BAFT: The YouTube Makeup Bubble (Part 1)

*Please check the What’s New at BBA page to find out the schedule for the entries at BBA.

Hello, Beautiful Blossoms! I know I gave a back-to-back entry last week with Currently Obsessed and then got really quiet until today, and I do apologize for the sudden silence. I was able to squeeze an entry early Saturday morning (think 1-3 AM) because I couldn’t get myself to sleep from excitement about the site, discussing Kiko Milano, and my out-of-town trip that day. It was also my sister’s birthday and my grandma had to fly out, so you can imagine how hectic it was in my apartment.

Then it was back to the work grind. I just found myself falling face-first onto my bed as soon as I got home. Staring at a screen for 7 hours does bloody murder to you.

And in the moments of free time that I get during my work shift, I’m trying to figure out a schedule for Currently Obsessed, BAFT, and The Raised Eyebrow – how many days in between should I schedule the posts? What topics do I go over for BAFT and TRE that hasn’t been beaten into submission in the beauty and blog scene? Do I include product recommendations or reviews on the site?

That’s just part of what runs in my head the moment I think about BBA. As Temptalia’s Christine once advised, “remember: content is KING.”

Now that you know the reason for my sudden absence, let’s continue with today’s entry: YouTube’s influence on beauty (specifically, cosmetics). If there is one thing that YT is known for, it’s to learn how to do things visually – the Amazon of moving images, if you will. And anyone who’s reasonably informed about the cosmetic scene knows that YouTube is responsible for the sudden influx of “makeup artists” that have crossed the borderlands of makeup and became mainstream (for lack of a better word). I’m using the term very loosely because art is a word that has no set definition or context.

Thanks to YT, we have countless channels on how to use makeup to achieve a certain look, from fictional characters to celebrities to trending styles. Some of them proved to be so popular and influential that companies sponsor them with discount codes, free products, or even collaborations to create new makeup products under the YouTube personality’s name. Some events even invite these people in the hopes of drawing out their fans to pay tickets to attend the event and drum up revenue.

That’s just a quick summary of what YouTube has done to the beauty scene. Heck, just do a search on makeup tutorials on YouTube and you’ll be inundated with endless makeup looks and how to achieve it. But it’s not always rosy blushes and eyebrows on fleek: there’s a dark side to YouTube makeup tutorials, from cyberbullying to false advertisement to copyright infringement (more on this in Part 2).

Now, I’m not about to start a rant or bash entry on people who make YouTube tutorials for makeup and became successful. I don’t roll that way and BAFT is more on getting people to think and consider, hence its name. It took a lot of work for these successful YouTubers to get to where they are now (and still do), so kudos to them because their efforts have been paid off in part by good timing.

And in all honesty, I’ve only watched, at most, 5-7 YouTube videos out of all the beauty vloggers/gurus/”makeup artists” in existence. And more often than not, I find myself unable to watch the whole video because I couldn’t make it past the first two minutes where the YouTuber is talking about their day or the go-to products that they’ll be using for the tutorial.

Or maybe I just got spoiled by Bob Ross and his videos.

The reason why I tune out on that part is purely a matter of preference: he or she may rave about the product(s) but I may not share the same opinion. That’s it. And it all goes back to the whole I’m-not-them-and-they’re-not-me argument: they know how to pull off the tutorial because they’ve practiced on themselves. How many famous makeup YouTubers have honestly done makeup tutorials on anyone else (I’m talking a full range of different people here, not just boyfriends or girlfriends)?

Lisa Eldridge is, by far, the only makeup artist I’ve seen on YouTube who can be called such (feel free to correct me on this. I’m still diving into YouTube to find more examples) but they are sadly outnumbered by the novice ones. Of course, with practice comes skill – except in the makeup industry, you can only grow as an artist when you apply makeup to others more than yourself.

Remember: the word “guru” means “teacher.” Teachers are supposed to be reasonably versed in a variety of skill sets and knowledge to show students how things are done. People need to be more careful with slapping those titles on YouTubers who can do makeup mostly on themselves.

(To be continued in Part 2)

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