August 18th, 2021
As a self-taught MUA, Amy Katrianne has channeled her passion into content creation on Instagram, YouTube and TikTok, becoming a leading female voice in the beauty industry. Amy shares the latest products, tip, tricks and tutorials with over 900k followers.
An early adopter of social media, Amy started her platform in 2013, adapting her content as she and her followers matured and the world evolved. She is progressing her channels to talk not just about beauty but to encourage others to share more personal concerns, based on her own experiences, such as her long misdiagnosed illness, bullying, trolling and wellbeing. We caught up with her to ask ten questions about career, lockdown and what trends we should be expecting to hit next.
What’s your background and what brought you into make up?
I studied performing arts with a goal of moving to London and becoming an actress. I never wore makeup myself, but I did everyone else’s as I had the steadiest hand! I had people queueing up for me to do their eyeliner, particularly. I charged £10 a time to do make up – it was great experience. I was diagnosed with ME and during my recovery I could only do low energy activities, so for me that meant either painting by numbers or doing makeup. I chose makeup, obviously! I looked at celebrities in magazines and copied their looks, eg Frankie from The Saturdays smokey eye. I ripped the photo out and practiced until I got it right. I did do a qualification so I could get insurance though. I made lots of friends through the training and we are still in touch through Instagram. None of us expected how that would turn out for me and I would gain a following. They were fun times. It was a very organic and natural transition – it was never an aim of mine to be a MUA or an influencer, but here I am. I think a lot of people today see the free things and trips and think “I want that”. But you really need a love of and a passion for makeup to keep the longevity of a career like this on line.
What’s your first make-up memory?
Stealing my mum’s makeup! She would do her makeup in her bathroom with a little circular mirror with a gold trim. I used to watch her applying her makeup, applying her blusher and mascara – that classic Maybelline pink and green mascara. I remember taking it out of her make up bag and putting it on myself – using way too much blusher. I was about seven, really young. I’ve always loved makeup – watching music videos I always paid attention to the makeup and the clothes and the hairstyles.
What’s the first product you remember using as a teenager and has that affected your later product choices?
I’ll never make this mistake again, I learnt my lesson, but Dream Matte Mousse foundation. I’ll never use a mousse foundation again! I went four shades darker than my skin tone with an orange line at my jaw (laughs). I always now go for dewy base and If I want a matte finish I’ll use powder to achieve that. I think it makes you look younger, fresher and more healthy.
It’s a bit of a shame that these days that children can do their makeup so well – why is no-one going to school with glitter eyeshadow anymore? (laughs) I used to have a full fringe so I could get away with wearing mascara to school. I love looking back at the photos of those times and how terrible we looked – teenagers today will probably never have that experience as they all look so good.
What’s the one product you can’t live without?
It would be my Blistex Lip Moisturiser Balm – I can’t cope with chapped lips! They’ve brought out some new ones with SPF in that are good, but none of them can bet the original intensive one in the metal tube.
How did you get into social media and become an influencer?
When I was doing performing arts my friends encouraged me to create videos to show them how to do basic makeup looks. When I was in London trying to get into drama school you had to have videos on line to show what you sounded like, looked like and how you acted. I thought kill two birds with one stone – create make up tutorials that I could send off when I went up for auditions and also share with my friends to show them how I do my make up.
When I was in London friends back home would message me to ask me to do their make up for a night out. So I’d travel back, do their make up for a tenner and then put their client selfies on Instagram and Facebook. It was a good way to try to get my name out there for doing make up. Then one day I didn’t have any clients so I did my own makeup, and the selfie I posted got double the likes my client ones usually did, something like 600 reactions rather than 300. That encouraged me to take more selfies and it grew from there. I got reposted by Anastasia Beverly Hills and it blew up after that!
I never had a game plan – it wasn’t meant to be a job! It was a snowball effect. I have followers across the world – the most in the US and then Brazil which is really cool. Makeup seems to transcend culture and language – a lot of messages and comments I receive aren’t in English – I have to translate them so I know what is being said! Luckily everything I’ve translated so far has been good.
It is really fascinating looking at the insights you can get. I don’t really have a young following, mine really starts at age 24-35. It’s quite a big gap. A lot of my friends on YouTube have the 13-17 age group following them, but I don’t have young girls, mine is mainly women predominantly. I hope that they grow and age with me and their interests will change along with mine as well.
What are you proudest of being able to use your platform for?
Lately, since Covid, I have become a bit more open, talking about some health issues I’ve been going through. Most recently I spoke about suffering with a skin reaction to SPF. Who would have thought using SPF on your face would cause a reaction? I put it on my stories and I had thousands of messages from girls and guys saying they’d had the same thing, asking if I knew what triggered it and what helped, how to calm it down etc. It’s about making people feel less alone on line, realising that actually Instagram isn’t always perfect and the people on Instagram Lives aren’t perfect 24/7. That’s what I’m most proud of.
Whose makeup looks do you think are really current and inspirational/aspirational at the moment?
I think Danielle Marcan is really bringing back the creativity on Instagram. For a while Insta went from being makeup orientated and doing really cool makeup looks to “Instagram Girl” – the girl next door look, only with one look. Whereas Danielle is bringing back the glitter and glam.
What are the emerging trends we should be getting ready for?
I don’t want this to be true, so I don’t really want to say it, and it’s not make up related, but low-waisted trousers. I’m not here for it – Kim Kardashian was wearing them the other day so I think it’s inevitable though!
I think also a lot more glossy make up looks will be back – we’ve gone a bit matte at the moment, so glossy eyes and lips will be back with a dewy base. I also think bushy eyebrows will be gone soon, so watch out for a new brow trend!
The pandemic and lockdown have been really challenging for everyone – what positives have come out of the last 18months for you?
It was really good for me to step back. In this industry it’s really hard to take and day off, and when you do your phone is always connected to your hip and work is always on your mind. Because we all had to step back with no choice – particularly in the first lockdown when no-one in the industry was working – it made me realise how important breaks are. So now I ensure I have weekends off for myself. I now value spending time with family and doing fun things. Pre-pandemic I was so engrossed with work and going to London and meetings and events that I’d miss birthday parties and family occasions. Now I chose family occasions over work events. Everyone has seen how important mental health is over the last two years – everyone has had struggles of some kind or another.
Do you have a ‘holy grail’ client you’d like to work or collaborate with?
I would love to work with NARS. I’ve loved them for years – they’ve never launched a product I don’t like. So an opportunity to work with them would amazing. I love what they stand for. I love how Francois Nars creates things that are inspired by his mum. It’s so lovely.
My other, just because I’m a bit obsessed, but KKW (Kim Kardashian’s beauty line). I’ll talk her out of those low-waisted trousers! (laughs).
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