When we first interviewed YouTube makeup sensation Lauren Curtis, she was just shy of her twenty-first birthday, a new transplant to Sydney and tentatively feeling out the new-to-her world of beauty. Fast forward almost eight years, and the shy ingenue who found fame – and a huge following – by sharing her love for lashes has developed her very own brand, LOUNGEFACE. And its star launch product? Mascara, of course. While celebrating LOUNGEFACE Lash’s release, Lauren spoke with us about what she has learned across the course of her twenties, from an ease-you-into-it eyeliner tip (guaranteed to work even if you’ve never picked up a makeup brush before) to realising that, where a full face of glam was once her security blanket, she now feels the freedom to be creative with beauty and truly enjoy it.

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @lozcurtis

“I remember my first interview with Sigourney, nearly a decade ago now!

Back then I was so insecure about myself, especially having just moved to Sydney and being exposed to what felt like a whole new world. I would never leave the house without fake tan, a full face of makeup (complete with full coverage foundation) or a single hair out of place. Now, I really couldn’t care less about any of that.

I think a lot of that change in perspective comes with age. I was 20 when we met, and now I’m 28. My philosophy has gone from ‘cover up’ to ‘enhance’. If my skin is great, I’ll skip foundation and stick to brows and mascara – or nothing at all. Or if I feel like dressing up, then I’ll do my full glam routine and really enjoy it. Whichever look I go for, it’s for the fun of it now, and not because I feel like I need it.

I grew up in the country with my siblings and cousins who lived nearby, and we were always outside having fun, exploring and mucking around. It wasn’t until I got older that I realised how lucky I was to have such a secure, happy upbringing; I naively thought that was a universal experience.

As we all know, having a great childhood makes growing up and becoming an adult so much easier, because your life has been built on a solid foundation. I had good role models and was allowed to just be a kid without added responsibilities, and I was always provided for. It gave me the best chance at life, and for that I couldn’t be more grateful.

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @lozcurtis

People might think that I love attention and the spotlight, but I shy away from it in almost all situations.

I’ve been this way since I was a child: I remember sitting in the shopping trolley at Coles and if another kid would even look at me, I’d get so uncomfortable that I’d poke out my tongue at them (I was otherwise well-mannered though, I swear!).

The only reason I started my YouTube channel back in 2011 is because I could do it from the privacy of my bedroom, and even then, I wouldn’t film if my mum was home. The older I get the more of an introverted homebody I become. I always joke that I would love to have an invisibility cloak. People that know me say I’m an accidental influencer: I never expected it all to blow up like it did, so I’ve really had to push myself out of my comfort zone when it comes to attending events, hosting and public speaking.

The best part about being a content creator is the community you build, hands down.

I’ve grown up with these people over the last 10 years; I may not have met all of them in person, but it genuinely feels like I have hundreds if not thousands of friends that all share similar interests and want to help each other out.

The less appealing side of being a content creator is dealing with trolls. It’s gotten a lot better as time has passed, but it really affected my mental health after a while.

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @lozcurtis

I had always thought about creating my own range of beauty products, but I just wasn’t ready for that kind of commitment. I needed to mature, settle down and to learn more about business.

My channel took off in 2012 after uploading a video called ‘HOW TO GET MASSIVE LASHES!’. It was a video of my mascara routine, and it went viral. To this day, the number one question people ask me is, ‘what mascara are you wearing?’, so I knew that if I was going to release my own beauty brand, it would make perfect sense to launch with a mascara. So, LOUNGEFACE Lash was born! Judging by the reviews it’s received so far, women (our main demographic) feel a sense of relief to have finally found a mascara that does not smudge under any circumstances, is so easy to remove and therefore gentle on their lashes, and is vegan and cruelty free.

Keeping it real at the beach – sometimes the urge to swim means borrowing your boyfriend’s shorts
IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @LOZCURTIS

Whether it be designing the website, the packaging, the components, the formulas or the shades, having my own brand gives me an outlet to be creative, in a way that I haven’t really been able to be before.

To see people wearing and loving something you poured everything into is so rewarding. The downside of having my own brand is the stress that comes with so much responsibility. I have intentionally chosen not to have investors involved so that every decision could be mine, and that’s a lot of weight to carry. With that being said, I chose that path because I wanted full control over my brand, so it’s all relative.

With boyfriend, Reece Adams
IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @LOZCURTIS

I don’t follow a strict morning and evening skincare regime: I just stick to a handful of Drunk Elephant products (#notsponsored, haha!) and rotate them according to how my skin is feeling.

I love their Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser, B-Hydra Intensive Hydration SerumLala Retro Whipped Cream and F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial. If my skin is feeling a little dry I’ll mix equal parts Lala Retro and B-Hydra, but if it needs a little less hydration I’ll use two pumps of F-Balm on its own. I have tried some of their products containing active ingredients like retinoids, glycolic acid and vitamin C, but I tended to experience dryness or breakouts so I decided to pare back my routine, and my skin is happier than ever!

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @lozcurtis

After I wash my hair, I’ll apply Wella SP Luxe Oil Reconstructive Elixir to the ends while it’s still damp. I’ve been religiously using this for years and have told everyone I know about it.

It makes my hair feel smooth, silky and healthy. It also helps reduce fluffiness and makes your hair smell amazing! Even though it’s an oil it never builds up or weighs my hair down. I can’t live without it!

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @lozcurtis

I really only apply makeup when I’m shooting content for social media or going out on the weekend.

Not all of us want to apply makeup all the time. For anyone who isn’t used to eye makeup and struggles with applying eyeliner, my favourite trick is to use eyeshadow to create the look instead. The lines are softer and therefore more forgiving if you mess up, it won’t pull on your skin when applying it (causing jagged lines) and it’s not as harsh if you prefer a softer look. Also, if you’re really hesitant, you can sketch out the shape with a light brown shade first. Once you’re happy with both sides and it’s even, you can go over it with a dark brown or black and fill it in.

While it’s fun to try new things, not all beauty trends suit everyone. For instance, brow lamination is something that’s big at the moment that definitely isn’t a favourite of mine!

I’m a big believer in doing what makes you feel good and sticking with what works for your features – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Having said that, I’m definitely open to change in a broader sense: it’s natural for our style, body, skin and hair to transition over the years. As we all know, it’s what’s on the inside that matters most, anyway.

I’m only 28, so maybe I’ll have some different thoughts on ageing if you ask me again in 10 years! For now, I think that some people feel empowered and more confident with cosmetic enhancements, and if we can do things that make us feel more confident, why shouldn’t we? That’s the beauty of it: we get to choose exactly what we do to our own faces and bodies, and when we make a decision about our own appearances, it’s not up to anyone else to say whether that’s right or wrong.”

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @lozcurtis

Story by Zoe Briggs. Imagery supplied by Lauren Curtis. Select imagery, including main image, via Instagram @lozurtis.

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