Getting Ready

Here’s Model Grace Mahary’s Trick for Glowy Skin Before a Big Event

Plus, getting pumped up to Migos, the best late-night spot in Toronto, and everything else we learned before the CAFA Awards.

By: Meagan Wilson
Styling: Meagan Wilson
Photography: Daniel Kim

Canadians have a reputation for two things: being nice (is it really that difficult?) and producing many a supermodel. Okay, so maybe the latter isn’t quite on everyone’s radar, but it’s still worth stating: Daria Werbowy, Jessica Stam, Winnie Harlow...the list goes on. And on.

So when it came time for this year’s CAFA Awards (an annual event that celebrates the best and brightest talent in fashion in the country), it was only right that we spent the afternoon with model Grace Mahary, an Edmonton native who moved to Toronto as a teen to pursue her basketball career (!), before getting discovered and going on to work with everyone from CHANEL to Balmain and Givenchy. With her mom and BFF in tow, we chatted about everything from the super-simple trick she turns to for glowy skin before a big event, to her maple syrup obsession, and how fancy charity galas were the impetus of her new non-profit, Project Tsehigh. Click through the photos below—you might learn a thing or two.


“I’m trying to wear my hair as natural as possible now, especially to events where I have the public eye watching. I want to represent that curly hair team!”

“This is my first time [at the CAFAs]. I’m presenting the Stylist of the Year award.”

“[When people find out I’m Canadian, they usually say], ‘Oh my god, that is why we love you!’ Or, ‘They are the nicest people, I love Canadians and Australians.’ I think [I get away with things] because there’s a stereotype that we are all so nice. [laughs]”

“When I went to try on the dress, my hair was naturally curly. I thought that was perfect. And then our awesome Sephora makeup artist saw this Atelier Swarovski jewelry that I’m wearing with the dress and said that maybe a sparkly green smoky eye would work.”

“I’m wearing Jason Wu. It’s this emerald, gorgeous, strapless dress. I’m excited to wear it. They gave me a couple of options, and when I walked in, I saw that, and it was like a magnet. I just moved right towards it.”

On her favorite Canadians working in fashion:

“I love Cary Tauben, he’s a stylist. Max Abadian and a few other photographers that I love. There are a few designers that I have been looking to stalk in Canada. I am hoping that they are [at the CAFAs tonight].”

“I was born and raised in Edmonton. I moved to Toronto to model and play basketball, and then eventually I ended up modeling full-time and moved to New York.”

Her favorite thing to eat when she comes home to Canada:

“My mom’s cooking! But lately Toronto has been on the come-up with all of these restaurants and lounges. We went to Soho House last night, which was great. Oh, that taco place on College Street, La Carnita. Woodlot is a great restaurant too, but there’s a little place…Bar Raval [on College]. Then, Snakes and Lattes is my favorite. I love board games. Can we go after the awards?”

“[Before an event], I usually like to listen to play music, but I forgot my speakers! Having my friends and family around helps. Just getting educated on who is going to be there and what we represent. Then I can have fun.”

“I think it’s super important to have the CAFAs, because you just need to embrace the local talent. If we recognize our own talent, we get a sense of pride. It’s important to be a part of this group from Canada and not hide it and run to other countries. I know sometime[s] we feel like we have to leave Canada to make it, but this event tonight shows that you can be here and stay here.”

“[Right now I’m listening to] Sampha. I love him. Then, to get excited, I listen to a little bit of Future and Migos.”

“I love the Jason Wu x Caudalie Beauty Elixir. it freshens your makeup and freshens your skin. And the Burberry lip gloss that I use is really natural and very low-key.”

“I find that fashion is becoming more diverse now, in both ethnicity, culture, and size, which I am super excited about. I just shot a cover for Harper's Bazaar Arabia, and it’s with the five of us. I had an incredible time on set. One, it was like ‘girl power,’ and two, it was all women of color. We were excited to do a shoot together and not feel the pressures to be against each other. It was really nice.”

“My favorite thing for my skin is going in the sauna. I go in the sauna or steam room, and my skin just automatically glows.”

“I don’t do Caesars, and I don’t do bacon. But, oh my god, maple. Maple syrup, I am so proud of. I love maple syrup! Can that be my first answer? As a health freak too, maple syrup is the one sweetener that you can use in every single diet. It is natural, it’s vegan, it’s paleo, and it’s good for your autoimmune system.”

On when she hears her Canadian-ness coming out:

“I am so sorry. I’m sorry. I am really sorry! And when I say hard. The ‘A’ ‘R’s’ are really tough. I try to hide it when I’m in the States. If you travel to Europe and other places, they like it.”

“[I hear my Canadian accent] all of the time. I was born and raised in Alberta for 16 years, so sometimes a little comes out when I’m talking.”

“Yeah, I'm healthy, but I'm flexible. Last night I had wine. But I do try to stay away from salt[y] things the night before. I also went to yoga this morning with my mom. It put me in a good place before I got here. It’s little things like that.”

“[Right now I’m working on my] non-profit in renewable energy. It is my baby. We’re bringing solar energy to African communities and then hopefully around the world. It started out in the country that my parents and family are from, but through meeting so many people on this job, it has opened my eyes to the fact that energy poverty exists around the world. This year our first mission is 100 households in Eritrea. We are going to give them solar panel, battery, and lights.”

“Our fundraisers [for Project Tsehigh] are through fitness. We did a SoulCycle event, and at the end of this month, we’re working with Russell Simmons. They have a yoga studio in L.A., so we’re doing our next fundraiser with them. I’m trying to make it fun. There is a way to have fun and still give back and help other communities.”

“It [is] all hands-on [with Project Tsehigh]. I’ve been modeling for a few years and have been to charity events and supported other benefits, but I saw some things about overhead; how a lot of your money doesn’t go to the project and even if you start working with a non-profit. A lot of the hands-on work isn’t done by you or through you. That’s how this project came to be. Now, because I was an athlete and am a model, I try to bring that into it because it is so hard to keep people’s interest in sustainability. Look at Leonardo DiCaprio, and how much he does for environmentalism, and how a lot of people still don’t care.”