Once this talented makeup artist realised she could combine her love of making incredible visual art for her followers into a full time job, she never looked back. Danielle Elliot has managed to grow an audience across Youtube and Tiktok and have more than 1 video go viral, including one clocking up 17m+ views. We sat down with Danielle to understand her journey from makeup artist to creator, and what inspires her work.
You placed in the top 30 in a global makeup competition - tell us about that experience, what look you created, and what it was like?
Makeup Revolution created a global competition on TikTok and I decided to put my skills to the test! The makeup look I created to enter was a beautiful and colorful work of art to represent the meaning of peace and unity. I patiently waited weeks for results… Then one morning I woke up to an email from Makeup Revolution that said I had placed in the Top 30 out of 8,000 + entries! So right there, I was already a winner in my eyes no matter what the outcome was. This by far was one of the biggest accomplishments in my career as a beauty content creator. I instantly started crying happy tears and of course shared the news with my family/following. I was thinking about how life changing this could be if I won the grand prize of $100,000! This was an experience I will never forget and forever be grateful for.
What inspired you to get started as a creator?
I began watching the OG beauty creators on youtube when there were very few - people like Jaclyn Hill, Carli Bybel, Laura Lee etc. As a little girl I dreamt about being behind the camera, and I wanted to be just like these girls. I never actually thought it was possible until I began to start my own journey about 5 years ago. I created Youtube videos, Instagram content, and I basically never looked back! Early on in my career I received my first PR package from BH Cosmetics and I will never forget the feeling I had - finally in my mind I’d made it as a creator! This really sparked my energy to keep going and I realised I could make this my career. For the last 5 years I have balanced working as a licensed cosmetologist, certified MUA/Lash Tech, and content creator. It’s my dream career!
Tell us about your special effects makeup looks. How did you learn to do these, and where do you get the inspiration for the looks you make?
Although I went to makeup school, I really taught myself everything I know about makeup and special effects. I think traditional makeup school teaches you very basic skills, but I watched youtube videos over and over again to pick up new techniques, tricks & tips, until I was satisfied with the looks I could create. Growing up I was always drawing and as I got older I took my two favorite things, beauty and art and turned it into a full time job. I will sketch out my crazy ideas when something comes to mind, or if I see something by another creator that inspires me. I will then get to work trying to create something that is really wow, it always has my own unique twist on it, and I will always give credit to other artists or creators if they have inspired the look.
Which platform do you use most and why? Has that changed over the years?
YouTube was my first love and always will be, but as the years have past TikTok has taken over. It has allowed me to reach a huge audience of over 635,000 people! I had to put all of my effort into the platform that was giving me the most back, and for now that is TikTok. I spend 5+ hours on each piece of content that I create so of course I want a good outcome after working so hard.
What is your community like on the platform, what content do they love, and how do you engage with them?
My community on TikTok is like no other - it grew so fast and I am blessed to have such amazing supporters that hype me up in the comments section! I love making all types of content & looks, but I find my TikTok audience loves my paint/special effects makeup looks the best, so I am inclined to share that kind of work on this platform. I am pretty devoted to my audience and I will try to reply back to each and every comment, which can be pretty time consuming, but its really important to me to authentically engage with them. It is the least I can do to show how much it truly means to me to have so many people support my love for my art.
How do you decide which brands to work with?
If a brand wants to work with me, most of the time I am honored that they love my work and want me to create content for them, so I’m happy to find a way for the collaboration to go ahead. The 1% is if I know this does not align with my audience or the content I create, and of course I would never want to promote anything that I don't actually use.
What do you wish brands new about working with creators/influencers?
I wish brands knew how long and hard some creators work, especially in content that requires a lot of creative input, prep time, and years of training and experience. Sometimes I will get offers that just don't add up to the amount of work that I would have to put in, which is disheartening. I hope that creators can work together to help educate brands to think about the time, energy and skills required to make just 1 piece of content so that we can work towards fairer industry pricing.
What's the best/most memorable campaign you've been involved in?
Every single campaign is memorable to me because I truly never thought I'd get the opportunity to work with such a variety of people! One campaign that sticks out to me is when I got to create an ad for a movie that would air in theaters “The Eyes Of Tammy Faye”. I got to create an old fashion makeup look inspired by the movie, and the famous actress Jessica Chastain who played Tammy actually commented on my video! That is definitely a crazy cool experience that I will never forget.
What piece of content has performed best for you ever, and do you know why?
One of my TikToks has over 17.4 million views and I have absolutely no idea why that was the video to blow up! It’s an eye-catching makeup look, that did take me hours worth of drawings to create, but I don't know why that one specifically performed so well. That’s the interesting thing about TikTok - sometimes a piece of content can go viral despite the number of followers you have, and that's really cool as a creator.
Who is your favourite person to follow on social media?
This is so off topic from beauty but I love following inspirational quote pages one being @bossbabe.ic on IG. It really keeps me going and puts me in the right headspace as a freelance creative, I always need some inspiration to keep going! They always remind me of why I do what I do.
What brand do you think is doing an amazing job of working with creators/influencers and why?
Joah Beauty comes to mind because I love that they build ongoing relationships with creators, and I think that speaks to the authenticity of their relationships with these people. I’ve personally worked with them and they allow me to do what I love as well as knowing my worth. I’ve truly developed a relationship with the team, and it means I can add a lot more value to the partnership - offering ideas into what would help promote their products well, and insights onto what my audience is currently loving to make sure they get the best results. I think the more involvement the creator has in the campaign, the better the results are for both parties.