Mistakes Some Youtube Makeup "Gurus" Make

When I scan Youtube looking for new makeup artists to follow, I look for one main thing: talent. I also look for the ability to explain concisely, teach effectively, and come across as authentic and approachable.

There are many on Youtube who are doing it wrong: If you don't know how to clearly present a product or explain a technique, rehearse off camera. When I was a journalist, I once read a tip that stays with me to this day: "You have to earn your audience." In other words, there are 10,000 distractions people have, so don't waste their time. Earn it.

I turn off videos constantly: The minute a tutorial turns into a rambling session, when an artist spends more time playing with her hair and fidgeting, I get irritated that she didn't practice and move on. I watched one video tutorial where the woman's face was out of camera shot the entire time: Obviously, she didn't check the video before uploading. I kept watching to see if there would be a moment she'd notice and adjust the camera. She didn't.

Another famous Youtube personality told her audience she "didn't have time" to finish editing a video she'd been long promoting. Instead, she spent days uploading pictures of herself out partying. Yes, she has a right to have fun with friends. But keep the pictures off your page after you've told people you're too busy to complete a project.

Back to the original point, the videos shouldn't exceed 10 minutes. With editing, that's plenty of time to show a technique or look or to review a product.

Here's another major pet peeve I see more and more: Makeup gurus who distance themselves from their audience. You want people to "rate, comment, and subscribe"? Be polite, be appreciative, engage with them a little. It's a two-way game. These subscribers and viewers have helped propel some makeup Youtube personalities into quasi-fame, makeup contracts, etc. Don't bite the hand that feeds you. And don't forget about it.

I've complimented some makeup artists on Youtube or congratulated them for their good news only to get completely ignored. As I scan the page, I notice they've ignored everyone else. This is an instant formula to get me - and probably others - to unsubscribe and stop supporting you. The excuse some of them literally use is, "I'm too busy to respond." You're not. This is your business. And being rude is just bad business.

To follow-up, I got a comment I expected to get, telling me that this is a rude blog post. I specifically didn't name any names or direct this in a comment to anyone on Youtube to avoid attacking anyone. It is general feedback, which supposedly all of the "makeup gurus" ask for at the end of their videos. When I was a journalist, I had to hear a lot of criticism from people who disagreed with something I wrote. It's hard to put yourself out there, but once you do, this is part of the process: You get feedback, good and bad. Some of the criticism is actually meant to help you improve, which was the point of the post. I've seen horrible comments under videos that are meant to tear down the poster; this was hardly my intention, nor what I actually wrote (which you'll see, if you take the time to read it).

That was the point of the blog. I'm sorry if you don't get it.


  1. Thank you! Biggest pet peeve are the 20min reviews... REALLY??? I'm always confused with them. You did a great job is making your point!

  2. Thanks!! I noticed you RT'd it. Uh oh...I'm going to get hate mail :) Yeah, the 20 min. reviews kill me. I never watch them all the way through.

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