Over the weekend I found myself unfollowing a well known make-up artist and blogger on Twitter. Why did I unfollow them? Bad attitude, that’s why. So, what was so bad? Well, it was something of a rant about Lauren Luke's appearance at the IMAT's. Now let me start off by saying I am not a particular fan of Lauren Luke's. I once watched a couple of video's to see what the fuss was about, thought she seemed like a nice girl but she wasn't offering anything I felt directly relevant to me so I never really went back. I know since then there she's scored jobs, make up lines and books. Whilst I've not purchased a Lauren Luke product, I kind of thought to myself, good on her and that was that.
And so we fast forward to now and I gather she was a speaker at this years’ IMAT's (International Make-up Artist Trade Show), and I didn’t really think anything of it – after all she’s been on TV plenty of times offering a ‘real girl’ insight into how to apply a variety of make-up looks. But then I start noticing on Twitter grumblings from "proper" make-up artists, up in arms wondering why on earth she was there and a general grumbling about promoting "amateurism". I feel this is greatly unfair to Lauren who has never professed to be a professional make-up artist, but has made the most of the opportunities being an amateur has given her. It’s unfair to victimise her on Twitter so publicly in my view - is it so hard to consider you're talking about real people? Any valid points the Tweeter had were lost in a sea of what sounded like sour grapes.
To get to the heart of the matter, I can totally understand why it is a little galling to a trained professional to have an untrained You Tuber speaking at a Make-up Artist Trade Show. It doesn't take a great reach though to understand why LL was there (she is immensely popular, with a no airs and graces attitude and reaches out to ‘real’ girls helping them achieve make up looks in a way that is understandable and easy to follow). But, pro make-up artists seem to struggle to get their head round the concept of make-up applications as genuine and of real interest to thousands and thousands of people who don’t aspire to be make-up artists themselves – they just want to do their make-up nicely!
The IMATS event was open to all – and not just trained MUAs, therefore it makes perfect sense that a speaker who appeals to the ‘masses’ was there. I think this is the bit that causes professionals the biggest problem. Their industry is changing. There seems to be, broadly speaking, a complete inability to understand a) the role of bloggers and b) the fact that they are here to stay, even from those MUA's who blog. The lines are blurring slightly. We still know a great MUA when we see one, but we don't necessarily want to learn their techniques that seem impossible for us to try at home and we do want techniques that are accessible, given to us by friendly, warm people. It would seem that the fact that the IMAT's is open to non MUA's and that they are being catered for seems to be rattling a few cages. And maybe they are right, maybe a trade event should be for industry professionals only, but the fact is, it's not. And the untrained and the bloggers and the LL fans aren't going away.
So there we go. Now back to the Twitter unfollowing of the moaning MUA who is of course, entitled to her view. But put something on Twitter and the person who is the target of discontent is likely to see it...and see it Lauren Luke did. I kind of liked her response which said it all:
"Thank you for reinforcing my belief which is that people like you are the reason why people like me are successful!" An elegant response to being called ‘mediocre and amateur’.
On a personal note I'd like to reiterate I'm not particularly a fan of Lauren Luke's work, but as a human being who has created a storm of interest in make-up and made it real and attainable for thousands of You Tube viewers, she gets my vote.