Mckenna Grace’s Weekly LED Ritual Makes Her Feel Like Hannibal Lecter

The 'Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire' star takes turns wearing the high-tech beauty gadget with her family.

mckenna grace beauty routine on a calendar
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Welcome to Beauty Around the Clock, Marie Claire's weekly peek into the daily lives of some of the most game-changing men and women in their industries. Ever wonder how they get it all done in a day? Here's your answer.

You knew Mckenna Grace before she knew about makeup or skincare. Her acting career started circa elementary school. She played young Caroline on Vampire Diaries, young Tonya Harding in I, Toyna, and young Sabrina in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Now, at 17, she stars in Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire—and touts an encyclopedia-like knowledge about the beauty world. She has a very thorough skincare routine, complete with TikTok-approved Starface pimple patches. Her makeup routine? Well, she can apply red lipstick on the go and without a mirror, so she’s essentially a pro.

Despite traveling the world in preparation for her movie’s release (she’s been to New York, London, Paris, and Madrid in one week), the Primetime Emmy nominee has a serious beauty routine to keep her grounded. She’s also happiest blasting music, watching YouTube videos, or sitting on her couch watching The Bachelor. It's all about balance, after all.

While in a car zipping around Paris between appointments, Grace tells me her favorite products, the TikTok trend she’ll never get on board with, and the holy grail LED mask that makes her feel like Hannibal Lecter.

McKenna Grace

Mckenna Grace attends the screening of "Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire" on March 21, 2024 in London, England.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Morning Skincare Routine

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I always take off my pimple patches from the night before. If I'm going to set, I'll use cold little under-eye patches, a moisturizing toner, and Tatcha moisturizer. I'm obsessed. I’ll also probably use some chapstick.

Signature Makeup Look

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I have my makeup routine down to a T. I use the Makeup by Mario Foundation and the Kosas concealer. I also use this great, green Dr. Jart primer. It’s fantastic. I use the Milk Makeup little stick on my cheekbones. I love Charlotte Tilbury liquid blush and the Stila Kitten Karma as eyeshadow. I have really long eyelashes—thank you, Lord—so I don’t like to use a lot of mascara because then it just gets to be too much. I end up getting mascara on my eyebrows and whatnot. I use a tubing mascara by Merit. Then, I line my waterline with a white liner. Lastly, I swear up and down by Ilia’s red lipstick or Chanel. I go everywhere with a red lip.

Self Care Ritual

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I genuinely am on a search right now to figure out self care and work on myself and my mental health, because I feel like I have pushed it aside for so many years, which is honestly not super healthy. Right now, my self care is listening to music and just kind of taking time out of the day to chill and breathe. Maybe eat an orange or take a hot bath.

McKenna Grace

Mckenna Grace attends the "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" World Premiere on November 15, 2021 in New York City.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Hair Routine

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My hair is so damaged from the years and years that I've had to dye it, cut it, and change it for roles. I will just beg my mom for help. I'll ask, Mom, can you help me curl my hair? Can you blow dry my hair for me? I really love the Shu Uemera Reset Conditioner and hair mask. It’s working wonders.

Most Expensive Beauty Product

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My mom—our resident skincare queen—has this Dr. Dennis Gross LED face mask that makes me feel like Hannibal Lecter. It’s hilarious. That thing was so expensive, and it’s so silly. As a family, we love to indulge in Bachelor Mondays. We’ll order some food and sit and watch, taking two-minute turns wearing the LED face mask—even my dad.

Drugstore Beauty Staple

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Every other week, my dad drives me to CVS, and I buy myself a bunch of pimple patches. I love the stars; they're really fun. If I want one that really works, I buy the big forehead patches and just smack 'em on.

McKenna Grace

Mckenna Grace at the People's Choice Awards held on December 6, 2022 in Santa Monica, California.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Favorite Beauty Treatment

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I hate massages because I had a big spine surgery. I’m scared for anybody to go near my back. I do love a foot massage though. I literally have not been able to feel my feet this week. On the first day of our press tour I wore a certain heel and have not been able to feel my feet since. It’s the weirdest thing in the world.

Apply Makeup to One Area of the Face

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I love this YouTuber, Tara Yummy, and I’ve always wanted to do my makeup like her. I cannot leave the house without eyeliner, even if I do nothing. I’ll use whatever drugstore brand has the thinnest tip.

Best advice

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Wash your face every morning. I’ve always washed my face before bed, but for some reason, I just didn’t wash my face when I woke up. Maybe I would splash some water. But now I wash and tone my face every morning and it’s really helped my skin.

Biggest Beauty Regret

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I definitely have photos from when I was learning how to do makeup that aren’t great. During quarantine, nobody saw me, but they just made me laugh. The year 2020 was a rough phase. Too much blush, too much eyeliner, too much highlighter, too much of everything. But, I wouldn't say that's a regret. It's just growth. Everybody has their awkward phases. I feel like I have only recently gotten my makeup routine down.

McKenna Grace

Mckenna Grace attends the 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards on January 11, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Daily Playlist

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Right now, I’m really into Chapelle Rowan. I discovered her and I'm obsessed. I really like Boy Genius—that’s one of my favorite bands of all time. I really like Lieth Ross, Katie Gregson, Colin Macleod, and Taylor Swift—duh. I'm on the Ghostbusters Press tour and I've been really tired—I've been to New York, Madrid, Paris, and London this week—so I’m listening to a lot of heavy metal to keep myself hyped up. I’ve been secretly going around with a lot of Korn and Slipknot in my AirPods.

Skill You Have Yet to Master

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I've never been good at filling in my eyebrows. But then again, I feel like my eyebrows have a lot going on already. My little hidden talent is that I can apply red lipstick perfectly without looking into a mirror.

McKenna Grace

McKenna Grace and the cast of "I, Tonya," attend the 21st Annual Hollywood Film Awards on November 5, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Trust most for advice

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My mom. She is a big skincare person. I’m not as much of a skincare person as her, but I still try to do all the steps. I forget a lot—but I definitely try.

Beauty Trend You Can't Get Behind

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All beauty and makeup trends are just a means of expressing yourself outwardly and presenting yourself to the world. There's no certain trend that I judge mainly or that I dislike because it’s all creative. I love getting to see people get creative with makeup. What I dislike in makeup, though, is when I see influencers dump concealer on their face and just rub it all over. I hate getting makeup on my hair or eyebrows or eyelashes. I try to be really precise. So I’m just like, that’s so much concealer. It really bothers me, but it’s not hurting anybody, and they do really good makeup.

McKenna Grace

McKenna Grace arrives at the 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival Premiere of Hasbro Studios' "My Little Pony Equestria Girls" on June 15, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Evening Skincare Routine

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I’ll use the Burt's Bees makeup wipes or the Clinique Take the Day Off to get my makeup off. Then I like to use the Peter Thomas Roth Exfoliant. I’ll use that if my skin is breaking out. I put on an ungodly amount of the purple Tatcha moisturizer—I love that stuff, and it’s so good. The Lineage Lip Mask is one of my favorites, but I also have so many Chapsticks. I love a nice ice roller, just because it feels good. I don’t know what it does, but I like it.

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Beauty Editor

Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and shares the breakdown on the latest and greatest trends in the beauty space. She's studied up on every ingredient you'll find on INCI list and is constantly in search of the world's glowiest makeup products. Prior to joining the team, she worked as Us Weekly’s Beauty and Style Editor, where she stayed on the pulse of pop culture and broke down celebrity beauty routines, hair transformations, and red carpet looks. Her words have also appeared on Popsugar, Makeup.com, Skincare.com, Delish.com, and Philadelphia Wedding. Samantha also serves as a board member for the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME). She first joined the organization in 2018, when she worked as an editorial intern at Food Network Magazine and Pioneer Woman Magazine. Samantha has a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. While at GWU, she was a founding member of the school’s HerCampus chapter and served as its President for four years. When she’s not deep in the beauty closet or swatching eyeshadows, you can find her obsessing over Real Housewives and all things Bravo. Keep up with her on Instagram @samholender.