Kandee Crush

kandee johnson

In the $60-billion beauty industry, YouTube celebrities are exercising continual influence. The Internet has the ability to connect with customers globally, and average people have the convenience of being able to upload content and share it with the entire world. Beauty YouTubers are changing the face of the beauty industry and how the consumer retains beauty information, turning creative and entrepreneurial make-up enthusiasts into online beauty sensations. Big cosmetic companies are taking notice and are partnering with these beauty gurus for beauty events, campaigns, product placements and social media stunts, as well as co-creating new products with these YouTube stars.

Many of these YouTube beauty gurus have been able to escalate to recognition by uploading their homemade videos and gradually attracting a fan base. As these videos gain likes and subscribers, the content creator is well on their way to digital stardom. Among the many YouTube stars that have become internet famous for their beauty skills is Kandee Johnson.

Kandee is a Hollywood make-up artist, blogger and YouTube star. With over 3.6 million subscribers and 389 million views on her YouTube channel, she uses the platform to share amazing transformation makeovers, beauty tips and lifestyle pieces. Last year she served as the lead beauty contributor for Condé Nast. Kandee has worked with companies such as Honda, Viacom, Visa and Dick Clark Productions and has been featured in magazines such as Elle, Nylon, Glamour, Self, and Cosmopolitan. Across her social media channels, Kandee has a cumulative following of over 6.3 million.

NYX Professional Makeup is the fastest- growing beauty brand known for high-quality makeup at an affordable price. A leader in the global color cosmetics industry, NYX Professional Makeup is defined by exceptional, quality products with rich pigments and high payoff. Featuring a range of classic, seasonal, and on-trend cosmetics, NYX is a must have mong beauty lovers and professional makeup artists. While headquartered in Los Angeles, NYX Cosmetics is a global brand available in over 70 countries at thousands of retailers, including specialty beauty and fashion stores, freestanding shops, beauty supply stores, as well as on www.nyxcosmetics.com.

NYX Cosmetics has announced the fifth annual NYX Fine Artistry of Cosmetic Elites (FACE) Awards show, which will be held at Club Nokia at L.A. Live in Los Angeles, California on August 20th, 2016. This year’s show is hosted by Kandee Johnson, who stated she is, “thrilled and honored to be hosting the 5th annual FACE awards.” This year’s awards will feature an all-star group of judges composed of beauty industry insiders and leading makeup artists. Makeup artist and YouTube guru, Charismastar will emcee the NYX FACE Awards 2016 competition. The panel of judges for this year’s FACE Awards will be Academy- Award winning makeup artist, Ve Neill, Editor- in-chief of Nylon, Melissa Giannini, Beauty Director of Refinery29, Megan McIntyre, and YouTube sensation, Ingrid Nilsen.

Currently underway, the NYX FACE Awards have already announced the top 6 finalists for this year’s competition, all of which are vying for the title of “Beauty Vlogger of the Year.” Along with the title, the Grand Prize winner will receive $50,000, consultations with professional makeup artists, a year’s supply of NYX Cosmetics, as well as the promise of a flourishing professional career in makeup artistry. In addition, the five runner-ups will each receive $15,000. The final 6 will create videos with makeup tutorials inspired by the last NYX FACE Awards challenge theme, and the winner will be decided by live voting from the carefully-selected judging panel on August 20th. To follow the competition on social media, check out #FaceAwards and learn more about the final 6 on their social media platforms or on www.youtube.com/nyxcosmetics.

The competition will be live-streamed at nyxfaceawards.com and on the official NYX YouTube channel, with Vice as a media partner. The fifth annual NYX FACE Awards 2016 competition will also feature performances from YouTube sensation singer, Chloe X Halle, and Alyssa Edwards of The Haus of Edwards will be performing a drag show. In addition there will be celebrity guests and beauty industry favorites in attendance. Over the last five years the NYX FACE awards have grown to become one of the year’s most anticipated events, not just for members of the beauty industry, but for everyone who celebrates makeup artistry. “The NYX FACE awards pride themselves on encouraging and supporting artists all around the world.” says Sarah El-Annan, NYX Professional Makeup VP of Integrated Marketing & PR.

The NYX FACE awards continue to be the premier platform to discover talented new makeup artists and bring awareness to the beauty industry. Tickets for the event are free and will be made available online. Partnering with NYX in its celebration of the online makeup artist and beauty community NYX FACE Awards sponsors are Redken, Target, LuLu*s, Lola Shoetique, The Body Shop and Clarisonic, to name a few. For a full list of sponsors please visit www.nyxfaceawards.com

We sat down with Kandee and asked her a few beauty questions for CVLUX.


CVLUX: How were you influenced growing up?

KJ: Oh, the good ol’ days! Back then, all we had as far as being influenced in the way that social media now influences others, was pretty much just TV, magazines or books!

CVLUX: How has your background (makeup, styling, etc.) made you the influencer you are today?

KJ: Well, I don’t think I would have started YouTube, had I not been a makeup artist. Since I was a makeup artist, when I saw Lauren Luke (panacea81 on YouTube) using YouTube to teach makeup, I thought, “This is brilliant! Now I can teach all the women who’ve said they wished I could teach them makeup right in their own homes!” There weren’t tutorials on how to contour your nose or apply false lashes or any of that, so I just shared all the tips, tricks and makeup basics that I thought everyone would love to know. I really have always loved inspiring, teaching and encouraging people, so I hope that comes across in my videos, whether I’m teaching how to get the perfect brows, look like a Barbie doll, make your own teeth whitening trays at home, or how to handle a bad day. I love when I hear people came for the makeup but left inspired.

CVLUX: Can you tell us about the process of launching your YouTube channel from concept to reality?

KJ: Well, my first challenge was that I didn’t own any filming equipment. My grandparents (and may I repeat that, my grandparents) had a garage sale and no one bought their antiquated video camera, which still used tapes, not even a memory card. They asked if I wanted the old video camera and I said, “YEAH!” That camera, in all its squeaky, taping, twisting glory, was what I used for my first videos. And I just got really excited at the thought of teaching my makeup tips and tricks and I went full force. I’ve always had a really great work ethic and I’d upload 1 to 3 videos a day, every day. Then I started doing the makeup transformations like Jessica Rabbit, Edward Scissorhands, Snow White, the Queen of Hearts and people really loved those! I didn’t think too much about what I was doing; I just did it. If you overthink or wait for the perfect time to start anything, you’ll never do it. Once I get into something, I just go! Start where you’re at, with what you’ve got. And eventually, I got a video camera that didn’t squeak.

CVLUX: What advice can you offer to women who want a career in your industry?

KJ: Ask yourself why you want to do it. When your reason is beyond yourself, and when you want to create, entertain, teach, inspire, help or benefit others, that’s when what you’re doing is going to have the greatest meaning. And if it is in the YouTube, blogger or social media realm, always talk, write and speak as if you’re talking to your best friend.

CVLUX: What is the most rewarding aspect of being a female influencer?

KJ: Being able to reach people all over the world with hope and encouragement and to make them feel that they are not alone and loved. Getting emails saying, “you saved my life,” or, “you helped me through a battle with cancer," or, "the loss of a loved one.” There is no greater reward than hearing that.

CVLUX: What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the profession?

KJ: I think women don’t get the same respect that a man does, but that just means we work harder, think smarter and really impress everyone; then they’re like, “Wow! Look what she did!”

CVLUX: Which other female influencers do you admire and why?

KJ: All of these girls are my friends and I have great admiration and love for them. I love Lilly Singh (iisuperwomanii on YouTube); she has a tireless work ethic and she’s humble, sweet, and hustles hard, from grueling tour schedules, to filming a documentary, to becoming friends with her hero, The Rock. I admire people that work hard and are kind and humble. I always say I barely sleep from all the work I do; then I’ll see Lilly is just as sleepless as me! Lilly and I are like spirit animals of each other.

I also admire Colleen Ballinger (Miranda Sings on YouTube) because not only does she continue to film YouTube videos while on her Miranda tour, but she’s sweet, she’s built a brand and loves to make people happy. She’s worked with so many big names and has accomplished so much, it just makes me so proud and happy for her.

Lindsey Stirling is another woman I have a lot of admiration for because not only is she adorable, a sweetie pie, and an incredible violinist, but she is always working to be an even more amazing violinist. That to me is a sign of true greatness, always striving to become even better! She’s an author and when I saw her book when I was walking through an airport one day, my heart just burst with joy from being so proud of her!

Jenna Marbles is another woman I look up to because she is so real, kind, funny and thoughtful, and is just a truly humble and wonderful person. She became the most followed woman on YouTube, but her genuine spirit and kindness is something that you feel. She has made me laugh and encouraged both on YouTube and just in real life. Her success and fame has not changed her in any way; she’s real, she’s got a great balance of work and life, and I just love her.

CVLUX: How do you maintain a work/life balance?

KJ: That’s really hard to find balance when the very platforms you use never stop; 24/7 there are ways to engage and ways to share your content all the time. That is something that I struggle with. So I have to really work hard to shut down, even though I have lists of things that need to get done or worked on, hundreds of emails that need me to look at them, or videos that need to be edited, all the time.

CVLUX: As the host of the NYX FACE Awards 2016, can you tell us more about the event?

KJ: It is the world’s biggest makeup competition that draws people from all over the world to enter and compete to make it to the finals. It is a huge honor to be in the running and really showcases the contestants and can really draw attention to and grow their YouTube or Instagram channels to new levels of success.

CVLUX: Why did you initially want to get involved with the NYX FACE Awards?

KJ: I love NYX and have been a fan and friend of everyone at the NYX team for years. I’m honored to get to be a part of a competition this big, to help to inspire up-and-coming makeup artists and those who just love makeup, to see what they can do with makeup and to showcase their work in such a huge way.

CVLUX: What makes the 2016 NYX FACE Awards different from other awards shows?

KJ: It is the biggest makeup competition of its kind! There is no other makeup competition like it. It brings people from all over the internet, striving to be in the running and to see who is winning. Many of the contestants are self-taught but have incredible talents with makeup. To see what they do is really amazing. And to know that it’s the biggest award show of its kind makes it a real honor to be a part of.

The NYX FACE Awards were held August 20th and the results are in! Laura Sanchez was named Beauty Vlogger of the Year for 2016.


Beauty Editor Jennifer Conroy