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4 Common Tips from “Beauty Gurus,” & Why They’re Not Necessarily Right

Let’s be honest, we’ve all watched a YouTube makeup tutorial… or a hundred. And, yes, we’ve all attempted to follow or recreate a snazzy look we’ve seen on someone who’s “YouTube famous.” In the moment, we might feel pretty incompetent compared to these beauty icons and gurus, however, they’re not always “right.” Makeup is super subjective, and the only one who can say what is “right” or “wrong” for you is you. But I researched methods and techniques to see if some of the things that YouTubers do contradict the more popular tips and tricks of college makeup artists (MUAs). Here are four tips from the beauty guru world that aren’t necessarily “right.” 

Brushes or blenders?
Makup On Vanity
Anna Thetard / Her Campus

Kylie Jenner has amassed a makeup fortune from her brand Kylie Cosmetics. On the outside, it seems she’s a pro MUA, however, when she takes to her YouTube channel, that’s not always the case. In her video “Kylie Jenner – My Everyday Makeup Look,” the millionaire applies her foundation and concealer with a brush. She claims to love the brush – from her own collection –  because it “helps get the foundation in there.”

But contradictory to her claim, I interviewed college women from all over Baylor University and many were in full favor of sponges. Mikhayla, a Baylor senior, says, “I get a smoother blend, and brushes don’t give me the finish I’m looking for.” 

Generally speaking, MUAs are convinced that sponges are better than brushes, but I don’t judge anyone who uses brushes because it might work better for them. In fact, Lauren of Baylor University only uses brushes. “Whenever I use a sponge, the makeup separates and oxidizes on my face,” she says. She only uses sponges for face makeup if she’s performing on stage, where the pigment needs to be concentrated under the harsh lights. There are several contradicting opinions on how to apply “natural” foundation with a sponge – Mikhayla claims that sponges give a more natural look and less of a “painted” look, but Lauren says that the sponge puts on a lot more product, and therefore can look like heavy performance makeup. 

Concealers & their spaces

Tati Westbrook, a YouTube makeup artist known for her glowing complexion and neutral colored brand Tati Beauty, claims that to achieve a natural and “flawless” look, a concealer must be the same color as your foundation, and should only be used for spot coverage.

Talking to the makeup-wearing students at Baylor, only a few ladies wore concealer as spot coverage. The rest follow the traditional brightening patterns to bring highlights to their faces. Despite dominant MUA teachings, there are people who think concealer is only for blemishes, and while that’s not technically correct, it’s not wrong either – just like lipsticks aren’t technically eyeshadows. If it works for you, that’s all that matters.

Unconventional acne treatments

Sylvia Gani is an amazing MUA, but she admits to struggling to hide her acne blemishes under makeup. Sylvia’s “S-Gang” was shocked to learn that she’s been popping pills to prevent cystic acne in her video “How to Instantly Get Rid of Acne Overnight (Actually Works).” The main shock, however, isn’t that she takes medication for her acne, it’s what the medication is supposed to be for. 

Dermatologists rave over Spironolactone pills for what they accomplish in dermatology, but Spironolactone is not labelled as an acne preventative, despite its use – it’s a blood pressure medication. Obviously, the doctor knows best what her patients need, but Sylvia fails to mention that despite telling her audience what Spironolactone is meant for, it can be very dangerous to a woman’s body. Bethanee J Schlosser, MD, PhD, told MedPage Today author Charles Banhead, “Patients who receive spironolactone for acne should have periodic laboratory tests to monitor renal function, electrolytes, and complete blood count.” If a medical doctor gives you Spironolactone for acne or other uses, of course you should take it as prescribed, but please don’t just take a friend’s offer for a pill.

Cuticle drama

According to YouTuber JauntyJuli, there are quite a few perspectives on how to best care for the skin around your nails, commonly referred to as your cuticles. In her video “How to Actually Cut Your Cuticles,” JauntyJuli uses several nail techniques for promoting good nail health; however, she does get some points wrong. JauntyJuli pushes her cuticles back with a metal pusher, and clips her cuticles, as well. I’m not a nail expert, but taking some knowledge acquired from my mom, cuticle cutting can really damage the tissues around the nail – as can shoving the tissue into a place it may not belong.

I know a lot of people who cut their cuticles with no problem, but Jewels, a freshman at Baylor University says that she believes cuticle care isn’t even necessary, and it’s all for the appearance of the nail – as long as you’re not a cuticle biter, because then you probably should take extra measures to ensure the health of your nails.

All in all, makeup is not a black and white subject, and users can do whatever they want with their products. I think that the best way to enjoy a YouTube guru’s content is to consider what they’re saying, but always defer to your own judgement. If you say you prefer brushes over sponges because of experience, that’s good enough for me. Always trust your own trial and error over a beauty icon’s opinion, because you know what’s best for you.

My name is Bridget, and I am a South Carolinian living in Texas. I am a Baylor girl with 2 dogs I talk way too much about. 
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