We have partnered up with Vitruvi in honour of Women’s History month and International Women’s Day to celebrate the beauty of women around the world. For the month of March the #RawRituals campaign will go inside the lives of women from all corners of the globe to explore the wellness and self care rituals that empower them to be their best selves.
Our first #RAWRitual beauty is Taylor McKay. At fifteen she was selected out of over 3000 girls to win “Canada’s Next Top Model”. This launched her career as an international model, sending her to work in over 15 cities worldwide, covering North America, Europe, Asia, South Africa and many places in between. Since moving to Toronto Taylor has began working as an an actress in film and television. Behind the camera Taylor is also passionate about story telling through photography, drawing inspiration from her experiences abroad.
I feel most beautiful when…
I am doing the things I love. When I’m challenging myself. When I’m running that extra distance, by the ocean, or when I’m in nature, swimming in the ocean, or breaking a sweat. When my whole body is alive, my senses are heightened, I feel energized, present, connected, grounded, and strong. When I am connecting with others, making them feel good.
My daily beauty routine involves…
– Washing my face with Ole hendricks facial cleanser.
– Exfoliating my face with Dermalogica Microfoliant & body with a dry brush.
– Once a week (or the night before a shoot) I use Ole Henriksen Natural Skin care “blue/black berry enzyme mask”.
– Moisturizing, I have really sensitive skin so I use La Roche-Posay.
– I don’t like to wear a lot makeup when I don’t have to for shoots as its hard on my skin, but if I do I usually go for a natural look and wear Nars pure radiant tinted moisturizer, and Nars bronze stick for definition on my cheekbones, eye lids, and to outline my face. I like to keep it duey, but I usually get some extra shine by the afternoon, especially if I’m running around to auditions/jobs, so I will touch up with cover-fx blotting powder. On my lips I use Smith’s rosebud balm and this winter I’ve been in love with Laura Mercier’s “plum” colour lip stick which I also apply to the apples of my cheeks with a sponge if I feel like I want that natural flushed look 😉
– What I put in my body. I’m a big believer in balance and don’t like to deprive myself of any food group. I definitely feel more energized when I eat clean, whole foods, and notice a huge difference in my skin when I do. I drink TONS of water, and start my day with a smoothie that is packed with nutrients so on crazy busy days I can feel good knowing I’ve had my daily intake of greens/antioxidants/good fats & amino acids. My smoothie is comprised of: protein powder -usually sun warrior ,spirulina, good fats -either avocado or coconut oil, a green-wheatgrass/spinach/kale, and a fruit-black/blue berries/banana/mango.
– Fish oil, and Vitamin D supplements get me through the Toronto arctic winter.
– I use Pureology shampoo & conditioner and Loreal Absolut Repair “instant resurfacing” hair masque once a week. I didn’t own a blowdryer, curling iron, or straightener until this xmas. My hair gets harassed enough on shoots, I let it be (crazy) and free the rest of the time.
Rituals that keep me empowered are…
The act of doing a ritual for myself is empowering in itself. I have struggled with allowing myself the time to do something just for myself, especially when I could spend that time working, but once I do, I come out feeling rejuvenated, with more energy to tackle life. So I know these rituals are important commitments to keep for myself.
Movement- I’m not strict about how often I work out because I don’t want it to feel like a chore, and I go through phases of going to the gym, running outside, hiking, swimming etc… but I try to move and break a sweat once a day, a quick stretch in the morning, walking to work, yoga, or dancing in my apartment to Taylor Swift and Beyonce. This makes me appreciate my body and feel in tune with myself. I like to treat myself to infa-red sauna sessions when I’m feeling burnt out.
Singing- is something I do every day solely for my own soul. It reminds me that my voice is a gift, all I have to do is use it.
Connecting with people and nature- A friendly chat with my barista in the morning, holding the door for someone, or a 10 minute walk in the park can really boost my day.
Photography- As a model the deciding factor of wether or not you get the job is often based on your appearance alone, and in acting you have more freedom to put your heart and soul into it, but your career is still in the fate of talent, looks, luck, timing, and casting, in the hands of other people, which can sometimes leave you feeling powerless. My camera started out as my companion that could document all my experiences when I was traveling alone. Now that I am shooting models and actors it has become something that makes me feel like I have creative control and allows me to create my own work whenever I want. I love finding the beauty in people and places- which to me means finding their truth and capturing that. It is so rewarding to make someone feel comfortable enough to share their truth in the moment with me. Sometimes that truth is sad, or angry, or alone, and to me that is so much more real and beautiful than a forced smile, or an artificial image of someone looking “sexy”. It’s the same with walking around a city; you can be in the worst part of town and all the sudden the light shines a certain way, or a person enters the frame, a story is always there. Finding those magical moments is like a daily treasure hunt to me.
-Laughing, mostly at myself. Life is too short to take myself too seriously. I work in industries (film, tv, and fashion) that revolve around image, and the ability to find the humour and silliness in it all keeps me sane. Usually when I share my daily (mis)adventures with others, I reap the rewards of making someone else laugh.
-Deep breathing- before I eat a meal, in moments of stress, and especially winding down at the end of the day, it keeps me conscious and present.
-I finish off the day with a hot bath with epsom salts & lavender oil, and good audio book (wow I sound like a boring grandma, but I promise I’m a lively young thing). It’s amazing how sitting with nothing but yourself in some hot water can make you feel empowered!
-Learning- from my mentors, and more about the world everyday keeps me motivated. The more I know the more confident I feel.
-Sleep, 8/9 hrs is a huge priority to keep me feeling energized.
To me self-care means…
Taking the time to love yourself, and treat yourself the best you can, so you can be the best version of yourself. This means enjoying the journey of getting to know yourself better, and listening to your instincts and your body. We are our own worst critics and a big part of self-care is also how you care for yourself emotionally. The pressures of the world are hard enough without our own self-criticism. If you don’t believe you look good, or that you are worth the opportunities out there, fake it til you make it- tell yourself you are until eventually you accept and love yourself. The moment you start believing in yourself is the moment you will let other people believe it and see it too.
“Tear off the mask, your face is glorious” -Rumi
My message to girls around the world…
Being a girl is really hard, so I don’t have a simple message…
STOP COMPARING, START TALKING…There are so many insane pressures and expectations, but know that it is hard for everyone, and instead of comparing yourself to others, try to embrace your own insecurities and differences and talk about them… I guarantee you will find that almost all woman can relate, and it will be an empowering continuous conversation (with others, and yourself). Build a community of woman, and find mentors to support you and your ambitions. After 10 years modeling it has taken me a long time to be able to view the world through MY OWN EYES instead of through how everyone else views me. Shifting my self worth from my image to valuing my intelligence and strength has allowed me to pursue other passions that fill me up and make me feel whole.
OWN WHAT YOU’VE GOT (SHAKE WHAT YO MAMMA GAVE YA)…While modeling abroad I learned that sadly, most of the girls who were the most physically beautiful in the world were the most insecure. When I think back to when I was modeling internationally and it was my full time job to look good, I was probably my most unhappy because I felt the pressure to chase an artificial perfection that does not exist. Girls are chasing that same image all over the world. The sooner we stop chasing, and start accepting and loving what we have, the better off we will all be. Find what it is that makes you feel alive, free, strong, and good and do that once a day FOR no one but yourself. Be kind to yourself. If you don’t stand up for yourself no one else will. And the more you use your voice, the stronger you become. I know that I am responsible for my own happiness, and all it takes is accepting and embracing everything I have right now.
BE DIFFERENT, BE AUTHENTIC…Steve Martin said “Be so good they can’t ignore you” and to me “so good” is your most authentic self. If you are honest about who you truly are, and respect yourself, no one can deny that. The media projects so many ideals and definitions of what is beautiful, cool, successful, etc…but we have the freedom to BE whoever we are. My boyfriend taught me this saying when working on scripts, “work from the inside out” which is to not think about what the emotion looks like on the outside, but to feel it from the inside. I apply that to my life too. It’s what’s inside that matters the most. I remind myself of these messages daily…it takes work but it is worth it. We are worth it.