Long before YouTube became a legitimate, revenue generating social media channel, I devoured makeup tutorials like Oreo cookies (without the weight gain and stomach aches that come with eating an entire tray in two days time). In 2010, You Tube primarily consisted of makeup tutorials uploaded by famously talented makeup artists (MUAs) or by people who liked makeup and had a video camera. Today's moderate content of the Influencer featuring product hauls, PR unboxings, collaborations and vlogging did not exist. You actively had to search out tutorials and, at times, my viewing frequency outpaced much of the professional MUA content.
At current count, I subscribe to over 60 makeup or lifestyle YT channels. Some add no value and an unsubscribe move is on the horizon; however, when you find a channel that's good, it can replace your secret This Is Us habit (Yes - I am judging you.).
I've categorized my favorite channels and have provided more details below for the Makeup Artist Channels. Part II will focus on editorial and vlogger channels.
MAKEUP ARTIST CHANNELS These are the artists who've worked in the business long before YouTube was a thing. You can find their work splashed across the pages of Vogue, W, Elle and on the red carpets of every major awards show and press junket.
- Lisa Eldridge (1.7M subscribers) has always been (and will always be) my favorite makeup artist. I adore her down-to-earth tutorials in which she shows her bare, sometimes hungover face in order to teach her viewers professional makeup application a lot of newer YouTubers choose not to feature. Her videos focus on technique and makeup philosophy rather than pushing products on the viewer or making us feel lesser than because we don't look like a Kardashian. On Lisa's channel you will find a core group of videos focusing on application basics, as well as editorial looks and an occasional guest star (ahem, Rosie Huntley-Whitely or Mary Greenwell who was Princess Diana's makeup artist). I love all of the videos but here are a few of my favorites: Clemence Poesey look, Cheryl Cole Elle Magazine Cover, Fantasy Peacock Eyes and her Modern Femme Fatale look. Lastly, Lisa wrote an amazing book on the history of makeup, Face Paint: The Story of Makeup. If you ever wanted to learn about how Egyptians invented Kajal liner or the history of red lipstick, you will treasure this book.
- Wendy Rowe (2k subscribers) is one of the most talented artists around. Her focus is natural, radiant and healthy beauty with a focus on beauty beginning with a healthy diet and lifestyle. When you watch her apply makeup it is astounding how much work goes into making skin look like...skin. She built the Burberry Beauty line which, of course features some great skin enhancers (Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base is one of my favorites). Her channel is relatively new and doesn't yet have a lot of videos but she does have some content about her new lipstick line, La Bouche Rouge, which features six red lipsticks that work for every skin tone. The product and packaging is eco-friendly which is a passion of Wendy's, who recently released her own book: Eat Beautiful. I also suggest watching her In The Bathroom with Sali Hughes episode, which is one of my favorites.
- Monika Blunder (205k subscribers) is a makeup artist based in LA who works on the faces of Jessica Alba, Molly Sims, Chelsea Handler and Rosey Huntington-Whitely. Her tutorials focus on redoing her editorial looks on everyday people. I've learned some technique but have also learned a lot about new natural or organic brands that are very popular in the LA world. Some of my favorite tutorials are Copper Eyes with a Berry Lip and the Behati Prinsloo 2015 Oscar Look.
- Harriet Makes It Up (43K subscribers) is a lesser known makeup artist who creates some of the most wearable and simple looks around. Harriet is British but now based in LA and she has picked up the easy, natural, LA vibe very quickly. This cranberry eye look is the tutorial that got me into a warm eye look and this video single-handedly made me run out and buy the red Chanel eye palette (it was limited edition but the palette has been brought into the permanent line - bless Chanel).
- Violette_fr (159k subscribers) is my current girl crush. Everything she does; clothing, accessories, interior design, makeup and production quality, is pure perfection. I know I should be embarrassed to admit this but I have no scruples: when I am shopping and considering purchasing a piece of clothing or accessory, I hold it up and think, Would Violette wear this? If the answer is no, I put it down immediately. Proceed with your judgement. Her tutorials are short and digestible snippets filmed in unconventional but gorgeous settings. Think a spring color look in a West Village flower shop or a sparkly holiday look in a Williamsburg cocktail bar. And, she uses her hands rather than brushes 60% of the time. I've begged coworkers to introduce me (she is the Estee Lauder Creative Director) but as of this post's publish date, there has been no such luck. I love ALL of her videos but some of my favorites are: Sunset Apero look, Velvet Deep Red Lips, My Bardot Look and Blue Morning.
- Pixiwoo (2.2.M subscribers) are two makeup artists who are also sisters. Pixiwoo was one of the earliest makeup channels on YT and their looks have changed many times over the years. Sam and Nic are very different in personality and in looks so tutorials never get boring. They are also formally trained and post many amazing costume makeup videos around Halloween. They are also the creators of Real Techniques brushes, available at Ulta. Some videos to check out are: Youthful Day Makeup, 5 Makeup Looks You Should Master and Chanel Kristen Stewart Tutorial using the Chanel La Rouge products.