It's 10 a.m. on a Thursday morning and I've found myself sitting elbow-to-elbow with YouTube sensation Christen Dominique, attempting to press a pair of colored contacts into my eyes. She's here at Refinery29's New York studio to show me her go-to makeup look this morning, and it all begins with a change of eye color. (I went to a licensed optometrist to have my purely-cosmetic Alcon lenses fitted. If you're looking to experiment with colored contacts, always consult with a doctor first and opt for a FDA-approved pair. It is unsafe to buy contacts on marketplace websites or unauthorized IRL stores, so avoid this at all costs.)
Dominique, now 32, has been in the Youtube game for a decade, but before her big break she was juggling a full-time job selling insurance, college classes, then-newborn son Jaden, and a side hustle as a freelance makeup artist. Now, the self-taught artist has amassed more than 5 million YouTube and Instagram followers and even launched her own namesake beauty brand, Dominique Cosmetics, which is sold at Sephora.
Dominique's makeup tutorials are all over the map, from colorful smoky eyes to turning herself into a Bratz doll. But one theme is consistent: Dominique always makes an effort to educate her audience, not just entertain them. In our studio today, I asked her to show me how to recreate her go-to smoky eye, and in the process we learned about her rise to YouTube fame and the beginnings of her own brand. Check out the full video, above.
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