lou teasdale on how to make it in the beauty industry

From the death of the make-up artist and the rise of the beauty influencer, to cultural appropriation, contouring and boys who love make-up, Lou Teasdale offers some sage advice for all those looking to break into one of the biggest industries in the...

by i-D Staff
31 May 2017, 7:45am

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Lou Teasedale is the make-up artist with the enviable task of keeping the 1D boys looking beautiful. Starting work in the industry 15 years ago, Lou has become one of the glammest and most in demand make-up artists working today. She reflects on a changing industry and offers some tips to help guide you through it…

Everyone always asks me how to break into the make-up industry, what steps I took and what advice I can give. Well, how I did it is useless to all of you now because so much has changed. The old school beauty path vs. the new school beauty path isn't the same, but hopefully I can still help. I started my career 15 years ago, when YouTube was just for watching music videos, and the now editors of British Vogue were writing the first fashion blogs on Myspace. There were no beauty tutorials, and contouring was only taught as theatre make-up. 

I went to London College of Fashion and studied Fashion Styling and Make-up before going on to work as an assistant. The beginning of most make-up artists' careers consist of over-priced courses, maybe some time as a counter girl for minimum wage, assisting on shoots that you'll get no money for and living in crappy flats in the city desperately hoping to get a break. But from working as an assistant, I managed to join the X Factor glam team, and from there got taken on by One Direction when they signed a record deal.

Fast-forward to 2017 and with Instagram, YouTube and vlogging it's a brand new industry! This generation of make-up artists are self-taught and self-employed, all from their bedrooms. They are more accurately described as "beauty influencers", and they are walking advertisements for both their skills and the products they are using. Selfie culture has introduced a multitude of faces that can move product. The digitalisation of the beauty industry demands that companies use influencers to create brand awareness and sell their products for them. Social media now dominates how we use and understand beauty and lifestyle. Not only that, beauty influencers have the ability to make serious money through sponsored ad posts. Much like when I started, and had to take assisting jobs for free, in the beginning of your beauty influencer career you need to tag loads of products and use tons of hashtags to get your content noticed. Once your profile begins to get traction, brands begin approaching you. Now, they have truly embraced the idea that girls trust their social media feeds more then they trust celebrity-endorsed adverts.

So the question is, in 2017, how do I become a beauty influencer? Here are some tips and tricks to be social media savvy.

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Content, content, content...
We used to have to go "testing". Shooting in our free time, for nothing. And then the only people who saw those shoots were the people we dragged our portfolios around IRL. Long. How hard is it to be constantly curating some easy beauty content for your followers to consume? Your Instagram, YouTube, vlogs, etc. need to be constantly spitting out vids and cool images. And that's easy compared with how we did it. The more, the better. If anyone tells you less is more, check their followers and I bet they have none. Contour your content and keep a consistent aesthetically pleasing theme on your social media pages. Even down to cleaning your tools, no one wants to see a filthy beauty blender on YouTube.

No trolling...
Social media is your beauty community. I use it to meet other make-up artists or assistants on shoots and to keep in touch with everyone... but then it's easy to be super nice to real life people. These days you need to be sending love and emojis back and forth on each others tutorials. Be interactive, follow and support each other.

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Basic bitch problems...
Social media has demanded that the industry check themselves before every photo shoot, catwalk or selfie. Ten years ago when images of white girls in cornrows or wearing bindis simply graced the pages of Vogue, the reader was silenced and we, the makers of the content, could produce whatever we wanted. By definition, cultural appropriation is the use of the elements of one culture by members of another culture. And the internet is reminding us stealing from other cultures is just not cool. Culture isn't a fashion statement or a beauty moment for us to use as we please. Make sure your content is not offending anyone please!

Brush up on boyfriend make-up...
Boys have been wearing make-up long before David Bowie transformed into Ziggy Stardust, or KISS ever took to the stage, but it seems recently make-up is finally on the way to becoming totally genderless to society. Images online of guys rocking a smokey eye or a bright pink lip better than you has made make-up on boys the new normal. This is not to be confused with the idea that boys wearing make-up is a hot new trend, it's just refreshing to see the internet and the beauty world breaking another barrier between the genders through exposure. Make-up as an art form should never be left just for girls or famous rockstars, and I truly believe it is because of social media that it is becoming more socially and culturally accepted to see make-up on boys. Finally. So don't be afraid to give your feed some gender-bending glam.

Your next IG selfie make-up how to…
Prep and clean your face. Mix in a drop of liquid illuminator with your foundation for dat glo. Apply foundation evenly with a wet beauty blender -- wet it loads then ring it out, these are NOT meant to be used dry! With a darker foundation stick, sharply contour your cheekbones, temples, nose and chin with prominent lines. Blend. Contour those cheekbones one more time. With concealer and setting powder, pack that lighter, brighter colour under your eyes. Also, apply lighter colour under cheekbones and middle of the forehead and down the bridge of the nose. Blend. Liquid highlighter and powder highlighter on tops of cheekbones and tip of your nose. Bit more highlighter. Bit of bronzer. With a good pomade, shape and fill your brows. Now eyes (we've only just started you know). Take a warm, rich red / copper colour and apply all over the lid and buff into the crease. Sweep the red under your waterline as well. Take a true gold pigment and dab the pigment onto the centre of the eyelid, making it the focus point of your eye. Grab some falsies and glue them on for that dramatic lash game, Cheryl Cole's are actually surprisingly good. Finish off with mascara on both your falsies and lower lashes. Use a light-brown liner and liquid lipstick to finish the look.

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Your next Raya date make-up (no make-up make-up) how to
Prep and clean your face. Cover up any spots (don't panic and pop the big one that grew over night) with concealer. Hold tissue to your bleeding spot because you popped it. Take an elixir and mix it in with your foundation. Apply foundation evenly with a wet beauty blender. Conceal under eyes. Lightly contour your cheekbones with a darker powder or bronzer. Lightly apply highlighter to cheekbones and cupids bow. Fill in eyebrows with an eyebrow pencil. In the crease, blend in a nude taupe colour to define your eyes. Apply a couple layers of mascara. Carefully apply red lip liner, fill in with a matte liquid red lip.

Your next festival look where you won't culturally appropriate how to….
Prep and clean your face (make sure it's water in that bottle, not vodka). Apply a tinted SPF moisturiser all over your face. Lightly fill in brows with a pencil. Grab a red eyeshadow (or red lipstick) with lots of pigment and apply all over the lid and crease and under waterline. Apply an iridescent glitter highlighter generously all over your cheekbones. Apply a couple layers of mascara… red mascara is even better. Put your hair in space buns.


Text Lou Teasdale
Lou is signed to the Book Agency

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