Making the Most of Lock down - in Conversation with Teen Influencer, Make-Up Artist Sarahlily
Sarahlily's is a story of entrepreneurialism, reflection and creating her own platform for change in a time of chaos. When we first met, before lock-down, fifteen-year-old Sarahlily was juggling GCSE's and her own influencer platform and struggling to keep her 30k following going. When the moment came, and her peers started to relax, stop learning, rejoice in the lack of study and exams, Sarahlily started to work harder to engage with a new audience with much more time on their hands. As a result, she has increased her following by 25 percent.
Sarahlily works hard. She has also agreed to become a Couturie ambassador and we were lucky enough to get a shoot in last February half term with our very own Ray Burmiston, a month before lock-down. Whilst we are taking pictures, as part of our 'Conversations' series we talk to Saralily to find out a bit more about the life of a young influencer. As lock-down started to change the world, we continued our conversations to find out just what kind of impact it would have on her and we were really impressed! Read on to find out why.
She has chosen our most popular name necklace for her edit and each sale will trigger a donation to Mind.
When and why did you start your Instagram channel?
February 2018, because a friend dared me to! Before that I was doing a lot of experimenting with makeup and following other MUA’s. I got some good feedback which kept me going. It can be quite addictive.
You have been chosen by Instagram to be an ambassador. What does that mean?
I applied to be an ambassador and it was really exciting to be accepted, specially because of my age. I am one of the youngest. Before lockdown, I was going to events, networking with other influencers, and learning how to increase my following. They pay me a small income and I help with app updates; they ask me for opinions on new features of Instagram, new initiatives, and other aspects of social media like digital families and how digital media affects families.
Has it put more pressure on you to succeed?
Not really, but it gives me more drive, because I know I’m being observed! They give me lots of positive feedback.
How did you increase your following? I engage a lot with followers and collaborate with the MUA community. We support and build each other. Some of my video’s ‘blew up’ and got put on Instagram Explore.
Which are your favourite make up brands? ColourPop, Tarte, and Anastasia Beverly Hills
And your favourite event? VidCon
You’re only 15, does it feel like a job?
Yes, because it is. I have to create content on a daily basis, whether I have schoolwork or I’m on holiday. When we went to Florida last Christmas, I had to buy a ring light to film and had to make sure I was back for the sunset to film.
It seems like a lot of pressure. What are the perks? I get lots of product sent to me to try. Recognition is also amazing . For example, if a big brand comments on or likes a video. Kylie Cosmetics have done this on a couple of occasions.
How do you see your role as an influencer? (what do you hope to impart to your followers?) I hope I give other people ideas and inspire them to try the looks. My followers send me pictures too and I always try to be body positive and like and comment. It’s important that it goes both ways to create a good online community.
How did you learn to do make up, it is a real art form?
I’m self-taught and I practice a lot. I often start filming and have to abandon it because it goes wrong!
Where do you get your inspiration from? Pinterest, friends, trends, fashion, designers and films. I love Disney and storytelling. That why I particularly love this photograph by Ray. It says a lot about me.
Do you set new trends? No, not yet but hopefully in the future.
What’s the dream? To have a big and loyal following and work as a makeup artist, preferably in Canada.
Who is your audience? A wide range of people, but mostly teenagers and people in their early twenties from the UK, USA and Brazil. I have had to put up with some unwanted attention but it’s important to remember that there are always going to be good and bad people out there.
Do you think everyone should wear makeup? If they want to, I don’t think it should be compulsory! The people in my community like to try different things – whether it’s a face mask and cleansing routine or a particular look.
How would you describe your signature look? Neon in the corner of my eyes and a strong brow.
Are you concerned with ethics? Are there brands you wouldn’t work with? Some companies steal your content and don’t credit you. A company I worked with refused to pay me but used the content I produced for them, they did it with loads of other girls. I wouldn’t work with MLM companies or companies that test on animals.
What are your beauty do’s and don’ts? Don’t be orange! Make yourself look better, don’t overdo your eyebrows. Day to day, less is more.
Does everyone look better with make up? Yes! And of course, you can use make up in a really natural way.
Do you have tips and advice for aspiring makeup artists? Practice, practice. Followers do not define how good you are, some really amazing MUA’s have hardly any followers.
Rule follower or rule breaker? Breaker - obviously!
How important to you is self-expression in terms of your appearance? Extremely, which is why make up is so appealing to me, along with jewellery and fashion. It's an opportunity to experiment and try new things and often reveals a little bit about my mood that day.
What do you find most challenging about being an influencer? A few months ago, I would have said finding time to film and studying for my GCSE’s. I need good grades to get into my college of choice. But one of the benefits of lockdown has been more time to be creative and make more content.
How do you deal with negativity? Ignore it! Although it’s taken me time to get to that place.