UI sophomore a Youtube makeup guru


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Aubrey Heller has yellow lips. At least she did for a moment before she grabbed a towel off of a stack of drawers filled to the brim with makeup products to wipe off the bright color.

She instead settled for a more natural lip color from the arsenal of tubes standing at attention on her vanity and topped the pinkish color with gloss. She then fluffed her blonde hair with its new choppy haircut and did a final mirror inspection of her peacock-like eyes created with shades of green, purple, blue, and black.

"There's no such thing as too much makeup," she said.

Heller is a University of Iowa sophomore and a YouTube beauty guru who creates makeup tutorial videos. She has 432 subscribers to her channel, and some of her videos have thousands of views. She also works as a makeup artist at a local cosmetics counter.

Makeup started to have a place in Heller's life in middle school when she was first allowed to wear it.

"I would always try to put on a little more than my mom said I could," she said.

But it wasn't until her junior year of high school that Heller became more passionate and serious about it. She began watching YouTube tutorials and experimenting with her own makeup. Finally, after she received a new eye-shadow palette from Urban Decay, Heller decided to create her own tutorials.

"Now I go back and watch it, and it's horrible," Heller said.

She refined her technique since that first video and now knows how to create a comfortable atmosphere between her and her viewers.

"You have to be personable … You have to act like someone's actually there that you're talking to, and it helps if you can try to add a little humor into your videos, too," Heller said.

Trevor Polk, a friend of Heller's since third grade, said she has long had the personable disposition that makes her videos appealing.

"I would describe Aubrey as open to make friends, determined in her ideas, and she goes with the flow," he said. "She's a spunky little monkey."

Heller describes her beauty style as crazy and eclectic, saying that she never does the same thing more than once. Most of the looks that she creates tutorials for are ones that she had never attempted before she sat down in front of her camera.

Two of her favorites are the recreation of Emma Watson's Vogue cover look and a tutorial featuring purple lipstick.

"I like the ones that I do where I realize afterward that this is something that a lot of people needed to see instead of just a video that I felt like making that everyone else has seen like a million times," she said.

The products Heller uses in her tutorials come from both the high and low end of the price spectrum, which makes them more accessible to a wide audience, she said.

She also knows how to help people create a trendy look that flatters them personally.

"She's really good with giving advice on how to go about it in a way that reflects the trend but also reflects you as a person," said Mary Kate Knorr, Heller's roommate.

Heller said she believes that everyone should try whatever makeup look she wants to, even if she thinks it might look bad.

"Nothing looks bad on you," she said. "As long as you have the confidence to wear it, it's going to look good on you."

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