If you want to know how to apply false eyelashes, pile your hair into a flattering updo, pick up eyeshadow blending tips or even master the art of contouring, there’s no better way than to watch and learn.
A friend of mine consumes beauty tutorials on YouTube the way some people binge-watch Netflix dramas. She can lose herself for hours in the application methods, the advice given and the techniques used. She is now a dab hand with a blusher brush. And she’s not alone: beauty vlogging (video blogging) is an enormous draw, as tens of thousands of us use these sites to pick up make-up, hair and skincare tips.
Videos from the most popular of these beauty gurus are greedily consumed. Yes, beauty vloggers call themselves gurus; to qualify as one, you need only the ability to show others the contents of your latest shopping trip, otherwise known as your “haul”.
The audience for these videos is a critical, eagle-eyed one. You don’t become a well-regarded beauty vlogger without expertise, strong product knowledge and professional videos. And while the average age of beauty vloggers is mid-teens to mid-20s, that doesn’t mean they can’t inspire women of all ages who are in the market for free make-up lessons. Below are some of my favourite beauty vloggers.
Aisling is on Twitter @aismcdermott
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London-based Pixiwoo sisters Sam and Nicki Chapman have turned make-up videos into a family industry; their brothers and sister-in-law Tanya Burr now have their own channels. Pixiwoo’s Real Techniques brushes are a cult favourite and the range has expanded to incorporate make-up. A tie-in with Avon has made them a cosmetics powerhouse. They are worth watching for their celebrity-inspired looks: one of their recent videos was a Dolly Parton tutorial.
- Appeals to: anyone seeking the latest looks and no-nonsense explanations. youtube.com/user/pixiwoo
The poised and elegant Eldridge creates stylish video tutorials that are helpful for all age groups, from the very young to the menopausal and beyond. The former Channel 4 presenter offers step-by-step advice in a gentle and sympathetic manner, making her techniques easy to replicate at home. Eldridge has also collaborated with cosmetic brands Shiseido and No7 to bring new ranges to market.
- Appeals to: all ages. She is a rock of sense when it comes to on foundation and make-up for mature skin. youtube.com/user/lisaeldridgedotcom
The undisputed queen of beauty vloggers. Phan has amassed a staggering total of more than 6.5 million subscribers and tens of millions of page views. Her income from YouTube is estimated at $5 million a year, and she has created Em, her own line of cosmetics in conjunction with L'Oréal. Phan has girl-next- door appeal. Her videos include How to Take the Perfect Selfie and Barbie Transformation (55 million people watched Phan turn herself into a livin' doll.)
- Appeals to: Teenagers and early twentysomethings with her best-friend persona. youtube.com/user/michellephan
The Make-Up Chair
Cork-based Sinéad Cady is Ireland’s most popular make-up artist on YouTube, with almost half a million subscribers. Her down- to-earth approach and easy-to-follow videos have earned her a loyal international fan base, with some of her most popular tutorials reaching almost two million views. Cady’s channel is more widely viewed than RTÉ’s YouTube Channel, which puts her popularity in perspective.
- Appeals to: A young audience. Cady is particularly strong on tips for beginners and concealing blemished skintones. youtube.com/user/themakeupchair
AISLING LOVES . . .
Sisley Phyto Teint Foundation (€95)
This expensive tone is one of the new breed of foundations based on volatile oils and pure pigment, which make it long-lasting and easy to blend with skin. Available in eight shades.