Maddie McCormick is an LA-based actress with roots in Chicago. You may recognize her from her television credits, including Nickelodeon's "Bucket and Skinner's Epic Adventures" and a MTV pilot "Self Promotion," directed by Zach Braff. You can see her in the feature film "Camera Store," which is in select theaters now and will be on Netflix in 2017. Her next project is a starring role in a pilot for HBO Access called "F**ked Up," which will be available on HBO GO in 2017 (!). Today, she shares her beauty routine, including a genius backstage beauty tip for reducing puffy eyes and dark circles, the affordable $6 skin care product she swears by and the facial feature that she's learned to embrace over the years.
What's your daily skin care regimen?
First of all, I avoid the sun like the plague — I'm not even joking. I would put SPF on in the middle of a snowstorm. While I had clear skin in high school, I developed cystic acne in my 20s. Awesome. I tried everything from topicals to antibiotics to clear it up but nothing worked. A makeup artist on set recommended Rodan + Fields to me and it was a GODSEND. I use their Unblemish kit religiously at night. In the mornings, I try to be easy on my skin and just use Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser and Rodan + Fields Unblemish Oil Control Lotion SPF 20. At night after my Rodan + Fields regimen, I smother it in castor oil. I'm a total coconut oil turned castor oil convert; it keeps my skin so much more hydrated and fills in those fine lines. I get mine at whole foods for under $6.
What's your everyday makeup routine?
I went through a heavy winged eyeliner and red lipstick phase (à la Taylor Swift) in college, but I've since mellowed out and keep it really natural and fresh. I swear by my gloMinerals Pressed Base (I use the color Fair-Light) with my Kabuki brush to spread it evenly. It looks like you're not wearing anything but instantly evens out your skin tone. Plus, it's all natural so you can accidentally fall asleep in it and not feel terrible about it (guilty).
When I was a kid I HATED my dark eyebrows — I even had my mom bleach them blonde — but now I love them and even fill them in darker. I use the Anastasia Brow Kit and do check-ins with FlyBrow to keep the shape on point. My best friend introduced me to highlighter and it has changed everything. I brush a tiny bit of Lorac Light Source Illuminating Highlighter along the bridge of my nose and just above my cheekbones — it gives you that glowy look without being over the top.
For eyes, I keep it simple with my Shu Uemera lash curler and Maybelline Volum' Express The Colossal Cat Eyes Mascara. I've tried expensive mascaras before, but I find that the ones you can get at CVS still remain my faves. I only put mascara on my top lashes — weird I know — but it makes it look more natural and less "spidery" on me. If I'm looking for a little extra drama, I'll get my lashes tinted at Benefit for $20 (such a good deal!!). I don't contour or use bronzer, but I do put a tiny bit of Tarte blush on my cheeks and Aquaphor on my lips and I'm ready to go.
How do you style your hair most days?
Honestly, most days it's in a high pony. When I have auditions though, I love my clip-in hair extensions. They're beyond easy, and I cut them into my hair so that they blend nicely and look natural. My favorite brand is Euronext Remy Clip-in 14" Human Hair Extensions in Blonde Frost from Sally Beauty (although it always tends to be out of stock — grr). They last for years if you're nice to them. A few rules with extensions: ALWAYS get human hair and give them some type of curl so you don't have a Barbie-fake-hair look. I follow The Barefoot Blonde's technique for clipping in and blending extensions — she has YouTube videos for people who are new to them. But honestly, once the extensions are clipped in, I throw a wand haphazardly through my hair and it's instant beachy waves.
How do you dress up your look for a special occasion?
I love a good Brigitte Bardot half-up, half-down look for my hair, and maybe a little matte lipstick — I like Twig by Mac, it's a rosy-nude color that looks good on everyone. I won't leave the apartment without perfume — SAOR (Gaelic for free!) is my go to. It's oil based and comes in this tiny packaging that makes it easy to take with me, plus people are always stopping me to ask what I'm wearing.
Do you have a special makeup routine for auditions or shows?
PRIMER. PRIMER. PRIMER. Laura Mercier and Smashbox make good ones. It just keeps everything in place and gives your skin a little extra dewy-ness. Before I'm on camera, I always exfoliate my skin with the cult classic St. Ive's Apricot Scrub.
Have you learned any great backstage beauty tips?
Under eye cooling patches are amazing for reducing puffy eyes/dark circles in a pinch. Leave them on for 10 minutes while you do your hair and afterward you look instantly more awake.
What's the last product you used 'til there was nothing left?
gloMinerals Pressed Base. I swear it doesn't leave my Amazon cart.
Do you have a DIY treatment you love?
Not necessarily DIY, but I'm a big fan of Aztec Indian Healing Clay Mask — it sounds scarier than it is. You can get a huge tub of the powder for under $8, you mix it with a little apple cider vinegar and let it sit on your face for 15 minutes. I do it before every shoot and it makes all fine lines and pores disappear. Plus the stuff lasts forever.
What's one thing you do every day that makes you feel great?
I meditate with my House of Intuition candle. It helps set my intention for how I want to spend the day.
When do you feel most comfortable in your own skin?
As weird as it sounds, on camera. I feel like the best version of myself when I'm focusing my attention on the other actor and making people laugh. Hanging out with my boyfriend is up there, too.
Who do you look to for beauty inspiration?
Can I have two?! Well, my mom is the most beautiful woman I know, inside and out. At 55, she reinvented her life after a serious illness and has since become a business mogul and Lyme Disease advocate. Her blog is CatherineGraceO, and she's all about feeling beautiful from the inside out. Did I mention I steal all of her clothes? She always looks like a million bucks whether she's running to Starbucks or boarding an airplane. She has the best taste and the biggest heart.
My other is my best friend Natalie Pelletier, a.k.a. Irishfrecklegirl. We've been best friends since we were 10, and she lets me raid both her closet and coveted makeup collection. I swear she's more French than American, she embodies that "je ne sais quoi" French women do so well. Plus, she has the cutest freckles and bangs. You can check out her blog actress with an appetite.
How would you describe your approach to beauty?
I'm pretty relaxed when it comes to beauty. If you're loving and vibing life, it's going to love you back. People respond more to energy than a "look." So I do my best to give off good vibes and not stress too much about it. Enhance and embrace your natural features; love your dark eyebrows that make you stand out in 5th grade, dammit! But take care of your skin if it kills you.
Be sure to follow Maddie on Instagram, and check your local listings to see her in her first feature film, Camera Store. Check back next week for the latest installment of 52 Faces, a weekly series that spotlights a real woman's beauty routine. Last week, London-based production assistant Lauren Taylor shared her favorite British beauty buys, her travel-proof skin care rituals and her haircare routine, which was 18 years in the making (!).