A top beauty vlogger tells Katie Wright how she overcame a crisis of confidence and become an online star.
CHATTING away on her YouTube channel while trying out a new make-up technique or running through her latest shopping haul, Kaushal radiates confidence.
But it hasn’t always been that way.
“My dad had a stroke while I was living in America for a couple of years. That got me really down because I was a daddy’s girl,” she explains on the phone, midway through a photoshoot.
“I used to think ‘why do bad things happen to good people?’ I saw the worst in every situation, in every person, and that really didn’t help me with my confidence.”
Talking to her boyfriend (now fiancé) Vex, a mind coach, about the power of positive thinking, got Kaushal back on track.
“It really helped me change my self-doubt into self-worth, and actually say to myself, ‘I am worthy of happiness and I am worthy of anything good that comes into my life’.”
But then came another rough patch, when an extremely demanding job in fashion PR left her stressing out every night and dreading work the next day.
“My fiancé said, ‘Why don’t you start a YouTube channel? It’ll give you something to do, it’ll take your mind off work’, so I started [vlogging] that way.”
A few months later, a Kylie Jenner make-up tutorial that the newbie vlogger filmed in her bedroom in Northamptonshire went viral — it’s had more than 10m views — and she decided to become a full-time YouTuber.
“I didn’t want to regret not doing it, so I thought, ‘take a leap of faith, give it a go’. I’m sitting here now three years into it with 1.6m subscribers and that is insane.”
It helped that with her long, dark hair, pillowy lips and huge eyes, Kaushal (her name rhymes with social) could easily pass for a member of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, but her make-up knowhow and easygoing manner are what keep her followers coming back.
The 28-year-old is sharing her story via L’Oreal, alongside the likes of Helen Mirren, Cheryl and a host of online influencers.
“Even if it just inspires one person, if someone else has gone through something similar to me and they’ve come out the other end as a better person, then I’d be over the moon,” she says of the three-year initiative that aims to boost the confidence of 10,000 young adults.
Clearly, this is one in-demand vlogger, but these days it’s the kind of pressure Kaushal can handle.
“I’m probably more busy than I was in my old job, but I don’t mind because it doesn’t feel like a job, which I’m super-thankful for.”
Today, the rest of the photo shoot awaits, but not before I grill the beauty guru on the products she prizes above all others.
“Firstly, the L’Oreal Paris False Lash Sculpt Mascara (€11.99, Boots). I get through one every four weeks. I’d definitely have to say some bronzer.
"I’m currently loving the Tarte Tarteist Pro Glow Palette (€47.50 plus p&p, QVC) because that’s got a cream contour, a powder contour and loads of powder highlights.
"And on a desert island, I want to make sure my skin is protected. My skin is really sensitive. Lancaster is my go-to because that’s the one SPF that protects my skin and doesn’t make it irritated.”
* Lancaster Sun Beauty Velvet Milk, reduced from €40.70 to €36.63, Debenhams www.debenhams.ie
“I really like NYX, which is really changing the landscape of high street brands. The Sweet Cheeks Blush Palette (€22, Boots) is fab, there’s a colour in there for every season.
"I really like the Bourjois foundations as well, they’re very glow-y, and the Healthy Mix Serum Foundation, (€16.29, Boots).”
“I make my own foundation concoctions, so I love mixing the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Liquid Foundation (€46.50, Brown Thomas) with the Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation (reduced from €35 to € 31.50, Debenhams).
"If I could mix a tonne of that and bottle it up, I would. I really like Charlotte Tilbury lip products as well. I mix Hot Lips Kim K.W. (€32, Brown Thomas) into other lip colours to lighten them.”
“I love using coconut oil in my hair as a mask. I’ve got Indian heritage and my grandma used to use coconut oil on her hair all the time. That really helps to nourish my hair.”
The Body Shop Rainforest Coconut Oil, €17.20.
“I love the Body Shop for skincare, it’s very affordable and very natural. I love the chamomile range, the Sumptuous Cleansing Butter (£10, TheBodyShop.com) is one of my favourites. And I love the Liz Earle Gentle Face Exfoliator (€21.25, Boots).”
“I can’t do my base without a Beautyblender (€18.10, www.BeautyBay.com). I have tried, but even if I’ve used a brush, I’ll always go over with my Beautyblender on top.”
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