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Top make-up artist’s warning to the Instagram generation

'Nearly every single woman, immediately starts apologising for the way their skin is'

19 February, 2020 — By Tom Foot

Camilla Collins

CAMILLA Collins was celebrating two years ago after being named among the country’s finest make-up artists at the national beauty industry awards.

She has been recognised for styles created at her independent business in Pond Square, Highgate.

But now she is campaigning against the “bull****” coming from the industry, criticising big time brands and shining a spotlight on manipulative marketing campaigns that “prey on us not feeling good about ourselves”.

She has a message to the Instagram generation not to become dependent on make-up or to believe the hype from celebrity endorsements.

Ms Collins, 32, who lived in Kentish Town, said: “It has become increasingly difficult for me to be part of an industry which is invested in our lack of confidence and poor self-esteem.”

Around a year ago she realised she had felt “out of alignment for a long time”, she said, adding: “I’d been pushing along with this job that I once loved – but the way beauty industry has changed – I was beginning to see how what I have to stand and promote no longer sits well with me.”

She added: “There was a stark contrast between how I was feeling and the happy persona that was I was putting out each day.”

Ms Collins said she had noticed more and more young people who were quite vulnerable, adding: “Nearly every single woman, immediately starts apologising for the way their skin is. It is the way we are made to feel about ourselves. We are not happy in their own skin.”

She said younger clients had appeared obsessed with becoming “influencers” on social media, and as a result had begun flirting with “botox, fillers and injectibles”.

The sought-after look was often tragically uniform, she said, adding: “Beautiful young kids are contouring their faces with cookie-cutter results It is a drag technique, about changing the bone structure. It is over the top. They are losing their own identity, everyone is trying to look the same.”

On what she sees as the false marketing of big make-up brands, she added: “Every time I got asked about the shades of so-and-so’s latest lipstick or what I think of X, Y and Z brand my anxiety used to go into overdrive because I can’t tell someone that it’s pretty much all the same sh*t.”

Ms Collins said she had felt the “need cosmetics” and had shown some “addictive tendencies” when she was younger, drawing a parallel between eating disorders and make-up obsession.

She said: “When I was younger it was always sort of there. I always felt a bit different, like I didn’t fit in. I’d want to try out different styles – I remember baggy jeans down in Camden Town. But I think playing around with identity and figuring all that out is part of growing up. But going under the knife, filling lips with products – it’s too much.”


Ms Collins is publishing her first book – # No Filter Needed – after spending a year writing about her changing views on a blog published on her website.

“I think the blog resonated with a lot of people, it wasn’t presenting solutions,” she said. “The book has been a progression on from that. I wanted to raise awareness so people can come to their own conclusions.”


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