What YouTube won’t tell you about make-up

What YouTube won’t tell you about make-up

This is the first week of the 1 Year course here at Delamar Academy. We have been very impressed with the work so far! However, as we have seen in recent years, some bad habits keep creeping into make-up work; heavy foundation, even heavier concealer, too much powder and the classic “Lion King mars bar contour” to quote Rupert Kingston, founder of Delilah cosmetics and Delamar Masterclass speaker. Perfect for theatre ageing, not so much for beauty make-up.


YouTube, specifically, has changed the way we do make-up. It is a force for good and bad. The good being how people like Lisa Eldridge do the most amazing tutorials, everyone can see and learn from such great make-up artists who share their skills on this incredible platform.  The same can also be said for normal people with normal lives, sharing something special, democratising the Internet with their great content.  The bad is the misleading work, done under strong lights, on faces that are already flawless, with exaggerated applications for the visual effect, not for the actual appearance of that person when they come off screen.


YouTube cannot ever teach you how a make-up looks off-screen. By dint of the fact that it is filmed on a screen under certain conditions, elements of the make-up will not look the same to the naked eye, in real life.  Real life, for most make-up, is what really counts. You can’t say to a bride “I know your foundation looks cakey and thick in natural daylight, but on camera, this will look flawless”. You will just look like a cowboy. For film and TV make-up, YouTube is still not applicable because the lighting and cameras on a film set have their own requirements.


Confirmation bias is another big problem. Some people have such high opinions of the make-up talents of YouTubers who demonstrate make-up on their own faces, that their credibility as a make-up artist is rarely questioned.


 “Nikkietutorials would like this make-up, so you, old tutor, are not with the times, everything here is literally on fleek.” 


Oh dear.



YouTube will not give you:


  • Personal feedback – YouTube will not stand over your shoulder and correct, discuss or feedback on your work. If you upload your own video, you will have inexperienced, non-expert people leaving you comments.
  • The sensory experience of applying make-up to someone using the right pressure of hands/brushes on the face. It is impossible to learn this without doing it.
  • Anywhere enough knowledge about set etiquette. Nothing can replace the experience of being on set.
  • Advice on how to work well with your team.
  • How to make your client/actor/model feel comfortable.
  • Experience – everything you take from this platform is an edited account. that becomes second hand information to you.


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