Messy vanity counter? Liquid lipstick stuck under your nails? At a loss for words, or clean brushes? Blend away any problems with your makeup tutorials with the following tips on how to highlight your online presence.

Some people can execute winged eyeliner in the bed of a moving truck over a backwoods road, and some people need tape, concealer and patience to get the perfect flick. Regardless of skill level, there are lots of ways to improve your on-camera presence in makeup tutorials. Everyone has their own personality, but here are some suggestions on making videos less awkward or stilted. These tips will also hopefully cut down on time spent shooting and editing, so you can spend more time sparkling.

You’ll be able to concentrate on your words and performance more easily if your tools are clean and organized before you start recording.


Before you even turn the camera on, you should practice the look. I find the best time to test new makeup is at the end of the day, before I wash my face. If I make any mistakes or something looks really weird, I can just wipe it off. If you want to compare products or experiment with colors, split your face in half and apply varying goods to the different sides. If you’re constructing a look meant for a specific occasion, it’s recommended to actually test the look in that situation. For instance, a school or work look should be applied in the morning so you can see how the products progress throughout the day, and a summery style should be tested in heat, et cetera.

When you’ve settled on your style, lay out all the supplies beforehand, within reach, so you don’t accidentally knock over your tripod while pulling out a drawer; this may or may not have happened to the author. Make sure any brushes or sponges that you want to use are clean! This prevents bacteria from spreading and keeps colors from getting diluted. There are specially-made tool cleansers on the market, but olive oil and dish soap mixed together work fine. Rub the tools with the liquid, rinse with warm water, then hang to dry.

In my last cosmetics article, I went over lighting techniques, backgrounds and more for a nice on-screen image. Make sure everything is in place before you hit record! Just as important as prepping the stage is prepping the body. On camera, every facial movement, voice fluctuation and gesticulation will be amplified, which is perhaps why some vloggers come off as over-enthusiastic or superficial — something to keep in mind!

As for the voice, I am a strong proponent of warm tea, preferably lemon or ginger, and with lots of honey. Cough drops and throat spray are also great for especially sore days. I detail a few more warm-ups in this video, but my favorite ones off the top of my head are alternating consonant sounds to wake up the throat and mouth! The pattern goes: TA DA, GA KA, MA NA, PA BA, ZA SA, with each letter repeated three times. Or: I am a pleasant mother pheasant plucker. I am the most pleasant mother pheasant plucker to ever pluck mother pheasants. Try saying that sucker ten times fast!

Reading from a prompter can be helpful if you have a lot of information to present in a single take. Scripting your video in advance will also make adding captions easier later.


I think it’s a good practice to script videos. It makes closed-captioning easier, so your videos can be accessible to a larger audience, and it keeps you organized while filming. You can also add captions afterwards by dictation if you want to improvise everything. Improvising can be more casual, but allows space for comedy to slip in. The halfway point between these two methods would be a general outline of the steps you want to do and the products you plan on using. Junie doesn’t script every word she says, whereas Jenn Im plans things very carefully, but both of them have sharp editing skills so there’s lots of room for creativity either way!

If you do have a script, read over it as part of your preparation. Decide whether to read it off a phone or computer or even printed out while shooting. There are also some cool teleprompter apps available across devices. Definitely practice pronouncing any long words — hyaluronic acid trips me up every time — and look up the phonetics for any products in different languages.

It’s your decision where you want to look while filming. Looking at the camera builds a connection with the audience, so that’s better for talking and narration. For application of makeup, some cameras have reversed imagery in the viewfinder, which makes a proper mirror necessary.

Every facet can be customized to let your personality shine through.

It’s also your choice for how much of the process to include in the video. You can narrate over the footage, add music, or speed up the process while editing. Instead of going over their full routines every single time, some creators have videos of their most-common base routines, like foundation or eyebrows, that they refer back to. By linking to earlier videos, they can focus on whatever the topic of the current video is, like a new eyeshadow.


There’s also tons of options for modeling the final result! Some people go for full-on glamour shots with lens flares and pumping music! Whatever you do, make sure your clothes don’t clash with the look, and decide whether you want to show it under natural or camera lighting.

Personality is the most important part of these videos, of course! Every facet that I discussed can be customized to let your personality shine through. For instance, Jackie Aina always starts her videos with a Bible quote title screen, and she’s never afraid to speak her mind. Junie has lots of cute characters and emojis in her thumbnails. Jenn Im revolutionized the “What’s In My Bag” genre with this snappy video. Don’t be afraid to be a real person. Talk about your thoughts, be sincere, and don’t try to be relatable based solely on whatever’s trending on Instagram.

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