“Hi, fellow Canadian!”
That’s how actress Shay Mitchell enthusiastically answers my phone call. The former Pretty Little Liars star is giving me best-friend vibes, which is impressive given her substantial online following (a cool 20.4 million on Instagram when this article was published). Mitchell uploaded her first makeup tutorial to YouTube 11 months ago, cautioning watchers that she was not a trained makeup artist. It didn’t matter—her beauty posts have taken off, and she landed a gig as a Buxom spokesperson.
Read on for some of her favourite glam moments, the products she travels with and all things YouTube, below.
What made you want to get involved in the beauty community on YouTube?
I was just fascinated by all of it. I am not a makeup artist at all, but I work with such talented artists on a daily basis—whether it’s getting ready for different events or photoshoots—and I’ve learned a lot of tips and tricks from them. I wanted to showcase their talent, as well as things that I am picking up along the way.
What tutorials and things are you watching on YouTube right now?
I have the Shaycation series, and I love to watch fellow travellers document their experiences so I can add them to my bucket list. But obviously, I love the beauty bloggers as well. I have a bunch of friends who are in that space and I was inspired by watching their makeup videos before I ever wanted to start doing my own.
Do you have a favourite beauty Youtuber to watch?
I just did a collaboration with MannyMUA. He’s not only a talented makeup artist, but also such a nice human being. I had wanted to meet him for a while; we originally met at a YouTube convention but didn’t really speak until recently when we just shot that collab. It’s been in the planning for a long time. I am so glad that it happened.
Do you have a favourite beauty icon?
Sophia Loren. Hands down.
Does your makeup routine change a lot when you’re traveling?
The products that I bring with me change. I can’t bring my whole makeup kit, so you have to downsize and really sift through to make sure you have all the essentials but you’re not overpacking. I already overpack with my clothes, so I want to be really curated when it comes to my makeup bag.
Is there someone that does your makeup when you travel?
I do my own makeup on my Shaycations. In the future perhaps it would be nice to travel with a full glam squad. [Laughs] But for right now, travelling to these extremely remote destinations, I’ve had to do it myself. Which is fun too! It forces me to pay attention when [my makeup artists] do my makeup so that I can try to emulate it when I am by myself.
Shay Mitchell at the 2017 MMVAs (Image courtesy of Getty)
What’s your most memorable glam moment?
Patrick Ta, a good friend and makeup artist of mine, did my makeup for the MuchMusic Video Awards [in 2017] and I did a whole white look. It was a really soft glam and I liked that. We sort of do it depending on the weather as well. It was really, really, hot in Toronto that day and I remember we didn’t want to do anything crazy because it would just melt off at the end of the carpet.
Do you have a favourite Buxom product?
The reason why this collaboration is so great is because Buxom has a lot of different products that are easy for me to take on the road. For example, they have a customizable eyeshadow palette that saves me from having to bring a bunch of different palettes. When you’re bringing a multiple palettes with you on vacation, you are really only using one or two different colours in each palette.
I love the Plump Line Lip Colour. My colour is Hush Hush. If I don’t have a lip polish or another sort of lipstick with me, I’ll use that all over. Because it’s a chunkier crayon and it has the brush at the end, it’s easy to wear. And it has the extra plumping effect which is always good.
BUXOM Empty Eyeshadow Bar Palette ($15), BUXOM Eyeshadow Bar Single Eyeshadow ($15 each)
What’s the one step in your beauty routine you don’t leave the house without doing?
If I really had to choose one product: mascara. I am obsessed with it. I feel like it does wonders even without putting anything else on.