BTB 21 | TikTok Makeup

 

They said you need to switch things up in order to keep people paying attention. But not for TikTok star Meredith Duxbury. Following the same setup for her content, she has amassed millions of followers and likes on the platform. In this episode, she joins The Bunny Barbie for a chat about how she has done it, what she thinks of content creation, and how she has grown a TikTok community around her. Known for her makeup tutorials and skincare routine, Meredith then offers us some great tips that we can add to our beauty toolbelt—letting us in on her foundation, makeup secrets, skincare products, and more. She then lets us in on how she deals with hate comments, what she is doing with marketing herself, and how she handles doing collaborations.

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How Layers of Foundation Made for Her Viral Success with Meredith

I’m excited to talk to you. I feel like I’ve seen you a million times and I don’t know that much about you.

Me too, I’ve been following you for so long. I was looking at your page and I was like, “I love this girl. She’s just like my vibe, the whole fashion, all of that.”

Where are you from?

I’m from Connecticut where Charli D’Amelio is from.

Is it the same town?

No, we’re from a different town. It’s pretty close, not too far away.

Do you plan on moving to LA too or are you going to stay in Connecticut?

I don’t want to stay in Connecticut because I feel like there are more opportunities in other places. I love New York City. I also love LA. I have a few cousins who live there, but I don’t know. I feel like New York is the place for me just from fashion and everything.

I can totally see you in New York. You have grown this insane platform. I was looking at your whole profile, you do the same background, the same thing, which people are obsessed with watching. You’re getting them hooked on that same content. Your videos have blown up.

I’m shocked. It’s funny because it’s the same setup every time. It’s the close in on my face with the rap song, and the 1 to 2-second look at the end. What makes people love it so much is they see the video pop up and they know the structure of the video. They love going through the whole process with me.

That’s what’s done so well with you is you do the same thing. It’s different looks but you do the same pattern throughout your videos and people love it. It’s fun to watch. Do you record on TikTok or you use an app?

I get many questions about that. I record on TikTok because I don’t have to do any outside editing. I make a few YouTube videos. It takes hours and hours to edit.

I don’t know how people do all these long-edited videos and stuff. I record everything on TikTok.

Me too, it’s easy. The song is right there for you. It’s easy to sing the song along when it’s right there.

Have you always been a makeup artist?

I have always done makeup since I was little, but I never went to school for it or took any classes for it. I was always obsessed with makeup and watching YouTube videos. I watched Jeffree Star and James Charles. I picked up their tips and tricks, and I learned through experience. We all went through that stage of having the orange foundation look in 7th-grade.

You match your foundation well because you mix them. Are there specific two?

There are four. I use one that’s more full coverage, then I mix that with a medium coverage to get a good consistency. The dropper I put on after is light liquidy foundation. I like to put that on to set it with a good texture. It brings the whole coloring together as well.

I noticed you do a foundation first and then you do the drop, which I’m sure everyone loves. I love watching it drip down on you.

It’s cool to see how the whole thing has come together like people do at me. They do the makeup brush, mix it on the back of their hands, and then they put it on their face and the dropper. They copied the exact thing. It’s cool.

What’s been the coolest thing for you that you’ve gotten from TikTok? Maybe people you’ve met or brands you’ve worked with. What’s been the best experience for you?

The best experience is having a whole community on TikTok besides my friends from home. There are all these other people that I feel I have such a connection to. Even though I haven’t, I feel I have many people who support me and love me. It’s cool to know of all these brands like Walmart. I collab with Walmart Beauty and that was one of my first big collabs. I was like, “This is happening right now.”

Have you always wanted to be an influencer?

Yes. I’ve always told my family, “I’m not working a 9:00 to 5:00. It’s not for me. I need to be my own boss.” I’ve never liked people telling me what to do. It’s nice being able to have my own schedule and decide when I want to do things.

Become a person who learns through experiences and going through life more than sitting down and taking notes. Click To Tweet

Did you start TikTok in quarantine?

I downloaded the app in January 2020 and then started making little videos in April, but they weren’t makeup videos. In June, me and my boyfriend went to Florida and we started doing a couple of videos together. A few of them started going viral. When I got home back to Connecticut, my boyfriend lives in New York. I was like, “I’m going to start doing makeup ones.” People were asking me how I did this eye look or whatever it was. They were asking me to show them. I started doing little tutorials and then from there, I got better and better at it.

Do you feel like your makeup has evolved since being on TikTok?

Yes. I look back a few months, I’m like, “What was going on with my foundation?” It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t what it is now. I feel like I’ve come so far. I do my makeup every single day, 2 to 3 times a day because of how many videos I’m doing, collabs and stuff. I’m surprised my skin has held up this long.

Do you feel like the same makeup you do in the videos looks better on video, or do you think it looks better in person or does it still look good in person?

Everybody has undereye creasing. Small little pores are inevitable. Everybody has it. We’re all human. It is crazy because I look at the videos. I do use a lot of foundation. It does not look like that on my skin at all in person. I don’t have large pores. I’ve always had normal to dry skin. I have oily skin or big pores. It looks smooth on my face. It’s going to be wearing masks and all of that. It’s going to be a little messed up, but it holds up.

Do you take your makeup off and redo a whole look?

Yes. I spend hours because it’s hard. I’m on winter break, but when I was in school, I did to go in-person class two days a week. I had assignments due and other obligations. I need to get these videos done whether I have to do two looks back-to-back. That’s what I have to do. When I first started, I was like, “This is crazy. I’m going through so much makeup,” but now it’s my job. This is what I do and I have fun doing it.

You went viral in the beginning because you used a lot of foundation.

The thing is I didn’t say, “I’m going to use a lot of foundation to try and go viral.” That’s what I did because I do have a lot of freckles. I would always use a lot of foundation to cover it because I either wanted a full coverage or no makeup at all. I never liked the in-between look on me. I used a ton of foundation.

I remember when I first started seeing your videos, people were like, “She’s using so much foundation.” I’m like, “Who cares? Why do people care so much?”

It is a lot, but when I’m putting it on my face, I don’t have extra on my hand after that. It’s how much I use.

Do you blend it into your neck and your chest?

I go all the way down to my neck. I take dry side of the B blender that doesn’t have any makeup on it. I pull it down to blend all in because you don’t line on your job. That’s my fear.

I know the lines are the worst. I feel in high school was when everyone had a line on their face.

Behind your ears were white, that’s the worst.

I always feel like I have to have a base layer of spray tan or else my makeup doesn’t look as good. I don’t know why I’ve always felt like that.

My boyfriend is always like, “You’re so tan.” When I have no makeup, he’s like, “You’re paler than me.” When I have makeup on, I look tanner but I feel like it matches my body. When I take it off, I’m so much paler. I’m like, “What’s going on here?”

My face is paler than the rest of my body because I wash it a lot more. I’ve used like that Isles of Paradise or whatever, the tan drops into my moisturizer. I love them.

I haven’t tried them, but I’ve been wanting to try. I’ve seen many people use them.

I don’t use it like how it’s recommended. You’re supposed to mix it in your moisturizer. I put it on a brush and put it on my whole face. In five hours, I have a tan. I use the dark one. I’ve always noticed that if I don’t have spray tan underneath, my makeup doesn’t look as good. Not that I’m telling you to change your thing because you’re doing amazing.

Everybody has those little things. There’s one specific thing that makes your makeup look way better.

I saw someone came up in my For You page. It was this woman who do wedding or stitch one of your videos. It was the gel primer that you use. Everyone was like, “What is that?”

Everybody is going crazy about that product.

BTB 21 | TikTok Makeup

TikTok Makeup: Everybody has under eye creasing. Small little pores are inevitable. Everybody has it because we’re all human.

 

Do you love it?

I do love it. It is hydrating. I like the consistency of it. I’ve never had a product like that. Every primer I use is usually like a cream or something like that, but this is a bouncy jelly. It’s so cool.

I might have to try it out. Where do you get it from?

I got it sent to me, but you can get it at Sephora or something.

How long have you and your boyfriend been together?

We met in February 2020. I went to Florida over spring break and then we met up again there. He invited me to his apartment in April during quarantine. We were quarantining together. I was driving back and forth to see him. We’ve been together since officially, June 19th, 2020. He is the best boyfriend. He is so supportive. He takes all my pictures. He gives me many ideas for TikTok. He searches songs for hours and hours for me. He’s so helpful. I have come a long way and I give him props to a lot of my success because he is so much for me. It’s super hard as an influencer to take these pictures by yourself and do all of this stuff. All the contracts that you read. You want somebody else to go over it with.

Does he look through your contracts?

He helps me out with some stuff. He gives me some good advice.

Is he in school?

He goes to NYU Dental Program.

Do you plan on moving towards him at some point?

I’ve always wanted to live in New York, but it works out because he’s going to be there and I’m going to be there so it’s perfect. He went to school in Florida, U Miami, but he’s from Long Island. You’re in Florida?

Yes, I am.

How do you like it?

I like it. I’ve been here a while. I’ve moved back and forth from LA and here. I was talking to my husband because we’re building a house in Wyoming. We’re going to get a condo in LA. We’re going to go out and check out some places, but we’ll see. It’s a short flight from Wyoming.

It’s always nice to have different options. You’re not stuck in one place.

With my podcast and everything, it’ll be good to be in LA a little bit at least once a month.

I’m trying to plan a trip to LA within the next month or so.

Have you met a lot of other influencers from TikTok?

No, I haven’t met any. We followed each other and everything. I want to start meeting people. It’s hard being in Connecticut. It’s not like I’m in LA where everybody is.

All of the TikTokers are in LA or at least the ones I follow.

They pack up their stuff and leave. It’s nice they all get to live together and support each other.

Do you read your comments or do you ignore everything?

In the beginning, I was reading them a lot. It’s hard because a lot of people have opinions on what you do. I love constructive criticism. I love people’s advice and opinions, but sometimes it’s good to take a break and take your eyes away from the comments. I do a lot in the first 10 to 15 minutes. I’ll try and reply as much as I can throughout the day like little comments here and there. I try to stay away from the hate comments. It can be hard being a makeup person on TikTok. People do have different views about it.

Makeup is an art. Click To Tweet

People hate me for everything.

It’s hard to have eyes on you. You’re trying to be you and do your best but people have other opinions.

I feel like because I share so much of my life, people have opinions on everything from my voice to my son, to everything. He is so cute. I love being with him. He’s smart, he’s the best kid I could ever imagine.

He’s adorable. I love when I see him in your TikToks.

Are you planning on having babies one day?

Yes. My first job was a babysitter. I’m into kids. I love them.

What does your family think about TikTok?

They think it’s a great app. My mom and dad get it, but not as much because they’re not in my generation. My brothers get it and understand it. My brother the most I’d say. They’re so cute. They follow along with all my comments. They tell me, “This person duet-ed you.” It’s nice that my whole family supports me and gets to be with me on this whole journey.

Do you get recognized a lot when you go out?

I’ve only been recognized once in Florida in the elevator in June and then once in New York.

Did you start getting a lot of followers?

I feel it’s faster than most people. I got two million followers in five months, but to get to two million, it happened in less than two weeks. I was looking at my analytics and I was gaining 100,000 followers every day. It’s a great app.

There are lots of negatives to it, but I also think at the same time that it’s supportive. There are lots of people who have met communities that they wouldn’t have met otherwise.

It changed people’s lives especially during COVID. People would have candle businesses or little makeup businesses. They post their stuff and they blow up. They get all these orders.

Tell me some stuff about you personally. Have you always been in Connecticut?

I was born in England. My dad is British and my mom is American. I moved to the US when I was five. I had a little British accent.

My son had a British accent from watching Peppa Pig. My husband grew up in London. He doesn’t have an accent, but his mom has an accent, which rubs off on him every once in a while too.

When I moved to the US, I moved to Virginia. Dad and mom were like, “You had a British Southern accent.” It was so cute. I had a little British accent, but then I lost it because I was super young. Me and my sister lost it. My brother and dad’s still have it. It’s funny because when I introduced my friends to my dad or brother, they’re like, “They have a British accent?” I’m so used to it that I’m like, “Yes, they do.” I forget that.

My husband doesn’t have an accent at all. Sometimes I have someone meets him for one time. He comes off more poised or proper a little bit. Someone will be like, “Your husband has an accent.” I’m like, “No, he doesn’t.” It’s the way he is. Does your dad eat super proper with a fork and knife?

It’s funny you say that because I’ve noticed that French and British people eat at a certain way with their forks and knives. They will put the knife on their plate when they’re done eating.

They never let go of the fork and knife. They put the fork almost upside down. I can’t use both my hands like that. I’m surprised you didn’t pick it up. I hope my son picks it up.

He is so smart. He’ll pick it up.

I’ll say something like, “Eat how daddy eats.”

I then moved to Connecticut. I go to school, majoring in Marketing. It’s funny because I created an LLC. I want to start selling merch soon.

BTB 21 | TikTok Makeup

TikTok Makeup: It can be hard being a makeup person on TikTok because people do have different views about it.

 

I do merch if you want some help with it. I have my own merchant business. I help other influencers run all their own merch. I don’t know if you’re talking to anyone yet.

No, I’m not. I’m lost at the whole thing.

We can get it set up in a week.

I am creating this whole LLC and then I’m going to school. I’m having teachers tell me how to market myself. I’m like, “I’m already doing it.” It’s weird.

It’s weird. You’re so good at marketing yourself already. At the same time, they’re trying to teach you the rule book of marketing.

I’m more of a person who learns through experiences and going through life more than sitting down and taking notes and listening to a lecture. Doing all of this, creating merch, creating the LLC, trademarking, taxes, all of that has helped me so much in everything. Even later in life, if I want to have a makeup line or a clothing line, I’m going to have an idea of what to do.

I’m so excited for you and to see everything that happens for you. I love that you’re doing merch. I could see you having your own makeup line. Is that a dream of yours?

It’s a huge dream. I’ve always wanted to. Years ago, if I was thinking about having makeup line, I would have thought I was crazy because it’s such a big thing. Even creating a merch has taken me a while to figure out how to do it and the whole process. I can’t even imagine a makeup line, the consistency, you want it to be perfect. You want somebody to walk into Sephora. I want my makeup in Sephora and Ulta. You want to differentiate yourself from other makeup people. You want the best quality. Otherwise, they’re going to be like, “Why would I buy hers? I’ll just buy this one.” I don’t even know where to start, but that’s something I want to do in the future.

What is the product that you couldn’t live without?

A foundation. I love it. I’m a very creative person. I love drawing and music. I feel like makeup for me is an art. I wake up every day and excited to create a new look. It’s not a job for me. It’s therapeutic. I sit down and I’m like, “This is so relaxing.” I do my makeup and listen to some music.

Do you record for two seconds, then you go back and do whatever the next product you put on?

It’s funny because people are like, “You make it look so easy.” If they saw the behind the scenes, they’d be like, “It’s crazy.”

You should do a whole YouTube video of the whole process.

I know I need to buy a camera because I’m recording on my phone and we’re on the side. I would want to make a YouTube video about how and what it looks like. People are like, “You sing the lyrics and get your makeup done.” People think I memorized the songs, but I don’t. I switch back and forth from TikTok to the lyrics on Safari. I memorize the line and sing it. I’m up and I’m going to the bathroom and looking in the mirror and doing my makeup. It is a whole process. It takes 1.5 hours.

Do you rerecord a lot, or do you do one take and then go to the next one?

I try not to rerecord a lot because it would take me forever. I would start nitpicking everything. The most I’ll do is 2 to 3 takes. Usually, I try and go through and do it. The end looks are the hardest because I want the right angle of my face. With every makeup look, it’s different. If you want more of a fox eye look, you want your head tilted down more like that. You have to think about when you’re recording the last clip.

Your videos are beautiful. I get mesmerized every time I watch them. How many times do you post a day?

When I started, I was posting three times a day. I was doing two transitions and one tutorial. I stopped that and I started doing the one tutorial makeup look. That’s when it started going crazy. I’ve been having many collabs that I can’t post one a day because I have to get this other content out. I also like to put my own content out, me picking a song and doing my own makeup look. It’s important to stay true to how you started your whole thing because that’s how you got to where you are. You don’t just want to age with collabs. You want to still have that original content.

With collabs, do you mean you’re doing makeup with the brands?

Whether it’s song promotions that artists reach out to promote their songs, or if it’s eyelashes or makeup that I get some.

That’s very on-brand for you. I don’t feel like that’s away from you.

The only thing is I’ve been sticking to rap songs because that’s what gets me ten million-plus views. Those songs that are more softer pop songs, those don’t get me those crazy views, but they still do well.

Do you think it’s because they’re popular on TikTok that’s why they’re getting pushed out more?

If you’re sitting down and listening to a rap song and looking at a makeup look, you’re vibing. You’re singing along to the song and re-watching it so I could hear the rap song over again. Everybody loves the Megan Thee Stallion, Nicki, Cardi. Those raps helped my success.

It's important to stay true to how you started your whole thing because that's how you got to where you are. Click To Tweet

What’s your most viral video?

There’s one that I posted that’s at thirteen million, now it’s fourteen million and it was a few weeks ago. It was like a shimmery orange eyeshadow. My hair was wavy crimped. That’s my most viral with fourteen million. I’m like, “Fourteen million people? If I tried to have all of them stand together, it would be so many people.” I can’t even fathom it.

I’m happy for you and all your success. I can’t wait to see how you grow.

It’s only been a few months and I’m already out. Where am I going to be in a year?

I love that you’re staying on brand to who you are.

That’s the most important.

Especially for growing your account so much. I’m all over the place. I don’t care. I post a million videos a day. I say whatever I want and then post a video. I haven’t done one in a while. I need to do one. I was doing it every day. I got into day nine and I was like, “I can’t. This is a lot.”

Your closet, I need a filming spot that looks like that.

The lighting isn’t as good because it’s not near a window. Do you film in front of natural light?

No. I turn all the lights off in my room so it’s pitch-black and I turn one ring light. I’m super particular about my lighting because I don’t want it to be orange lighting. I want that cool hue.

If it’s orange, it messes up the whole look. Do you have a cool tone on your light?

There are two covers that you can snap on and off to the ring light. There’s one that’s an orange color. There’s one that’s the clear that I snap on. That gives the bluish LED light. Lighting is super.

I don’t like a ring light. I sit in front of my closet window. I also don’t record up in my face.

You’re further away.

That’s too much for me. I would be self-conscious.

For makeup, studio lighting is good. For regular videos, natural is the best because it brings out the color too.

Even people will be like, “Record yourself doing your nails.” I’m like, “I don’t even know how I would do that.” I talk to my phone like I’m talking to someone on FaceTime and then post it.

You speak fine to the camera and you’re like, “Okay, bye.” When I watched your video, I feel like you’re talking to me. You’re not talking camera. You’re talking to them.

Everyone says that, “I feel like I’m on FaceTime,” which is so sweet.

Your fans and followers can make a connection to you.

Speaking on that, do you have any tips for confidence? I get asked that a lot.

My number one tip is stay true to yourself and don’t care what people think of you, especially younger girls in middle school and high school, those times are super hard. You’re going through your growing upstage. You have all these different friend groups and your parents, people telling you what to do, but you have to stay true to yourself. If you want to do something, do it. When I was in high school and middle school, me and my friend made little YouTube videos and then one person found out. We were like, “We’re not going to make them anymore,” because we were so nervous about it. “I was thinking, “If I started YouTube when I was thirteen, I would have had millions on YouTube,” because these other influencers started young. I know it’s easier said than done to not care what people think, but it’s true. It’s going to help you a lot to have that mindset.

I don’t care what anyone thinks about me.

That’s good to be like that because you’re staying true to yourself. You’re not letting other people’s opinions affect who you are as a person.

BTB 21 | TikTok Makeup

TikTok Makeup: Everybody has that one specific thing that makes their makeup look way better.

 

You have to love yourself before you cannot care what other people think. You have to find it in yourself to give yourself that self-love and care about yourself. You’re like, “No one else matters.”

It’s super important to surround yourself with positive people.

Especially in a relationship.

My boyfriend is the most positive person ever. He is always in a good mood, always saying supportive stuff to me. It motivates me even more to work hard and keep doing what I love to do. It’s important for people to have somebody like that in their life whether it’s their boyfriend, friends, their parents. If you have negative energy around you, it’s going to rub off on you and you’re going to start acting up. Whatever it is, you have to find somebody or whether it’s within yourself. You have to surround yourself with this positive energy.

Also, people that have the same interest as you. Is that what you did on YouTube when you were younger or no?

No. I did little clothing look-buff videos and Q&As with my best friends, what I eat in a day video, just like trends that were going on. I wish I kept going with that.

Is your friend also on social media or no?

She has Instagram and stuff, but she’s not doing that. It was fun as little middle schoolers.

Do you still have the videos?

They’re so cute. Our voice sounds like a baby. It’s so funny. I’m happy that I’m still doing what I’ve always wanted to do because even though I stopped doing that at that age, I now have found a different niche that is perfect for me. I love makeup. I’m happy that it all worked out.

Before we get off, I’m going to ask you two questions that I ask my son every night before we go to bed. The first one is what was the best part of your day?

The best part of my day was spending time with my dad because I’m always back and forth between New York, busy with all these collabs and social media. It’s nice to take time to be with family and wind down a little. That was the best part of my day.

Number two is what did you learn?

I learn more and more about it every day, but to have an open mind about other people’s advice and opinions. I can be a super stubborn person because I’m independent. It’s important to listen to the people who care about you because they only want the best for you. When you have somebody who cares and loves you, telling you these things and giving you advice, it’s good to acknowledge it and take into consideration instead of being like, “No.” I’m learning and working on that every day to be more open-minded.

I get stubborn too. Whatever I’m doing is right. My husband’s like that especially in business stuff. I’m like, “I have advice,” and he’ll be like, “No,” and then six months later, he’s like, “I should’ve listened to you.”

What Zodiac sign are you?

I am a Scorpio.

I feel like me and you are the same person. I’m an Aquarius though.

I don’t know if I have any friends that are Aquarius. My husband is a Libra. I don’t think I know that many Aquarius.

I’m on the cusp of Capricorn and Aquarius. I don’t watch about other signs, but I look into a lot about the traits of Aquarius.

I feel like being on TikTok, everyone’s into astrology.

Everybody in my comment section are like, “You’re definitely an Aquarius.” I’m like, “How do you know this?”

Thank you for joining me. This was so much fun. I hope to have you back. You’ll be at ten million by then.

It will be so cool to come back on this.

I hope you have a beautiful rest of your day. I’ll talk with you soon.

You too. Thank you for having me.

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