A little while back I had the chance to sit down with the gorgeous and talented Elessa from Pursebuzz. She has been blogging/vlogging for 6 years now and has over 114 million views on her YouTube Channel alone! I wanted to know more about how she got into the biz and what she has learnt along the way and share it with you all. Here is what she said!
Me: How long have you been in the business for?
Elessa: I’ve been doing this officially since I was 18, so it’s almost been a decade!
Me: How did you get started in makeup?
Elessa: I started off at the Estee Lauder counter. The beauty counter was the place where you could really work on regular women with all different types of skin conditions and features and it’s not just models. I think that’s a great way to get the basics down, like understanding foundation and also you get to put makeup on everybody and you can learn and practice and it gives you the chance to fall on your face a few times.
Me: That’s true, it is a great learning experience! Did you do any freelancing along the way?
Elessa: I did freelance in College, mostly bridal which is my favorite! I have been fortunate enough to have met some really nice brides. I got to work with women who understood that the Makeup Artist is the one who is gonna make them look good on their wedding day, it’s not the photographer or the dress because I’m the one focusing on their face. Once they understand that everything is good.
Me: How did you get started online?
Elessa: Well I started in 2006 and it was all these things happening at the same time. I figured out at that my camera could film video and I had just moved to a place that didn’t have dialup internet anymore so I could watch videos online and I would watch CNET which talked about cellphones and I thought why don’t we have videos for beauty? So I went online to YouTube cause that’s where I saw this video of otters holding hands and thought that was so cute and I didn’t see anyone putting makeup on themselves so I decided to do it. Working at the counter I would see all these women buy all these products and then go home and not know how to put it on themselves.
Me: So you started on YouTube in 2006?
Elessa: Yes but back then I was under a different name because everyone was more anonymous and you didn’t just put your name out there so my name was like 765 something or other, just a long random number (laughs).
Me: You are one of the originals, that’s so cool! Ok please share your top 3 “Don’t leave home without” products with us!
Elessa: Definitely! First would be the hydrating face mask by Embryolisse..and their exfoliating mask! I am constantly in different climates so it helps balance out my skin. The second would be Blush. Stila makes this convertible color, which you can use on your lips eyes and cheeks. The last would be Primer. Cover fx’s primer is my absolute fav.
Me: Do you have any advice for girls that are just starting out in this business?
Elessa: To let everyone know that you will do their makeup for events. Work with photographers on a trade for prints basis, get pictures for your portfolio and just get your name out there. Look on Craigslist and see what everyone is charging to see where you should price yourself at. Work as an assistant for bigger makeup artists and be available for every opportunity and don’t be too picky because you never know where these opportunities could lead!
Me: Great advice! Any advice for makeup artists that want to post online?
Elessa: Do it fast, YouTube is going through a lot of changes, there are something like 50 hrs being uploaded per minute. Find something that makes you unique and brand yourself. Like my friend Josh (Petrilude) does drag which is a niche. Anyone can show you how to use eyeliner, but what makes me want to watch you specifically?
Thank you so much Elessa for all your insight and keep up the amazing work!