The fab five: Beauty gurus for grownups

hqdefaultYouTube and Instagram have transformed the beauty game. A large and varied lineup of amateurs and experts have amassed huge followings eager to learn about the latest in skin care and makeup. Instagram is where you’ll see snapshots of beauty gurus in all their poreless, perfected glory. YouTube is where you get the before and after images, learn about the latest products and see how they’re applied.

I confess that I spend hours watching videos and scrolling through photos because there are some incredibly talented men and women out there. These individuals can blend eyeshadow until it’s as smooth as body butter and draw winged eyeliner sharper than Angelina Jolie’s perfect cheekbones.

The truth, however, is that the vast majority of those gurus are on the younger end of the age spectrum. Some of the best are barely out of their teens. While I learn a great deal from them, many of their makeup looks and color choices are clearly aimed at a young, edgy market that excludes baby boomers and older millennials. That’s why I’d like to introduce you to five talented experts — all of whom just happen to be British — whose common-sense advice encompasses all generations. They’re the beauty equivalent of the Fab Five (or Fab Six if you want to get technical and count the Pixiwoo sisters separately).

Lisa Eldridge: Lisa is one of the most well-regarded makeup artists in the industry and her client roster includes the rich, famous and infamous. She’s created looks for everyone from Kate Winslet to Kate Moss, from Cate Blanchett to Katy Perry. Lisa has also worked for companies such as Shiseido, Chanel, Lancome and Boots No. 7, as well as designers like Chloe, Alberta Ferretti, Prada, Donna Karan and Moschino.

Lisa’s social media channels are resources for practical advice and clean, classic, wearable makeup looks. She’s an expert on the history of makeup and has created numerous historically accurate makeup videos showcasing various eras. You’ll find her YouTube channel here and her blog at I’ve already preordered her upcoming book, “Face Paint: The Story of Makeup,” from Amazon.

Wayne Goss: Some of the best makeup artists are men and Wayne is at the top of the class. If you want honest information delivered in a cut-to-the-chase, honest manner, he’s your guy. (It doesn’t hurt that he’s easy on the eyes.) Wayne keeps things simple, whether he’s demonstrating how to create a smokey eye or create Kim Kardashian contours. He’s both charming and disarming: If he thinks a product is rubbish he makes no bones about it. Wayne has deservedly amassed nearly 2.2 million YouTube followers and launched his own line of high-end makeup brushes. You’ll find his YouTube channel here.

Caroline Hirons: Caroline is the Swami of Skin Care and her advice and recommendations have changed my skin for the better. I can’t even begin to fathom how many products she’s sampled in more than 18 years in the beauty industry. Caroline has represented a who’s who of top brands, including Sunday Riley, Hampton Sun, Kate Somerville, Zelens, Sjal and Pixi. She keeps things real and comes across as someone who’d be a blast to be around. Check out her YouTube channel and her blog. Your skin will thank you.

Sali Hughes: Sali has been the resident beauty writer for The Guardian U.K. since 2011. She’s also written about beauty, style and relationships in publications such as Elle, Red, Glamour and Cosmopolitan, winning two Jasmine Awards for beauty writing along the way. Sali’s YouTube channel features reviews, tutorials and interviews with leading beauty experts and celebrities. I particularly enjoy her “In the Bathroom” series, in which she tactfully invades — yes — the bathrooms of her interview subjects to chat and cheerfully check out what’s in their beauty cabinets. I recently read Sali’s book, “Pretty Honest: The Straight-Talking Beauty Companion” and thoroughly enjoyed it. You’ll find her YouTube channel here and her blog at

maxresdefaultSam and Nic Chapman: The Chapman sisters describe themselves as “makeup artists, vloggers, bloggers, beauty boot camp instructors, moms and more.” All I know is that I love their YouTube videos, which feature in-depth tutorials — some classic, some slightly edgy, some celebrity-inspired — along with product hauls. Sam and Nic have a combined 30 years in the beauty industry, having begun their careers as makeup artists while in their teens. They’re also the brains behind the Real Techniques line of makeup brushes, including the new, luxe Bold Metals collection. Collectively known as Pixiwoo, you’ll find their YouTube channel here. Their joint blog is at

Photos: Sali Hughes and Caroline Hirons share a laugh; Sam and Nic Chapman’s YouTube filming setup.

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