If you read this Beauty Spotlight Series regularly, you know that we only profile women we really, truly admire. And we have had some really impressive people on here-- New York Times Bestselling author Jasmine Guillory, US Open winner Sloane Stephens, yoga teacher and author Kathryn Budig, model Damaris Lewis, and actress Courtney Henggeler. We were delighted to have the opportunity to interview Caissie St.Onge . It is, for sure, a milestone highlight super-honor.
Our Caissie-adoration began when she and her friend/partner Busy Philipps started a podcast called “Busy Philipps is Doing Her Best,” and we got to hear Caissie speak. Caissie, Busy, and fellow-writer Shantira Jackson launched the first episode in summer of 2020.
There’s something about Caissie, though-- we love listening to Busy and Shantira (when she was on the pod)-- but it’s Caissie we gravitate towards. Caissie is wise without ever being condescending; has seen it all and lost not a bit of wonder or compassion for her fellow humans; she shares incredible parenting reflections and advice; and is real in a way that is almost never found on the interwebs or public life. She’s just so completely grounded and relatable, despite being one of the smartest people we've never met, and so gracious and empathetic.
Her answers to our Beauty Spotlight questions are exactly like her: funny, brilliant, insightful, and vulnerable, and we are thrilled to share them with you. Read on for Caissie’s thoughts on coffee (agree!), stories about Mr. Rogers and Joan Rivers (of course everyone who works with Caissie wants to do more of that!), her love for the Great Cleanse (same), and her thoughts on Bonnie Hunt (Bonnie!!! Please call Caissie! And then the two of you should do a show or a podcast or something! We are putting this out into the universe and manifesting it!). With all that said, we invite you to get to know Caissie St Onge - a woman we are proud to welcome to this month's Beauty Spotlight.
Maya Chia Beauty: What is one thing you do every day?
Caissie St.Onge: One thing I do every day is drink coffee. Doesn't matter if I'm catching a 5AM flight or sleeping in on a lazy Sunday, the first thing I'm gonna do and never, ever skip, is sit with a cup of coffee. It's something my dad always made time to do with my grandmother, it's something my mother and I used to do, and my husband and I always try to grab at least one coffee together no matter how pressed for time we are. It's about caffeine, yes, but also about a small ritual for me. If you want to hang out with me, suggest coffee and I'll usually say yes!
MCB: Where would you go if you could travel somewhere right now, all expenses paid?
CSO: If I could travel somewhere right now, all expenses paid, I would probably go to Japan. Tokyo and Yokohama, specifically. My father grew up there and I would like to see some of the things his young eyes saw.
MCB: Who is the person you wish you could talk to more?
CSO: I talk to a lot of people all the time and I'm so grateful for texting because it really helps me keep up with people in my life even if we don't see each other every day. Obviously, I wish I could talk to people who are no longer with me, but who wouldn't say that? Okay, okay. One person who I used to talk to quite a bit in the course of my job a long time ago was actor, producer, writer, director, TV host Bonnie Hunt. I just loved her. Anyway, when I left that job, I didn't have occasion to talk to her again and over the years, I have felt pangs of sadness for that. Bonnie Hunt, if you are reading this and you remember me AT ALL, call me!
MCB: What are your favorite Maya Chia products - and why? : )
CSO: My favorite Maya Chia product is The Great Cleanse Nourishing Supercritical Cleansing Oil. Unless you're super into skincare, double-cleansing might be a process some folks are still sleeping on, but it's a must for me. The first step in a double cleanse for me is always a good oil, which easily breaks down any makeup I'm wearing, plus the grime my face has collected all day. After that, I'm ready to go in with my favorite soap and wash my face very gently without any need to scrub or rub too much. Because, in addition to dissolving my makeup, the oil is so nourishing, it protects my skin from getting too dried out from the soap step, so I'm left with a soft face, and no tightness or dryness. It's perfect!
MCB: What's your "sliding doors" moment? Some time when your life almost took a totally different direction.
CSO: One time Mr. Rogers was a guest on The Rosie O'Donnell Show, and even though I was a comedy writer and he wasn't slated to do a comedy bit, I volunteered to help with his segment because I was such a big fan and wanted to meet him. He was everything you would hope for and afterward he told me if I ever decided to move to Pittsburgh, he would give me a job on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. And I thought about it for a hot second! But I stayed in New York. Another time, I was very burnt out working in TV, and Joan Rivers could just see it on my face. She asked if I wanted to take a job working with the team who designed her line for QVC and I said, "What would I be doing?" And she was like, "I don't know. Whatever you want. Who cares?" I have regretted not jumping at that one a couple of times.
MCB: What is the biggest challenge you face now or have faced in the past? How did you overcome it?
CSO: I have faced a lot of challenges in my life. I don't want to get too dark, so I'll just say my life, like many, many people's, has been a series of so many challenges that I don't think I even recognized them as challenges, necessarily, so much as just life. And I'm not sure I've necessarily overcome any of those challenges, because each one has so acutely informed who I have become, that I still carry at least some part of each one in me today and always will. What I will say is that I like who I am and I think I am a good person, so I can be, in some way, grateful for even the most difficult parts of life that I have experienced, because they played a part in shaping this person I am proud to be.
MCB: What do you wish you knew/learned sooner?
CSO: I wish I had learned more about basic finances sooner. They never taught us much about it in school and it was always so intimidating to me. I'm just starting to learn a bit about it now, and it's never too late, but I wish someone had been able to explain it to me, like, 30 years ago.
MCB: What is one easy thing you do to be more "green" or eco-conscious?
CSO: I try to be as green as I can. I drive a hybrid when I drive, which isn't a lot. Los Angeles composts, so we participate in that. I hosted a huge clothing swap recently, so a bunch of my friends could exchange clothes instead of shopping for new ones. I'm also about reusing packaging. Love a good box. If I get something in one of those plastic mailer bags, I keep it, turn it inside out and use it to mail off something else. And I reject disposable cups.
MCB: What's the best advice you've ever received - and think other women might benefit from?
CSO: The best advice I ever received is, "There are a thousand ways to say anything. When you can, always choose the kindest." And when I can, I always try to do just that.
MCB: What is something you're really proud of?
CSO: I'm really proud of the podcast I co-host with my friend and partner, Busy Philipps. We started out working with a company, but at some point, decided to try making it ourselves, independently, to see if we could. And we could! The thing I love the most about it is the community of listeners who have become friends with each other. I like to believe we've helped create some relationships that will last longer than the longest run of any podcast!
Caissie, you are amazing. Thank you. You put goodness into the world, and make so many peoples’ lives a little brighter all the time. That’s a gift. You’re a gift. Thanks for sharing with us!
And if you enjoyed this piece, check out some of our other Beauty Spotlight interviews, such as another brilliant, funny comedy writer Wendy Molyneux, artist Jessica Durrant, and multi-hyphenate actor/writer/director/podcaster Lynn Chen.