Rachel McAdams' Makeup Artist Shares Her Beauty Staples

An A-list-worthy burgundy lip awaits

By Diana Nguyen Sep 29, 2017 9:21 PMTags

There's a reason why stars like Sofia Vergara and Rachel McAdams always look so damn good.

Her name is Kayleen McAdams (and, no, she's not The Notebook actress' doppelgänger—they're sisters.)

The celebrity makeup artist, whose other clients include Diane Kruger, Elisabeth Moss and Freida Pinto, among many others, stopped by E! News' freeSTYLE to share how even us non-A-listers can achieve the old Hollywood glam look at home. You just need a steady hand and layers of liner. Those va-va-voom lips often seen on Sofia take work you know!

Drugstore Beauty Products at the 2017 Emmy Awards

To modernize this timeless look, Kayleen also shared her perfect, go-to lip shade—an edgy update from the cherry-red lips of yesteryear—which she's been using on her clients for years.

Keep scrolling to check out more products the beauty pro loves to use, including makeup must-haves from her kit.

La Mer

Before applying any pigment, prep the lips with a balm. "Because if your lips are all dry, you can see it all with the burgundy lip," advised celebrity makeup artist Kayleen McAdams. "It does not look good." Plus, using a balm before adding color to your lips "helps glide the lip liner better," she added.

The Lip Balm, $60

Mac Cosmetics

"It's been around forever but it's one of my favorites. It looks good on everyone," shared Kayleen. When doing a strong, bold lip, the pro often starts with this exact shade. Go all over the lip with the pencil, she instructed, then follow up with a lip color that's a tad lighter.

Lip Pencil in Burgundy, $17.50

Charlotte Tilbury

If you don't want to go as dark and edgy as Rachel McAdams at the 2017 Met Gala, and you don't want to go cherry-red either, "this is sort of a good in between," said Kayleen of the shade. Though, she couldn't express how much she loved the entire Charlotte Tilbury lip range. "They're creamy!"

Matte Revolution Love Liberty, $34


"I've had this in my kit for 11 years. It's a staple. It smells like summer," explained the pro. The product is an essential must-have we've seen in many celeb makeup kits. While Kayleen does use it to bronze the face, she also uses as it as eye shadow. "Pop it in the crease of your eye," she suggested. "It ties it all together really well."

Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base, $50

Tom Ford

"I use it like five times a day," said the makeup artist of a taupe hue. Kayleen also has a pro technique for application: "I like to use a flat brush. I concentrate [the cream shadow] on the center, thinking of when there's flash of light, where the light is going to reflect. You want that right in the center of the eye," she explained. Then buff it out and add a little layer under the eye for a soft haze.

Cream Color for Eyes, $46

Charlotte Tilbury

To finish off the eye, apply the medium brown (lower right hue) from this palette "on the outer corner of the eyes to give them shape," instructed the pro, going in a sideways V motion.

Golden Goddess Luxury Palette, $53


To take things from good to great, a pop of blush will do it for you. The pro artist prefers this palette to get that extra dimension on the red carpet.

Ambient Lighting Edit Volume 3, $80

What do you think of this look? 

Ready to try Kayleen's favorite products?