Lisa Eldridge is arguably the most revered and well-regarded beauty YouTuber in existence. The celebrity makeup artist has managed to masterfully bridge the gap between the worlds of high fashion (she maintains a robust backstage and editorial-driven career) and beauty influencers. Eldridge now has more than 1.5 million subscribers on her YouTube channel, 650,000 Instagram followers and a role as a brand ambassador for Lancôme. And the latest addition to her resumé is one that makes total sense, especially given her history of being at the forefront of beauty trends and innovations: She's signed on with app company Meitu as the face of their new MakeupPlus app, which launches on Thursday.
A virtual makeup try-on app similar to YouCam or L'Oréal's Makeup Genius, MakeupPlus touts "advanced proprietary facial recognition" to better map a user's face in order to provide a more accurate, precise user experience. It was this accuracy and technology that drew Eldridge to the app. She took some time for a brief chat with Fashionista about this new role, how she hopes makeup apps can help consumers save money and what it's like to know so many people watch her videos for their anxiety-soothing effects.
I'm sure you get approached for partnerships all the time. Why was this beauty app something you wanted to support?
As someone who loves tech and new things, this stood out to me. I was impressed by the finesse of the technology and subtlety of the finished result of the filters. It really does look like actual makeup and not a fake layer of color sitting on top of the skin. I could immediately see how this tech could enhance the experience of watching my videos for my viewers, without costing them anything.
Do you think virtual makeup try-on is the next big thing in beauty tech?
I think this type of tech is good on many levels. First, it's fun! It also encourages experimentation. You may be surprised to find that looks you thought were not for you actually look fantastic.
How do you think virtual makeup try-on will change the way people think about and shop for beauty products?
It'll save women a lot of money, as colors and textures can be viewed realistically before purchasing, and unflattering makeup identified. It will make looking for the perfect shade match so much easier.
To me, these types of apps seem to be all about the personalization and democratization of beauty, making the newest trends accessible to everyone in an instant. Do you see them that way?
I think they make makeup more accessible and less scary. Makeup seems to be going back to its roots at the moment and social media, as well as app tech, gives you the chance to engage, chat and align with people who like a similar aesthetic and style of makeup as you.
Is there anything else you want people to know about your partnership with Meitu and the app specifically? Is there anything about it you think would surprise people?
It's free! I love the fact that you will be able to watch my makeup video and then immediately try the look on yourself in an instant, send it to your friends and ask what they think… "Shall I do this look for tonight?"
Technology and beauty go hand-in-hand. Do you think we've reached a point where innovation within the beauty industry is going to be more on the app-based side of things, rather than on specific skin or makeup products?
Both. Cosmetic science and technology are growing exponentially alongside each other. It's the perfect partnership.
You've worked with so many celebrities and leading talent in the industry. What are some of the most important beauty lessons you've learned and from whom?
Confidence is everything. Feeling comfortable in your own skin and not worrying too much what others think is something that stands out. In addition, I've learned many things from my clientele over the years; for example, Kate Winslet gave me a great lip concealing tip, Alexa Chung is great for fast and fun liner techniques and Kim Kardashian and I always share our new product finds.
I'm sure you've heard this before, but your videos give viewers a sense of calm when watching them — I know plenty of people who watch them to lessen anxiety. Was that ever an intended effect?
That definitely wasn't the intended effect. I do get so many comments saying they love listening to me speak and I take it as great compliment. It's a crazy, noisy, stressful world and if people take pleasure from my makeup techniques and my voice, then that's no bad thing.