How Camila Coelho Used Her Brazilian Roots To Create A Badass Lipstick Collection

Camila Coelho never expected to see her Youtube channel turn into her fulltime job when she posted her first video eight years ago. Yet today, she has two successful pages offering beauty tutorials in English and her native Portuguese to well over four million subscribers worldwide — and she's just getting started.
The 30-year-old Brazilian beauty blogger — who moved to the U.S. at 14 — most recently landed a 10-lipstick collaboration with Lancôme. The limited edition collection comes out today and is available in two finishes (matte and satin) and a variety of shades, ranging from deep reds to subtle nudes, but it's the heart she injected into it that really makes it shine.
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Coelho sat down with us ahead of today's release to talk about the collection, but more importantly, about the importance of paying homage to her Brazilian roots in all that she does.
Lancome L'Absolu Rouge x Camila Coelho in 'Carioca Summer'
Why was it important to find inspiration for this collaboration in Brazil?
"My audience started there and I'm proud to be Brazilian, it's my country and so I always want to make them feel like they're a part of my accomplishments. Every little stride that I make, every little accomplishment, my followers are a part of it. I live in L.A. now, so people feel like I'm a bit distant, and this was a way for me to connect to my Brazilian audience. They were so happy, and I'm happy that Lancôme was able to accept the idea of putting Portuguese words in naming the lipsticks."
Speaking of Brazil, can you share any beauty tricks that you learned growing up there?
"Brazilians love to mix tanning oil with carrots. You blend the oil with carrots and then you put it back in the bottle. You'll get the most beautiful bronze, golden tan."
Did you ever feel like you had to be "less Latin" to fit in or become successful in the U.S.?
"Not at all. Even when I had started high school in Scranton, PA, I would teach Portuguese words to my friends in school. I always wanting to bring some of my culture to them. In my head, I always thought it was cool to be different. If you go back to my old YouTube videos, I'd always teach a Portuguese word and people loved it."
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How does it feel to have Lancôme encourage you to bring your Brazilian culture into the collection in a time when representation is under scrutiny in beauty?
"I still can't believe that I did this collection and that Lancôme was so open on this partnership, from the colors that I wanted to do to the finishes. My main thing was making sure that they worked for every skin tone — and it came out exactly how I wanted. Not every brand lets you do what you want to do, and they could of been doing a collaboration with an American girl or a French girl, but they're doing it with a Latina, I will forever be grateful for that."
You have millions of followers on social media, do you ever feel like the responsibility or scrutiny becomes too much?
"It was hard when I started. I've cried before with certain comments that just made me upset, but thankfully, I got to a great stage of understanding that I'm a public figure and in posting my life I need to accept that I'm putting myself out there to receive feedback, whether it's good or bad. I feel responsibility every day. What we say, what we do, what we post — I think about it many times before posting a photo or writing a caption. It can really change a person's perception of something. The more followers I get, the more responsibility it is. I learn every day from my followers. I really don't like drama, so I do learn from the people who make drama, and I try to do it differently."
What advice would you give to aspiring content creators?
"Just be yourself, don't try to be someone else. Micro-influencers are doing so well, but get too worried about followers. You don't want to do everything, you want to choose the right brands, the ones you want to work with and really speak to you. My Lancôme story is the perfect example of it, because I grew up watching my mom wear Lancôme. So, don't worry, don't rush too much, numbers aren't everything. If you do an amazing job, you will get opportunities."
Lancôme L'Absolu Rouge x Camila Coelho, $32 each, available at Sephora.com
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