Makeup has been an important facet of actor and SYFY Face Off host McKenzie Westmore for her entire life. She is well-known for her role as Sheridan Crane Lopez-Fitzgerald on the soap Passion, which she played from 1999-2008, and she has served as the host for Face Off for many years. However, she is about to embark on two more exciting endeavors. She will be seen hosting brand new show, Game Face (a spin-off of Face Off) on SYFY beginning on Tuesday, August 22, and has an hour-long special to celebrate her line of cosmetics called Westmore beauty on QVC on September 21.
Her father is a world-renowned makeup artist, Michael Westmore (multiple Star Trek projects and Academy award winner for the 1985 film Mask), and her mom, Marion, was a Hollywood model for Edith Head aside from being a Miss California.
Westmore graduated from the Los Angeles County High School for the Performing Arts as a music major in 1995. From there, she landed the role on Passions and guest-starred on Friends and Dexter. In 2008, she began portraying recurring character Dr. Riley Sinclair on ABC's All My Children. Face Off found her in 2011 where she has been the host ever since.
McKenzie Westmore connected with Michelle Tompkins for the Inquisitr about her life, career, her favorite things about being on Face Off, meeting her husband on the show, the exciting new SYFY series Game Face, her makeup line, and more.Michelle Tompkins: What was it like growing up with both parents working as makeup artists?
McKenzie Westmore: Only my dad was a makeup artist in our family. My mom was actually Edith head's fitting model as well as Miss California so she herself has her own incredible background!
MT: Did your dad experiment on you?
MW: I was always my dad's model for conventions when it came to Star Trek.
MT: What about for Halloween?
MW: Halloween in my house was ridiculously cool! My makeup was so good one time as my parents were driving me to school that we got pulled over by the police simply because they wanted to see the makeup up close!!
MT: Did you ever think that you would become a makeup artist yourself?
MW: I actually did become a makeup artist for short period of time and went through school but at the end of the day told my dad that as much as I love what our family does and the history, I will figure out a way to carry on the name somehow. I went into acting and as we now know hosting Face Off and then took it a step further with creating my own cosmetic line in paying homage to my family, Westmore beauty available on QVC.
MT: Do you still act? Is there a kind of role you wish to try?
MW: I do still act and have recently started back with auditions. My dream would be a musical movie. Something like Les Miserables! I've been singing opera since I was seven.
MT: How did you get involved in Face Off?
MW: My dad was actually being interviewed as a judge for the show and in his interview asked if they had a host. He proceeded to tell them about me because even though I'm known as a soap actress I did dabble in the world and completely grew up all around it. I knew everything about special effects, so I owe it all to my dad for having my job on Face Off!
MT: Do you and your dad often interact while working on the show together?
MW: My dad and I have the best time together! I really can say that my parents are my best friends! I feel so lucky and blessed to have this show with my dad! There is so much interaction between us but unfortunately due to the show being an hour long a lot is cut out.
MT: Do you ever find yourself having favorites on Face Off?
MW: I certainly do but would never say. That's like asking who is your favorite child lol!
MT: Is it true that you met your husband on the show? How did that courtship evolve?
MW: We actually first met a long time ago at a party but there was no interaction. When the show came up and we met we really didn't talk much. I just did my job and figured he was doing his thing. He was also very quiet which I miss took (sic) to be an attitude but was really just shyness. I hate to say but I did not like him for the first season. It wasn't until sometime after Season 2 when we got to know each other and became great friends and I realized what a great person he was and is!
MT: What have been some of your favorite challenges on the show?
MW: I will always love the Tim Burton challenge from Season 2!
MT: This season is wrapping up. When will Face Off return?
MW: It will likely return early next year.
MT: Please tell me about Game Face? How is it different from Face Off?
MW: Game Face is amazing and even though it's very similar to Face Off it is its own standalone. I call it Face Off on steroids! It's extremely intense and what I love is that the makeups you will see are actually very doable for Halloween coming up.MT: What do fans of Face Off have to look forward to with the new show?
MW: They are going to get a lot of the judges they love, former contestants that they all know and love, and some incredible makeups like you've never seen before!!!
MT: How many episodes?
MT: What other projects are you currently working on?
MW: Outside of Game Face and Face Off, I am fully focused on my cosmetic line Westmore Beauty with QVC. I have my first hour-long show coming up September 21 at 10 p.m. EST! I'm super excited but also super nervous!
MT: What are some of your professional goals?
MW: To continue what I'm doing and what I love because I feel like I'm one of the luckiest people in the world! Maybe to go back to soap operas at some point though.
MT: How do you keep fit?
MW: I actually became a certified trainer 15 years ago because I love fitness so much and I also became a certified nutritionist. I worked a lot in the world of holistic medicine and vitamin therapy so I keep myself fit by a very healthy diet but also a lot of weight lifting with minimal cardio. This sounds so contradictory to what we're told but it's the best thing for the body!
MT: What is your must-have item in your beauty bag?
MW: If I'm traveling, my skin care and mascara! If it's going out for the night then it's always lipstick or at the very least gloss which is launching this September on QVC.MT: What do you like to do for fun?
MW: So much, but I love anything that is active be at hiking, running, horseback riding, you name it!
MT: Do you have any charities that you support that you wish to mention?
MW: Lipstick Angels is one that I am starting to get involved in.
MT: How do you like fans to connect with you? Any social media handles that you want to share?
MW: I'm on Twitter at mckenziewestmor, Instagram at mwestmore. But my favorite new way to connect on social media is live.me under my full name McKenzie Westmore!
MT: Is there anything you want to add?
MW: I just can't wait to see and hear the feedback on what people think of Game Face because I am so thrilled! And if everyone wouldn't mind turning into QVC on September 21 for my very first hour-long show :) Thank you so much!!
Game Face begins on Tuesday, August 22, on SYFY at 10/9c and then will resume on Tuesdays at its regularly scheduled time of 9/8c.
For more info on Game Face guest judge, Glenn Hetrick, check out this Inquisitr interview here.
[Featured Image by Brandon Hickman/SYFY]