Balancing Life and Beauty with Challen Cates

Challen Cates

Stunningly gorgeous television actress and Anti-Bullying activist Challen Cates is the mother everyone adores on Nickelodeon’s hit show BIG TIME RUSH. Starring opposite of the musical hockey- playing boy band, Challen is “Momma Knight” to band member “Kendall”. The show chronicles the hap hazard lives of the up and coming stars as they find themselves traveling from Minnesota to Hollywood as the newest teen sensations. The show with three seasons and four movies already under its belt, will air its upcoming fourth season in April 2013. You can read her interview on what it’s like to work with the boys from Big Time Rush HERE.

Growing up, Challen’s family had a passion for the arts which led to her doing print work and commercials at a very young age. She always had a fascination with acting and began taking classes as a teenager. Soon after college, Challen moved to Atlanta to further pursue her passion and it was there where she acquired her first major role on the critically acclaimed series IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT starring acclaimed actor Carroll O’Connor. She’s since held roles on NBC’PASSIONS, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, CRIMINAL MINDS, CSI: NY, MONK and Lifetime’s MISSING starring Caterina Scorsone. In addition, Challen starred and executive produced two independent films: A FARE TO REMEMBER and THE A-LIST.

The Roanoke, Virginia native and University of Georgia graduate currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, famed acting coach Aaron McPherson (clients include Seth MacFarlane, Dolph Lundgren), their two children (son Colton 7 & daughter Jasper 4), two dogs (Greta & Judy) and bearded dragon.

Challen’s agricultural roots in Roanoke have her well versed in the arts of horseback riding and wine making. In her spare time Challen loves to read and has a passion for photography. When she isn’t acting she enjoys traveling; frequently to her families winery, TANTARA, in Santa Barbara County. Challen continuously exemplifies today’s Hollywood Mom both on and off the screen. BIG TIME RUSH

It was such a pleasure to talk with Challen, she radiates this energy and light that makes you feel good around her. She is down to earth, genuine, gracious and incredibly humble. I knew Challen  would be a perfect fit to interview and feature on Beauty Buzz 411. She embraces health, beauty and lives and breathes a balanced lifestyle. So sit back, get comfy and find out all the 411 on how this busy Mom of 2 keeps beautiful and stays grounded.

BB411~ When did you know you wanted to become an actor?

CC~ I knew at a young age that’s what I wanted to do but was too shy to tell people. I did a play when I was little and realized that it was a whole new world, that I could get lost in someone else’s words.

BB411~ If you weren’t in front of the camera and acting and you could be anything in the world what would it be?

CC~ I would be involved in fashion or style, maybe designing jewelry or dresses. I love, love, love fashion. I spend too much time in my closet.

14897_509101645799765_1350895667_nBB411~ How did your parents influence the person you are today?

CC~ My parents were and still are hippies, they instilled honesty and they showed me to always find the positive in people. Since they are both artists they showed me that being an artist is a profession to be proud of.

BB411~ Which Actor/Actress inspired you growing up?

CC~  I loved and still love Vivien Leigh, I have seen “Gone with the Wind” so many times. When I was a kid I watched it over and over. I was so impressed with her, she’s beautiful, so talented and I found it fascinating that she was English and playing this iconic American role.

BB411~ Who’s one person (role model) you haven’t met that you would like to sit down and have lunch with and why (past or present)?

CC~ I have a Marilyn Monroe obsession. I would love to sit down and know the real person, what she was really about. I know that she created this character, this facade she put on, it was her image.

BB411~ Have you always been in love with fashion and beauty?

CC~ Since my parents were hippies growing up and my Mom didn’t wear any makeup, I would take my Aunt’s Vogue Magazines and devour them. I had those forever, I would cut pictures out. I have always been into makeup and what it can do.

BB411~  Describe your style?

CC~ A little Bohemian and a little classic, with some sexy thrown in.


BB411~ Favorite Designer?

CC~ For Red Carpet Gowns Carolina Herrera and for everyday life  a few favourites are J Brand Jeans and Alice + Olivia.

BB411~ Favorite color?

CC~ It changes all the time, but right now its purple.

BB411~ What does beauty mean to you and what do you want to teach your kids?

CC~ Being a Mom has been the best thing that has ever happened to me, it took the focus off of myself and gave my life purpose. I don’t think I understood what true love was until I had children. Beauty ties into that, when you love something and you’re passionate about someone or something (your husband, children, pets, job, etc), it comes through and it shows. I think it’s so true when they say beauty comes from within. It’s like when you meet someone and you get to know them, they either become more beautiful if they’re a good person and good-hearted or their selfish qualities can make them not as beautiful as I first thought they were.

BB411~ What inspires you and keeps you balanced (professionally and personally)?Bobby Quillard - Family Shot

CC~ Personally my family and professionally my network of actors and industry people. I also still study and the incredible Larry Moss is inspiring.

Challen CatesBB411~ Greatest accomplishment to date?

CC~ Having my two children. Being a mother has made me a better actress!

BB411~ #1 Thing to check off on your bucket list?

CC~ I need to learn Spanish, my friend even gave me lessons for Christmas. I will do our next interview in spanish.

BB411~ If you could tell your younger self something you have learned and now know what would it be?

CC~ Don’t worry so much about what other people think of you.

BB411~ Are you involved in any charities, are any close to your heart?

CC~ Anything that is involved with kids. Darkness to Light is something that is close to my heart, I have a personal understanding of the damage that childhood sexual abuse can cause. I also actively support the ‘Say It 2 My Face’ Anti-Bullying campaign and “Young Storytellers Foundation”, which provides underprivileged children the opportunity to write stories and see them brought to life through performance. My family and I take part in charities like “Knights Family Toy Drive” where we collect gift donations for children in need.

BB411~ Have you ever dealt with Bullying growing up, if so how did you overcome it?

CC~ Yes I have experienced Bullying. I don’t think it’s something that you easily get over and because of that I want to make sure it doesn’t happen to my kids. That’s why the whole cyber bullying is so scary. If I had to give advice it would be bullying is not true, it’s the unhappiness of the other person. If you can look at it that way, you can feel sorry for them and not take it personally.b89e84bf928ba95198e3d7845ab1d2df.wix_mp_51239509_medium

BB411~ What is your skin care regime?

CC~ I’m really diligent about keeping my skin clean, I can not fall asleep with makeup on. Right now I’m using Rodan + Fields cleanser, toner, moisturize (day and night) and sunscreen during the day. I change my products up all the time. I use Epicuren Colostrum Cream and I’m always looking for the miracle eye cream. I also go and get facials from a place in LA called SkinSense, I have been going there forever.

BB411~ 3 beauty products you carry with you always?

CC~ I use nipple cream on my lips (it works so well for chapped lips, my kids and husband use it as well), mascara and Cle’ de Peau Beaute’ Concealer for dark circles.

BB411~ I read that you used this, so I picked some up to try for my self and it works! I came across a great little company named Bug & Pickle that carries a nipple cream.

BB411~ #1 beauty product you could not live without?

CC~ It’s a tie between my nipple cream and mascara.

BB411~ Favorite fragrance?

CC~ I am allergic to perfume so I don’t wear it.

BB411~ Do any certain scents remind you of your childhood?

CC~ Cinnamon reminds me of my grandmother’s kitchen, it’s so good.

BB411~ You have great hair, what do you use as your go to products?

CC~ I love trying products but right now I’m into a line called Bamboo from Alterna Haircare. I use their shampoo and conditioner and this 48 hr volume spray. Its great, you spray it in when your hair is wet, it gives you volume and texture without leaving it sticky. I have a lot of hair, but its fine.

image005BB411~ How do you stay fit?

CC~  I’m a Pilates girl, I have been doing Pilates for 10 years and I love it. It was the only thing I have done where I saw results really fast, I do it 3 times a week. The more you do it, the more advanced it gets.

BB411~ Do you have a best kept beauty secret that has been passed down to you (say from your Mother or Grandmother)?

CC~ My Mom never wears makeup, she’s 72 and has never thought of having any plastic surgery and looks beautiful. Growing up she was into organic farming, drinking lots of water (way before it was in fashion) and she’s really always had a healthy lifestyle. That’s the beauty secret she’s passed down to me.

BB411~ Fun fact that your fans may not know about you (tattoos)?

CC~  No tattoos but I can flip upside down on a stripper pole (laughs). I started taking classes at a time when I wasn’t feeling very sexy and I got to a really advanced level.

BB411~Favorite quote?

CC~ The most wasted day is in that which we have not laughed ~ Chamfort

BB411~ Favorite food?

CC~ chocolate pot de creme

BB411~ 3 words that best describe you?Challen Cates

CC~ Persistant, Supportive, Chameleon

BB411~ Where do you see yourself in 1 year, 5 years and 10 years?

CC~ 1yr, hope a Big Time Rush spinoff, 5 years another series and in 10 years on yet another.

BB411~ #1 thing you want to be remembered for?

CC~ Making people smile.

BB411~ What advice would you give entrepreneurs starting out and following their dreams?

CC~ Never give up, stay focused, keep learning and be persistent.

To keep up to date on Challen be sure to follow her on Twitter and Facebook. Also tune into Big Time Rush every Monday night at 7:30pm ET/PT on Nickelodeon.

Remember  to say that you heard it first from BeautyBuzz411!

I look forward to hearing from all of you, email at or simply leave a comment here

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411

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