Do a cursory search of the most popular YouTube beauty videos and you're likely to stumble upon blogger Teni Panosian, who posts tutorials on everything from 1920s makeup looks to the best drugstore beauty finds. Panosian, who's nearing 400,000 Instagram followers and 837,000 YouTube subscribers, started her rise with her website, MissMaven.com, and later caught steam on social media. I chatted with her about what it's really like being a successful beauty blogger, how to rise above the haters, and which makeup trend she really wants to go away as soon as possible.
Tell me about how you got started as a beauty blogger.
"In 2010, I was in the last semester for my Master's degree in communication management at USC, and that's when the job market was really bad. So I switched gears to go from corporate to blogging. I went through so many changes when I started it. At first I had this idea of it being this online magazine, and it being really professional, and then along the way I realized that people just wanted to see more personal style as opposed to a polished magazine-looking product."
What's a typical day like for you when you're creating content?
"A typical day is just searching for inspiration. I’m very much about telling a story and really giving people want they want to see. It's a lot of research on my end—just thinking of what my next tutorial is going to be and what kind of story I want to tell."
Where do you get your inspiration from?
"My videos are my babies. For me, it's not really about the actual look, it's more about the aesthetic of the video. I could just be listening to a piece of music thats really moving, and if I close my eyes, I can see this really cool production in my head, and from that comes the makeup look or the vibe of the video."
How long does it take you to come up with a video?
"It really depends. Something like a highlighting and contouring tutorial using drugstore products could take as little as three days, but something that's a lot more labor-intensive and artistic could take a month. For example, this Halloween tutorial I'm coming out with at the end of this week is a unique Cleopatra look. In the video, I go into all this research about ancient Egypt and all the pharaohs and what the tombs looked like. Since that is more intricate and has a lot more historical significance, it took a lot more work."
You get hundreds of thousands of views on your YouTube videos. How do you deal with the negative comments?
"By the end of my first year I had to sit down and ask myself, 'Are you sure you want to do this?' The minute you start gaining popularity, the negative comments come. But I think the overwhelming supportive comments and positive comments just totally trump the negative comments, 100 percent. My advice is to just focus your attention and energy on those people who really appreciate you taking the time to produce content that they're enjoying, free of charge. The negative stuff is something you have to accept as part of the job, and it's going to happen whether you like it or not. Sometimes when I get negative comments, I’ll engage with those people, and by the end of the thread, we’re homies."
You test so many products. What makes a good makeup product stand out from the rest?
"For me, the difference is the one that stands out from the rest and does something different that the others don’t do."
How many makeup products do you have right now?
"Good lord, I just moved, and I am actually seeing everything right in front of me and how much I have. I probably have enough to fill up a small Sephora. I'm not kidding."
What are your all-time favorite makeup products?
"A foundation is a must for me, since that is the thing that covers the most area on your face. My favorites right now are Too Faced Born This Way Foundation and Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation. I love Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso. You can find it in drugstores. For eyebrows, I use NYX Micro Brow Pencil, and for mascara I love Givenchy Noir Couture."
What's the one makeup product people are using wrong?
"Bronzer. A lot of times I see people wearing it and it's not blended correctly. Instead of doing a back-and-forth motion with your brush, do small circular motions. That will result in a more diffused and natural look. A good starter bronzer is Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder. It comes in three different colors, so people who have fair skin or people who have a darker complexion can use it."
What's the one makeup trend you keep seeing that you desperately want to go away?
"Clown-contoured faces need to go away. It's fine if your intent is to do drag makeup, but if not, it morphs your face into something you probably don’t want it to look like. Everyone raves about Kim Kardashian's contour, but if you really look at her side profile, the only place where she has a noticeable contour is right under her cheekbones. Don’t do ear-to-mouth contouring."
[By Rene Jacques] [Read More] [From Allure.com] [First Image From Allure.com]