YouTube makeup tutorials can seem pretty daunting for any mere plebeian who doesn't understand why there are approximately 23,904,809 different makeup brushes, or how people change the literal shape of their face with two shades of powder...
...And sometimes the final product ends up looking like this:
So six of us here at BuzzFeed decided to test four popular YouTube makeup tutorials to see:
1. If they worked for the makeup inept
2. If they worked for all different face shapes and skin tones
3. To document our failures for the world wide web!
The (semi) willing participants:
What's everyone's relationship with makeup?
Kirsten: I've had a complicated relationship with makeup since I accidentally tried to use lip liner as eyeliner in seventh grade. I don't know how to do a cat-eye without looking like an actual cat applied my eyeliner.
Sheridan: My problem is I've found one makeup trend that works for me and kind of just kept to it. And any time I try another look it goes horribly, horribly wrong.
Nina: I'm not very good at makeup, but I love experimenting with it. I watch all these YouTube tutorials and whatnot and I'm just like, "Why doesn't my face look like that? I emptied my bank account for this shit!"
Lara: I don't understand makeup. I should've taken a class at some point but now it just seems too daunting. I wear powder and mascara every day — eyeliner if I'm going out, which rarely ever happens... because my bed is comfortable.
Crystal: Our relationship was all hot and exciting in the beginning when I was a young teen and even a twentysomething, but now we're both just kind of lazy. OK, fine, it's me that's lazy.
Kristin: I'm the type of person who buys two shades of eyeshadow but never figures out what to do with the other shade.
The tutorial: Jaclyn Hill, "How To Fill In / Sculpt Eyebrows"
At first, Lara wasn't digging her darker-brow look.
And Crystal was on the brink of giving up entirely:
Kirsten and Sheridan's final brows:
Kirsten: When I was doing this tutorial I was like, "Cool, I'm going to give myself Cara Delevingne brows." But as the tutorial went on I was like, "Wait, I need Cara Delevingne's face too please. But overall, I do think my brows looked better than my normal brows.
Sheridan: I was absolutely thrilled when thick eyebrows came back into style because that would mean way less waxing trips for this lady who inherited her father's eyes, personality, and extreme body hair. I'm actually kind of digging the way my eyebrows are looking with this tutorial — a little fill in, some gel to keep them in place. I'd like to thank my icons Audrey, Cara, and of course, Peter Gallagher, for inspiring me to do what I do best — stay hairy AF.
Nina and Lara's final brows:
Nina: I barely did this tutorial, in all honesty. I have really thick eyebrows already and I didn't want them to look blocky! I would say this tutorial is more suited for people with thinner eyebrows. She'd be like "fill in this part" and I'm just like "I think it's already filled in...by hair."
Lara: It felt weird to draw in eyebrows that didn't actually exist and I thought it would end up looking really weird. But I actually ended up liking how my eyebrows looked.
Kristin and Crystal's final brows:
Kristin: When you have pale eyebrows like me, this look can be super jarring at first, like, "Hello there, I'm the primary antagonist in a Disney movie." You eventually get used to it though — and then you're like, "Hell yes, I AM the primary antagonist in a Disney movie!"
Crystal: I thought it was ironic that she kept emphasizing how "natural" the brows should look, but like...the video is over 13 minutes! That's over 13 minutes of literally drawing in fake eyebrows.
Without her glasses, Kristin was struggling a bit.
And Sheridan didn't know which way was up when it came to using fake eyelashes.
Kirsten and Sheridan's final eyelashes:
Kirsten: This was my first time putting on fake eyelashes because something about putting GLUE ON MY EYE is terrifying to me. This is one of those things I feel like if aliens were observing humans they'd look at and be like, "Damn, they're so weird." (I think about what aliens would think of us a lot, sorry).
Sheridan: I am the prime example of why there are paid professionals to do this.
Nina and Lara's final eyelashes:
Nina: I have pretty long lashes already, and I had never put on fake eyelashes myself and had only worn them once before. I was terrified I was gonna blind myself with the glue or stab myself with the lashes but her tutorial was so clear! I did it! Yay me!
Lara: Oh my god, never again. How anyone gets the eyelash placed perfectly, I DON'T KNOW. I tried. I really did.
Kristin and Crystal's final eyelashes:
Kristin: I thought I did really well at this until I learned that I was supposed to add glue to the eyelashes. WHY ARE THEY NATURALLY STICKY, THEN?
Crystal: I've put fake eyelashes on many times before and never felt I needed a tutorial for it. However, I did manage to fuck up these specific guidelines, so what the hell do I know?
The tutorial: GlamByMeliTv, "How To: Ombre Lip Tutorial"
Kirsten was a little scared of herself when she saw her ultra-fab '90s lip liner.
Nina fixed her slight errors with the classic finger swipe trick.
Kirsten and Sheridan's ombre lips:
Kirsten: So the girl in the tutorial lips looked AMAZING, and for a hot sec after I finished the tutorial, mine did too! But then I did human things like speak and eat, and all my hard work went out the window. What I really need is a makeup tutorial that tells me how to eat a bagel with lipstick on.
Sheridan: In high school we had this one terrifying French teacher who always wore maroon lip liner and pale pink lipstick and it haunted my nightmares for years. I can't believe this is now back in style and I am actually trying to master it. I did not succeed — it kind of just looks like lipstick, no?
Nina and Lara's final ombre lips:
Nina: I hardly ever wear lipstick, so I had no idea what I was doing. You can clearly see I don't know how to color inside the lines. OK, the girl's lips looked sooooo bomb! I think she left a couple steps out of this tutorial because mine DEF did not look like that.
Lara: This was my first time trying lip liner and will probablyyyyyyy be my last. It basically looked like I was 4 years old and tried to play with my mom's lipstick except I'm 24 and it's my own lipstick.
Crystal and Kristin's final ombre lips:
Kristin: I have a very thin mouth, so this tutorial wasn't really "ombre lips," it was more just "lips."
Crystal: It was an interesting tutorial. I never wear anything on my lips, so this was waaaaay out of my comfort zone. I hated the way it looked on me in the end, but I also have stupid lips that I don't think suit this "look."
The tutorial: Jaclyn Hill, "Smokey Cat Eye Tutorial"
Sheridan learned that this is what her "applying makeup" face look like.
And Kirsten wished she skipped the applying tape to her eyes step.
Kirsten and Sheridan's final smoky eye:
Kirsten: So in this tutorial she puts TAPE on her eyes. I can barely rip off a Band-Aid without cringing. I think I missed a step where she put powder on her eye to make the tape less sticky or something, because I ended up basically waxing under my eye and ending up with more of a "red in pain eye" rather than a "smoky eye."
Sheridan: Here's the thing, I am really bad at eyeliner. So once I fucked that up I just thought, Let's make my whole eye black to make it look on purpose! It's a bit of a severe look but you know what, I'm from Jersey and this is what we look like when we go to the beach.
Nina and Lara's final smoky eye:
Nina: Ugh. I KNOW I can do a smoky eye, but I wanted to follow her tutorial to a T. It did not end well for me. I might as well have just smeared black and gray shit on my eyes, because that's what it looks like. Oh and don't get me started on the tape. Ugh. Never again.
Lara: This started out great but I kept adding more and more and kept messing it up more and more. STOP WHILE YOU'RE AHEAD, LARA. Also not a HUGE fan of taping my eyes.
Crystal and Kristin's final smoky eye:
Kristin: You know that feeling in school when you decide to take an advanced class and then five minutes into it you have tape all over your face for some reason, and you're like, "I've made a terrible fucking mistake"?
Crystal: This was my least favorite tutorial; it felt like it lasted forever. Also, that tape really hurt and jabbed into my lower eyelids because I have such a flat face. I mistakenly stopped the video too early and didn't "complete" my look, which might explain why my "smoky cat-eye" looks ridiculous. (Crystal also lost a fake eyelash in the process of this tutorial)
Kirsten: Trying to follow these tutorials felt like trying to build an IKEA shelf by myself. And I mean, I've done that, but the result was totally janky — which I think is an accurate comparison to how the makeup tutorials went for me.
Sheridan: Doing your makeup the same time as watching the tutorials is just too much stimulation for me. Plus have you noticed that every beauty tutorial is pretty much the same? "Now, I put on eyeliner." REVOLUTIONARY.
Nina: I could've done without the eyebrows, but I think the eyelashes look cute, even if they're not for every day. Honestly, I think I could've been more confident if I was just told "Do a smoky eye" instead of trying to follow a tutorial. Going by someone else's rules can really mess up your look.
Lara: Like, I appreciate the effort and the work it took to film them or whatever but I would much rather watch HGTV. It was difficult to watch and try to do things to my face at the same time.
Crystal: I'm fairly certain I missed at least a half a dozen steps along the way, which could potentially explain why I ended up looking like a cosplaying Elvira. I find it really hard in general to find good makeup tutorials anywhere for Asian people, but maybe I'm just not looking hard enough? Or you know, too busy sleeping.
Kristin: I always think I'm going to better at makeup than I am. At first I think, Isn't this just like paint by numbers? EASY. And then about a few minutes in I remember, Oh God I forgot paint by numbers was really hard, DELETE MY FACE.