Friday, 12 February 2016

Opinion: A career in cosmetic confidence

Picture credit: DeathtoStock

Written by Lisa Pounder

Its just over a decade since the birth of Youtube, the uploading of how to, self-help and music videos on the website has become the casual hobby for teens in their bedrooms.  It has transformed into a business adventure that has led to multi-million pound careers of so many and has created a new genre of media.  One of the largest subjects covered on the site involves beauty and the evolution of video blogging. The biggest names are starting to gain celebrity statuses such as Zoella, Tanya Burr and Fleur De Force who have created careers out of vlogging. These girls are just a selection of creators who have produced their own beauty and skincare lines that have become best sellers in Boots and Superdrug stores.

The girls who are considered aspirational by many young girls often promote the use of cosmetics to accentuate features. They show achievable makeup looks and reviews of products to provide their honest opinions, which is a new reality to the airbrushed photos we’re so used to seeing. Although the use of heavy makeup is often discouraged by parents of young girls, the frank tutorials that start with bare faced women and the honest discussions about confidence, anxiety and body confidence allow young girls to embrace makeup without going over the top. The instructional but calm chatty approach makes an achievable outlet for girls to access to get tips and tricks but also feel like they’re watching a friend, something the press tries so hard to emulate but fails miserably.

Lisa Eldridge, makeup artist by trade to celebrities such as Kate Winslet, also creates makeup tutorials on her youtube channel. She has frequently featured her favourite products and her experience in the industry has meant she has trade secrets to share with the public. Eldridge has reviewed Vichy’s Dermablend many times. Launched in 2004, Dermablend foundation and concealers were a breakthrough in heavy coverage products, their long lasting and heavy-duty creams cover skin issues such as vitiligo, acne, birthmarks, scars, and bruising. By being able to cover issues with such dramatic results, it shows some sufferers that felt embarrassed or ashamed of their differences that they are able to cover up and embrace their newfound freedom. Dermablend the not the only breakthrough, just the advancements in everyday items such as concealers, foundations and powders mean imperfections can be covered in seconds and blend seamlessly even if you’re after a natural look. Although magazines often showcase news in the beauty industry, the reviews are churning out press release material and not providing a true review and experience of a product that in a world of cash-strapped shoppers isn’t what they want to read if they’re splashing out twenty pounds on a concealer.

By having youtubers mention products that they’ve found revolutionary in their work or everyday routines means sharing their opinions and thoughts on products allow their viewers to embrace cosmetics. Items such as blemish treatments and skincare products can really boost self-esteem and companies are starting to use youtubers and bloggers in order to gain publicity of some of the newest products on the market.

Youtubers such as Zoella, who hosts 9 million subscribers to her channel, features her favourite cosmetics and items of the month as well as featuring routines, tutorials and video blogs about her life. Her name is becoming a household title and she has had her own beauty line, two children’s books and a television advert.  There is something entirely relatable with youtubers just like Zoella due to their twenty-something girl next door looks and lifestyle but then money is the one thing that sets Zoella apart from a teenager starting her own blog. By gaining 9 million subscribers, brands and endorsers can pay extortionate prices for a mention in a video knowing they can gain a lot of profit from doing so.

Despite the fact bloggers and youtubers start off promoting the products they’ve bought themselves, the trend of having samples and sponsorships to promote products brings a new chance for careers to be made from this media. Although viewers can be put off an opinion on something that has been gifted or paid for by a company, some of the best youtubers provide honest points and do not take items that they wouldn’t review if they didn’t love. It is pretty easy to notice if someone truly likes what he or she are talking about and it’s also very easy to spot those who are in it for the money. Girl’s like Zoella don’t need to take in every paid opportunity that comes their way when their audience is so valuable and loyal.
When we’re teenagers we look to avoid acne but are often left only being able to afford skincare items that would be better as floor cleaners. If these youtubers can recommend affordable alternatives and help empower confidence through items they have found that works for them, then it’s a positive start to being empowered by media and reviews. Mostly crucially believing and trusting the reviews given.  

Women are beautiful, makeup does not define the person wearing it and the industry creates a confidence booster far superior to any other.  A flick of lipstick and mascara can transform a look and make you feel ready for the day, and if it’s another woman empowering another woman to buy a shade of lipstick then it’s the best form of media and body confidence we’ve had in a long time!

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