What You Don't Know About Laura Lee

YouTube has a little bit of something for everyone. Whether you're looking for a cute cat video or a motivational speech, there are channels to cater to every need. There's a reason that it's one of the most visited websites in the world, and it has gifted its viewers with some truly remarkable celebrities. One such YouTube star is Laura Lee, a makeup artist who boasts nearly 5 million followers at the time of publishing.  

Lee posted her first video on YouTube in 2013, and since then she has become one of the most recognizable names in the beauty industry. The Alabama native brings her southern charm and a winning personality to her wildly popular videos. While the forthcoming YouTube sensation reveals a lot about herself on her channel, there's still a lot that you don't know about the celeb. Here are some of the things that even the biggest fans probably didn't know about Laura Lee.

Her job as a medical assistant inspired her to become a makeup artist

Inspiration can be found in the strangest of places. You wouldn't think that working as a medical assistant would inspire someone to become a makeup artist, but that's exactly what happened with Lee. In her job as a medical assistant she was not allowed to wear very much makeup to work, and this pushed her to seek a creative outlet where she could explore her love for makeup.

"I was watching Kandee Johnson and Nicole Guerriero — there weren't that many beauty channels at the time — and I had always had a really, really big passion for beauty," she told HelloGiggles. "Being a medical assistant, I wasn't even really allowed to wear that much makeup to work, so after, I would come home and do my makeup every day and post it to Instagram. It was just kind of like a creative outlet for me, and then I just went over to YouTube."

Working until 4 a.m.

Transitioning from being a medical assistant to being a full-time YouTube star seems like a dream job. Lee was able to pursue her passion and now gets to wear as much makeup she wants! While it seems like this would make work a lot easier, Lee now works more hours than she did in her previous career. Fortunately, she loves what she does. "It is an incredible amount of work," she told HelloGiggles. "We stay up till 4:00 in the morning working. We take three hours to film a video and eight hours to edit it."

While Lee gets some help from her husband, even with his assistance she still works some long hours. "I do have my husband helping me do that because I physically, absolutely could not do it by myself," she said. "This is not a 9 to 5. This is a 24/7 type of job."

How does she stay confident? By being the weirdest version of herself

One of the most captivating things about Lee's videos is how she's always so confident about herself. Mimicking her makeup looks is one thing, but how do you get that killer confidence? It turns out that her secret is a pretty simple one, and it's advice that we can all follow. "I feel the most confident whenever I am able to be myself 100 percent," she told HelloGiggles. "It's hard to do that actually, you know, because I'm such a quirky, weird person and it's so easy to try to be normal and act like everybody else. Whenever I'm not being myself, it actually makes me feel really unconfident."

Self-confidence is something that took Lee some time to learn. She said that if she could give her teenage self some advice it would be to "be the weirdest version of you, you can be." She added, "I think a lot of great things would've happened for me."

Looking flawless is all about technique

If you're just starting out with makeup, don't be disappointed if things don't turn out the way you want them to right away! Applying makeup can be a tricky thing, and there aren't really any shortcuts. If you want flawless makeup, you're going to have to work at it. The good thing, though, is that if you practice enough, you can become a master of makeup like Lee is. She perfected her technique through years of practice.

"You can load up on as many facial primers and full coverage foundations as possible, but if not done the correct way, you may not end up with the result you were looking for," she told Health Beauty Life. "I often film drugstore looks and dupe videos that show girls how to look flawless while staying under budget. I didn't go to cosmetology school to learn my make up skills. It was practice that taught me everything I know. Remember, practice makes perfect!"

She loves her crooked teeth

Lee's confidence radiates off the screen. She's totally up front about everything and is also happy to embrace what makes her different. While some people might see makeup as a way to cover up blemishes and imperfections, Lee recognizes that imperfections help create character. No one is perfect but, while some people might be insecure about their flaws, Lee takes hers in stride.

When asked by Star Central what she would change about herself, Lee made it clear that she loves her body — flaws and all. She said that when it comes to her "crooked smile," she wouldn't change a thing. "So many people put braces on their children," she said. "I didn't have that luxury however; I love how my crooked teeth set me apart from the rest. My smile is like no other." Anyone who has seen Lee's wide, ear-to-ear grin would definitely have to agree with her!

She wants everyone to "embrace their natural body"

Loving your body can be a difficult thing. Most people have something that they're insecure about and would like to change, but Lee thinks everyone should accept and love their imperfections. It might sound surprising coming from a makeup artist, but Lee is against the artificial look and would love to see the trend of the "man made body" disappear.

"Don't get me wrong, plastic surgery can be a beautiful thing," she told Health Beauty Life. "The huge trend I've seen explode is the large breast, tiny waistline, and Brazilian butt. If you were one of the rare ones born with this trending body shape, that's fantastic. But I feel like people think they have to have plastic surgery on their bodies to 'fit in' and feel beautiful and confident. This is not true. I would just like to see more people embrace their natural body, and be proud of what they have no matter what shape or size. I guess we would upset society pretty bad if we stood proud of what we have."

Her go-to beauty products are shockingly simple (and cheap)

You would think that a YouTube makeup star like Lee would only use the fanciest of products. While Lee does have a variety of beauty products in her makeup arsenal, her favorites are surprisingly basic ones that can be found in any drugstore. When it comes to the essentials, she keeps it pretty simple. Her favorite beauty staple? Vaseline. "I keep a tube of it everywhere I go," she told Health Beauty Life. "I'm allergic to Chapstick and I have extremely chapped lips, so Vaseline does the trick for me. If you coat your eye lashes with it at night it also nourishes them and help them to grow long."

Who knew that Vaseline was such an effective beauty hack? Lee said that her favorite eye product is also a simple, budget-friendly product. "I also can't live without my NYC black liquid liner," she said. "I learned how to create a winged liner with this stuff. I wear it every single day and it cost a measly $3 at your local drugstore, people!"

When in doubt, glitter it up

Vaseline isn't the only beauty hack that Lee has up her sleeve. Her other brilliant beauty idea befits her sparkling personality. Lee revealed her secret to Parade: For an instantly glamorous look, all Lee needs is a little bit of glitter. "I have been using glitter for a long time, and if I'm having a bad eyeshadow day — we all in the beauty community have a saying, 'Just put some glitter on top of it, they'll never know,'" she said. "I love glitter. I'll put glitter on top of my highlight, lipstick and all over my eyelids."

It's a simple but genius hack that is easily overlooked by the average makeup aficionado. If you've ever wondered if wearing glitter is too over-the-top for anything other than a club night or a costume party, you can now rest easy knowing that the look is approved by Lee herself.

She is literally her own inspiration

Lee is clearly living her best life. Not only has she made a career out of her passion, but she's also staying confident and motivated. When looking for inspiration for her lipstick collaboration with MAC, she didn't have to look any further than herself. "I'm such a narcissist for even saying this out loud, but they [the MAC product development team] pulled my inspo board that I sent them, and it's literally all pictures of myself," she told PopSugar. '"They were like, 'Laura, your inspo is you.'"

Lee explained that she usually blends a few lipstick shades to get her ideal color, so when she was working with MAC, she decided to create the shade that she had been blending herself. "Typically, I will mix two or three nude-pink colors together to get the shade that I created," she told Parade. "I made a shade that I wear every day and that's so easy to wear." Now she and her fans can finally have Lee's signature shade in one tube of lipstick!

She's a bit of a homebody (although she does love to travel)

We often hear that celebs are just like us, although we don't necessarily believe it. The average person, after all, doesn't have photographers snapping shots of them. They also don't have the money to do whatever they want. Not every famous person lives the life of a celebrity, though. Lee, for example, hasn't turned into the partying type of celebrity since she became famous. Instead, she likes to hang out at home.

She does like to travel (although she hates long plane rides) but she's happiest when she and her husband, Tyler, stay home and watch TV. "As lame as it sounds, I love sitting at home with some take-out watching Family Guy or American Dad," she told Sigma Affiliates. "Tyler and I are always on the go, so down time is the best time." Lee might be famous, but it looks like she's got her priorities in order!

Here's why she's the epitome of girl power

Not only is Lee a YouTube powerhouse who has built a successful brand, but she's done it on her own — talk about girl power! The entrepreneur announced in 2017 that she was starting her own makeup line, Laura Lee Los Angeles, and that she was doing it all on her own. "This is my brand, this is me creating this by myself," Lee said in a YouTube video. "No one's helping me; I spent my own money on this brand. I am doing this and, you know, as a woman, I am... just so proud of myself for being an entrepreneur and investing in myself, investing my money, and working really hard and creating something great."

Being a self-made YouTube star is impressive enough, but Lee's business skills make her even more of a role model. She's living proof that women can get things done!

Racist tweets derailed her career

In August 2018, a scandal erupted when old tweets from Lee's Twitter account were circulated on the internet. One of the now-deleted tweets, shared by Cosmopolitan, read "Tip for all black people if you pull ur pants up you can run from the police faster.." The racist tweets resulted in serious repercussions. 

Lee quickly lost most of her sponsorships, including a lucrative deal with Ulta Beauty. Boxycharm, a beauty subscription service, also denounced Lee. She was also dropped from DIFF Eyewear, and was removed from the Morphe cosmetics website, which had her listed under the "Extended Family" tab on their website. The backlash also resulted in a massive drop in subscribers. According to social media growth website SocialBlade, Lee lost more than half a million subscribers after the tweets resurfaced. Citing industry trends from Polygon, Vox projected that the drop in subscribers could cost Lee $65,000 in earnings per year.

Staging a comeback

Lee temporarily deactivated her Twitter account after the scandal broke out, and reactivated it the next day to issue an apology. "That girl who tweeted that isn't the girl I am today," she wrote. "I now understand the seriousness behind those tweets. ...Those tweets aren't humorous in any way to me today and I am truly sorry to everyone I have hurt and offended. I feel so disgusted about this and want you to know from the bottom of my heart I am incredibly grateful for this community. Social media has taught me so much about the injustice, bullying, and inequality people face daily."

Fans weren't buying the apology, however, especially as Lee released a makeup video just four days later that didn't address the controversy. A couple days later she released a (now-deleted) public apology video. "I wish I was better six years ago," she said (via Yahoo). "But I can't pray for the past, I can only pray for the future." The video failed to impress, with many calling it "fake," and Lee's popularity continued to dwindle.

Fans weren't buying her apology

Since the scandal, Lee has been trying to rebuild her following. After the failed apology, she disappeared from the internet for a while, before issuing a second apology video at the end of September 2018. "In the past six and a half years, I have grown so much and have gained so much knowledge and respect," she said. "I know that it's prejudice, and stereotypes are not funny ever. I know that is nothing to joke about."

Lee also apologized for the first video, saying "In the video, I come off more as a victim," she said. "I am NOT a victim in any way, form, or fashion in this situation." Since then, she's been focusing on repairing her image. At the end of 2018, Lee launched a holiday makeup collection called Slay Belle. As of this writing, however, Lee's YouTube account still hasn't recovered and she's still losing more followers each month than she's gaining; only time will tell if she will be able to regain the public's respect.