It all started with a tweet. In 2016, beauty guru Patrick Starrr was shopping when he grew frustrated trying to find clothes in his size. So he did what most millennials do: shared his thoughts in 140 characters. "Sucks shopping plus size... Good thing makeup is a one size fits all," the content creator wrote. The statement was offhand at the moment, but the words stuck, and "makeup is a one size fits all" became Starrr's mantra — and Instagram bio — as he grew to fame in the beauty YouTube space.
"I got a trademark, I owned it, and I started blasting it everywhere," Starrr tells Refinery29 in a Zoom interview. "Little did I know doing that was going to shape my future in the beauty industry."
In the four years since that fateful tweet, Starrr's profile has continued to rise. The self-taught makeup artist, a key player in paving the way for men in beauty, has amassed nearly 5 million Instagram followers and over 4 million YouTube subscribers. He rolled out five collections with MAC Cosmetics beginning in 2017 and launched his management agency, The Beauty Coop, in 2019. Every single platform and project throughout celebrated that essential vision: "Makeup is a one size fits all." Today, the influencer-turned-entrepreneur takes those words to the next level by launching his aptly-named beauty brand, ONE/SIZE, which is available in Canada on July 30.
Starrr's first drop is the GO OFF collection, which includes the Makeup Dissolving Mist, an innovative oil-based spray, and Juiciest Makeup Remover Wipes. When asked about his unconventional decision to release makeup-removal products first, he explains that it's his way of reclaiming a moment in his past that left him feeling embarrassed. Years ago, Starrr was working as an associate at a makeup retailer when he was asked by a manager to remove his makeup on the grounds that it was "inappropriate" for him as a man to be wearing that much. When it came to creating his brand, Starrr aimed to find power in that painful moment. "We can show vulnerability in campaigning with me starting with no makeup," he says. Starrr hopes that consumers will see themselves reflected in the line — figuratively and literally, as a closer look at the packaging reveals a mirrored sheen on each product. "I want to make sure that everyone can see a little bit of themselves in the brand," he says.
Loyal followers will be able to see the YouTuber reflected in even more details of ONE/SIZE, from the multi-dimensional logo that stands for his "many faces" to the red packaging that symbolizes love. While Starrr's packaging and stories are a driving force for the brand, he stresses that his fans are the real star of this launch. That's why he chose to make them the focal point of his announcement video, which aired days before the brand release date. "They have been a part of this conversation. I'm just a vehicle to amplify their voice," he says, pointing to the drag queens, LGBTQ+ community, and makeup lovers that are an inspiration in his "larger than life" approach.
For Starrr, representation in the beauty industry is crucial: He strives to use his platform to create opportunities that he never envisioned for himself as a "gay, plus-size kid" growing up in Orlando. "With being an influencer comes privilege, status, and access. I'm building a brand and using the opportunity to create something for people who haven't been seen or heard," he says. "You have a big gay man running a business and making decisions. I'm not just uploading a picture on Instagram."
The founder already sees the impact of ONE/SIZE in the heartfelt messages he's received since announcing it. "We're really changing people's lives," he shares, holding back tears. Thinking of the people who have told him that they couldn't be themselves, or the statistics of suicide risk for LGBTQ+ youth, he adds: "I've felt I've had due diligence and a purpose of celebrating my uniqueness for them."
Eager to show his products in action, Starrr began to remove his makeup with me on Zoom. He was unveiling the real him, the man behind the makeup, and now the visionary behind ONE/SIZE. "I'd love to introduce to you Patrick," he says, as he wipes off his makeup — on his terms, not because anyone asked him to.
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