybody or anywhere unless I try them first," she shares, adding that she's pretty sure this particular product is a winner. "It really is revolutionary. Even the foundation, I can get away with half a pump, and it's coverage, but realistic coverage."

The simple tinted moisturizer is a far cry from what viewers can expect from Face Off: All Stars. The looks presented aren't your everyday makeup looks. They're impressive, elaborate looks that are so brilliant, some even shock Westmore and her super talented dad.

"Through the years, there are always a handful of looks that will stand out, but especially this season, because it's the All Stars, it's like, 'Wow, that's really impressive how they did that or how they engineered something,'" she says. "Sometimes some of things they think up, some of the things they put together, with materials you'd never think of, I've even heard [Face Off judge] Ve and my dad say, 'Wow, that's pretty ingenious. I didn't even think of that!' So we definitely see some things that are really incredible. And again, I hate to keep coming back to this season, but that's what it's all about: this season is just unreal, what they put together, what they come up with."

Westmore is especially excited for her longtime soap fans to see the excitement ahead. "I'm excited for the fans to join in; they really are in for a special treat," she says, adding, "I love all of my fans from Passions, now into Face Off, and All My Children, as well. I'm so incredibly appreciative of all of the fans who have followed me over the decades."

And speaking of AMC and Passions, die-hard fans may be happy to know that the actress has recently considered a return to daytime.

"You know it's funny, I didn't think I'd be open to returning in the past, but lately... I've been talking and hearing some rumblings about some shows, and I would do it in a heartbeat," she says. "Especially if it were a recurring role, I would love to come and jump on another soap. I miss the people, I miss the fast pace, I miss the world. And we shoot Face Off so fast, so I have the time to do it. And I would absolutely. Get it out to the producers, and I'll come join a show tomorrow!"

The upcoming season of Face Off: All Stars premieres on Syfy on Tuesday, January 24, at 9/8C. The series' popular judges, multiple Academy Award winner Ve Neill (Pirates of the Caribbean, The Amazing Spider-Man), industry veteran Glenn Hetrick (The Hunger Games, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D), and creature designer Neville Page (Avatar, Prometheus) are returning alongside Westmore, as is her father, world-renowned Hollywood makeup artist Michael Westmore, who will continues to serve as contestant mentor.

The full list of contestants scheduled to compete include:
• Adam Milicevic (Season 8) Los Angeles, CA
• Ben Ploughman (Season 9) Los Angeles, CA
• Cat Paschen (Season 6) Los Angeles, CA
• Cig Neutron (Season 7) Los Angeles CA
• Emily Serpico (Season 8) Orlando, FL
• Evan Hedges (Season 9) Boulder, CO
• Gage Hubbard (Season 1) Los Angeles, CA
• George Troester (Season 7) Los Angeles, CA
• Jasmine Ringo (Season 9) Las Vegas, NV
• Keaghlan Ashley (Season 7) Los Angeles, CA
• Logan Long (Season 8) Salt Lake City, UT
• Melissa Ebbe (Season 10) Milwaukee, WI
• Niko Gonzalez (Season 6) Los Angeles, CA
• Rachael Wagner (Season 7) Los Angeles, CA
• Stella Sensel (Season 7) New York, NY
• Tyler Green (Season 6) Litchfield, CT

What do you think about Westmore's long history in the makeup world? Are you looking forward to Face Off: All Stars? Would you love to see Westmore return to soap operas? If so, which show could you see her on? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.

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