That works, I can buy that. So you didn’t major in makeup or anything like that?
No I didn’t. I actually have an art background, so my degree is in design, I studied in industrial design and worked as a designer for about three or four years before I did the blogging and YouTubing thing as my job. So yeah, that’s kind of my introduction to makeup is just really loving art and design and playing with different materials, so yeah.
But you have this kind of fascinating story I think in which you realized that you might have been stealing somebody else’s dream by being in industrial design, or that was in graphic interface I believe.
Yeah, you watched my “Draw My Life” video.
One of the best “Draw My Life” I’ve ever seen by the way. Check out her “Draw My Life,” it’s fantastic. You’ll get to know everything. Well almost.
Every detail of my life. Yeah, in my “Draw My Life” I talked about how I went into a field — well, not really field. I worked as a designer and I switched to a new job which was for a very large company; it was a very prestigious position, and I just wasn’t happy. I didn’t feel like it was really creative and I could really express myself and just be who I was, and I’m not somebody who rocks the boat. I just really like to be inspired, and I like making people feel really happy and encouraged and beautiful. And that’s kind of how I feel about what I do on YouTube: I get to do tutorials that make people feel more confident, I get to talk about things that were insecurities in my life in the past that I’ve now overcome and just encouraging other people to just really love themselves. Yeah I just found myself in a place where I was in a job and it just wasn’t my dream. It wasn’t something that I felt fulfilled by, and it had everything by human standards that would be a good job: the pay was nice, it had great benefits, it had job security, it would make my parents proud and everything. And I just felt like I can’t see myself doing this for the next 5, 10, 15, 20 years, and so if I were to leave, it would be either when I would want to come back because I have my degree, I have my job experience, it’s not like I’m starting from scratch, it’s not like I’m going back into the job-working world straight out of high school. So I kinda felt like I was stealing somebody else’s dream; I was in a position where if I was taking something for granted while I was in that job then that’s making it so other people who really want to do that for the rest of their lives is not be able to, and you know, that’s a hard thing to live with.
Do you feel like you’re stealing somebody’s job by being a beauty consultant or makeup tutorial creator on YouTube?
You know, I can verifiably say that I love my job so much. I feel so fulfilled doing it, and honestly I feel this is a field where just because somebody is successful, it doesn’t mean somebody else isn’t. I think there is plenty of room for everyone and the more the merrier because the more people are doing things like makeup tutorials on YouTube, the more people are aware of it, the more people are going to search it, and that’s just better for everybody.
Now you kind of had some issues with acne growing up.
I did yeah.
Not to be all insensitive but does that steer into why you became a makeup guru maybe?
I’m actually very open and honest about it, because I think that it’s really important to share things where you’re not perfect because I feel like so much of media has been built on this facade of perfection, you know? When you see celebrities, when you watch movies, everything looks so perfect, and that’s because there are makeup artists, there’s editing, there are special effects. They can make it look like what they want, but if you’re sitting in front of a camera and just recording yourself, there is not a whole lot you can do. I mean, to be honest, you just sit there and you have what you have, you show what you show, you are who you are, and so for me to say, “Hey, I had 10-plus years dealing with pretty bad acne and that really kind of shaped who I was,” I just like saying that because other people might be able to relate to that story and feel, “Hey I’m not the only one who’s going through that,” and that’s important. It’s important to share how you’re broken inside and how you healed yourself, because everybody goes through that — not necessarily acne, you know, maybe people are insecure about their hair or other parts of their skin or their body size, and I dealt with a lot of that myself.
You kind of met the love of your life, Ben, back in the acne days, yeah?
Honestly I feel that wasn’t even an issue. We were just both really young and awkward and just dating in high school, and we ended up just being really best friends, and I don’t think that either of us were really too concerned with necessarily how we looked. I mean it was more about who we were as people and how we connected, and that has always been the biggest priority for me in any relationship not just in a marriage but also in friends. It’s just important that you connect as people. ‘Cause the outside stuff, that’s always going to go away; we’re all going to age and get wrinkly and some of us will have acne and some of us will have beards [laughs].
Or acne and beards.
But you know I don’t think that that should define who we are as people because ultimately who you are is how you choose to define yourself and how you choose to present yourself to the world, and if you’ve decided that who you are is who you are inside, and you show that to the world, then that can change other people’s perception of what’s important in life.