Make-up tutorials on youtube

Michelle Phan, one of the most popular beauty gurus on Youtube.

As we all know, make-up tutorials have absolutely boomed in recent years on Youtube. Many of the online make-up and beauty gurus have minimal to no training yet seem to provide incredible advice and always look fantastic AND have become well known enough to generate an income from these videos.

I am in two minds about this for a few reasons. Firstly, the advice given is usually something that suits the person providing the tutorial, but it may not suit the viewers as almost no make-up looks suit everyone. All of our eyes, our lips, our brows and our shades of skin are different. Providing step by step instructions, including the name and colour of products used, for something that suits you personally may not suit the masses.

Secondly, these tutorials often disregard hygienic practice. Make-up products can become breeding grounds for bacteria. Telling your viewers that’s it’s ok to use expired products or to use beauty products designed for a particular skin type may cause irritations, rashes, minor burns or allergic reactions. It is negligent to give out advice to people on how to care for their skin or bodies unless you are trained in this field or have had a chance to individually examine their skin type to ensure their safety.

Thirdly, the focus tends to be on eye make-up and brows and the base often is (no pun intended) brushed over. I don’t feel it’s fair to provide a tutorial for a full face yet not really cover the basics on applying a base, contouring, concealing etc. This is how you can tell an amateur from a professional- the base is the most important part of a full face because (again, no pun intended) it sets the foundation for a good look to become a GREAT look.

However, on the plus side, many people don’t feel confident in applying their own make-up, want to see how different products work or want to try something different for a night out or special occasion. It’s fantastic to constantly learn and strive to absorb knowledge in a field that you are passionate about. The top beauty vloggers and bloggers are outstandingly talented and demonstrate application clearly, they take the time to listen to their viewers wants and needs and deliver varied tutorials to suit these needs.

So basically, I’m conflicted because I feel it’s important to take advice from someone who knows what they’re doing and won’t suggest you do something potentially hazardous to your health. I also feel like women are often focused more on the products and as a result, poorly colour match their foundation (a pet peeve of mine) or apply their make-up in a way that is less flattering to them than they deserve. On the other hand, it’s great to learn something new and most of the online gurus are fantastic.

A few tips to keep in mind when watching tutorial videos:

1. ALWAYS follow manufacturers instructions with the products you use, this is your FACE and you don’t want to risk a rash, or worse, blinding yourself.
2. Regularly throw out your products- especially mascara and lip gloss. Your face is covered in bacteria (no matter how clean you appear to be) and so is the air around you. Every time you put the applicator back into the bottle, you are contaminating your product with germs… the longer you keep this product, the more germ laden it is. Don’t want to throw your stuff out all the time? use disposable applicators, you can get them at chemists and beauty suppliers.
3. Be creative- try to tweak the looks you emulate to find something that suits you. Remember that blending is your friend.
4. Don’t go out and buy all the products listed, different products work well on different people and better known brands aren’t always the “best” products available, they’re definitely not the cheapest either. If you have a similar product at home, try it before you break the bank trying to keep up with what your favourite youtubers have in their arsenal.

On that note, I was thinking of making basic make-up tutorials aimed at educating people on application skills that will improve their make-up application in the long run, as opposed to singular looks. I’ll be doing some of those too, of course, but I believe it’s important to learn fundamental skills like applying a good base, adjusting looks to fit your features or if you wear glasses and natural, neutral looks that can be built upon to suit the wearer. What would you like to learn? leave a comment or email me with suggestions.

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