It’s no secret, you need personality to succeed in makeup artistry; it’s not enough to love the profession, although it always helps if you put your heart and soul into makeup!
In the past ten years, there’s been a massive increase in beauty vlogging, where untrained artists are creating an identity in front of a camera, and making a living out of it!
While we don’t believe that becoming a self-taught YouTube artist is a substitute for professional training, watching your favourite artists can help you develop confidence and build your self-esteem.
We’re going to present the top eight, focusing on the characteristics that make these MUA’s so popular. While you’re reading, think about what makes you unique, and how you can use it to your advantage.
1. Sense of Humour — Chloe Morello
Chloe is known for being a down to earth, funny girl, which is why she’s so popular. Her intro video sets the tone; wind blowing through her hair as the camera slowly zooms out to reveal… a hairdryer. Oh.
Her mum (in typical mum fashion) comes into the room with a snack at the wrong time and closes the door as she leaves the room. Cue smashing of glass and objects falling in all directions.
Chloe’s situational, self-deprecating humour makes her endearing. Who isn’t self-conscious about the way we look? Let’s stop taking ourselves so seriously and laugh!
Chloe doesn’t only do makeup tutorials either, she’s created a tongue-in-cheek series about wanting to be as famous as Kim Kardashian, which is hilarious.
2. Controversial — Jeffree Star
Has there been a time when Jeffree Star wasn’t controversial? He definitely isn’t conventional, just look at him!
When he was younger, he used a fake ID and wore mini-dresses and heels to get into Hollywood clubs, where celebrities would contract him for makeup services at their homes.
In 2006, he became the most followed MySpace star. In 2009, he released an album. It wasn’t until 2014 that he released his cosmetics brand, but it took off straight away.
In his video ‘Destroying Makeup We Hated In 2018’, he and James Charles take a flamethrower to various inadequate cosmetics. It’s this extreme, sassy behaviour that makes him so appealing, what will he do next?!
Every MUA needs to take risks to succeed in the industry, but you should be careful if you’re considering saying or doing something controversial as you can easily attract negative press.
Jeffree released a 15-minute video where he apologises for past racist behaviour. While it doesn’t seem to have tarnished his reputation, controversy can often lead to loss of custom and a tarnished reputation in the industry.
3. Relatable — Nikkie Tutorials
Nikkie just looks like the girl next door, familiar, friendly and relatable; that’s what makes her so loveable! All her videos are genuine and natural, which helps when we live in a world where we’re always comparing ourselves to everyone else.
She gained plenty of positive feedback for appearing in her videos without makeup on, which gave others the confidence to do it.
Her side-by-side series gives a more relatable, human feel to celebrity culture. She does her makeup ‘side-by-side’ with celebrities like Jessie J and Bebe Rexha.
Relating to your customers is a must if you have plans to become an MUA, so you need to be in touch with their daily lives, struggles and challenges.
4. Inspiring — Shalom Black
Get the tissues ready, Shalom Black’s story is powerful. She grew up in Nigeria where her parents owned a store. It was at that store that a pan of hot oil fell onto her and burned her badly, leaving her scarred for life.
Her videos are incredibly moving, she tells us how she was called ‘scarface’, ‘two-face’ and ‘monster’, which lead to her considering suicide.
She talks about building her confidence, working on her insecurities and having the self-belief to walk around without any makeup on — and how liberating it was.
Her videos offer us a big dose of perspective, on one video she lets her crush remove her makeup and wig, and you can feel the emotion following his positive reaction.
Shalom reminds us that as an MUA, we should be empathetic and understanding to everyone, we’re all vulnerable, and we all want to be accepted for who we are.
5. Fearless/Groundbreaking — James Charles
At just 19 years of age, James Charles is the youngest beautuber in this list and is a testament to what you can achieve with a little self-belief and determination.
His videos are fast-spoken, straightforward and experimental, and he’s always willing to try out something new (doing his makeup with art supplies!).
James’ most notable achievement in our eyes is that he’s paving the way for other young, male makeup artists to enter the industry by doing what he’s doing.
James has created himself as a brand, and he produces videos about his life, such as his house tour video.
Hopefully, his confidence and willingness to be daring will inspire the next generation of male MUA’s.
6. Elegant/Sophisticated — Lisa Eldridge
Everyone can take inspiration from Lisa, she’s so sophisticated, but she’s probably more appealing to the older generation of potential makeup artists.
Even her beginning in makeup is charming; she discovered some of her grandmother’s 1960 Coty and Mary Quant makeup when she was young, which ignited her passion.
She’s the most professional of our makeup artists, having worked for Vogue, Glamour and i-D, as well as with clients such as Kate Moss, Lily Allen and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. She also took a qualification in photographic makeup artistry before she got her big break.
What shines through in her videos is her professionalism, she has a white studio background with professional lights. She’s also well-spoken and speaks in simple, easy-to-understand language.
As an MUA, it’s important to keep things simple and relay messages to your clients, so they understand what you’re doing.
7. Self-Awareness/Mindfulness — Michelle Phan
The personality trait I first wrote when planning this article was enterprising and entrepreneurial, and although they are two words you could associate with the beautuber, they aren’t the most fitting.
Michelle was the first YouTube beauty blogger, she created her channel in 2006. Before YouTube was transformed into the business we see today, it was a place where people uploaded videos for the fun of it. And that’s what Michelle did.
She was a young girl who wanted to teach people how to look good — all she did was share her daily beauty routine, and people loved it.
Success followed, and she moved to California and became an official video makeup artist for Lancôme, and released a cosmetics range with L’Oreal.
She left YouTube in 2016 and posted a video in 2017 about why she left. It’s a tragedy that the industry’s pioneer lost her passion after being swallowed by what created her.
We can all learn from Michelle, in the fact that we shouldn’t let our work take over our lives and should strive to make ourselves feel good, and not chase unfulfilling dreams.
8. Creative/Inventive — Kandee Johnson
Kandee is another YouTube pioneer, starting her channel in 2009; and she’s come a long way from the pixellated, poorly lit videos that launched her career.
She’s best known for her unique transformations like her Disney princesses series or transforming into celebrities like Angelina Jolie.
She’s so positive, happy and energetic and you feel that in her videos. She also likes to add humour, dressing up as Luigi from Super Mario on one of her latest videos.
Kandee is a reminder that to become the best, you need to be creative and set yourself apart from everyone else. She also reminds us that you should do everything with a smile on your face, and if you aren’t, why are you doing it?!
Although she hasn’t left YouTube, she’s spoken openly about the loss of several family members and how it’s affected her career.
What Can You Learn From These YouTube Stars?
Can you take some inspiration from these YouTubers? Think about what you’d like to develop to start your career as an MUA. You may want to control your anxiety or be more confident when reaching out to a client that isn’t friends or family.
But remember, you need to shape your own destiny, while you can take inspiration from others, it’s your journey, and you need to do it your way.