I’m A Grown Woman Getting Beauty Advice From Teenagers On The Internet

Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
There are certain facts my friends will readily tell you about me: I call my parents daily, I have a close and personal relationship with cheap wine, and my favorite Disneyland ride is the Haunted Mansion. But, there is one guilty pleasure that not even my closest friends know about. I'm a 24-year-old beauty writer, and I can't stop watching YouTube makeup tutorials.
I can't remember the first time I stumbled across the YouTube beauty world, but I was already a writer at the time, and I was pretty much hooked from the get-go. These girls were fascinating to me. Here they were, in their bedrooms and bathrooms across the world, pulling out products for haul videos and unboxing their latest subscription mailings — and millions of people were watching them.
The makeup how-tos were particularly interesting. The first time I watched one of these, I was both horrified and amazed. The girls are so incredibly young, and they're already shellacking their faces beyond recognition. Once I got over my initial shock (and felt bad about shaming the YouTubers, even if it was just for a minute), I took a more careful look at these videos. The fact is, beauty YouTubers are pretty incredible at what they do, and their artistry can be hypnotizing.
Have I tried any of these? No, save for the Kiss makeup step-by-step I referenced when I dressed up as a French Kiss this Halloween. (Yes, I'm aware how much that rocked.) And, sometimes, I scoot over to Zoella's channel and watch old videos while I'm going about my beauty routine.
There's something oddly soothing in watching someone else primp. It makes you recognize the fact that we're all in this together. In a way, it's humanizing: We compliment someone on their makeup, but we don't really think about the process it. It's also a rather intimate act. In fact, I think only one of my boyfriends has seen me do my makeup. With everyone else, I just lock myself in the bathroom. The YouTube girls, on the other hand, are putting it out there for the world to see.
Is my hobby lame? Maybe. But, I'm fairly certain I'd rather watch a Sprinkle of Glitter haul than another episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page!

More from Makeup

R29 Original Series