Ingrid Nilsen Is Exactly The Beauty Ambassador We Need Right Now

Seven years ago, if someone told Ingrid Nilsen she'd be the face of BareMinerals Original Foundation, she would have no reason to believe them. At 20 years old, she was dipping her feet in the YouTube waters not as a business venture, but as an outlet to cope with personal trauma. Turns out, it was the right move. Nearly a decade later, Nilsen is not only an icon in the beauty industry, she’s a major player using her platform to bring attention to the LGBTQ community. We sat down with the blogger to talk about her new partnership with BareMinerals and why it’s so important to her.

You've had fans following your evolution since you started your first channel, Missglamorazzi, in 2009. How has your beauty routine changed over the years?
"YouTube itself has changed so much and my makeup has changed a lot over the course of the last eight years. When I started, I didn’t really know what I was doing. It was a trial and error process. When I first started, I was heavier on the foundation and that’s because I was really struggling with acne at that point in my life. I didn’t feel comfortable showing my skin at all and I wouldn’t leave the house at any point without makeup. [But] I started forcing myself to go out of the house without makeup with my acne — and that really changed my whole perspective. Now, I like a natural, fresh, light look. I just don’t want to feel like I’m wearing makeup."

Do you remember the first time you filmed without makeup on?
"I remember watching tutorials and so often, people would start the routine with something on already to avoid showing their bare skin. It wasn’t something people would do — show their naked face. I remember the first video I did because it was terrifying to do it. I was on the verge of tears. I choked up because it wasn't something I’d do in my regular life, let alone on camera.

"The response was either from people going through something similar with their skin or people who couldn't relate to the skin problems, but who [appreciated my] willingness to be open — that resonates with everybody. Acne definitely takes a toll on your confidence. It was a step I was nervous about, but in the end, I’m glad I did it because it has helped me become more comfortable with myself."
Photo: Gonzalo Marroquin/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images.
What is the ideal starter kit for beauty novices who are watching you now?
"Honestly, I really think the BareMinerals Original Foundation is an amazing product to start with because it’s so easy to use with the swirl-tap-buff technique. It also gives you coverage without being caked on. I really, really love the Covergirl LashBlast Plumpify mascara — I've bought so many tubes of that mascara. For hair, Tresemmé Perfectly Undone Seafoam Hair Mousse. I love using that in my hair when it’s damp to create some texture. I think blush is something that’s really fun to play around with because you can play with different colors — I really love the Milani Baked Blushes. I’m obsessed with the BareMinerals Gen Nude Radiant Lipstick right now in Love. When I was starting off with makeup, lipsticks like this, where you get color and hydration all in one, didn't really exist."

What was the first beauty product you ever bought?
"The first I can remember is the Maybelline Great Lash mascara in clear. I love using that in my eyebrows now, but at the time, I didn’t know eyebrow grooming was a thing."

In addition to your YouTube channel, you have a podcast called Ladies Who Lunch with Cat Valdes. What made you step outside of the beauty community into something so different?

"I think if you ever start a podcast, you have to do it because you love podcasts. I love podcasts. I wanted to get into that world because it was an extension of what I was already doing. I could expand on things that didn’t make sense to talk about on video and that are conversations I actually have with my friend Cat. It’s been one of the best things for both of us."

Two years ago, you uploaded your "Coming Out" video, which now has over 12 million views. Do you find that there's still a lot of progress to be made for the LGBTQ community in the beauty industry?
"I think especially in the beauty space there is a lot of room for growth. I think that’s one of the reasons why, for some people, my coming out was so shocking — because I don’t fit the stereotype of what you’d perceive a gay woman to be like, look like, or act like. You can count all of the LGBTQ women who are the face of a major beauty brand on one hand, easily — and most are white. Being biracial and having BareMinerals choose me to represent their brand means a lot. People fight for this so hard, so when you finally get to a place where you get a little something, it feels like progress is being made — especially right now, when a lot of people feel helpless and scared. I'm showing that I'm standing up and saying I’m proud of who I am and BareMinerals backing that. I can’t think of anything more awesome than that."
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