© EPISODES Nov/Dec 1990                                                                              




Do you recognize this gorgeous young woman? She's a real knockout who looks quite different from her TV character. Cady McClain of  All My Children shares her beauty secrets.

By Nancy Mattia


When Cady McClain dresses, people don't whistle Dixie! That's because there's a striking difference between the way Cady looks in character as Dixie Martin on All My Children and the way she looks when she's off the set. While simple and subdued describe Dixie's look, sexy and sophisticated more aptly characterize Cady's. She likes to wear daring orange eye shadow and figure‑hugging clothes that take full advantage of her curvy shape. On these pages, the actress models three knockout hair styles that are very much her. 

Caring for her looks is a priority for the actress, who recently won a Daytime Emmy as Outstanding juvenile Female in a Drama Series ("it was wonderful‑the ultimate triumph!"). Cady clued us in on the personal hair‑ and skin‑care routines that keep her good looks glowing. 

Like most young women, Cady washes her strawberry‑blond hair every day. "Conditioning is important, too, because my hair is very dry, and at work it's beaten to death with hot rollers and steamers," she explains. "About every two months, I get my hair cut to remove the split ends. " 

Though Dixie often wears her hair in a braid or ponytail, Cady prefers to wear her hair straight, in a bun, or pulled back with a clip. "If I let it air-dry, my hair is slightly wavy. I usually use a blow dryer, though, because I find that heat gives my hair shine."


She's also discovered that rinsing her hair in cold water provides it with an extra boost of luster. To give her long hair interesting highlights, Cady sometimes pours a small amount of hydrogen peroxide into her shampoo. "But I make sure not to do it too often or my hair will get too dry "


Besides thick gorgeous hair, the young actress is lucky enough to have a beautiful complexion too. Says Cady, "I have to take care of my skin because I'm in the entertainment business. So I'm always washing it! I use an oatmeal soap bar that really scrubs off dead skin cells. A make-up lady at All My Children recommended it.


"When I get home from work, I take off my make-up with a milky cleanser, then I use the oatmeal soap, a non-alcoholic toner, and a moisturizer." Because her skin is oily around her nose and chin, and dry everywhere else, she uses two types of moisturizer:  A heavy, antiaging, liquid on her forehead, as well as around the eyes and smile  lines, and a lighter on the rest of her face.              


In the morning, Cady washes her face lightly again with a mild soap, unless it's feeling oily from the moisturizer. If it does, she washes with oatmeal soap.


Once a month, Cady pampers her skin with an aloe-vera and sea-salt facial. “It's nice to have it done at home if I can," she says.


"Facials are really important because they give my skin a chance to revive itself "


Here are other tips from her personal regimen:

  1.  “Twice a week, I cover my face with petroleum jelly. I find that it really heals dry skin. 

  2. " I drink a bottle of water every day. 

  3. "I don't smoke at all, because smoking will bring out wrinkles."

  4. "Sleep is the greatest thing in the world for skin. I need nine to ten hours, but I usually get just seven.

  5. "Exercise is wonderful for skin too. I'm working out more now-doing low-impact aerobics four times a week and using a stair climber at the gym.

Cady would like to give  Dixie a more up-to-date look, but so far, her bosses at AMC have re-sisted. "Every time I put

my bangs up, they say take them down. If I put on more make-up, they say take it off! " she says, with a laugh.


As for her own makeup preferences, Cady loves being unconventional, which explains why she wears an orange-peach powder on her lids. "It's actually a blend of orange and white-not too bright, and good for women with blue eyes. " She avoids make-up with sparkles-" it looks too greasy. Matte is better, and it's what's most in now. "


She applies the powder all over the eye area, but stops below the brow line. In each crease, she adds a light-brown powder. "It makes my eyes look deep set, which they aren't, and makes them 'pop' more. " Light gray or kohl eye-liner goes on next. "I line both the tops and bottoms of my eyes and smudge it, so that it creates a shadow, not a definite line. "


What's the one product she can't get enough of? "Mascara! I wear as much as I can put on. And I only wear black.  Colored mas-cara makes you look like an alien! "Cady uses a cream makeup base "in the lightest shade of ivory there is," which complements her skin. "No matter what's in fashion, if it doesn't match my skin, I don't use it, " she says. After applying the base, she follows with powder. "I use a product that's as breathable as possible. A light oil base is okay, but I don't want to use one that's very oily because if I go dancing and start to sweat, it will feel greasy." Cady makes sure to blend in her face make-up below the jawline into the neck. "It shouldn't look like I'm wearing a mask. The face and neck shouldn't be two different colors. "


To try to achieve "Julia Barr cheekbones," as Cady puts it, she contours with powder blush in a deep magenta-rose. "That color makes me look like I'm alive," she says, laughing. Her “no-sparkles'' rule also applies to blush. "It tends to look like Spandex in the sun!”


To give her eyebrows a dramatic touch, Cady takes a light-brown powder and a thin brush, and fills in any "empty" spots.            "Some-times I like to have a Madonna look, so I use a dark-brown powder," she says.


Cady doesn't shy away from bold lipstick, either. "I wear deep red or brick red. Red lips make me feel dressed up, put together, and very New York.


"First I line my lips with a pencil in a color close to the color of my lipstick, then I fill in with the pencil and apply the lipstick. Using the pencil makes the lipstick stay on longer. Even if I eat, I don't have to worry about my lipstick coming off "

Cady learned how to properly apply make-up in high school. "I was fascinated by all the colors that were available. I started buying it like crazy! I'd sit in front of the bathroom mirror and make up my face for hours. I was entranced by it. "


Cady's last word on looking her best: "Blending is important. I want people to see my face, not my makeup."