Makeup tutorials on YouTube

Posted on August 31st, 2010 by Michelle

Michelle PhamI don’t particularly like being told what to do, which is probably why I don’t have a GPS.  But now and then we all need a little guidance, so thank goodness Al Gore invented YouTube (OK, maybe it was the internet or global warming, but I digress).

If YouTube was considered a search engine, it would be second only to Google.  More than just a place to watch your favorite music videos about lipstick stains, it’s a how-to gold mine, with users posting clips showing you how to do everything from riding a bike to open heart surgery.   LookinGood often uses it as a reference, picking and choosing tidbits as we need them. But when we started looking for a channel to subscribe to – someone we could turn to regularly for makeup needs, we found the pickin’s to be slim.

The best makeup videos out there are done, not surprisingly, by young women.  they are most comfortable with the medium of YouTube.  Many are professional and relevant to our over-39-year-old needs,  but users need to get comfortable taking advice from someone who looks like they are also going to sell you Girl Scout cookies.

  • Our favorite “kid” skincare advisor is Michelle Phan, who is now a spokeswoman for Lancome.  If you can get over the fact that she does videos about “theme park makeup” (like Disneyland), she’s a real makeup artist who does excellent demonstrations on the application of foundation, the use of brushes and a whole host of color techniques.
  • Makeup Geek is a bit older, with a straight-forward approach about achieving results like contouring to make your face look thinner or how to apply normal-looking eyeliner.
  • MakeupByCheri is another one we found with decent how-to applications on using powder blushes or how to put on mascara.  She IS a 22 years old, however, so occasionally subscribers are subjected to chronicles of loud road trips that and unintelligible slang.
  • Wayne Goss is a makeup artist from the UK who teaches both men and women all the basics as well as those special occasion-night-on-the-town looks.  It is a little odd to watch a man apply purple eye shadow, but this is 2010, what can we say?
  • Women of color have The Accidental Beauty who needs some lighting expertise for her videos, and Lady Elle, who has the best personality and music.

And as for the over-40 set or over-50 set, fuhgeddaboudit, unless you want to watch a clip on “how to look like a cougar.”  Most of the videos are sitcoms waiting to happen (you read it here first), taking themselves way too seriously without offering anything useful, like Lanaindiana (“Hi, this is Lana, welcoming you back to my bathroom” or  Amy Miranda who offers bad audio and “Saturday night pub” makeup.

Because YouTube is also a social media marketing tool, cosmetics and personal care companies post a lot of how-to videos, as do salons and makeup artists, like Allison Saunders, and MAC Cosmetics.  We found this especially true when it comes to men’s grooming.  There aren’t a lot of guys in their bedrooms with their mischievous cats offering grooming and shaving tips.  Most, like AlphaM. Image Consulting or posts from the Grooming Lounge guys, are quasi-professional or professionally made.  That doesn’t mean the videos aren’t helpful, it just means they’re trying to sell you something.

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A short history of cosmetics

150BC Romans use yellow eye shadow.

The Romans preferred to use gold-colored eye shadow which was made from saffron and painted onto the area around the sides and under their eyes. Then they used powdered wood ash to color their eyelids black. This gold color was quite significant at the time because they saw themselves as the rulers of the Mediterranean.