Victoria Radford is a Toronto-based beauty expert and celebrity make up artist. She’s worked with many stars including Fergie of Black Eyed Peas as her personal make up artist while the group toured for several years. Radford’s uplifting vibe makes her a go-to for many media appearances on television and editorial print. Recently she launched an incredible line of beauty and skin care. If that’s not busy enough, she’s also opened up Radford Studio in Yorkville Village where her team offer up services to meet the hair and skincare needs of many in this fresh upper level space.
I was recently introduced to Radford’s line of skin care and started using them after learning more about her and her approach to the industry. Her philosophy is “beauty from within”. No surprise given her background in holistic medicine, and being Canadian is a plus!
I was invited in to try a Light Treatment that incorporates her extremely popular 24K Gold Hydrogel Face Mask. Infused with gold and full of skin benefitting nutrients including Hyralonic Acid, Carob Seed, and Sea Moss this mask makes a noticeable difference plumping and instantly hydrating my skin. The in-studio light therapy helps to kill any unwanted bacteria – great for people like me who is prone to breakouts. You can purchase the reasonable mask ($16 each) to use at home and I learned that it can be used three times – just put back in the pouch and you can even store in the fridge in between uses for an added cooling to help even more with de-puffing the skin.
What surprised me on this visit wasn’t how much I loved this treatment that helped calm my skin (I’m now researching her microneedling resurfacing facial as it helps with collagen production) but when they asked me if I wanted to have a light make up application afterwards I was shocked to find Victoria Radford herself waiting at the make up station for me!
So, here was my chance to ask this global expert about anything I wanted. This is the kind of access is what skincare junkies like me dream about.
Radford tells me for years she’s been personally fascinated with the leading edge research and science behind the beauty industry particularly coming from Korea. Those face masks you now see everywhere? Yes, they began in Korea and K-beauty continues to thrive globally influencing international brands to take a closer look.
Consumers are also more savvy and researching ingredients, techniques and origins. Gone are the days when we use to go in for facial without asking any questions. More and more people understand terms like Hyralonic, glycolic, AHA to name a few and we don’t hesitate to ask questions. But she’s also about helping consumers understand what clean beauty really means. “I learned early on that not every natural ingredient is good for skin, nor is every synthetic ingredient bad,” says Radford on her site. All ingredients she uses in her products and in her services are carefully vetted and safe. Transparency is key in her business.
When she began researching what she envisioned for her skin care line she knew she wanted to work with the top beauty industry manufacturers. Radford had her eyes set on Korea and began the process. She mentioned when she was searching for manufacturers and doing her due diligence there were a few challenges in getting to who she wanted to work with. Instead of walking away she viewed it as a positive telling me that this made her more confident in ultimately deciding on who she wanted to do business with. Surely a company that has higher standards of who they associate with was worth her time and effort and that is apparent across the board with her business. She’s not interested in one-offs even with her clients. She’s interested in building relationships and learning about how people can work together to not just satisfy what is now…but also what the future holds.
Her signature 24K Gold Hydrogel Mask was an instant hit and beauty editors and customers are raving. I can see why. I’ve tried many face masks over the past few years and this one is a stand out. As I had mentioned, instant results. My skin is refreshed and glowing. She formulated other products in her line and boldly launched them during COVID — a challenge but she was determined. BUFF Daily Enzyme Exfoliant is already a favourite of mine that can be used everyday leaving the skin’s texture healthy, clear, smooth and glowing. I have sensitive skin and I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t irritating. I’ve been using it at night and following up with my favourite probiotic serum.
I had asked her how COVID has impacted her business aside from launching a skincare line. Radford immediately mentioned her team and how she wanted to not lose them over the pandemic. She deeply cares for her staff and I’m already feeling like her relationships matter to her greatly. For example, Renee who is one of the younger team members who had been with her for a couple of years and works along side helping Radford with face treatments and make up applications. She mentioned that during lockdown Renee learned to create engaging content for their social media platforms.
As a well-respected make up artist in the industry, Radford’s belief is not about transforming faces but really featuring and highlighting what you already have. Case in point. I had mentioned that I’m not happy with my flat nose and that I’d love her to show me how to contour– not going to lie, the Kardashians have had a huge impact as the queens of contouring their faces. Radford told me that altering the look so it’s “not you” is not her thing. Of course she can create the look if her client wants but instead, she showed me how to enhance features like my eyes (she somehow made mine sparkle) and lips. In turn, that shifted the focus from my own eyes. I know, I know, I’m my own harshest critics…but aren’t we all? I was still curious and persisted so she did offer tips on how to contour without being extreme like Kylie.
I’m grateful to have met Radford in real life. She’s a true inspiration and champion of seeing the beauty in everyone. Heck, if she and her team can make this “over 50” year old feel genuinely seen, respected and beautiful, it’s a place I want to go and support over and over again.
Radford Studio is located in Yorkville Village (55 Avenue Road, second floor).