When we discovered Cassandra Bankson‘s acne makeup tutorial, we were blown away. It was one of the best (and bravest) beauty videos we had ever seen. We weren’t the only ones who were impressed — since it was uploaded in December of 2010, the clip has amassed more than 6 million views.
Bankson continues to post tutorials as DiamondsAndHeels14; she currently has 370 videos to her name. Now the 19-year-old is teaming up with Hourglass to promote its Immaculate foundation (which we’ve tried and loved, by the way), and we were able to snag a few minutes with the YouTube sensation.
Were you expecting to get such a big response from your tutorial?
Oh my gosh, I was shocked! It honestly started as I was getting hate for my skin in school, and I had found something that enabled me to model, and it was nerve-wracking. I waited a month or two before I actually posted that video, but my boyfriend convinced me.: “If you found something that helps you, it’s your duty to help other people.” It’s what I always wanted to do, but I didn’t have the courage to do it. I’ll be honest, I posted that video and I did not log on to YouTube for about four months. I didn’t want to see it. I thought people were going to say the same stuff like at school, and hopefully it would help one person — one girl, one guy, whatever. I came back on and I was overwhelmed that so many people were in my situation. Even people who weren’t, weren’t saying rude things. They were just so warm and welcoming. I was blown away.
Is the makeup routine from the video what you do every day?
Back then, that is what I would do every day. Even if I wasn’t leaving the house, I would do that routine to go eat breakfast because I felt like a burden to my family. I felt like my mom and my dad couldn’t look at me right. So back then, that is what I did. Now, just with the amazing YouTube community and with the cosmetics that are out there, I’m confident going out without makeup. Of course there’s tinted moisturizers and different beauty balms; there are liquid-to-powder foundations that make it a lot easier and give minimal coverage but still work.
Have you had any success treating your skin since you posted the clip?
I’ve seen over 12 dermatologists. Since the YouTube video, I’ve had an amazing opportunity to talk to a lot of celebrity dermatologists as well. Instead of just blindly taking pills or taking medications or following opinions like I used to, I really like to research and collect my own data. I do my own testing and then bring that to a medical setting. Once I find something interesting or that has been shown to work, I bring it to YouTube and show people what has been working. Thank goodness there’s been a lot of improvement between now and then!
What advice do you have for hiding imperfections?
Whether it’s scarring or rosacea or eczema or whatever it is, first off, you need something that’s not going to irritate your condition more. With acne, you don’t want it to break you out. With eczema, you need to avoid certain ingredients. One of the biggest things I can recommend are primers. Primers with special ingredients like minerals or sunscreen or really anything skin-smoothing, because that acts as a barrier of foundation. Also it helps the foundation to stick better. So even if it is lighter coverage foundation, it will work better than if it was light coverage foundation alone. Also, color concealing. If you have red spots, use green. If you have dark blue undereyes, use yellow. Definitely work on other features of your face. Accentuate your eyes or your lips so people will respond to that area, instead of looking at your blemishes.
What is your most valuable beauty tip?
I think that for every woman or every man, the most valuable beauty tip in general is confidence and inner beauty. If you aren’t able to love yourself and love others — even if you are the most stunning person, your skin’s perfect, your hair’s perfect, your teeth are white and straight — you’re not going to be able to radiate that beauty. Once you find purpose in helping others in your life and you can have that confidence, you can go out without any makeup and people realize that you’re glowing. I really think that’s something that comes inside of every person, that a lot of people overlook.
What’s in your makeup bag right now?
Right now I’m using a very, very thick cosmetics brush from Sedona Lace. They’re super dense, and I like that because I apply less product and get fuller coverage. I have a tinted moisturizer from Tarte, and the primer I’m using is Hourglass Mineral Veil. It has sunscreen in it, so I love that. For lipgloss, I’m using Urban Decay Lip Junkie. It’s supposed to pump your lips. I haven’t seen it do that, but it’s a really cute color. And then I have a couple of different loose eye shadows and eye shadow brushes.
Want to meet Cassandra? Click here for a schedule of her personal appearances with Hourglass at Sephora.