I sat down to include all the research we’ve done on Argan Oil and why we decided to use it in our Matte Manipulation creamy matte lipsticks. You know better than anyone that ingredients matter: shouldn’t upset your dermis and trigger irritations or allergic reactions, bad rashes; they must have a clear and ethical sourcing plus supply chain and in general, they must improve the quality and experience of using a product.
But what the heck is Argan Oil, right?
Most Argan Oil in Europe comes from Morocco and ours is no exception. This viscous ingredient is derived from the argan tree and it is traditionally used to treat acne, dry skin, wrinkles and even joint pain. That is why the demand for this oil is so high as it’s used in almost every lux skin, hair or makeup products. The key to its sustainable farming is to involve the local work force, who evaluates and decides which trees are protected and which can be used for extraction.
The good thing is that you don’t damage the tree by deriving the oil as only the fallen fruits are used.
To extract the oil, the fruits must be dried, nuts must be removed and cracked then pressed to get the oils out. There are two by-products at this stage; the pressed fruit pulp that is fed to animals and a thick paste sold for cosmetics production.
Moroccan argan tree nuts and oil. Source: Pinterest
Tremendous skin benefits.
I briefly mentioned some skin benefits of the oil above, but let’s look at in detail just how amazing this ingredient is. Most notable skin benefit of the oil is that it’s ultra-hydrating. Unlike many common oils in cosmetics such as castor or rice bran, argan oil contains a much higher concentrate of Vitamin E, antioxidants, minerals and essential fatty acids.
Vitamin E delivers a powerful hit of skin regenerating and hydrating effects, making argan oil one of the best go-to ingredient to restore skin elasticity and improve natural radiance.
Argan Oil is rich in anti-oxidants, essential fatty acid and minerals. Source: Guardian
It’s high antioxidant and mineral content helps reduce wrinkles and heal your chapped lips by firming and protecting the skin over your lips.
Essential fatty acids, especially linoleic and oleic acids, have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial benefits which help soothe your skin while simultaneously provide a protective barrier against environmental stressors. Using Matte Manipulaation creamy matte lipsticks filled with argan oil offers amazing benefits for your lips from helping to retain moisture to heal chapped and irritated lips while feeding your skin with reparatory vitamins phyto-ingredients and nutrients. Oh… and it also helps to improve color pay off!💋
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Our next talent highlight features Eliza, best known as @e_piatkowska from Poland, who describes herself as a “weird girl with a bunch of wigs, some makeup skills and a sick mind”. No wonder why we are so drawn to her creations she shares on Instagram. Her unique style uses underexposed photography infected with saturated colors and a hypnotic backdrop. We exchanged a few emails to find out more about the girl behind the camera; what inspires her, how does COVID affect her creativity and more. Keep on reading☕️
How would you introduce yourself to a stranger?
Hey, I’m Eliza 24 years old and i’m from Poland.
I work as a nail stylist and a makeup artist. As you’ve guessed, I love working with makeup. I started to wear powder and eyeliner when I was just 14 and I always wanted to do more.
I was (and I still am) fascinated with how makeup transforms my look.
I wanted to try interesting shades and product, so I landed a job at Inglot as a sales assistant. Although that didn’t last long, I loved every minute of it and I learned so much about makeup there.
Pic by @e_piatkowska
What made you start sharing your love for makeup on social media?
I started posting on Instagram 3 years ago, but it didn’t really work. I needed to take a break to then return with a new energy under a different account. I started sharing my looks, but there wasn’t a concept to follow. I let ideas take hold of me and without trying to justify them, I upload them as they come. I do this not just for fun but for my own mental health.
I let my emotions out like a genie from the bottle.
When I sit down with my makeup brushes, I turn the music up and think about how I feel and what I wan to do. I, sometimes, talk to myself to help start the creative process. Once I have the idea I work until it’s done. When I share these photos on Instagram, I essentially share a piece of me. Therefore, I’m always listening to the feedback I receive, I read all the comments, I reply to everything. It’s exhilarating and validating at the same time. I’m so grateful for the comments I get. I use them to constantly improve and evolve my work.
I love this feeling; it energizes me and motivates me so much to never give up!
Pic by @e_piatkowska
Would you do content creation as your full time job or would that take the fun out of it?
I honestly hope I can do this as a full-time job one day. Doing what you love and get paid for being creative – I can’t really imagine a better 9-to-5 than that. People often don’t realize how much time and money creators put into their feed. It can be a very costly hobby so we appreciate every bit of support we can get.
What are your inspirations?
I see inspiration everywhere. Sometimes it comes from nature, sometimes it’s just some random stuff I see on the streets and sometimes, I get inspired by products I buy or get. There are also lots of painters who inspire me or other content creators I follow. So as you can see, inspiration comes from the most unexpected places, but it takes time and effort to create and oftentimes I just want to chill. I think that is essential for everyone and especially for creative minds…
…to switch off for a while, do something else, so you can be inspired to create again.
Do you have any makeup essentials you use daily?
Funny you should ask! I don’t wear makeup on the daily bases. I do my makeup only for Instagram and when I feel like looking fancy for instance going on a date, glam up for a party or trying something new. But, when I do wear my makeup I always have my lip balm and lipstick in my purse.
Pic by @e_piatkowska
What would you say has been the most successful project as a content creator?
Ummm… I don’t know, to be honest. I don’t think I’ve done that just yet! I did work as a makeup artist for a music video and I’ve been in TV participating in a makeup contest…
…but I have this feeling that the best is yet to come.
Until then, I do what I do best.
If you could do anything in the world, what would that be?
One day I’d like to start my own makeup brand. But I know it’s going to be difficult as many celebrities come out with new makeup. I wish I could start my own makeup brand one day. I think this is one of my biggest dreams. I think most makeup artists want to have their unique products and share it with the world but this is hard work and a long process. Also, these days many celebrities come out with their own makeup so the competition is fierce!🔥
Is makeup a tool of self-expression?
Pic by @e_piatkowska
Makeup is something that helps me grow and overcome the drama in my life. Therefore, makeup for me, works on a very personal level. People often assume that everything they see on stories in a bright light and happy stuff is how my life is. But that’s hardly ever true. You know, you don’t really show people your darkest times or the time when you feel like everything is falling apart. Even if you feel that way, there’s a Facetune filter for that. It is not a lie, you just want to be your best self on social media, to inspire others. I’m not saying it’s not okay to reveal your weak spots as that can also be encouraging but it’s just how I think about social media.
Most common misconceptions people have about you 3, 2, 1 go!
I think people think I’m always loud, crazy, funny, sarcastic, full of energy and positivity and these are part of me, but I’m also romantic, nostalgic, introvert and these are the exact opposite features of how most people see me. There are moments when I’m quiet, relaxed and just enjoying being alone and there are times I like to go partying and get crazy! I love spending time with my friends and just goof around. But…
…I think a lot of people have this kinda personality, you know; a little extrovert and introvert at the same time.
How do you cope with work and social life during this pandemic?
That COVID, huh!? When we went under lockdown for 1,5 months and I couldn’t work, it made me super productive on social media. I posted almost every day but when you sit at home and everything is closed you start loosing your will do to anything else and that was exactly what happened to me. You loose track of time and days and you are getting more lazy every day. Even now…
…when I get back to my schedule, I find it so hard to juggle work, school and Instagram. I don’t even know how I did it pre-covid! LOL
Pic by @e_piatkowska
We’ve just past Halloween and most makeup artists create their goriest work during this period. Do you also rip that fake blood bag and pour it all over you?🙃
HAH! Halloween is my favorite month on Instagram! You can be whoever you want to be, create as many crazy things as you want and that’s really cool because people are looking for Halloween inspirations and creators can once again inspire makeup enthusiasts.
I remember last year, I posted a witch makeup and it was my most like picture of the year! Can you believe that?! I was doing my Instagram for a few months then and when it happened I was just so shocked.
Halloween is also a good time to collaborate with other makeup artists and do something cool together. In Poland, we celebrate Halloween and we don’t at the same time. It’s not as popular as it is in the U.S but it’s getting more and more relevant every year. We live in a catholic country where some people just don’t get that Halloween is fun and kids enjoy dressing up and getting sh*t loads of sweets.
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Do you know how to apply your lipstick like a pro? We teamed up with our close friend, MUA Cristina for a short tutorial to show you how it’s done in three easy phases. By the end of this makeup tutorial, you’ll become a know-how lipstick queen. Read the whole tutorial to the end to find out her pro tips!
Phase One : Apply the lipstick at the center of your lips then press them together in a gentle rubbing motion.
If you thought that was it, keep reading! You’d be surprised just how much you can do to improve your lip game. Cristina is using our #MatteManipulation creamy matte lipstick in “In The Mood” to create that succulent pout.
Phase Two : Using the pointy end of the lipstick, draw the contour of your lips.
#MatteManipulation creamy matte lipsticks are designed with a pointy end to help you line your lips for a sharp and precise edge. This step is ultra-important! You don’t want your lips look unfinished or patchy. Your lips are basically ready to slay, but for the ultimate success you should totally apply Cristina’s pro tips!
I always line my lips either with a lip liner or using a lip brush.
End phase + PRO Tips : Add volume and remove tiny mistakes.
The last steps are used by professional makeup artists and hardcore makeup geeks. Why? Because these behind the scenes moves up your lip game to a whole new level and…
you don’t really need to be an expert to do them and it’s a guaranteed wow-factor!
It’s really that simple to create a professional lip look. I can’t wait to show you more beauty insider tips. Stay tuned!
Love, Cristina x
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Our next interviewee needs little to no introduction to those who dwell in the curious and beautiful world of social-media powered makeup artistry. @b_dockk creates sensational looks that involve costumes, headpieces and beautifully blended makeup. She is the full package with a “cup of stardust” and a “dash of whimsy”. Her creations range from beautiful fairy-like transformations to eerie but stylish vampy looks. We were drawn to her as we also often find a safe haven in reading (and watching) fantasy novels and it felt like @b_dockk brought some of our heroes to life.
How did your creative journey as a makeup artist start?
I honestly have my little sister to thank for starting my makeup journey. I was 20 years old when my sister introduced me to makeup on YouTube. I was surprised that so many people were teaching others to do makeup online. Up until that time, I knew nothing of blending brushes, setting powders, and falsies; but, boy, did I want to learn more. I would watch one video after another and learned to do it myself.
b_dockk wears a vampire-like costume with makeup.
I’m by no means professionally trained, but there’s a certain catharsis in changing up your look and experimenting with technique.
When I was a preteen, I would lose myself in fantasy books. I often yearned for a character who looked like me, and makeup became a vehicle for that very expression.
Makeup is that escape for me. It’s a key to a world where fairies are real, and aliens walk among us. Makeup helps me become the main protagonist in my own story.
Do you have a signature look?
b_dockk wears a fairy-like costume and makeup.
On a regular day when I’m not in elf ears and colorful wigs, I defer to a nude lip and winged liner. Most of my friends know me for my winged liner.
However, I’m constantly being inspired by other beauty creators.
My all-time favorites are Jackie Aina, because she is so inspirational and tackles real-life issues head on. Nyane Lebajoa, because she has the major WOW-factor, have you ever seen her? She’s like a fairy/alternative princess come to life. I just can’t get enough of her talent. Anarkee, because she is stunning and has the coolest sense of style. She does a little bit of everything. She’s like a chameleon.
What are the makeup products you’d never leave without?
b_dockk wears a cute barbie-like costume and makeup.
Without some sort of lip product, I feel like my face looks dead.
Since lipliner can be both a liner and matte lipstick, it’s easy to apply to spruce up my look. There’s always a lipliner in my purse. So much so that sometimes I forget I leave them in there.
Ever since COVID-19, I’ve been working remotely. Therefore, my day to day look consists of a bare face and chapstick.
b_dockk wears a flapper-inspired costume, headpiece and makeup.
Describe the most embarrassing or funny thing that happened to you on social media.
I remember accidentally posting the wrong picture…😱
from a terrible photoshoot I did. (When I say terrible it was TERRIBLE!) Thankfully, it was much earlier in my Instagram journey, so not many people saw it! (If at all…)
b_dockk wears a faun/dryad-inspired costume and makeup.
If you could do anything in the world, what would that be?
If I could do anything in the world, it would be giving back.
There are so many people who are born into poverty or are in abusive situations they can’t leave. Giving more of myself to other people, is not only a goal for me, but it’s paramount for my growth as a person.
b_dockk wears an angel costume with wings and makeup.
POC content creators appreciation. Please, visit their profiles and follow them. They are extremely talented people whom the beauty community should give more recognition!
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Dig in to this article to find out how a mom slash makeup artist, @mar.see.ah.mua , spends her time during the lockdown in Portugal. As I’m sure many of you are in a similar situation now and it’s interesting to see how fellow makeup lovers from different cultures cope with changes caused by the pandemic. We need the reassurance from time to time that we are not alone in this, it’s OK to not feel OK every day, and how creating helps to take your mind off of things and stay sane. Get your favorite hot drink ready and come with us to Portugal.☕️
How did you get into makeup?
We have to go way back. I believe, my passion for makeup started at the age of 13 or 14, right after my trip to the United States. I wasn’t really interested in beauty products at the time, but after seeing and knowing other cultures, something had changed in me. 19 years ago, in Portugal, there were only a few make-up stores. I didn’t live in a big city, I didn’t have access to make-up and I was basically ordering from catalogs or used cheap drugstore makeup.
I kept on trying, creating and improving my skills to become a makeup artist with whatever products I could get my hands on.
I used to be a social worker and one of my favorite jobs was to face-paint children. I loved it and had worked in this sector while I was in high school. Then at the age of 18, I graduated in theatre set and costumes design. Ever since then, I was working as a makeup artist both in theatre and for outside clients.
Do you consider yourself a social media influencer?
I honestly don’t. The only thing that motivates me in this platform is content creation. I like to show products that I was gifted to and give my sincere opinion on application, texture and pigmentation. It allows me to be creative and I’d like to believe, I contribute to helping companies and customers make educated choices. On a more personal level…
…content creation keeps pushing my creative boundaries. You know they always say creativity is boundless, but if I didn’t put on makeup daily, I wouldn’t improve much.
I want to create something better than I did before – this is really the reflection of my work ethics. Of course, it would be nice to be recognized more on social media, but there are so many great talents out there and IG’s algorithm is not helping either.
I think people nowadays don’t automatically show appreciation, but they’re fast to point out the negative things. It’s a cultural change I can’t relate to.
That’s why I’m so genuinely moved, when I receive comments and thumbs ups for the work I’ve done.
What do you do besides content creation?
I’m a full-time mom and a makeup artist. It’s not an easy feat to juggle both but with a little time management skill, everything is possible. I mostly do bridal makeup and casual, everyday looks for my clients which, let’s admit, doesn’t really let me be creative. That is way social media plays such a huge role in my life.
It’s the platform where I can truly express myself.
Where do you get your daily #inspo from?
I am drawn to shapes and color palettes. I love abstract things, but they need to be well thought out. I don’t have a role model but I am inspired by so many talented people such as @Ditteschaal, @Robertavixen and @Jessicagantzler to name a few. They are very different from each other, but they are all spectacular in their own style. You guys should check them out!
How would you describe your signature look?
I don’t feel that I have a signature look. My looks are very varied and they really depend on my mood. One day I decide to make a soft glam look, but the next day I draw a full cut crease, or even covering my eyebrows and drawing a snake, for example. But perhaps people will identify me by the glossy ombré and glitter-drenched lip arts.
Lip art is a my newly discovered obsession, FYI, so you’ll see a lot more lip focused posts coming up on my feed in the future.
What does beauty mean to you?
This is a very difficult question and I’m not sure how to approach it or if I can do justice to this question but here we go. Beauty, like art, should evoke emotions, good or bad. It needs to communicate on so many levels that you just simply get attracted to it.
As a makeup artist it’s my job to help you witness the beauty within yourself. The best reward is to see my clients smile with happiness.
How does your day-to-day routine look during the COVID-19 crisis?
It is going to be very boring for your readers! *giggles* I’ve been doing the lockdown for about 2 months. Basically, I do some house chores, take care of the kid, put the kid to sleep and then praying for a 3-hour nap to be able to create or edit some content. Hopefully, after dinner and bath-time, I can watch a movie or series and wind down. It is important that people respect the lockdown or at least be careful not to endanger others.
So, wear a mask and wash your hands regularly. Things will get back to normal soon.
What are the makeup products you’d never leave your home without?
As a mother, I don’t have much time to put on makeup, so it has to be very simple and quick. The most important for me is sunscreen, BB cream, mascara, and a more pink-ish or peachy blush/illuminator. I need a soft glam by day because my skin tone is very pale.
If you could do anything in the world, what would that be?
I would definitely change the ending of the Game of Thrones. *laughs*
Honestly, I think the older we get, the more our needs change. About 3 years ago I dreamed of having my own makeup studio and working full time in my own company.
I still haven’t given up on this dream, but it is no longer a priority. Seeing the family grow and traveling a lot with them is what I want to do.
I think, this lockdown has an effect on me; it makes me question what really matters.
Share 3 random things about you that very few people know.
Here’s one. I hate taking full face pictures. Close-ups are my best friends and it’s much quicker to do. Very few people realize that the names of my animals are all characters from the Dragon Ball series. And, if I could turn a fictional story into a real-life event, it’d be the Phantom of the Opera, but don’t ask me why!
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In this post, we’re chatting with @beautibean, a fantastically talented makeup artist whose dedication to makeup and beauty has been an inspiration to us and many other beauty junkies around the world. We knew, judging by her art, that our conversation would be thoughtful, colorful and detailed. This is her story about becoming and being an influencer, her source of creativity and more. Keep on reading…
Tell us about your journey into becoming a makeup artist?
I always saw makeup as an artistic outlet. As a naturally creative person, I loved it, because it didn’t have the structure that a lot of fine art has.
There were less rules for how everything had to work.
In fine art, if you make something a certain color, there is this pressure to have a reason for making it that color. Or if you don’t know what rules you’re breaking, then you’re not allowed to break those rules. As a makeup artist, if I feel like putting on mint eyeshadow with a graphic liner- then that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I think this option is open to me because I’ve already thrown patriarchal expectations out the window. Since I’ve already crossed that barrier, all other possibilities are open to me as an artist. Eventually, this passion became such a large part of my life that it organically manifested as a career.
Does being a makeup artist equal to being a IG influencer?
These are two different worlds, and while they often overlap, they each have a very different set of talents and abilities. I know that in today’s day and age, it is almost impossible to get by without a social media presence. For established artists, it gives them a portfolio of work that demonstrates their credence. For upcoming creatives, it gives them a platform to be recognized. But in the end…
being an Instagram Influencer means playing a game where the house always wins.
You need to know that game like the back of your hand- which means posting the right content, at the right time, with the right pace. And you have to be prepared to lose anyway. That’s why people that have the option, will hire a social media manager to do it for them. Being a great online creator is a job by itself, and you may have a lot of respect in the community for the work you put out, but that doesn’t always translate into likes and shares-
and even likes and shares on IG won’t often get you a paycheck.
Considering what you’ve just said that IG is so unpredictable. Have you found other ways to earn a living as an artist?
This brings up something that I have been struggling with as a creator. Our culture places so much personal value into how much money a person makes- if you aren’t making enough money doing something you love, it’s frequently disregarded as a hobby or seen as a fairytale lifestyle, where everything is fun and easy all the time. And then, at the same time, so many people are unwilling to pay fair prices for the work that creatives put out. Probably because they see it as a fun hobby. My full time job is @beautibean and I love it. I am constantly creating, editing, writing content and managing my social media. I am a certified makeup artist and I do take clients when they pop up, but my focus is on creating art.
Would you call yourself an “Influencer”?
I do love being an influencer, an educator, and an artist – it is so fulfilling to be able to help others based on my expertise.
Being an influencer is a career path for some and a creative endeavor for others. But either way, people put too much emphasis on the title. Being a successful influencer means three things- that you have something in real life that you are very good at, that you can market yourself or your brand well, and that you can connect with your audience.
Was it challenging to share this part of you online? I mean, did you have a fear of rejection?
I am so happy to be able to say that…
this is not something I have struggled with.
I have always felt comfortable expressing myself with this medium. I am so thankful that when I was growing up, I was always encouraged to express myself creatively, whether I was using nail polish to put lipstick on my dolls, making Sculpey critters, or going out with yellow blush. When it came to posting my work online, it felt like a natural next step.
And when that turned into @beautibean, I was proud, but never afraid.
I have to ask, where does your name “Beautibean” come from?
I had a small dog growing up, who had many nicknames, including Bean, since he looked like an adorable little kidney bean whenever he went to sleep. I was really into Spoon at the time, and their song “Me and the Bean” became a song that represented my dog and I, plus the time we shared together. This, mixed with my endless love for tiny things of all shapes and small sizes, led to “bean” being used in a few social media handles. When I started my makeup account, the little bean followed.
I love being able to wear art on my skin- and then take it off to put new art on the next day. I feel like I have the ability to go to a gallery and pick a beautiful piece of work to put on my wall, and then change it out whenever I feel like it.
I love being in tune with my emotions, and my work is often a reflection of that.
Some days, I may feel bright so my colors are bright. Other days I may feel more mellow- so my colors match that. And then sometimes, it’s the other way around. Some of my brightest looks may have been made when I was feeling down.
Color can be an amazing tool to change your mood!
Can you name a few people / art who influenced your style?
There are so many amazing creators out there in so many different disciplines that are supportive to myself and other artists. I don’t try to replicate any specific people in my life, nor do I see anyone as a personal mentor.
But I am constantly encouraged by the fierce and powerful women
and creators in my life that work their asses off and still prioritize treating people with kindness. I am influenced by a person’s confidence, their magic, their determination! I try to let that encourage me to show the same emotions in my own work.
How has your routine change since the pandemic?
I have an autoimmune disease, so…
a lot of my time is spent listening to my body and making sure that I am allowing it to heal when it can.
This does mean that sometimes I need to stay home and rest for a while, and I am grateful that I have the support I need to be able to work full time from home in an environment that allows me to show kindness to my body and rest when I am able.
COVID-19 hasn’t changed that much of my daily routine, except that our household needs to be extra vigilant, since I’m immunocompromised, and I’m going to be seeing my friends and family video chat for a while. When I’m resting, I’ll be making jewelry, playing video games, and spending time with my partner and our cats.
It’s important for me to make the distinction that social media is my job, not my life.
Although I am so happy that I have people that have crossed that barrier to become friends that support and encourage me, as well as understand the unique struggles that come with this job.
For the end, I have a few quick and fun questions. Most common misconceptions people have about you?
I am sure there are many that I am unaware of.
Social media is inherently designed to only show the best of our lives and the small amount of difficulties that we are willing to share to appear relatable.
We make so many assumptions about the people on our screens. Although I may be candid about my thoughts and experiences, in the end I am a very private person. I think there is a big difference between being true to yourself and being an open book. There are some things that I don’t think should be taboo to talk about, like my illnesses. So I try to be more open about the topics that I feel deserve a voice.
Most surreal moment of your life?
This question is helping me realize that every accomplishment can feel surreal when you have imposter’s syndrome. I have several moments that I can think feel surreal to me- but perhaps they shouldn’t because I’ve worked so hard to be good at what I do and I should be proud of that.
I love that I’ve been able to work with some incredibly talented actresses, models, and photographers that I otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to collaborate with.
I’ve also experienced being recognized by and becoming friends with some of the most incredible individuals in this industry. Hearing that someone whose own work I love and respect…
feels the same way about mine has been so encouraging and validating.
What sort of music do you listen to?
I pretty much have the Skyrim soundtrack on repeat.
I like to pretend I’m fighting dragons when I’m putting my mascara on.
Can you suggest a couple of movies or series to watch while in quarantine?
Whenever someone asks me to recommend a show, my gut reaction is to suggest anything by Micheal Schur. You may not know the name, but he has been involved with the creation of The Office, Parks and Rec, Brooklyn 99, and The Good Place. He is a shining beacon of light in a world of perpetual darkness. Everything he touches turns to gold, unless you don’t want that thing to be gold. Like pancakes, or a child. The people in his shows are more than a gimmick- he writes powerful and compelling characters for a wide variety of backgrounds, genders, and orientations. All of his shows make you feel like you’re part of the family, which is more necessary than ever at a time of so much isolation.
And if you’re looking for a good drama, The Sopranos is endlessly watchable. HBO streaming is offering some shows for free during this time, Sopranos included.
The only movie I watch repeatedly is JAWS.
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Next stop is Canada. We’ve the pleasure to introduce Gabrielle or as you might know her online @gabiliciousxsx . We met Gabrielle while scouting for talent to test and showcase our goodies on IG. It was actually love at first sight: her style, vibe and skills radiate professionalism and she is so on point on makeup trends, we couldn’t have asked for a better match. But as you probably suspect, this level of commitment requires hours and hours of work and major dedication toward makeup and social media. So we sat down with Gabrielle in our virtual tea room (meaning we sent her an email 😅#socialdistancing ) to discuss makeup, life and inspiration for creating content in the shadow of this pandemic.
What inspired you to become a makeup artist?
I’ve always LOVED makeup! I remember as a little girl, I was always trying to do the hairstyle and do the makeup of everyone, even my uncles *chuckles* And when I was a teenager, I was wearing a bit of makeup at school, but not much ’cause I was pretty shy and I didn’t want to attract too much attention. But when I was coming back home after school, I was looking at actresses’ makeup on Google and I was trying to recreate their makeups.
I am my own canvas!
I was more extroverted at night and introverted during the day! I’ve never taken makeup classes and I’ve learned the old fashioned way how to contour and cut crease. Now, I’ve been doing makeup more seriously for about 3 years.
Would you call yourself an Influencer?
There’s a lot of MUAs that are influencers for sure, but there’s also a lot of fabulous MUAs that are not looking for an influencer type of fame.
Some MUAs are only using IG to have visibility to show their art…
or to be able to do more makeup contracts. Some are on IG just for fun and are not referring to themselves as influencers. I’m pretty much that kind. I don’t consider myself an influencer. I mean, not like the image that we have in mind when we think about an influencer: extra white teeth, extra tanned, perfect life, perfect IG feed, perfect body / face. I’m a normal person, with flaws, I have issues and bad days like everyone! I’m trying to be as real as possible. I try to keep in touch with my followers and to engage conversations with them, giving them my genuine opinion on what products I like or not. I wouldn’t promote products I don’t like just for visibility.
Have you ever worked in the beauty industry?
I would love to! I was previously a hair dresser, but I quit to go back to school and now I’m finishing my university degree in social work. More precisely, I want to work with the elderly people. I felt it was a good match for me ’cause I adore them and I also love helping people in general. But of course, my dream job would be to become a makeup blogger/YouTuber ! I’m planning to launch my YouTube channel soon. Wish me luck!
What does makeup mean to you in terms of self-expression?
It means everything ! When I do makeup on myself, time literally stops. Makeup is so good for my mind and for my anxiety cause when I do makeup, I forget all my problems, all the stress and there’s just me, my canvas, my brushes and my makeup. I can explore so many styles and techniques and play with many colors. It’s also helping me to gain confidence. I mean who doesn’t feel confident with a bold red lipstick, brows on fleek and highlighter?!?
For me, makeup isn’t only aesthetics, it’s art, it’s a statement, it’s a lifestyle, it’s empowering!
Are there any role models you look up to?
Both my parents are my #1 role models for real!
They’re like the cutest persons alive and I love them so much ️ they’ve built their own company together and they’ve worked so hard to be where they are right now. They’re the definition of passion, creativity, inspiration and love! Without them, I wouldn’t even be where I am in life but also as an MUA cause they bought my professional ring light and my macro lens and those two things literally helped me to increased the quality of my work. They’re the best and they taught me their love of art and photography!
Okay let’s dive a bit deeper. What are the fears and obstacles you have had to overcome to create your first artistic post online?
To be honest, I wasn’t even thinking about fears, I was just thinking “Why not ?!”. It was for Halloween and I was pretty good at makeup so people were responding positively to it and after I posted my first lip art and at that time when I had 50 likes it felt good so I was pretty happy! And step by step, I posted another makeup post and now we’re here!
I would say now that the biggest obstacle for me is to be shadow banned by IG itself.
It’s so frustrating and demoralizing When you know that your content is good and IG decided to block you in hashtags. It’s very hard for the artists cause the hashtags are pretty much the only way for us to be seen by others.
What are the most common misconceptions people have about you?
I think that the people who don’t know me think that I’m more important cause I have a couple of followers on IG. Some people are writing to me sometimes to talk about my art and I always engage with all the conversations or the comments that I have and when I’m answering to them, they’re often like “OMG you’re answering to me, I would never thought you would”. And I’m thinking…
OMG why, I’m a very normal person…
and I’m always saying to them that I’m a normal human being and that I’m not cooler than them and of course I’m answering and I’m there to respond to their questions!
What has been the most surreal moment of your life in & outside of social media? We’ve heard some crazy stuff so far so don’t hold back 😎
I would say that the most surreal moment of my life in & outside the social media was meeting my boyfriend ’cause we met on a social media app! I’ve never clicked that much with an other human being and it’s been almost 2 years now that we’re together and he’s my life! He makes me laugh everyday and he’s always supporting me, and for real, he IS my rock!
So when I’m thinking of my best social media moment, I’m thinking about him right away…
’cause without social media app, I wouldn’t have met him!
Awww that’s cute AF! And we are back to makeup. What are the makeup products you’d never leave your home without?
I can easily go to the grocery without makeup, but when I go to work, my daily makeup routine takes me like 40 minutes and I would say that I’m never leaving the house without a light covering foundation, setting powder, bronzer, brow pen, mascara and chapstick.
What’s your best beauty advice for those struggling with body issues?
I’m struggling myself and I’m working hard to be less rude to myself trying to accept my curves instead of criticizing them. It’s not easy, but I’m focusing on the fact that I’m feeling good with myself and if it wasn’t about the social pressure and rules, I wouldn’t have any problem! So, the problem is not our curves, our big noses, our cellulite, our tiny breasts, the problem is the social standards! So, embrace your body and be proud of who you are ’cause those standards have to change and they’ll change the day everyone will stop following those unattainable rules!
We are trying to build a tradition to feature MUAs, internet personalities; collaborators of our brand. Why? You might ask and the answer shouldn’t really surprise anyone. We want to know you. What that pretty lip look, amazing eye makeup or sensational online personality hides is the root of all your creativity. And therefore, it’s the most fascinating thing for us and our readers to know.
In this blog post we’re taking a flight to Canada to introduce @Nitro_Gena a #makeupobsessed, photo-editing roller derby player. Try to say that in one breath! If you haven’t heard of her work, it’s time to check it out. Her insane lip looks and fierce makeup skills result in a vivid and arresting display of her artistic mind. Although she admits to her insecurities, those high-glam close ups and sassy glimpses into the camera depicts her otherwise. This duality seems to have dogged her whole life but a new year’s resolution may change everything…
What did you want to be when you were younger?
Growing up I wanted to be quite a few things and quite honestly, still haven’t truly figured it out!
I always wanted to preform in some way, like acting or singing…
…but I have always been quite introverted so instead I went behind the camera and studied art and photography.
How easy was to get out from the shadow of the camera and present yourself on social media?
It has always been a huge challenge for me to present myself on social media, and open up to the internet world. As mentioned, I am such a shy and self conscious human being, that it took me quite awhile to feel somewhat ok with people I knew in real life looking at my Instagram page, and engaging with my work. I tried to hide it for a while because I didn’t want to open myself up to critique, but over the years I have grown more confident and less afraid of my work being seen.
What do you do apart from being an MUA?
I am currently a stay at home mom with a 5 year old and a 3 year old…
…so that does keep me pretty busy. I am also a coach/player for Toronto Roller Derby and Toronto Junior Roller Derby, and serve on the executive committee, helping to ensure the league runs smoothly throughout the year. I am also a wannabe hair colorist, and have recently had the privilege of getting to practice that skill on others rather than just myself!
What is the story behind your online persona “Nitro Gena” and where does the name come from?
Nitro Gena is my Roller Derby name, which is something a lot of derby players adopt at the beginning of their careers. This wasn’t initially my Instagram handle, as I originally went by a completely made up name so I could hide from people I knew in real life! As I grew more and more confident, and realized that…
…I needed to own my work and not hide anymore, I changed my handle to Nitro Gena.
Roller derby saved my life in a lot of ways, and it truly helped me to become a confident bad ass, and to love myself and my body. This felt like the natural fit for my internet persona, as I want to share those lessons with others as well.
What are the most common misconceptions people have about you?
So many! No, but actually I have struggled with RBF my entire life, and have heard from so many people that they were very intimidated by me when they first met me. In truth, I am just so insecure that I am always in my head, too scared to talk in front of people incase I make a mistake and embarrass myself. It’s taken a lot of personal growth to get over that mentality, and I am still working on it to this day!
What are the makeup products you would never leave the house without?
I hate to admit that the amount of makeup I wear outside of the house is sooooo minimal, because I mostly have no time to do anything outside of my work for instagram! My go to products though right now are lip masks and lip balms as Canadian winters are so harsh. When I am going to be wearing minimal makeup, it’s always going to include a base, some light powder, blush, mascara and a gorgeous highlight.
What are your new year’s resolutions for 2020?
I don’t know if I would call them official resolutions, but my goal for 2020 is to be nicer to myself, and less afraid. I am my own worst enemy…
…quite often my inner saboteur can get the best of me, and I don’t want to stand in my own way anymore.
I also want to adopt a more eco-conscious lifestyle, and educate myself on how to make better decisions every day.
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When we started this whole thing in #Romania, we didn’t know what to expect in terms of social media #influencers. How many are there? What styles do they have? Would they be interested in an edgy, no bullshit makeup or for them, we’re just gonna be yet another #indiebeautybrand.
I gotta tell you, whatever worries we had at the start were dispelled by the amazing reception of everyone we got in touch with. This was the time we reached out to @evasplace30 via Instagram and asked if she wanted to try our goodies. Needless to say, we’ve been collab-ing ever since. Her style, dedication and delivery are beyond a certain quality of threshold and we quickly fell in love. So yeah, long story short, from that moment we wanted to know more about her and finally we had time to chit-chat a bit.
Ever wondered how beautifully glammed influencers cope with daily life and what makeup really means to them? Perhaps you’ll find your answers below…
What made you start your own beauty channel?
I wanted to create content using makeup as the tool to communicate with likeminded people. I don’t really remember how I ended up posting my looks on @Instagram, but I certainly don’t regret it. YouTube is very different. You don’t just serve a look there you also have to engaging both visually and content-wise to make people watch your clips to the end. I’m still working on being consistent on YouTube, but I really want to make it work!
How would you describe your style?
Honestly, I don’t like to be put into “boxes”.
I do feel creativity has no bounds, but the style I’m currently attracted to is probably best described as being edgy and eclectic with a touch of creepiness. I love this direction, ‘cuz it’s so weird!
What do you do when you are not creating content for social media?
I never stop creating even if I’m doing something “offline”. I’m a graphic designer by day and a social(media)butterfly after hours. I spend most of my days editing in Illustrator or Photoshop and when I’m not working, I’m either cooking -love cooking! – or, spending time with my family.
Are there any makeup trends that inspire you?
I absolutely love the tends in the early 2000s and the 90’s.
They are both a bit messy and dark. Much like the stuff I love to create.
How long have you been into makeup and why is it important for you?
I have been fascinated with makeup my whole life, because I grew up seeing my mom putting on all sorts of makeup every day, and I loved it! But I actually started wearing them in my early twenties in a more consistent way, when I discovered that it can be another way to explore my creativity and self. Now, besides the fact that I love…
putting on makeup, it became a kind of therapy to me.
It really helps when I’m stressed and overwhelmed to whip out my makeup collection, look into the mirror and as I begin my transformation, I start to get rid of the negativity too – It’s like a therapeutic transformation.
Do you have a role model related or unrelated to the world of #beauty?
I don’t really have role models. I admire and appreciate things about other people and around me, but I’m trying to be my own person as much as I can.
I don’t think it’s healthy to constantly compare ourselves with others.
With that approach, I’d only focus on the negative things and makeup would not be the tool of openly expressing my creativity, but to hide myself behind it. That’s not me.
What #makeup essentials you must carry with you 24/7?
I only have lipstick in my bag but like 5 of them! I never touch up my facial makeup throughout the day, the messiness doesn’t bother me. In fact, I think it looks cool.
I’m guessing your daily makeup looks very different from your social media looks.
I skip a lot of steps in my everyday looks, most of the time I’m not wearing foundation or do my eyebrows. I only need black lipstick, mascara and highlighter. With my IG looks I like to go all in most of the time and use a variety of products. But it’s time-consuming you know, and ain’t nobody got time for that!
Do you think that girls should look a certain way like wear makeup to be well-received?
Absolutely not. Wearing makeup or pretty clothes doesn’t make a girl more of a girl. But, at the same time..
if you want to go buy some cheese from the corner store wearing a full-on glam, no one should stop you!