—story by Bianca Betancourt @bybiancabee
There was a time when I would lay in my room for hours watching the likes of Judy Travis, Blair Fowler, Lauren Luke, Kandee Johnson and of course, Michelle Phan. I knew nothing about makeup other than how to pick out my favorite rosy shade of glittery lip gloss at my local Walgreens. With the help these women and the vast world of YouTube, I gradually learned how to embrace my own beauty and curate my now daily routine of how I present myself to the world.
But beauty blogging has changed—in just a matter of a few years it’s become a bonafide business. Instead of intimate and personal looks into the makeup routines of women who, well were just like us, we get overly produced and sponsored videos with products we a lot of the time couldn’t afford and with uninspiring looks to match. What was once a weekly routine for me catching up on the newest tricks of the trade I could learn, my interest slowly faded away.
Though Youtube is still a huge content creating conglomerate, Instagram has become the latest social media space for people to seek creative inspiration and instruction. It’s where I discovered the woman who has reawoken my love for the art of makeup: Camille Collazo.
Shockingly enough, the Boricua artist has only been doing makeup professionally for under a year—a factor that instantly validates her natural talent for the craft. When asked what coerced her into pursuing beauty blogging and professional makeup artistry, it was only an obvious career transition due to constant encouragement from her friends and colleagues.
“I’ve always been the go-to person for beauty questions for some reason,” said Collazo. “I’ve been very surprised how little women know about beauty or how intimidating it can be. I have friends that never dare to wear a red lip—which I think is just a crime! All that got me interested in helping others in beauty and helping people feel beautiful.”
What makes Collazo’s work stand out in a crowded blogosphere of makeup junkies is her clear and concise understanding of personal branding. Her instagram better resembles a digital portal of magazine editorials come to life—which she lists as one of the biggest inspirations to her makeup style.
“I’ve always had an interest in fashion. When I first started college I was doing fashion design so I was always into editorials, and the runways and especially makeup artists that work in that field rather than celebrity makeup artists,” Collazo explained. “So lately I’ve been really inspired by editorial makeup and really finding a way to bring that to people where it’s not so intimidating. I think a lot of people are afraid to see makeup as art and embrace that themselves. They might think ‘Oh I can never wear that,’ or ‘How can i wear an orange eye shadow? How can i incorpirate that in my own look?’ And that’s the direction I want to go into.”
And when it comes to that aforementioned crowded room of Instagram’s most popular beauty gurus, Camille’s mastery of her craft doesn’t mean she doesn’t feel the heat of keeping up with the competition.
"If i’m completely honest, [working to stay social media relevant] is something I struggle with. I’ve never been the type of person in my life that goes with the crowd, and at the same time i have to acknowledge certain trends do bring an audience to your channel and that’s the life of the channel is to bring people in,” said Collazo. “I struggle with that but I always center myself in the ideal that i’m not going to get anywhere trying to be anyone else. I can only really be myself, and if that doesn’t bring me tons of followers or subscribers or get me where other people are, it’s okay.”
As for what’s next for Camille, she hopes to continue to grow her Youtube channel and brand while ultimately wanting to land a gig as a makeup artist for a television show. (Fact: Collazo is finishing up her degree in Television Writing, her other passion. When she decided she wanted to get into screenwriting, she initially opted for film, but was frustrated by the dominant presence of the white male perspective in film. She sought television as a more diverse option.)
With Collazo's talent, we have a feeling whatever path she takes, success is inevitable. Check out one of our personal favorite tutorials from Camille below, and be sure to follow her on Instagram for endless inspiration and subscribe to her channel, here. Viva Boricua.