#WCW: Lipstick Mix Master Emily Dougherty

December 13, 2017
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By: Makeup.com | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
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If you’re into mesmerizing mash ups of your favorite lipsticks, beauty editor Emily Dougherty will be your favorite account on Instagram right now. Not only is she mixing up lipsticks to help out beauty junkies and MUA’s everywhere (and inadvertently helping some people fall asleep ASMR-style) she’s creating a positive, happy nook on the Internet too. We recently caught up with her to talk about her fave mixes, how she started her Instagram and what beauty means to her.

On her Instagram (aka, the kindest corner on the Internet) ...

I’ve only done it twice since I started the account, but some of the brands send me extra lipsticks and I was doing this giveaway that if you give somebody a compliment in my feed and tag a friend you could enter to win the lipsticks. And it wasn’t really a way to get more followers — it was a way to give people the permission to give other people compliments. Because I think people want to do that, but it can kind of feel weird to tell somebody that you love them or that you’re inspired by them. So it was cool to see in those posts that 350, 450 people were getting compliments from their good friends and maybe their day got a little bit brighter. I want to do more of those; I just haven’t yet. That idea of creating a safe space where people can kind of be nice to each other.

On her setup ...

If you actually see where I make the lipsticks you would actually say this is so low budget. I’m on the floor, in a window light on a tiny [surface] that looks like a cutting board. When people are like the lighting’s bad today, I’m like, well that’s because the sun is behind the clouds in the video.


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About her iconic nail spills ...

The nail polish spills that I do — it’s been nice that the bands that I’m big fans of that I tag in the videos sometimes even see the videos. The Zombies regrammed one of the videos and that was like oh my god, I can’t believe The Zombies even saw my video let alone regrammed it on their feed. So it’s been cool things like that. It’s just been so much fun.

And how she does it!

I just pour the nail polish on the bottom of an upside down coffee cup and then the camera’s on a little tripod so I’m totally professional now. Those are fun to do because it doesn’t matter if somebody talks during them. With the lipstick ones, because people want to hear the sound of the chopping, if anyone sneezes or coughs or swears it kind of changes the relaxation quality of the video. But the nail polish ones — because I dub over them with music, I can create those anytime.


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I try to think of things from all angles and if someone thinks I should be doing something differently or better I try to take that into account. I’m not going to get different lighting because this is something I just do quickly. I do get a lot of requests for swatches on my lips but I have a bit of a phobia of my own face on camera so I gotta get over that at some point. I do get a lot of “when can we see this on a face?”

On the proudest moments of her career...

That’s a tough one. I’m not a person that has regrets because I feel like regrets are a wasted emotion. You should just never do that thing again or do it differently — and I kind of feel the same way about pride, that every moment should be what you’re proud about. And if I feel good about helping somebody — how do I do that again, and again, and again? So that it’s not just a on- off thing. But I think that my feelings of pride come about where I can really make people feel happy, whether it’s one on one or it’s helping them with videos like this.

I feel proud of the way that Elle has approached beauty and the way that I’ve always approached beauty. To never point out that the reader is flawed or needs fixing. It’s the point of view that everyone is perfect — here’s just some things that are fun to make your life a little bit easier. When I started in beauty, that wasn’t the way people approached beauty. Beauty was very problem-solution — you’ve got bad skin, here’s how to fix it and there’s a place for that but it was nice to create a space too that was also like you’re perfect the way you are, here’s some concealers if you want them but you don’t actually need them. Kind of coming at it from that point of view, that makeup should be fun and something you look forward to doing rather than feeling like a job. Fifteen years ago, no one had fun washing their face and now everyone looks forward to going home and washing their face so parts of the routine that very much felt like a job are now fun and hopefully that’s the way beauty will continue.

Another thing I’ve been proud of is that in Elle, we’ve really been at the forefront. Whenever we use runways backstage — we’ve really pushed the runway photographers to make sure to give us great shots of models of color. And we’ve come back with wins because brands want to be featured in Elle so when they sponsor shows now they make sure to tell the casting agents of the shows you need to have models of color because they know we probably won’t run a photo of the show, or are much more likely to run a photo of the show, if there’s a model of color. And to hear that we’ve made a little difference in the casting because we default to showing models of color. And we’ve never really done the “black hair story” because we never wanted our readers who are black to feel like all the other stories weren’t for them. We’ve always taken the approach that every hair story should make sure that we talk about what textured hair can do to get this look. Anybody reading any story should feel like it speaks to them but then to also overrepresent visually so women of color can see themselves on the page.

On inclusion in the beauty and fashion industry ...

Finally brands are catching up and creating shades for everybody. It’s silly that it’s taken this long. In a recent issue we did a story where we interviewed models backstage and asked them what they always had to bring along because the backstage makeup and hair crews don’t pack it for them. Some models have to pack their own concealer and some models have to bring their own hair products and the fact that that’s still something that happens in this day and age is ridiculous. And we’re not criticizing backstage, but by doing it and covering it this way we’re making people aware that it’s not as easy to be a black model backstage as it is to be a caucasian model backstage.

On the products she can’t live without …

That’s another tough one. Josh Rosebrook is this amazing, amazing man — I think he’s based in California — and he makes this mineral sunscreen. And he also launched this cream called the Vital Balm Cream , and it’s the most delicious, whipped texture but it’s super moisturizing. There’s something incredibly magical and alive about the product. I just got this Maybelline lipstick in Japan that’s an ombre, three layer lipstick. It’s got a blue stripe, a red stripe and an orange stripe that looks just like a sunset. We were actually taking off in Tokyo looking out at the sunset and I was like that sunset is the exact same shade as this Maybelline lipstick. Each of the shades look really pretty on their own — we have to get them to bring it to the states. I bought two because I was like I’m definitely going to want to smash this one up and I’m definitely going to want to keep one so let me make sure I buy two. In Japan they have these amazing bath products that make your body hot when you’re in the bath, it’s like a double hot bath. I’m into baths lately. It’s such an amazing way to get your entire body relaxed.

What she keeps in her bag at all times …

Usually a lip balm. I’m always a fan of lip balms that give you a little color after you apply them. I love those. I try to tie a hat to myself in some way when it’s sunny out because it seems like all the people who have really amazing skin seem to wear hats all day long.

On her beauty philosophy …

My beauty philosophy is more of a general life philosophy: Don’t sweat the small stuff, but don’t sweat the big stuff either.

And the one thing she would tell her younger self …

I would go back in time and tell myself to spend more time with the people I love and less time with people I feel obligations to. There’s no reason to feel social obligations. Start saying no to those people and yes to the people you love.

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