I started my channel when I thought it was the end of my world —What a hook, right? A little drama never hurt anyone!
In all seriousness my YouTube channel, “Cosmetics by Caroline” is the silver lining to a difficult and upsetting time in my life. It was my junior year of college, and I was having one of the largest health crises of my life. I was in a car accident and injured my back, developed migraines, and was diagnosed with autoimmune diseases up the wazoo. Ultimately my health was declining both mentally and physically. I was on medical leave from school due to the back injury, laying next to my boyfriend Jared watching Youtube videos, when the idea came about. He looked over at me and asked: “Why don’t you start a channel?”. He must have known I was struggling with the isolation of chronic pain and needed something to occupy my mind so I wasn’t consumed by it. I looked at him surprised as if to say, how could you be asking me that when this is my life? But, as time went on, I began to think, why not?
I have always had a love for cosmetics. I still remember walking up to the Chanel counter as an 11-year-old, with a year’s worth of allowance in my hand, pointing to the beautiful pink blush behind the counter — a blush which I still own… and have never used — saying, “I want that one”. When I returned home my parents looked at me dumbfounded wondering A) what was an 11-year-old doing with a $50.00 blush and B) how did I even know what this $50.00 blush was. Not long after, I found myself going through a liquid eyeliner phase. At 13 I decided a thick black line, from the inner corner of my eye, winging out to a sharp point by my temple would be the perfect signature look to match my frizzy hair, pubescent skin, and braces — these pictures have all been burned I assure you! At 16 I discovered Youtube. A new layer to my love of beauty. Now I could come home from school and unwind to the therapeutic brush strokes of Lisa Eldridge. I even went as far as contacting her to see if she would come to do my sister’s makeup for her wedding. I received a sweet and empathetic reply from her agent stating that she, unfortunately, would not be able to attend — I really should have printed out that letter. Now, in my early 20’s my love of beauty has transformed. I still appreciate the beautiful packaging of that black compact, I am still a fan of winged liner —slightly less dramatic than before— but now, I am more concerned with what is in my products.
I had an “aha” moment during that health-crisis phase of my life. I was sitting in my doctor’s office awaiting a diagnosis for a bad reaction to anti-inflammatories I had been taking for my back when I had a conversation with the nurse. She told me a story of a friend who had liver trouble from a well known over the counter anti-inflammatory drug— not sure if she was trying to comfort or scare me — I was caught off guard by the idea of a serious reaction from an over the counter drug and began to do research to make sense of it all. On one of my deep internet dives, reading about how medication is absorbed into our bodies, I came across a statistic that shocked me. I learned that over 70% of what you put onto your skin is absorbed directly into your bloodstream. I couldn’t believe or understand this. It was one thing to think of something you put in your body entering your bloodstream, but something you put on your body? If this was true, why is no one talking about it? Shortly thereafter a study was released about talcum powder being linked to ovarian cancer and I felt like I couldn’t ignore what was going on any longer. From that moment on my eyes were open. I watched my friends and family put these products on every day without any awareness of what was going into their body. It honestly seemed criminal to me. I thought to myself, why do people have to have a health crisis to become aware of this, why isn’t it common knowledge?
At the point in time where I started evaluating my own products, I had already started my channel, “Cosmetics by Caroline”. I talked about the latest from NARS and Charlotte Tilbury without any awareness of what I was praising. I knew I had a platform and I wanted to use it to try and spread awareness and educate people in a fun and relatable way that took fear out of the equation. I decided to shift the focus on my channel to beauty and skincare products that are clean, and just as effective as their conventional alternatives. When I was doing my own research I often felt like resources wouldn’t give you an option, they would say “do this… or else” — the “or else” was usually very scary. I wanted and still, want my channel to be a place where you can come have fun, learn and make whatever decision feels best for your lifestyle— no threats or “or else’s” involved. I upload everything from Get Ready With Me videos to traditional reviews so you can be an informed consumer and make choices for a healthier happier life. I continue to learn with my viewers and find that collectively we have created something wonderful, a community of people who are all just trying our best and looking to help and educate others to do the same.
I hope my channel is just the catalyst for people to start thinking more about self-care, not only as what we put in our body but what we put on it. Whether you are a makeup lover or not, everyone deserves to be an informed, confident consumer and I hope that with each video, I bring you one step closer to that.
Thank you so much to Macaila for allowing me a space to talk about how I started my channel. I hope you enjoyed reading this very condensed version of the saga which is my green beauty journey. I would love to connect with you over on Youtube or on Instagram to continue the conversation and learn how you got interested in green beauty!
About the Author: Caroline
Caroline is a Californian clean beauty lover and YouTube. Her deserted island beauty products would be mascara and chapstick — she says “you can make lipstick and blush out of berries but chapped lips are the worst and mascara is a quick trick to looking put together!” Caroline works as a graphic designer and in her spare time runs a Youtube channel called “Cosmetics by Caroline” where she talk about all things green, clean beauty.