When scrolling through the explore page on Instagram, it is almost impossible not to see a makeup artist posting their newest tutorial or look. The bold brows, brightly colored eyeshadow and luminous fake lashes stand out among an otherwise relatively boring collection of pictures. These makeup artists, also known as influencers, post videos and pictures to express their passion for makeup. Platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat and more are used for these artists to gain exposure, build their brand, and explore their creativity. The makeup industry has grown tremendously in recent years, and social media has played a huge role in promoting artists and influencing trends. Some of these aspiring artists attend Wilson, and use social media to show off their talent, skill and love for makeup. Even though social media presence is a huge part of being a makeup artist in today’s world, it is the creativity, passion and precision that sets these artists apart.
Billy Blu attended Wilson until spring of this year, when he moved to Los Angeles, California. His Instagram account, @boujeebilly, boasts over 5,400 followers. Blu posts pictures of his makeup looks and recommended products, as well as tutorials. “Makeup has completely changed my life in so many amazing ways,” Blu said. He decided to move to LA in his senior year of high school to pursue his dream of becoming a successful artist. While it may seem like a dramatic change of lifestyle, the decision was a no-brainer for Blu. “All the connections you need and more in the makeup industry are all in LA.” He hopes to collaborate with brands and eventually launch his own. Amidst his accomplishments, however, Blu reflects on his humble beginnings. “All of this started a year and a half ago with a Bobbi Brown foundation stick rubbing against my face,” Blu said. “Everything started from that point.” Being a boy in makeup is another aspect that is important to Blu, since it’s not always seen as ‘normal.’ “Boys still don’t get as much recognition as they deserve in the industry, which is something I try to push for,” Blu said. “Anyone can do makeup.”
Ariana Daly is a junior at Wilson. She uses YouTube occasionally, where she edits all of her own videos, but focuses mostly on her Instagram account, @ariii.amaya, where she posts all of her looks. She started doing makeup in middle school, but got more serious about it last year. She does makeup on herself and others, but explained that doing makeup on other people is easier because it is easier for her to see what she’s doing. She’d love to progress in the makeup world, gain more followers and supporters, and eventually collaborate with companies and have her own brand. Daly says that there should be no doubt that makeup is an art form. Her favorite style to do is a halo cut crease. “I think makeup is a way of expression, and it expresses me, like all the colors and glitter,” she said.
Lauren Brown got her first makeup kit when she was two years old and started seriously pursuing makeup in tenth grade. Brown started to perfect her makeup skills simply because she is, well, a perfectionist. “I don’t like to do things that I am not good at,” Brown said. She now treats her instagram account @raggedyroyal like a real job to impress her 13,800 followers. These followers don’t just come out of nowhere, however, as Brown has to ensure she is constantly posting quality content. “You have to put your time in it, be consistent, take ownership and pride in your work,” Brown said. A blurry or dark photo simply will not do. For her “Black Lives Matter” look this September, she had to stencil out a fist multiple times on a piece of paper before proceeding to outline the fist onto her face. Not only was Brown incredibly proud of her art, as she had “never drawn a fist before,” but the look also meant something deeper to her. “It was my favorite because it is something that is near and dear to my heart: I’m Black. Black Lives Matter,” Brown said. Right now, Brown only does makeup on herself, and doesn’t feel the need to change that. Though she does get sponsored by some makeup brands, Brown is mainly in it for the art. “I just want to do what I do, and if people want to send me products for it, keep sending me products for it,” Brown said.
Rocio Castillo, a junior at Wilson, started using makeup in seventh grade. “That was when I bought my first real foundation,” Castillo said. Castillo started because it seemed like the grown-up thing to do, but once she discovered eyeshadow, she was hooked. “I thought it [makeup] was really cool because you could do whatever you wanted with it,” she said. Castillo mainly does her own makeup, but has applied it for other people for homecoming, and often does her friends’ makeup for fun. Although she likes the idea of freelancing, Castillo does not see makeup being her sole future career. “There’s a lot of stress on you because you have to get everything right and perfect,” Castillo said. Castillo does have a Youtube Channel, “Rocio Castillo,” where she posts makeup tutorials, as well as a Twitter account,Twitter @rocioecastillo. Right now, Castillo is focusing on learning more about makeup and improving her skills. “It’s really nice to see that you are progressing,” Castillo said.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF BILLY BLU, ARIANA DALY, LAUREN BROWN AND ROCIO CASTILLO