Makeup guru Lauren Curtis discusses female empowerment and dealing with online trolls

Get em, girl.

By: Morgan Reardon

After uploading her first YouTube video in 2011 while working at Target, Lauren Curtis is now now of Australia's most successful beauty authorities.

On her recent cover shoot with Cosmopolitan, we chatted to the makeup guru about her career, female empowerment and dealing with those online trolls.

Lauren, what would you tell your 18-year-old self?

You have no idea what's in store, so keep staying true to yourself, uphold your morals and values and don't listen to anything anyone else has to say. All of the tough times you're going through now will make you a better, stronger, more compassionate person that will go on to help others in a similar situation.

Female empowerment is huge to our readers — which female inspires you and why?

I'm super inspired by women on social media who absolutely love their bodies — 'flaws' and all. Whether it be an everyday woman or a celebrity, seeing these ladies rock their stretch marks, cellulite or stomach rolls makes me feel so much more empowered to embrace mine too. These days it's hard to find an unedited photo on Instagram, so young girls — the most impressionable — have a distorted view of what a women's body should look like versus what it does look like. With all of these strong women coming forward who aren't afraid to share their unedited, raw photos with the world, it helps these girls to realise that their body is totally normal and beautiful exactly the way it is.

What's the biggest hurdle you've overcome in your career?

Not taking the hate and negativity personally. I'm quite a sensitive person who cares a lot about my reputation and what people think of me, so when I started reading these nasty comments about the way I looked or my personality or the quality of my character, it really began to take a toll. It took me a while to realise that no matter who you are or what you do, you simply cannot please everyone — and you don't need to.

That's awful. How do you deal with the trolls?

I'm so grateful to have an incredible support system around me that picks me up whenever I'm feeling down. I honestly don't know what I'd do without them — my boyfriend Reece in particular is incredible. He always knows the right things to say at the right time.

What's one of your biggest pet peeves about your job?

No one understanding what I do! OK, so maybe a slight exaggeration, but I absolutely dread being asked what I do for work as it's so hard to explain! And a lot of the time I don't think people take me or what I do seriously, which can be frustrating.

What's your best advice to Cosmo readers on how to be a strong female?

Just own it — whatever 'it' may be! When you acknowledge and embrace your strengths and weaknesses — in all areas — you're better equipped to handle almost all situations. Know what you're good at, so you do more of that, and know what you're not so good at, so you leave that to those who do it better. When you try to do it all or pretend to be someone you're not, you're wasting time and energy on things that don't serve you or make you happy. Just be unapologetically yourself, because no one's perfect and we're all doing our best.

Oh, and if someone tries to belittle you or doubts your abilities — it's time to show them what you're made of!

What and who makes you feel most beautiful?

Ironically, I feel the most beautiful when I wear less makeup. I think there's something about feeling confident in your natural state that is so empowering. My boyfriend's cute compliments don't hurt either!

What's your best beauty advice?

Makeup should be fun, creative and a form of self-expression. There are no rules when it comes to what or how you apply and where you apply it. Red eye shadow and black lips? Awesome! Red lips and black eyes? Fabulous! Don't feel pressure to follow trends, just rock whatever makes you feel most confident.

What's been your last pinch-me moment?

Uh, two Cosmo covers in the space of a year! How amazing!

What does your boyfriend think about your beauty regimen?

He loves the natural look because it takes five minutes instead of my hour-long full glam routine (laughs). As long as it doesn't make us late for dinner it's good in his books!

What's the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do before bed?

Kiss my boyfriend goodbye when he leaves for work in the morning and then kiss him goodnight. Corny, I know!

This article originally appeared in the August 2018 issue of Cosmopolitan Australia.