Being a fearless city girl ourselves, we felt a certain bond with Cindy Diaz even before meeting her. In her bio on her blog, musingsofacitygirl.com, she writes, "Come join me as I break away from the inhabitants of the ivory tower and see where the wind takes me." Her desire to explore outside her bubble and soak up all the different facets of beauty and fashion is what makes her video tutorials so universally appealing. We caught up with Cindy recently over coffee and were struck by two things: 1) Her incredible beauty (talk about flawless skin!), and 2) her poise. She's as professional as she is passionate—and, like us, she loves adventurous makeup.
1. What initially drew you to watch makeup tutorials on YouTube? I'd tried following some professional makeup tutorials online, but none of them really worked for me. Most of the videos were too short—you didn't see the makeup application from start to finish. The girls doing YouTube tutorials, however, showed every step of the process. So even though many of them weren't professional makeup artists, I felt I could trust them because they showed everything that led up to the look. The first vlogger I watched was Lauren Luke (panacea81). Then I discovered a few more—RenRen and Amy04 also have great channels. I loved all the detail in their videos.
2. Why did you start making your own tutorials? I'm Dominican, so I wanted to see videos of someone with my skin tone and my eye shape. But there didn't seem to be many Hispanic girls doing makeup tutorials, so I started shooting my own. My first video was in 2008 on the M.A.C. Heatherette collection. It was a haul video—I talked about what I'd bought from the collection and what I didn't buy. It's funny, every time I do a haul video, my viewers are just as interested in the products I didn't buy as the ones I did buy. They want to know why I skipped out on certain products.
3. Your YouTube channel has nearly 2 million views. How did it get so popular so fast? My big break came last year when Meredith Gray, associate beauty editor at Seventeen, discovered my vlog and included me in the magazine's Beauty Smarties series. They ran a profile on ten of us girls doing YouTube makeup tutorials and had us to create exclusive videos for their website. Once that story came out, my channel blew up! Suddenly I had tons and tons of viewers—it was incredible how fast it happened.
4. You later started a blog, musingsofacitygirl.com. Why was the YouTube channel not enough? On video, makeup colors can look a little off. In photos, the colors are truer, so I started swatching the makeup I'd show in a video and directing viewers to photos of them my blog so they could get a better sense of how the colors really looked. Swatches are so important to girls who don't live near a department store or a Sephora and can't sample a new makeup collection. The swatches allow them to see what the colors actually look like on skin.
5. Why are so many video tutorials about elaborate fantasy makeup? Aren't viewers more interested in learning how to do everyday looks? Actually, no! When I do tutorials on natural-looking makeup, I get comments about how boring they are! I think people like seeing a transformation. When I first started watching YouTube tutorials, I was amazed that someone could change the appearance of her eye shape just with makeup alone. You may not want to do these fantasy looks on yourself, but they're fun to watch. They really illustrate the power of makeup.
VIDEO FROM DRBROOKLYN730 CHANNEL ON YOUTUBE