We’ve got contributing editor Natalie Alcala on speed-dial. Not only does the LA-based writer and blogger know the best places to score an unforgettable braid, she’s also discovered the secret to perfect skin from Hollywood’s elite. Every week, she’ll be cluing us in to the latest in West Coast fashion, beauty, and fun.
In addition to being a panelist, I was also a judge in the NYX FACE Awards, where the country’s six up-and-coming YouTube gurus battled it out to become Beauty Vlogger of the Year and receive a cool $25,000. I sat down with the winner, Air Force enlistee Missy Lynn (aka Start2FinishMUA), to hear more about her inspiring journey and plans for the future.
Your winning look blew me away. What was it inspired by?
The ‘Goddess of the Night (Nyx)’ look was inspired by my dark journey. I’ve encountered a lot of heartache in my young years, which have made me the strong person that I am today. Nyx (Nix), the Goddess of the Night, had exceptional power and beauty. Although she was seen as a shadowy figure in the night, and only seen in glimpses, her presence was still felt. I absolutely tied my life and the meaning of the Nyx Goddess together, creating the perfect fit, the perfect recreation.
How did you get into beauty vlogging?
I started watching beauty YouTube videos in 2009 shortly after my brother was killed by gun violence. It was my emotional outlet; the people that I watched motivated me and gave me hope, and I began experimenting more with cosmetics and artistry—a hidden passion of mine. In 2010, I decided to start my own channel as a pastime, to help me cope with the pain that I was enduring; I was at peace when I was applying makeup. Soon after my second video, I was notified that I had subscribers, and they told me that I inspired them and to never stop making videos. I’ve been doing YouTube videos ever since. Who would have known that while I was on a journey to find inspiration, I was inspiring others?
How do you balance your work in the Air Force with your YouTube career?
It can be difficult to balance, but doing makeup and producing my videos isn’t considered work for me because I really like doing it. When I’m not in the military or in school I stay up to edit videos until 1am to make sure I have something for my viewers to watch. I sacrifice my sleep. I’m at the Air Force one day and the next day at a beauty event because I want to follow my passions.
Who’s makeup would you love to do one day?
I’d love to do Beyonce’s makeup—she’s gorgeous! She has taught me to focus on my career, and strive for what I want. She has also taught me that marriage and kids come later, and it’s important to get myself together before investing into a huge commitment like starting a family. She definitely set a great path for young women. I’d also like to do Megan Fox’s makeup because she is a hottie! Lastly, I’d pick Zoe Saldana, who is confident. She embraces the fact that she is petite, as opposed to complaining and changing herself; she loves herself as is.
What’s your dream goal after winning this competition?
After I make donations to multiple Gun Violence Organizations and to the Wounded Warriors Military Donation Fund (I’m active duty military-Air Force), I would like to invest into opening my own Beauty Bar/Beauty Camp, as well as creating my own makeup brush line collection.
For more from Natalie Alcala—take a peek at her weekly column here.