photo of asian woman filming a makeup tutorial display several colorful cosmetic products


Why Following Online Makeup Tutorials Could be Ruining Your Look

A blurry image of woman applying makeup in front of a camera and on the right side, is a black box featuring the title "Why Following Online Makeup Tutorials Could be Ruining Your Look"

Originally published May31, 2023.

Makeup is a multi-billion dollar industry. And with the rise of YouTube tutorials and social media influencers, online makeup tutorials have surged in popularity. Why? Because it’s never been easier to stay home and learn makeup.

While online makeup tutorials may be convenient and free, they often fall short when it comes to providing truly effective and personalized instruction. The makeup community on social media or YouTube channel is great for anyone who wants to experiment with it and find like-minded people, but it’s not the ideal place if you want to take your first step to learning makeup skills. If you don’t pay close attention, those makeup looks can feel the same to you but professional makeup and social media makeup are totally different. There’s a world of difference between them!   In this post, we’ll take a closer look at why this is the case, and why investing in solid makeup education through a professional makeup artist is a better way to learn makeup. 

However, in my professional opinion as a makeup artist, I believe that online makeup tutorials may be doing more harm than good.  

What Is A Beauty Blogger?

A beauty blogger is someone who creates content related to beauty and cosmetics on a regular basis. They create content related to beauty and cosmetics, such as tutorials on how to apply makeup, reviews of different products, and advice on how to achieve a certain look. They often share their own experiences with different products and techniques, as well as their own personal preferences when it comes to beauty. From smoky eyes to natural looks, beauty bloggers can provide tips and tricks for achieving any look you desire.

The Rise of Beauty Bloggers

Image of an influencer applying makeup in front of a camera

In recent years, the rise of beauty bloggers and vloggers has been nothing short of meteoric. These digital influencers have taken the beauty industry by storm, building enormous followings and wielding considerable influence over the purchasing decisions of millions of consumers.

Beauty gurus with their YouTube videos and online classes are becoming increasingly popular as more people are looking for beauty advice online. They provide helpful tips, new products reviews, and tutorial video on how to achieve a variety of looks. With their expert knowledge and experience, beauty vloggers and bloggers can be the perfect resource for finding the best makeup products and techniques for any beauty routine.

Over the past decade, the popularity of beauty bloggers has skyrocketed. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Google, the number of beauty-related videos on YouTube increased by 50% between 2017 and 2018. 

Global Market Size of Beauty Influencers

Additionally, in 2020, the global market size of beauty and personal care influencers was valued at over $3 billion, and it is expected to continue growing in the coming years. 

It’s clear that the demand for beauty bloggers and vloggers is only increasing, making it an attractive career option for those passionate about the beauty industry. Who are some successful beauty bloggers? Beauty bloggers who have been on the top of the industry for a long time and whose content is still relevant include Jaclyn Hill, Manny MUA, Michelle Phan, and Emilynoel Anderson. Many Instagram and TikTok creators watch their videos and success stories, trying to replicate those tutorials and create their own blogs without the same experience and professionalism.

How Beauty Bloggers and Vloggers Make Money

A graphic post about "How Beauty Bloggers and Vloggers Make Money" which highlights sponsorships and partnership, advertising revenue, affiliate marketing, selling products, paid appearances and selling online courses

Given the immense popularity of beauty bloggers and vloggers, you might be wondering how they make money. There are several ways that digital influencers in the beauty industry can monetize their content and earn a living, including:

  1. Sponsorships and partnerships: Many beauty bloggers and vloggers have sponsorship deals or partnerships with makeup brands. These arrangements typically involve the influencer creating content that promotes the brand’s products, in exchange for payment or free products.
  2. Advertising revenue: Some beauty bloggers and vloggers make money by running ads on their websites or YouTube channels. They earn a small amount of money each time someone clicks on an ad or watches an ad that runs before or during one of their videos.
  3. Affiliate marketing: Some beauty bloggers and vloggers make money by promoting products through affiliate marketing. This involves including special links in their content that allow them to earn a commission if someone clicks through and makes a purchase.
  4. Selling products: Some beauty bloggers and vloggers have launched their own makeup lines or other products, which they sell through their websites or other channels.
  5. Paid appearances and speaking engagements: Some beauty bloggers and vloggers are in such high demand that they can earn money by appearing at events or speaking engagements.
  6. Selling online courses and digital products: Beauty bloggers are increasingly turning to online courses and digital products as a way to monetize their blogs. By creating their own membership site with payment platforms, beauty schools, and unique looks tutorials, they can generate passive income from their blog and this became just good online tool for them but not the good learning option for you. 

The problem with online makeup tutorials

The viewers of these makeup tutorials often view the content creator as an educator rather than an influencer. The problem is that these YouTubers need to use a lot of light and studio light to make really good quality videos for their online makeup course. For example, these types of lights cancel out fine lines.

This means that the amount of makeup that needs to be applied to show up on the face is a lot more than what you would put on someone for a wedding or a special event.

For example, these bloggers will use:

  • 3-4 pumps of liquid foundation when .5-1 is almost all you need for most or
  • a brush full of setting powder foundations or loose powder when really, a light dusting will do
  • or 4-6 six shades in an eyeshadow palette when really, only a few are needed

The list goes on and on, like for concealer, lip gloss, brow gel, angled brush …  you get the idea. 

An image of woman wearing a headscarf and applying mascara.

A lot of YouTubers wear a ton of makeup to accentuate their features.

Their videos are usually done under professional lighting and edited/filtered to look perfect. You might think the stars look perfect for a half-hour video shoot under studio lighting, but their makeup won’t last for long outside in natural light. It’s really tough for novice makeup artists to purchase expensive products & use them as they are encouraged to do. That can be super disheartening!

The result of following a makeup application like in the makeup videos is oftentimes an extremely full face of makeup that not only doesn’t look natural and especially looks awful in natural light. 

The gap between what you’re seeing and actually doing something is huge, which makes it tough to do what you’re trying to do. Instead of just watching and trying out a beauty tutorial all at once, it’s better to break it down and master each element as you go. It’ll help you get a better understanding of the look.

Another issue with online makeup tutorials is that many content creators work based on product sponsorships.

The intent of most makeup tutorials are not for the person watching to truly learn how to apply makeup. The intent is to build a relationship with the content creator and/or make a purchase from an affiliate or referral link. And with so many makeup tutorials out there, it is becoming increasingly difficult to know which ones are quality or which ones are money grabs.

Online makeup schools can be a great option for those who want to learn the basics of makeup application and practice sessions. But before you enroll in one, it’s important to ask yourself if beauty bloggers really care about your oily skin or long-term effects. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the products and techniques out there.

Also an important problem exist with these tutorials – they don’t always take into account the different skin tone and type.

A photo of a woman in bold red lipstick getting her makeup done by a makeup artist.

This can lead to people not getting the desired new looks or even worse, damaging their skin. Professional makeup artists are trained to understand how different products work on different skin tones and types. They can also help you achieve a specific look that you may be aiming for. Therefore, it is important to take next step and consult with a professional beauty  artist before attempting any kind of eye makeup or other beauty looks online.

The Limitations of Online Makeup Tutorials

There are several key limitations of online makeup tutorials that make them less effective than in-person instruction from a professional makeup artist. These include:

  1. One-size-fits-all instruction: Online makeup tutorials are typically designed to appeal to a broad audience, and as such, they tend to offer very generalized advice that may not be appropriate for everyone’s unique skin type, face shape, or other individual characteristics.
  2. Lack of personalized feedback: When you watch an online makeup tutorial, you can’t get immediate feedback on how you’re doing. This means that you may be practicing techniques incorrectly, without realizing it.
  3. Difficulty with troubleshooting: If you encounter an issue or have a question while watching an online makeup tutorial, it can be challenging to get answers or find solutions that work for you.
  4. Inconsistent quality: The quality of online makeup tutorials can vary widely, and not all bloggers or vloggers are created equal. Some may have better technical skills or more experience than others, which can impact the quality of the information they provide.
  5. Commercial interests: Many beauty bloggers and vloggers have sponsorship deals or partnerships with makeup brands. While this isn’t inherently problematic, it can sometimes create conflicts of interest that may compromise the quality and objectivity of the advice they provide.

Why online makeup tutorials fail for most people

A visual of a woman's eyes reflected in the mirror of an eyeshadow palette while she applies eyeshadow.

As a makeup artist, it is never really the viewer’s fault that they struggle with online makeup tutorials. The tutorials are not true education, and the intent is not really for the person watching to learn. It is for the person watching to buy something or to connect with the content creator. This can be very disheartening for makeup educators who see a lot of people give up on makeup because they think it’s too hard or too much. If you want to up your makeup game without being overwhelmed by complicated techniques & expensive products, my advice would be to start small and practice often. Take advantage of tutorials online or books that offer simple and straightforward tips on makeup application.

So Where Can You Learn Makeup?

Create Your Signature Makeup Look 

While online makeup courses and tutorials can be a fun and convenient way to pick up new makeup tips and tricks, they are no substitute for solid makeup education from a professional makeup artist. Pay attention! Watching makeup tutorials on YouTube isn’t the same as taking online classes – here’s why! Taking a class from a professional artist is different because it gives you an in-depth understanding and more comprehensive knowledge of the subject. Natalie Setareh is an experienced makeup artist and teacher, committed in teaching you makeup (not selling you products). Inside her Create Your Signature Makeup Look program, you’ll get personalized feedback, tailored instruction, and troubleshooting support you need to truly master the art of makeup.

A call to action image to learn more about Create Your Signature Look program

Where To Learn Makeup:

Firstly, I have a deep understanding of different skin types and face shapes. I also know how to use makeup to enhance one’s natural features. When you understand what products work best for different skin types, or what brushes to use for certain techniques, makeup is easy.

Personalized Makeup Consultation

Furthermore, when you work with me inside of Create Your Signature Makeup Look, I tailor my advice and techniques to your specific needs and preferences. I’ll choose the right products for your skin, and teach you application techniques that work best for your face shape and features. Throughout the 8-weeks, you’ll have a personalized makeup routine that fits your lifestyle and daily routine. You can learn how to use your favorite products and create a look that is unique to you.  Investing in solid makeup education can also help you save money in the long run by using less makeup and still achieving the same results. So if you’re looking for a good idea on where to start, why not invest in some quality makeup education?

Immediate Guidance: Get Personalized Feedback

Another advantage of working with me is that you can ask me questions and get immediate feedback. Through email support and dedicated office hours, if you’re unsure about a certain technique or product, you can ask for guidance and I’ll give you personalized advice on how to improve your skills. This saves time and energy and ensures that your work progresses in the right direction.

 It’s a great way to get feedback and hone your talent. Watching YouTube tutorials can only get you so far. Without the experience, it’s hard to know if your makeup blending is on point or not! 

If you want to ensure your skills are at the right level, it’s best to work with a skilled makeup artist and teacher. This can help you out with invaluable feedback as well as provide that much-needed motivation! A little love & encouragement can go a long way. When someone gives you a kind compliment about your work, it’s like a pat on the back that motivates you to keep going. It instils a sense of pride & accomplishment. It’s awesome when a pro in the field not only acknowledges your work but also supports it. This connection between you two is great example of something that no video tutorial can offer.

Finally, investing in Create Your Signature Makeup Look with me will actually save you money in the long run. When you work with me, you learn the skills and makeup techniques you need to create a flawless look every time, which means you won’t have to spend money on trial and error products that don’t work for you. You’ll also learn how to make the most out of the products you already own, which can help you save money on buying unnecessary products.

A graphic post about the benefits of investing in create your makeup look.


While online makeup tutorials can be entertaining and fun, they may not be the best way to learn how to apply makeup in a real life. As the discussion between the two makeup artists reveals, the goals of content creators are often not aligned with teaching someone how to wear makeup and understand makeup. Moreover, these tutorials may end up causing more harm than good, leading to a look that is not natural and causing people to give up on makeup altogether. If you are interested in learning how to apply makeup, it may be worth investing in a professional makeup lesson or consulting with a makeup artist.

About the Author: Natalie Setareh is an award winning makeup artist, author, and educator. She traded in doing makeup for teaching makeup. Her less-is-more approach and philosophy to makeup has disrupted the beauty industry. She is the Founder of Makeup For Beginners and Create Your Signature Look. 

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