Totally Allure is Honored to Have the Stunning and Ageless Susan Holmes-McKagan as Our First “Celebrity Spotlight”!
The beautiful Susan Holmes-McKagan was one of the top supermodels in the 90s. She worked hard in her next progression of fashion’s elite, as a highly respected resort and high-end swimwear designer. Her designs are worn by celebrities (Gwen Stefani, Stella McCartney, Venus Williams and Kate Hudson to name a few) and have been featured in over 11 Sports Illustrated Swimwear Editions. Susan is also a consistent Huffington Post front-page columnist and her first fiction novel, “The Velvet Rose,” garnered a book deal and is due out for summer 2018.
As an international supermodel, Susan has rocked the catwalk for Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, Valentino, Versace, Prada, Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel, Nicole Miller, Anna Sui, Calvin Klein, Dolce&Gabbana, Michael Kors, Thierry Mugler, Jean Paul Gaultier, Giorgio Armani and many more. She has graced the covers of Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, W, Maxim, and marie-claire to name a few. Susan has appeared in beauty campaigns for Rene Guinot (photographed by the iconic photographer Mario Testino) as well as Revlon and as a friend and colleague to Tyra Banks, Susan was a Creative Director and Celebrity Guest Judge on America’s Next Top Model. Susan even starred on “E!” Entertainment’s docu-series show, “Married to Rock,” which aired in 59 countries.
Today, Susan still writes for Huffington Post, is working on her novel, and has been active in front of the camera again too, having fun with direct bookings. In addition, she recently signed with a new NY modeling agent, Iconic Focus.
While her professional accomplishments are strong, her personal accomplishments are also remarkable! She is a proud wife and recently celebrated her 18th wedding anniversary with iconic rock legend and Grammy Award Winner, Duff McKagan. Duff is one of the three founding band members of Guns N’ Roses and is the band’s bassist. Together, Susan and Duff have two beautiful daughters, Mae, 17 and Grace, 20, both accomplished in their fields of modeling and music.
Susan is what we consider a modern superwoman; from traveling the globe with her husband to raising two fantastic and successful daughters. She enjoys working with her charities, balancing motherhood with work, and traveling.
So, like many of us with such busy lives, you need to take time for your health and fitness. Susan truly looks decades below her chronicle age (mid- 40’s), so we asked her to share her secrets with our readers.
Her captivating story and tips are below!
As a former supermodel in the 90’s- how have you maintained your natural beauty?
I try and follow the “eat five small meals a day” routine… Keeping my blood sugar level steady (and always with a handful size portion of protein, coupled with fiber/veggie combo as best as possible too. If I do eat bread, I consume it in the morning, so I have the whole rest of the day to work it off. My other diet regimen consists of mostly eating only half the portion that restaurants seem to dish out– I’ve just returned from overseas in Europe and Asia and not only do the restaurants proportion their servings smaller, but that also seems to instill a general healthier overall eating habit, for their cultures and viewpoints, on food and consumption. This reminded me of how we here in the states, sometimes waste so much food and, unfortunately, have probably grown accustomed to it.
I think it’s important not only for the physical but also the mental calmness and balance keeping active is to us all. I like to work out either at home (in our gym) or with my trainer Scott Logan. He has helped me a tremendous amount with keeping my back and shoulders strong which is an important one for me. Being I am tall (5’ 10”), I am extra cognizant of my posture. I always tell him to help me gain toned strong arms (a la Michelle Obama and JLo), as I think their arms always look so outstanding and fabulous. Also, I think being that your arms are generally right at a person’s “eye level,” it’s a place that you can’t get away with ignoring, and makes for a person’s first physical impression of you with regards to your body/fitness. Plus, it helps you abstain from injuries if your arms are strong, then you will use them, so as not to instill affliction while lifting with your back. And plus, you’ll look and feel good in that cocktail dress, or on the next red carpet.
My lifestyle is always very different from day to day, and week to week… One day I may be working on one of my latest business endeavors (whether it’s interviewing and writing about a cool celebrity or humanitarian for my latest Huffington Post column), or working on various writing, notes/outlines/ideas for my upcoming fictitious novel “The Velvet Rose” that is being published, and coming out next year! During the week, I also either take Mae (my youngest daughter) to school, then drive straight to a training session at my gym, or try and tackle a challenging fitness class (from kickboxing/boxing to a barre/pilates class, or hiking). And then I love being able to see and support our oldest daughter Grace’s band “The Pink Slips” that she is the lead singer in and is so beautiful and talented.
And then, of course, weaving in lots of travel time too, to see my husband Duff whilst he’s been on an amazing worldwide stadium tour, with his legendary band Guns N’ Roses. He’s always a fitness “inspo” for me… for sure, he is one of the healthiest and fittest people I know!
We both thrive on being supportive/focused on being the best parent, partner, friend, and hardworking team that we can be! My whole family is so blessed with our health, all our fantastic adventures/travels we’ve been able to have together. I think we’ve been fortunate enough, to have voyaged everywhere together from Australia, all over Europe, Mexico, Asia, Central and S. America, US, Canada, and Asia recently just to name a few. They say, “travel is the best education” and it definitely enhances you and your children’s paradigm on the world not just your world at home.
Now that our daughters Grace (20) and Mae (17) are older, I’m now able to have a bit more time for myself again, and I’ve truly enjoyed being able to start modeling and doing some print and magazine covers and runway shows again! I’ve recently returned from walking the finale in “The Life Ball” in Vienna, Austria. I love being able to combat multiple career accomplishments sometimes all in the same go…. When I was flown out to walk in The “Life Ball” it was such an honor as it was for one of my favorite celebrity designer’s Francesco Scognamiglio and also for the world’s largest AIDS/HIV charity event! It has hosted so many incredible stars and designers over the years, from Bill Clinton, Elton John, Charlize Theron, Sean Penn, Jean Paul Gaultier, Roberto Cavalli, Donatella Versace, Naomi Campbell, DSquared2, and Moschino to name a few. It’s a mind blowing incredible fashion show and event. But honestly, I’ve experienced such a rush lately, also from my other recent walks in the NYFW to LAFW and several magazine covers/feature stories and billboards is unbelievable! It really goes to show we women are timeless beautiful beings, at any age period. Actually, my personal opinion is, that women only garner more beauty with age, because age is not just a “smile and look good for the camera, but the whole entire beautiful complete package— knowledge, experience, wisdom, strength and courage to show it and own it!”
Products for Anti- Aging
I prefer to use the term “taking care of oneself”, no matter what age, to strive to reach the potential of looking AND feeling best about oneself inside and out. I enjoy seeing which products on the market or from natural household items too that might be most beneficial for my particular (combination/sensitive) skin type. I know it’s not a “one size fits all package” when it comes to what strategies/brands/ingredients/products work best for everyone…but I have discerned, some that have worked the best for me and my skin at the moment.
Here we go:
Wash face with a gentle cleanser. I adore the Eminence Organic Skin Care Line’s “Blueberry Soy Exfoliating Cleanser” — it has natural AHA exfoliants that seriously unearth a polished complexion. The smell alone is magic! My Dermatologists have always recommended another sure and safe bet, the drug store cleanser Cetaphil. I also make sure to SCRUB/EXFOLIATE! Do not ever overlook this one… Dr. Harold Lancer MD has developed “The Method Polish” that is the bomb! I also love Estee Lauder’s “Advanced Night Repair” serum with Choronolux CB Technology for precise skin repair while I sleep. I love these two products from Dr. Anna Guanche MD (Bella Skin Institute) is White Lightning for a botanical serum on my face, and for my hands, every night restorative hand cream, her featured item she carries at her office called “Epionce.”
My go to every single night time moisturizers rotate between Oil of Olay’s Night Recovery Cream, to Dr. Lancer’s Intensive Night Treatment.
Oh, and VERY Important! Don’t ever leave your house, especially when it is cloudy – or even when you’re flying, without sunscreen! A flight attendant friend of mine disclosed how when we’re all flying up in silver metal tubes so close to the sun and the atmosphere, that attracts sunlight stronger than we might think… those rays are strong!! My fave sunblocks are L’Oreal Paris Advanced Suncare, Silky Sheer BB Face Lotion SPF 50+, and Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 70.
I also love using my Clarisonic brush to slough off dead skin cells. I use the Foreo Luna Silicone Facial Brush too— it’s cute, colorful and fantastic small size makes it easy to travel with. Any other “tools” I always rely on a professional and at their office, for the safest and assured way to take care of y our skin. Some services I relish are microdermabrasion and the Forma fractional radio-frequency treatment for more even skin tone and texture. It increases elastin and collagen production with firming results that last.
I do facials once a month… My “go to’s” at home facials include: Origin’s Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask, and my “old school” favorite is Queen Helene Mint Julep masque from the drug store, and Eminence Strawberry Rhubarb one with hyaluronic acid, that I use in the shower, while the steam helps open pores, and put on in there while I’m deep conditioning or putting a clear hair glaze from Rita Hazan, for shine on my hair.
Do you visit a dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon for non – surgical procedures such as fillers?
My dermatologists are incredible, being that I travel so often and live between Seattle/Los Angeles and on an airplane/hotel heehee. For Los Angeles, I’ve been going to Dr. Harold Lancer and Dr. Barbara Guanche for years… and in Seattle, I use Dr. Barbara Schell who is also amazing!
As a mother of two talented and beautiful daughters, what have you taught your daughters about beauty and health?
If you start taking care of your skin now… you will have spectacular skin forever! It’s all about early prevention versus, trying to fix what has been sun damaged already. They both pretty much stay out of the sun and know from my teaching them from a very early age, to wear sunblock emphatically. They both frown on the overly fake tan/overkill sun worshipping look anyhow. Duff and I are constantly reminding them to stay super hydrated and drink TONS of water… aka as I always say “by the time you’re actually feeling thirsty, it’s your body telling you it’s too late, meaning you should always keep yourself hydrated well because if you do, then basically you’d never ever feel thirsty” translation… your body is telling you, you have not been drinking enough water, if you are now actually craving it” this is the rule of thumb: take your body weight, and multiply that by 0.5 and that equals the amount in ounces of water you are supposed to drink per day you are supposed to be drinking.
Thank you to Susan for taking the time to share her story and invaluable lifestyle and beauty tips.
Follow Susan on her Social Media!
Please make sure and keep up with all my latest skin, healthcare, music, celebrity and fashion happenings on my Instragram: SusanHolmesMcKagan
Twitter: @SuHolmesMcKagan and YouTube
Marc and Paula Kayne
About the talented photographers who photographed Susan for this stunning cover pic:
World-renowned visionary and trendsetting photography team, Paula and Marc Kayne are published in the world’s most prestigious publications including Vogue, Elle, GQ, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, Amica, Tatler, Harpers, Glamour, Italian Photo, People Magazine, Telva, Paris Photo and many more. They have photographed, Halle Berry, Heidi Klum, Miranda Kerr, Candice Swanepoel, Gigi Hadid , Bella Hadid, Rosie Huntington Whiteley, Kathy Ireland, Adriana Lima, Tyra Banks, Laetitia Casta, Katie Holms, Cameron Diaz, Sharon Stone, Milla Jojovich, Monica Bellucci, Karolina Kurkova, Naomi Campbell, Steffi Graf among others. They have photographed and produced many ads & catalogs for clients such as Warner Bros. Sony Music /Masterworks, American Express, Neutrogena, L’Oreal, Nordstrom, Kathy Ireland Worldwide, Mrs Sporty by Steffi Graf, Country Roads, Sportsgirl and European designers, such as Givenchy, Balmain, Nina Rici, Cartier & Piaget, to name a few. Their work has been covered by network and cable television, such as CNN, Entertainment Tonight, X-tra, Inside Edition, E-Channel, and in Photo and Fashion magazines worldwide. This has been an amazing journey for the Kaynes, They have produced their shoots in some of the most exotic and beautiful locations on earth, like the Seychelles Islands to rainforests deep in the Amazon, safaris in Botswana, to very remote locations in Australia, Africa, Ile Maurice, Thailand, Fiji, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Europe. They continue traveling the globe photographing, filming and producing assignments for their clients. After living in Milan and Paris for many years, they are currently based in Los Angeles.
www.mpkaynephoto.com, Instagram: mpkaynephoto