Meet Instagram's New It Girls

Instagram. Snapchat. Facebook. We almost can't remember what it was like to get through a day without compulsively checking our social feeds. Whether we're creeping on our old college loves to see if they're doing "well" (a.k.a. dating someone new) or posting snaps of our attempts at the latest beauty trends, social media is our ultimate source for both information and inspiration.

So when we spotted these seven women rocking ultra-cool beauty looks IRL on the streets of NYC, we took some pictures (and about a thousand Boomerangs), then picked their brains on beauty in today's tech-driven world. Little did we know that we were dealing with true social media mavens — these women know the meaning of side hustle. Feeling inspired, we turned to makeup artist Grace Ahn to give us tips on how to recreate their colorful, fun looks, using products like Maybelline's Baby Lips Glow Balm. Click through for killer advice on how to break the internet (and look damn good while doing so).
1 of 14
Photographed by Cassidy Turner.
Name: Gabby Richardson
Instagram Handle: @fridacashflow

Get Her Look: Electric green eyeshadow is already a statement on its own, but you can take it a step further by pairing it with a glossy sheen. To make sure the color doesn't slip and slide, Ahn suggests applying a clear eye gloss before your colorful shadow.
2 of 14
Photographed by Cassidy Turner.
How has Instagram impacted your life?
"I’m actually part of an artist collective that was started through Instagram. We showcase art by people of color, because they often don't have a platform or a physical gallery to showcase their work."

What is the name of the collective?
"The Art Hoe Collective."

What beauty trend are you feeling right now?
"I like to wear bright eyeliner, whether in the form of a blue cat-eye or just a burst of color. I think it looks great on dark skin."

Victoria, Victoria Beckham dress, Proenza Schouler shoes, Sorelle earrings, Baggu bag.
3 of 14
Photographed by Cassidy Turner.
Name: Kira Ship
Instagram Handle: @kiraship

Get Her Look: Any eyeshadow can be ethereal and dreamy if dusted on ever so lightly. Make sure you use an eyeshadow primer first to get the color to last all day. Then, using a fluffy brush, sweep on the powder eyeshadow from your upper lashline to just below your browbone. Ahn suggests using a pastel shade, like lavender, that works on all skin tones. Keep the rest of your look equally light-handed. Apply a lip balm, like Maybelline's Baby Lips Glow Balm, which moisturizes and brings out the natural pink in your lips.
4 of 14
Photographed by Cassidy Turner.
What is your favorite form of social media?
"I definitely use Instagram the most. I have a private Snapchat, which is just for my friends. Instagram is the only social media platform I use to connect with the public."

How has Instagram influenced your modeling career?
"Because I’m not signed with any agencies, it’s a great way for me to meet new people and clients. It’s easy to recommend others in my field and see if we have common connections."

Because you keep your makeup routine fairly simple, do you pay attention to beauty trends?
"Not really. I think the fun in modeling is being able to try on all these different looks, and seeing other people’s visions through what they’re painting on you."

Ohlin D. dress, Aldo shoes, Bond Hardware necklace, WWAKE bracelet.
5 of 14
Photographed by Cassidy Turner.
Name: Sarah Tekele
Instagram Handle: @colourme.blu

Get Her Look: Who says your eyeshadows have to be all matchy-matchy? We don't. And Tekele definitely doesn't either. Her neon eye look follows one strategy — just go for it. Meaning, use the brightest colors in your beauty arsenal. "Since it’s something that is a bit unusual, you might as well use vibrant colors," says Ahn. Apply the same shade to both lids, or, if you're feeling extra courageous, sport two complementary shades.
6 of 14
Photographed by Cassidy Turner.
What’s your favorite social media platform and why?
"Instagram, because it is my place of thought. I feature a lot of my writing on there. A lot of what I can’t articulate I tend to [express through] photos, videos, and mixed media on there."

What good has social media brought into your life?
"You can meet a lot of people. Many friends I have now I met through social media."

What do you like about other people’s feeds? Do they influence you?
"Real-life interactions influence me more. [I find] Instagram as just a place of expression."

Rachel Comey dress, Diadora sneakers, Joomi Lim bracelet.
7 of 14
Photographed by Cassidy Turner.
Name: Tierra Ouellette
Instagram Handle: @teething_tierra

Get Her Look: Social media is known for introducing wild beauty trends to the masses (glitter freckles, anyone?). Rainbow anything is guaranteed to rack up the likes, so why not try some multi-colored dots scattered across your cheeks? Waterproof eyeliner or cream shadows work best for this kind of look. To hold the color pigments in place, Ahn suggests dusting a layer of translucent powder over your face once the dots are totally dry.
8 of 14
Photographed by Cassidy Turner.
What is your favorite form of social media?
"Instagram. But my most guilty form is definitely Snapchat, where I am really into myself."

How does Instagram affect your career and your daily life?
"Instagram is a way to curate and express yourself so that you’re able to reach out to people you want to work with. If you like a certain individual’s work, you can get a feel for that person and their craft."

Is there a beauty trend you think is questionable?
"I don’t get tanning. Is that still a trend? It’s weird."

Collina Strada dress, PRISCAVera bra and panties, Pamela Love earrings, WWAKE bracelet.
9 of 14
Photographed by Cassidy Turner.
Name: Kia T'rey
Instagram Handle: @kiatrey

Get Her Look: Take a look through T'rey's Instagram account, and you'll see she's queen of the cat-eye. But when we spotted her on the street, she was giving this colorful version a whirl. We're admittedly not as skilled with eyeliner as T'rey, so here's an easy way to get her look: Use a skinny liner brush to first apply color on the inner corners of your eyes, in a V-shape. Then, apply the color to the outer corners by flicking the brush slightly downward, squaring off the end, says Ahn. (And it doesn't hurt to have cotton swabs on hand for mistakes.) A swipe of lip balm keeps the look breezy.

Maybelline Baby Lips Glow Balm, $4.49, available at Maybelline.
10 of 14
Photographed by Cassidy Turner.
What’s your favorite form of social media?

How do you decide what to post? Is it more of a feeling or is it more strategic?
"I saw this meme once, ‘If you can’t handle me at my crazy memes, then you don’t deserve me at my carefully contrived and controlled media presence.’ And ever since then, that’s where I've gone with it."

Is there a specific beauty trend you’re digging right now?
"I really like the natural-looking, bushy eyebrows, glistening eyelids, and rosy cheeks. I think it’s all really cute."

Creatures of Comfort top and shorts, Maryam Nassir Zadeh shoes, Joomi Lim jewelry.
11 of 14
Photographed by Cassidy Turner.
Name: Sasha Frolova
Instagram Handle: @sashafro

Get Her Look: If you've found your perfect signature color, first of all, we're jealous. And second, make sure you wear it everywhere — including different parts of your face. Here, Frolova's warm pinky peach shadow is blended directly from her lids into her brows. Pro tip: If you have darker brows, Ahn says to extend the shadow past your brows and into your temples for greater impact. And while you can use any color on hand, a warm pastel tends to work on everyone across the board.
12 of 14
Photographed by Cassidy Turner.
What is your favorite form of social media?
"I think Snapchat is great, because it is unfiltered and it’s a little more private. On Instagram, I post things about my life, friends, personal projects, and professional work."

Touching on the professional side, do you have a strategy to present your best self, or is it more, I want to post whatever I want to post?
"I guess my strategy is to just be honest with everything I do. Whether or not that gets you [where you want to be] faster, you’re going to get there with your truest self."

Do you have advice for creative types on how to use Instagram to get discovered?
"People are pretty responsive to earnestness and collaboration. Putting yourself out there as someone who wants to be a part of these things and is willing to go the extra mile shows through, and also helps you network in a way that isn’t suspicious or sneaky. It’s networking on the basis of friendship, which is wonderful. You are introduced to tons of people you would never meet otherwise."

3.1 Philip Lim top, Karen Walker denim, Guiseppe Zanotti boots, Mociun rings.
13 of 14
Photographed by Cassidy Turner.
Name: Brooke Yen
Instagram Handle: @brookeyen

Get Her Look: Blue lipstick. Braided pigtails. Tell us you don't want to double-tap the ish out of this picture right now. We know, Yen is total #beautygoals. To get her midnight blue lips, Ahn suggests first prepping your lips with a hefty layer of balm. Let it absorb for a minute, then wipe off any dead skin with a baby wipe or tissue. Draw the lipstick on slowly and carefully, then once it's dry, clean up the edges with a cotton swab and some concealer.
14 of 14
Photographed by Cassidy Turner.
What is your favorite form of social media and why?
"Back in the good ol' 2000s, it was Myspace, because I was such an angsty teen and was able to take expressive middle-schooler selfies. Also, Xanga was the homie, too. But now my favorite social media is Snapchat because it allows me to doodle...drawings of strangers."

Which filters do you like?
"For Snapchat, my favorite filter is the face swap. It gives me an excuse to look like a different person. For the 'gram, I'm a cheater and use the VSCO cam filters, because they fit my 'dusty aesthetic.'"

Is there a beauty trend you’ve been dying to try?
"I would love to shave my head..."

Ashish shirt, PRISCAVera skirt, Adidas shoes, Topshop socks, Eddie Borgo bracelet.

More from Makeup


R29 Original Series