The coolest part of KC Fee’s job is that you probably didn’t even know it existed in the first place. She’s a Los Angeles-based celebrity men’s groomer, which means she’s basically responsible for making Hollywood’s hottest actors, like Armie Hammer and Nicholas Hoult, look like they woke up like that (note: they didn’t). Turns out, makeup is actually a man’s best friend! She’s also a mom of two adorable daughters and wife to English film producer, Tom Butterfield. For Father’s Day, we caught up with KC and asked her to spill the tea on some of her male A-list client’s biggest insecurities, plus the beauty products she uses to boost their confidence, how to make your man’s skin and hair look 100 and why British dads are definite #goals. Of course we couldn’t help but get her professional opinion on manscaping too. Read on for all the dirt!
Q: You’re a celebrity men’s groomer…how cool! What exactly does your job entail, and can you describe a typical day in the life?
A: My job is very niche, and I’m incredibly lucky that my life took me here. In a nutshell, my job is to make some of the best looking men in the world look their best! I don’t work on film sets. I get actors ready by doing their hair and makeup (yes men wear makeup) for red carpets, award shows, press junkets, talk shows, photo shoots and anything else relating to publicity.
Every day is completely different. Each week is completely different. This might be the hardest question to answer. The simplest way to describe my day is frantic. Its driving, lugging my kit (a small suitcase) around LA, some early mornings and, at times, late nights in hotels, at studios, on locations all in the service of the client and helping them feel their best. It varies, but it’s exciting and sometimes I get to travel. I love my job!
Q: What are some of your client’s biggest insecurities? How do you make men feel confident?
A: Each client varies. I mean, we all have our “things”. I think across the board my clients don’t want to look like they’re wearing makeup. And that’s the skill set: making them look like they’re not wearing any while creating the very best version of themselves. It gives them the confidence to be captured on camera in one form of media or another for all to see. If my client leaves my chair feeling confident then I’ve done my job.
Q: Biggest misconception about your job?
A: I think the fact that my job even exists. Most people have no idea that these guys have their hair and makeup done, which means as a collective we’re doing our jobs well! Now, with that being said, the way society perceives men’s grooming these days is changing by the minute. Men as a whole are becoming so much more intrigued and comfortable with self-care products and looking good.
Q: Three things every man should have in their toiletry bag?
A: Face cream, eye cream and their favorite hair product.
Q: Fave men’s haircare products?
Q: Best beard products or tools (razors, etc.)?
Q: Tips on easy ways to make your man look good (hint hint)?
A: My favorite trick is adding a drop of Tom Ford Bronzing Gel to face cream. It just adds a subtle sun kissed glow.
Q: Any skincare must-haves you swear by for guys (plus tips for actually getting your hubby to use them/stay consistent with a routine)?
A: Everyone should be incorporating skin care into their day, period. Men are creatures of habit and need to keep things as simple as possible. My advice is to find a face wash, face cream and under eye cream they respond to. Start with getting them a travel kit so they can try all the products. Great brands I love that do travel kits are Malin + Goetz, Kiehls and Baxter of California.
Face wash is something they can easily add into their shower routine. If they don’t want to do it before bed then get some face wipes such as Simple Cleansing Wipes to just give the face a quick clean. On goes the face cream and the eye cream morning and night. It takes minutes; they can get used to it.
My husband Tom has now gotten into a ritual of a facemask before his shower on Sunday mornings. He said it helps him feel like he’s starting off the week revived. It also gives him about 20-30 minutes of peace and quiet to himself.
Q: How did you and your husband meet? When did you know he’d make a great dad?
A: We met in London. I was doing a press tour with a client/good friend. I reached out to a friend of mine in London to take us out and he did. He brought along a friend of his who is now my husband!
I knew Tom would make a great dad the first time I saw him interact with a kid. This happened pretty early on in our relationship when he was visiting from London. He was playing with a friend’s toddler, and it was literally in that moment that I said to myself, “that is the father of my children”. I was done and just knew. Eight years and two girls later and my gut couldn’t have been more right, but even still, he has surpassed my intuition. He’s the best!!
Q: You did the whole long distance thing for a while before finally settling down in LA. What was the hardest part of dating someone that lived thousands of miles away?
A: Yes, we did a year and a half long distance between LA and London. The hardest part was not physically being together. However, with that being said, if it had been any different I’m not sure it would have worked. I was going through a divorce at the time and that physical separation gave me the space I needed to work through that. It forced us to take things slowly, learn how to communicate and truly get to know each other. There was zero room for “games”. Also, this was before FaceTime so we had to commit to “Skype Dates” which was challenging in itself due to an eight hour time difference and having to be at home in front of the computer. The distance and the challenges we faced because of it made us incredibly strong as a couple. We learned how to communicate, compromise and sacrifice.
Q: How did you make it work and any advice you can share for couples in a similar situation?
A: When we both decided it was 100 percent worth it, we worked incredibly hard. We made a rule not to go longer than eight weeks apart. For some reason, it’s that 6-8 week time when you start to get really antsy and a lot of fighting ensues. Frustration and resentment kicks in and gets the best of you. You have to keep making plans and always have a light at the end of the tunnel for the increments when you’re apart and absolutely for the bigger picture. If there’s no end in sight then what’s the point? You have to know that both of you are willing to make sacrifices. Patience, perseverance and a hard core belief in your love will get you there.
Q: Your husband, Tom, is from London. Are there any cultural differences you’ve had to deal with as far as parenting goes or just raising kids in general?
A: We are very lucky because we were, for the most part, raised in a very similar way. We were taught to be good people, to have respect and compassion for others, to be well mannered and to have an overall strong moral compass. Tom actually grew up between London and Connecticut (due to his father’s work). I grew up in NY, so there is definitely the common thread of an east coast sensibility. We are pretty much on par when it comes to parenting. I think really the only significant cultural difference is the language. It’s English English vs. US English. Yes, it’s the same language but we use many different words! We use a lot of English words in our household so when the girls go to school they (or we) have to explain to the teachers what they’re talking about!
Q: Are British dads pretty similar to Americans?
A: I will opt not to generalize because every man is different based on their personalities and experiences. My husband, however, being English went to boarding school from a very young age. I feel that this experience taught him how to be incredibly self-sufficient. He loves to cook, he cleans, he finds ironing relaxing and knows how to look after himself with confidence. He understands what it means to participate and therefore has jumped right in as a dad with all parenting duties. Especially in the beginning when the girls were babies and there was more dependency on me, he just picked up all the slack without me having to say a word. I can say that I have seen this with a lot of our English friends who went to boarding school.
Q: Best part of raising kids in LA? Worst part?
A: The absolute best part of raising kids in LA is the weather, hands down! The fact that our kids can be playing outside almost 365 days a year is just the best! Spoiling, really. They don’t have to ever be bundled up with layers to go to school or even just to run errands. Almost all of their activities are outdoors. And even though LA is technically a big city, it’s spread out and has a lot of space for kids.
The downside to raising kids in LA, it’s a one industry city. The majority of us are living here because we’re in the entertainment industry in some capacity. The issue with that is the lack of natural diversity. It can create a lot of competition amongst parents and kids. It becomes about what school your kids go to, what part of town you live in, what your parents do, how many houses you have (I literally heard a six-year-old ask that to another). Unfortunately, it puts emphasis on the superficial aspects of life. It can swallow you up if you let it. We don’t have family here so we try to stay surrounded and close to our friends with whom we share similar values and outlooks on life. We very fortunate to have such a wonderful group of friends.
Q: As a mom to two girls, what do you hope to teach your daughters to look for in a man or future partner one day?
A: Well, their father should be their leading example. Someone who can laugh or cry with you; someone who loves you and respects you for every inch of your being; someone who will let you shine as you are but call you out if need be; someone who will be there to equally listen and advise; someone who will be your true partner and expect all of the above in return.
Q: What are you guys doing to celebrate Father’s Day this year?
A: This is still TBD. Tom is a huge Dodgers fan and on Father’s Day at Dodgers Stadium after the game they let the fathers bring their kids out onto the field to toss a ball around. This is his dream, and he was going to do it this year but then realized he would only be able to do it with our oldest Charlie (4) and Alice (2) would have to stay home. He only wants to do it if he can with both girls so that will be the plan for next year!
Q: And what are you and the girls getting him gift-wise?
A: The girls have made some really cute cards and paintings.
Q: Favorite local family activity?
A: We love going to the Studio City Farmers Market on Sundays.
Q: Fave date night spot?
A: Our go to date night is sushi and a movie.
Q: Fave local restaurant?
A: If we can splurge, our favorite spot is Sushi Note. It has the absolute best sushi, and they have a sommelier there to pair your sushi with wine. Our two favorite things! It’s amazing.
Q: Best barber shop in LA?
A: One of my colleague’s Jason Schneidman, who, in my opinion, is one of the best barbers out there, just opened up a Barber Shop in Venice called (named after his brand) THEMENSGROOMER SHOP. My guess is that any guy will leave there happy and feeling just a bit cooler.
Q: Fave kid’s brands?
A: Well, Dopple of course! It has introduced me to some really cool brands such as Lali, Blu Pony Vintage and more. I am a huge fan of Doen, Mini Boden (mainly for sundresses and swim suits), Crew Cuts and Cotton On is amazing for easy fun basics.
Q: Fave beauty brands?
A: I am absolutely loving Augustinus Bader face cream. It’s a game changer. I love Sisely Paris eye cream, Tom Ford Beauty (in general), Oribe shampoo. Mario Badescu has a Vitamin C Serum that I’m into these days. I’m obsessed with Isle of Roses Hair Oil.
Q: Coolest dad(s) you’ve worked with/on? Any fun stories you can share?
A: I love working with dads. It’s an automatic bond that then creates an instant safe space to work in. A lot of my clients are dads. It’s the best! I will say (no offense to any others) my favorite dad is Armie Hammer. Our kids are pretty much the exact same ages so right away that was something that we shared and we would trade stories and vent. Almost two years ago we were going through a whole awards campaign so I was basically at his house 4-5 times a week for months. His wife Elizabeth and I found kindred mom spirits in each other (amongst other things), and then I started bringing Charlie to the house with me so she and their daughter Harper could have play dates. They became instant friends and have been buds since!
Q: Men’s grooming trend you’re really loving right now? Any you’re not?
A: The trend I love the most and hope will never go away is the beard. I love a bit of scruff! It doesn’t have to be a full on beard but even just a little growth is incredibly sexy.
Q: And of course we have to ask….what are your thoughts on manscaping? Is it a do for all dads?
A: Not necessarily. I think it is more about the dad being confident enough to have the conversation and not getting offended if his wife suggests that a “bit of a trim wouldn’t be a terrible idea”.