Known for her incredibly dynamic career, Amy Matysio is an award-winning actor, creator, and voice-over artist celebrated on both stage and screen. Recent appearances include Baroness Von Sketch(CBC/Netflix), her 2020 Canadian Screen Award-nominated work in both Save Me (CBC) and Running with Violet (OutTV), and her notable commercial series for Winners, entitled “Finders Keepers”, which she most definitely put her comedic stamp on. A prairie girl at heart, she now makes her home in Toronto with her husband Karrnnel Sawitsky, of the Juno award-winning band The Fretless, and their three-year-old son Jagger.
1. I have always loved our makeup chair visits and I love when we share about all our beauty faves – especially skincare. Your skin is always glowing and I would love to know about your daily skincare regimes. What does your morning and nighttime skincare routine look like?
Holly, I miss our chair chats! Over the past year, I have tried to simplify what I use. I love the daily ritual of skincare, especially when I have taken the time in the morning — it sets me up for a great day. In the evening, I find it very calming and meditative. I believe you have to examine your skin each day and look at the “skin instant”. I change my routine seasonally and only switch things up if my skin calls for it (or I get bored). I always double cleanse at night… and I don’t use makeup wipes! Some of my staples include Lait U Cleansing Milk, a variety of botanical face oils (Sapphire Oil by ISun), and NIOD’s Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist, a brilliant antioxidant, anti-inflammatory mist that adds incredible hydration and so much more. A few times a week I use ISun’s Phyto-Enzyme organic scrub, which is not aggressive and my skin loves it! I rotate in Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster and a variety of moisturizers. Lately, I have been using Vanicream’s Daily Facial Moisturizer for sensitive skin, CeraVe’s Skin Renewing Night Cream, and Biologique Recherche’s Creme Dermopurifiante. I wear Elta MD Clear sunscreen every day as my last step. I don’t like sheet masks – there I said it! They are messy, wasteful and I like to use my masking time to multi-task. I can’t scrub baseboards when I can’t see out of those terribly shaped eye holes. If you want a splurge that will change your skin and last all winter, Biologique Recherche’s Creme Masque Vernix is magic. It can also really help combat any “maskne” issues. Once a week I deep clean my makeup brushes. If the last time you did that, Friends was still on the air, it’s the cause of all your breakouts!
2. It’s always a blessing as a makeup artist when your client takes care of their skin. After almost twenty years working on camera what would you say your secret weapon is to have great skin and the best advice for overall skin health?
How lucky am I to have worked with so many amazing makeup artists over the years. Advice? Less is more! I say get off TikTok and get to an esthetician that can help you sort out your skin type and your specific needs. Overdoing it (especially with the wrong product) can really affect the overall look and texture of your skin, and frankly – damage it. I love seeing skin on camera and I feel so much more confident when I’m not worried about breakouts. I invest time to understand what I’m using and why I’m using it. I’m not influenced by fad products or ingredients—Vitamin C and I dated on and off, but I had to break it off for good. I also really dislike the term anti-aging! We are lucky to live and age, and I want to do it with grace. I think we’ve gone to a really bizarre place in what we call “natural”. My face is my story. I focus on softening fine lines, protecting the skin barrier, and keeping my skin bright. I have an amazing esthetician, Elena Kalyuzhnaya, who I see for Kobido Facials—life-changing. Her motto is “No flow, No glow” and her primary focus is lymphatic drainage and facial reflexology. Before I shoot, I always see her to de-puff, plump, and lift my face naturally. About a year ago I also went off dairy, which has been excellent for my overall health, and those pesky “zips” (as my son calls them) that appear within hours of plowing through a brie wheel. Our face is a map of what’s going on in our bodies. I’m trying to focus on what I’m putting in, not just on top.
3. Since you have had your makeup professionally done numerous times, what would you say is your favorite makeup look?
I would say clean, glowy skin with sculpted cheekbones and a soft, blended smokey eye. The Holly Decker classic! I find a darker lip, intense bronzer, or a really structured “Instagram brow” do not suit me. I always go back to the look where I feel most polished and comfortable. If I want to intensify things, I have the artist really dig into my eyes and “dirty” them up!
4. If you had to pick your “go-to” makeup look, what would it be and what products would you use?
My go-to look is fast and simple. The less I use the fresher I look and feel! Some of my favs include Westman Atelier Vital Skin Foundation (Shade III) and her Face Trace in Biscuit – THE best contour. These both have skin-loving ingredients and last forever. I love the Bodyography Cream Blush in Nectar, Benefit Hula Bronzer Light for winter (which I also use on my eyes), and Lily Lolo Mascara. I get my eyebrows tinted and threaded. If I have any holes, I add the Amaterasu Liquid Brow Liner in Cocoa and Clear Brow Gel from Essence ($3.99 at Shoppers). I have green eyes, so some days I go in with the Charlotte Tilbury Rock ‘N’ Kohl Eyeliner Pencil in Velvet Violet and smudge it out. On my lips, I generally wear the Canadian-made Harlow Skin Gloss in Naked, Dior Lip Glow in Sheer Berry. If I really want to make an impact, before any color, I use my City Lips Plumping Gloss in Clear.
5. I think we all have those holy grail, must-have products in our lives, what are yours?
A makeup artist hack I have taken with me is using Weleda Rich Cream under a full-coverage foundation. I am acne-prone, so I have to be careful. But, it’s a beautifully rich botanical cream that provides the most insane natural glow – and smells divine. Lucas’ Papaw Ointment for my lips… I have them all over my house. Masque Vivant from Biologique Recherche, a cult fav, has been a staple in my bathroom forever. And, I’d have to say Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, because – congestion!
6. When applying both makeup and skincare, do you have any favorite beauty tools?
I love tools. They are such a game-changer. I think people shy away from tools because they are scared to use them or use them wrong, and they just end up in a drawer. They can be expensive, but it’s really about finding the ones that work for you and being consistent. My weekly round-up would include a Gua Sha, my Chan Beaute Facial Roller, an LED mask, and my NuFace microcurrent device, which I’ve had for, I think, 12 years! Crazy. I still have the original model. I took the time to educate myself and learn how to make them work for my skin. Don’t forget you have free access to the best tool of all – your hands. I love doing simple facial massage and do it almost every day. It really gets the blood flowing, helps the overall appearance, and feels so good.
7. I always love finding new products that I can recommend, what are your new product discoveries?
I had some great discoveries over the past year, including products that I have known about for a while, but finally took the time to try. The Kosas Tinted Face Oil (Shade 04) is incredible. It is a very lightweight blend of nourishing botanical oils that moisturize and tone. I don’t like putting a highlighter on my face that you can see from space! This foundation dries down to a satin finish, leaving a perfect, natural glow that is subtle and gorgeous, and not greasy. I also love the Kosas company ethos. I have also been incorporating copper into my routine! The NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 2:1 is a new “wow” product for sure.
8. I know you are a busy actress and mom and trying to balance it all, are there any products that help you relax?
I find relaxing harder than ever these days when our minds are racing and feeling so uneasy. Living in these challenging and introspective times, I have really found peace in trying to breathe more, move more, and just CHILL when Jagger wants to lay in a fort and read books. I have a toddler, and he is VERY busy. Once he is sleeping, I try to make sure I don’t stay up too late working, but carve out some time to relax with my husband or alone. Some products that help me take it down a notch are the Thr3e Signature Candle (I always have a backup!), the Happiness Tonic by Anima Mundi, and a piece of Mystech jewelry. I wear a bracelet that has been charged with the earth’s natural frequency to provide EMF protection and to help with everything from aches/pains to sleep and mood. I can honestly say, I feel a difference when I’m not wearing it.
Interviewed & Written by Holly Decker
Cover picture: Photo Karyn Kimberley, MUA Holly Decker