Friends Ashley and LaTasha at the 2nd annual Generation Beauty conference in Toronto. Image by: Benjamin Reyes
11 women at Generation Beauty reveal what brought them to the event, what drives their love of specific influencers and their aspirations to build their own beauty empires.
This past weekend, Ipsy returned to Toronto for the second installation of Generation Beauty. The event, created by Michelle Phan, attracted over 3,000 beauty lovers and 400 "creators" (i.e. Ipsy influencers), who were able to meet, collaborate and share their love of makeup with one another. ELLE Canada chatted with four creators—Michelle Phan, Karen Yeung, Cydnee Black and Christen Dominique—about the current role of influencers within the beauty industry, which you can read here. Just as interesting were the individuals who attended the event, some of whom described getting to meet the Ipsy creators with the fervor of someone granted access to the red carpet at a star-studded movie premiere. "Michelle Phan has taught me so much, not just about beauty but about confidence," said one woman we spoke to. "She is so inspirational." Hear from 11 women who attended the event, below.
Are you from Toronto?
Erin: No, Sudbury! So I came into the city for the event today. This is my first Generation Beauty!
Who were you most excited to see today?
Erin: I got to see Christen Dominique! Which was super exciting and overwhelming. I was almost crying. I love her so much. I have learned so much from her.
Is there a product she has recommended to you that you really love?
Erin: I really love the Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer ($31, tartecosmetics.com). I feel like everyone on YouTube recommends that, it really covers everything and you don't have to set it.
Have you ever wanted to start your own YouTube channel?
Erin: Yes, I want to. I find with the beauty community on YouTube, everyone looks so confident and everyone is beautiful. It is confidence boosting, since getting into it I just feel better about myself and beautiful no matter what.
Ashiyah & Jay
What brought you here today?
Ashiyah: I have my own YouTube channel so I am interested in makeup and wanted to come experience Generation Beauty. And get some products!
Who is your favourite influencer on YouTube?
Ashiyah: I love so many people, but I would probably say Aaliyah Jay. I really love her makeup and personality. She taught me to always apply your makeup with a clean damp Beautyblender. I am a Beautyblender girl!
Have you seen any Ipsy creators here today?
Jay: Yeah, we saw Michelle Phan! She was the coolest to see because I probably know the most about her. She's really interesting.
Why do you guys love YouTube? What inspired you to start your own channel?
Ashiyah: I think it provides a place where people can express themselves. People are so supportive too, especially when you are just starting out. I've always gotten really good feedback from people and there are so many groups you can join to support you. It is kind of like a family. I love that aspect of it.
Jay: I love that there is a category for literally everyone. You don't have to conform to a certain style or look, you can find tutorials for literally whatever you want.
Ashley and LaTasha
Did you have to drag your boyfriends here today or did they come willingly?
Ashley: They were asked nicely and promised dinner and drinks. We are from Detroit, so we drove up for the weekend. We are both beauty creators, I previously went to Generation Beauty New York so I wanted to come up for Toronto. M.A.C Cosmetics is here so I wanted to see that as well as a few other brands.
LaTasha: I am a creator as well, but I also work on the flip side of it too—I work in social media, and have a lot of clients that are in the beauty space. It is a great way to network and meet other creatives.
Who were you most excited to see today?
Ashley: I was really excited to see Patrick Starrr.
LaTasha: I don't think she is here today but my favourite YouTuber is Tati Westbrook, the "glam life guru." I love her.
What have you learned from the YouTube community and being involved in content creation yourselves?
Ashley: Baking my makeup, especially in the summer. But not just makeup tips are learned on YouTube–I think YouTube has taught me to be true to myself. It is such a great platform to express yourself without rules involved. I think that is really important, in beauty we are so used to brands pushing products on us so it is nice to have a space where people can be honest about what they think.
LaTasha: Making content for YouTube and watching other creators has really taught me to put myself out there. I can be a little bit more reserved and very humble but you kind of have to fight your way through the pack and make yourself stand out.
Meghan, Amanda, Kristina U. and Kristina P.
Are you all from Toronto?
Meghan: One of us is from Toronto, one of us is from Ottawa, one of us is from Florida and one of us is from Philadelphia. We are all apart of Ipsy Open Studios [a network of creators that provides access to studios, lighting, video equipment and and collaborations] so we are all on Instagram, YouTube etc. We came here with Ipsy and we are here networking! It was really cool to meet some of the other creators Karen Yeung, Michelle Phan and Lynette Cenée. There was a cocktail party thrown by Ipsy so we got to meet all of the influencers in a super relaxed setting which was really cool.
Did they give you any advice for growing your own channel?
Amanda: They really emphasized staying true to yourself which sounds cliché, but it is so important to be authentic online and transparent with your audience.
Is it hard to build a following?
Kristina: I think it is more difficult to find your niche and where you belong, rather than the following. I mean a following is great, but it is more important to be engaging, and to create a community and friendship with people online.
How did you discover Generation Beauty?
Jade: I have a subscription to the Ipsy beauty boxes, so I found out about Generation Beauty through that. I am most excited to see Cydnee Black! I love her. She makes me want to start my own YouTube channel one day.
You should do it! What is your favourite product that you have received in an Ipsy bag?
Jade: Face masks! I love getting to test all different kinds.
Is this your first GenBeauty?
Amanda: Yes! I really wanted to experience it because I have seen so many pictures and videos of it on Facebook and Instagram. My friends went last year and loved it. They told me you get a ton of product so I wanted that too.
Have you seen any creators?
Amanda: Yes! I got to see Michelle Phan. It was amazing. I got pictures with her and got to talk to her for a little bit. She is so cool. She is very inspirational and super motivational for me. I am not confident enough right now to start my own YouTube channel, but maybe one day.
What's your favourite beauty product she taught you to use?
Amanda: Right now I am using the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer ($36, smashbox.com), and I am also obsessing over NYX Illuminator ($9, nyxcosmetics.com).