Actress, Singer

Karen Mason, 69

Serucell User Since March 2020

“I always thought it was frightening to get older. And some of it is. But, as I reached what my father called ‘the back nine’, I realized what have I got to lose.  If it’s something I want to do, I do it.  It truly may be now—or never.”

Karen Mason is an award-winning actress and singer who has appeared in a number of Broadway productions, including as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, Tanya in Mamma Mia!, and Velma Von Tussle in Hairspray.

Karen is also an accomplished cabaret performer and has recorded seven solo albums. Born in New Orleans and raised outside of Chicago, Karen currently lives in Jackson Heights (Queens) with her husband. When we spoke with her earlier this month, Karen, like most New Yorkers in the age of COVID-19, was “nesting” at home.  

What she was working on pre-stay-at-home order

“Before quarantine, I had just completed two new club acts, including my birthday show at Feinstein’s/54Below, which had to be cancelled because the date was March 30. Once we can return to some kind of new normal, I plan to focus on Unfinished Business, a one-woman show I am creating with Barry Kleinbort and Christopher Denny with music written by Brian Lasser, including his song, Better Days. Brian passed away in 1992, but left me with great music and a great story. And by developing this show I am able to share that story of how he changed my life.”

What she’s working on tucked up at home

“I didn’t really have many hobbies—or downtime—until recently. But I do love to work out so I’ve been doing yoga, barre, and Pilates. We also bought an exercycle, so I’ve been getting on that as well. I came to yoga fairly late. I was always reluctant to go to a class because I thought everyone else would know what they were doing and I would look like a rube. But on Sunday mornings, I have been taking a yoga class on Zoom and loving it. I’ve also started cooking, though I’m not that proficient at it. I am a better sous chef; I love to chop! And we’ve been nesting—putting up pictures around the house and settling in in a way I didn’t have time to do before.

Three ways she’d describe herself

“Trustworthy. Love to laugh. Optimistic.”

One benefit of aging

“I always thought it was frightening to get older. And some of it is. But, as I reached what my father called ‘the back nine’, I realized what have I got to lose.  If it’s something I want to do, I do it.  It truly may be now—or never.”

Why she’s not bemoaning her “pandemic root regrowth”

“Since I haven’t been able to see my colorist, my hair has been going silver, and I find that I really like it. I think I’m probably going to leave it.”

The part of aging she could do without

“Wrinkles. A crepe-y neck. I once read that Carol Burnett said to never look down into a mirror—always look up! Gravity is not your skin’s friend as we age.”

Who she thinks is aging well

“Meryl Streep is gorgeous. Well, she always has been gorgeous, but I think she has grown into getting older so magnificently. She seems to be doing it fearlessly and with great joy”

Her approach to healthy skin

“I am too much of a chicken to get any kind of surgery or noninvasive procedures, even though there are times when I am holding back my neck to see how I would look if it was tighter. But I’d never actually go under the knife. And it was only about two years ago that I decided I’d better start getting serious about skincare. I was sharing a dressing room with two other actresses who were adamant about the importance of taking care of your skin, and they inspired me to invest in a good cleanser, moisturizer and eye cream. Then, I was introduced to Serucell earlier this year and have been using it faithfully.”

What Serucell has done for her skin

“After the first week, my face started to look less dry and the lines were less apparent. The dryness is what kills me as I age—especially around my eyes and mouth. Everything starts to look haggard. But after about a month, Serucell made my skin look alive: smooth and plump and hydrated.”

How her beauty regimen has changed in the last five years

“As I mentioned, I’m more serious about my skincare now. But I’ve also started trying to use less makeup. I just don’t enjoy putting it on as much as I once did. I do need it for business—on camera, on stage and all of that. But I really don’t enjoy the process as much anymore; it feels so heavy to me. Maybe as my skin has improved with better skincare, I want to wear less heavy makeup and powder. I like feeling my clean, soft skin.”

Beauty products she would really hate to live without

“My tweezers, toothpaste and a toothbrush, and my skin lotions like Serucell. I also like mascara—I still use the green and pink tube from Maybelline—and a little subtle lip gloss. I love the idea of a bold lip but I don’t like it on me. I stick to natural, understated colors. My current favorite is Buxom Lip Gloss in White Russian.”

Her aging motto

“Take care of myself—through exercise or good skincare— so that I can look and feel my best for as long as possible. I think being healthy and strong is the key to aging with happiness.”

"The dryness is what kills me as I age—especially around my eyes and mouth. Everything starts to look haggard. But after about a month, Serucell made my skin look alive: smooth and plump and hydrated.”