Diana Crisan Dec 5, 2016

Have you ever wondered how YouTube influencers get their start? Well, stop wondering and start reading!

Here we chat with makeup vlogger Alex Faction on the importance of playing dress-up as an adult, the business of beauty and internet fame.

NEW VIDEO: First impression/review of the new @anastasiabeverlyhills Foundation Sticks--Highlight & Contour! Link in bio ✌️🤓

A photo posted by A L E X • F A C T I O N (@alexfaction) on


How did you get your start as a YouTube influencer?


Alex Faction: I graduated from cosmetology school during a down economy, so I moved to “the middle of nowhere” Illinois. There was one salon in the area with a declining client base, so I had a lot of time on my hands. I started watching YouTube videos to get creative inspiration and stay connected to pop culture.

After some time, I realized I was soaking up all of this amazing information but not doing anything with it. This prompted me to start my own channel where I could create original content. I know a lot of YouTubers who started their channels during a “lost” moment—it can be a great savior in that way. I was so appreciative of the YouTube community and those who made their knowledge and experience accessible for free. Ultimately, I was inspired to give back and do the same thing.


You’re known for creating intricate characters. What is it about theatrical makeup that appeals to you?


Alex Faction: I started off doing fashion and bridal makeup. But then I wanted to challenge myself and stretch beyond what I thought was possible. I started to gravitate towards theatrical makeup and creating optical-illusions.

I continue to love storytelling through makeup by dreaming up new characters and playing “dress-up.” I create these on myself and change my look into something completely different—it’s so much fun! And I continue to learn new techniques every day.


What’s the inspiration behind your most recent creation—the “Ice Man”?


Alex Faction: Well, for one, it’s seasonally appropriate, but I also liked the idea of teaching myself how to create a look and then sharing that knowledge with others. There are so many technical aspects to creating the Ice Man look. You have to execute the makeup, design the costume, make the crown and then edit the video. I love that I’m not only playing the role of makeup artist when I develop content like this. It’s like having sub-careers that you lump together, and that’s what it really means to be a YouTuber.

During the early stages my self-education, I’d Google something, find a video tutorial and then learn by first seeing, then doing. For instance, photo and video production can seem intimidating, but all of the information is out there, so once you commit yourself to learning it, it becomes part of your skill set and a new passion. I’m still shocked by how much I love it!

Ice Man


Okay, real talk: Your hair always looks so cool! Tell us about your hairstyling technique for Ice Man and how you started working with Matrix. 


Alex Faction: All the details for the Ice Man hairstyle can be found on the Matrix Hair Gallery blog, but here are some quick steps:

Step 1. Prep hair with Total Results Color Obsessed Miracle Treat 12

Step 2. Apply Matrix Biolage Sugar Shine System

Step 3. Add texture with Matrix Style Link Mineral Booster Texture Booster

Step 4. Create height by heat styling with a boar bristle round brush

Step 5. Finish with Matrix Dry Shampoo for texture and lift

I’ve always been a fan of Matrix products. But it wasn’t until I attended cosmetology school that I started attending hair shows and meeting people who worked for my favorite brands. After I started my YouTube channel, I began looking for a brand I could partner with and immediately thought of Matrix. My friend from school put me in touch with someone there and that’s how I got the ball rolling!


Which Matrix haircare product is your favorite? Ready, set, GO! 


Alex Faction: Matrix Total Results Color Obsessed Miracle Treat 12. My hair is naturally black and I bleach it A TON, but it doesn’t feel over processed, thanks to the Miracle Treat. It’s as if my hair is thirsty and needs a glass of water—and this does just that!


Who are your favorite YouTubers?

1. Jaclyn Hill

2. NikkieTutorials

3. sonjdradeluxe


Have you worked on any celebrity clients you can talk about?


Alex Faction: Over the last few years, celebrities have been reaching out to me to do their makeup for halloween. JLo sent me a DM on Instagram and I did this skull makeup look for her!

Alex Faction

Do you have any advice for someone who’s interested in starting their own YouTube channel?


Alex Faction: My biggest piece of advice is simple: Don’t become discouraged by what you don’t have or don’t know. Many times, those who want to get started are afraid of doing so because they feel like they don’t have what they need to achieve a production quality that compares to their favorite vloggers. But everyone has to start somewhere. In fact, I suggest you go back and look up the very first video your favorite YouTuber published. You’ll likely see that they didn’t have fancy camerawork and great lighting early on. Just start and then move forward–like everything else, it’s a journey and a process.


Subscribe to Alex’s YouTube channel to check out his creations, and then follow his work on Instagram!

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Which YouTube makeup artists do you follow religiously? Tell us in the comments below!

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About the Author:Diana creates on-trend beauty content for Makeup.com readers. She stays up-to-date on the latest beauty news and product launches and tests every makeup item that comes through the door. As an employee of L’Oréal, Diana writes stories about beauty products across the entire brand portfolio.

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