When TikTok makeup star Abby Roberts describes her personal style as “a mishmash of so many different things,” she’s not exaggerating. Her more than 16 million followers have been drawn to her elaborate transformations including Poison Ivy, Draco Malfoy and “Game of Thrones’” Jon Snow. At one point, she even became a “cursed” Teletubby.
Roberts started vlogging on YouTube in 2013 at age 12, but TikTok has been her claim to fame since joining the platform in January 2019. Spending hours on self-taught intricate makeup looks, the 19-year-old British makeup artist’s unique style has caught the eye of major brands including Charlotte Tilbury, Revolution, Revlon, Morphe and L’Oréal.
In 2021, she’s still creating dramatic costume looks — one recent TikTok was inspired by the new Lil Nas X video — but her style is evolving. “When I first started, it was all about the really super creative makeup, and there was a massive trend of everyone jumping on that,” she said. “The trends have evolved lately. I’ve seen more tutorial kind of stuff, going back to the basics.”
TikTok is still her “main source” of beauty inspiration. In addition to makeup, she’s embraced hair dye; her color at the time of this interview was a bright pink, and in a recent TikTok, she dyed her eyebrows pink to match.
“I’ve done purple, pink, red, blonde — every [hair color] you can think of,” she said. “Over lockdown, everyone has just resorted to dying their own hair out of boredom.”
Some of her looks have also evoked e-girl-inspired beauty trends that are mainstream on TikTok. “The e-girl is still thriving right now,” she said. “I have milked the e-girl trends as much as I can. I’ve done so many at this point.”
Young influencers like Roberts are changing beauty aesthetics on social media. “With Gen Z, there definitely is a group of makeup trends that other generations don’t really understand or maybe look down upon,” she said. “Other generations are like, ‘I don’t understand why you’re all doing eye bags and drawing them on, when I have the worst eye bags ever naturally.’ But I think that’s kind of what is fun and fresh about Gen Z — its embrace of these flaws or things that were seen as imperfections in the past.”
Roberts has also branched into merch and music. She aims to release a single “later this year, maybe this summer.” She’s also interested in pursuing a makeup brand. “It’s been something that I’ve been working on for a while, trying to find the right people to work with. I definitely don’t want to rush into putting out a product that I’m not proud of.”
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