The Exact Beauty Products That Made This Woman An Instant Instagram Star

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Kelsie Swygart is a nail technician from Indiana, who like many women, enjoy doing makeup for fun. So it’s no surprise that when she stumbled upon “The Power of Makeup Challenge” she decided to take part. The result? One selfie showing a transformation so dramatic, that it went viral overnight.

But while Swygart is gaining attention for her expert makeup application abilities, she’s using it to push an important message close to her. Growing up, Swygart was bullied over her full face of freckles, but then as an adult working in the beauty industry, she started seeing women bullied over choosing to wear makeup. We chatted with Swygart to learn more about this experience and—yes—the step by step she did to achieve her jaw-dropping beauty look.

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NewBeauty: You said in your caption that you did this before/after for a challenge. What made you want to participate in it?

Kelsie Swygart: “The Power of Makeup Challenge” is where you leave one side of your face totally naked and natural, while on the other side you can either do your regular makeup or full glam. I chose to go full glam to make a more extreme challenge because I wanted the difference to be dramatic. It was so fun and I was even shocked with the outcome! I was inspired by Nikkie Tutorials on YouTube—she does absolutely breathtaking makeup looks! I aspire to be like her! 

NB: Ever since you posted the photo, you’ve gotten a lot of attention for using it to make a point.

KS: Nikkie [From Nikkie Tutorials] recently said: “Girls have become almost ashamed to say the love makeup. Nowadays when you say you love makeup its because you want look good for boys, you do it because you feel insecure or you do it because you don’t love yourself.”

To me, it doesn’t matter why you like to do your makeup as long as it’s what makes you happy! If you need makeup to feel beautiful, that’s ok! If you wear makeup because you like the challenge and it’s the trend right now, spectacular! You should never feel ashamed about doing your makeup, ever.

Can you walk me through each step of what you did to get the glam look?

Primer: NYX Pore Filler and NYX Studio Primer

Foundation: Femme Couture 8-in-1 Foundation in the shade “Fair”

Concealer: Femme Couture Get Covered Maximum Concealer in the shade “Fair”

Contour: NYX Matte Lipstick in the shade “Butter”

Powder: Femme Couture Mineral Effects Pressed Makeup in the shade “Fair”

Contour/Blush: Rimmel London Kate Sculpting Kit

Highlight: L’Oreal Paris True Match Lumi Powder Glow Illuminator in shade “Rose”

Brows: e.l.f Cream Eyeliner in the shade “Coffee”

Liner: L’Oreal Paris Lineur Intense Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner in the shade “Carbon Black”

Mascara: Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies Washable Mascara in “Back”

Lashes: Ardell Natural Invisiband Lashes Hotties in “Back”

Lips: Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor in the shade “HD Addiction”

Setting spray: L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Spray & Set Makeup Extender Setting Spray

I love to exfoliate my face with baking soda. I also use an eyebrow trimmer to remove the peach fuzz from my face and to make the makeup sit more smoothly. I start out with my primers and let them dry before doing foundation. I used a lot of foundation for this look, concealed spots that needed it and also highlighted my forehead, down my nose, under eye and above my jaw bone. Then I used the lipstick (yes I really use lipstick to contour) to contour my cheek, nose and forehead. Using a dampened makeup sponge, I blended everything together. I shaped and filled in my eyebrows and then did my eye makeup. Once I finished my eyes I used my powders to set my foundation and to further contour my face. Then I added my blush and highlight. Once I was finished I sprayed/soaked my face in setting spray. Then I used a baby wipe to make the perfect line down my face!

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NB: Of the products you used, do you swear by any holy grail products that you’ll buy over and over again? 

KS: I am absolutely obsessed with Femme Coture makeup. It is so full coverage and long lasting! I can’t imagine my life without it! I buy it online at Sally’s.

NB: Are these products you used part of your normal day-to-day beauty routine?

KS: To be honest I really don’t do my makeup that often! If I am going to work I will always do my eyes and a touch of foundation to cover any blemishes but I really love my freckles and looking as natural as possible on a day-to-day basis! I won’t ever leave the house without my eyebrows, liner & mascara though!

I was made fun of, growing up, for my freckles. I used to try and cover them up. There must be something about growing up that makes you stop caring about what other people think and I think that’s when I started to love them. They are so awesome in the summer when I get some sun. They make me unique and they set me apart from other people. They’re my favorite feature.

NB: You got a ton of comments and views on your Instagram picture. Did you expect to see so many people find your post?

I used to log into my Instagram only once or twice a week, just to check out what everyone had posted lately. When I did “#thepowerofmakeupchallenge” I first only posted it on my Snapchat because I thought some of my friends would like it. Then I remembered a beauty page I’m a member of on Facebook was having a Nikki Tutorials competition. It was a competition based around any and all of her makeup looks. You could pick your favorite and recreate it and you would be entered into the judging. 

I won first place! From there I decided it was Instagram-worthy and I must have been right because the “likes” started coming in faster than I could keep up count! I have had an overwhelming number of sweet, kind and supporting comments and I feel so blessed for all the encouragement! I can’t leave my notification volume on because I am literally constantly getting notifications on Instagram after that I added that picture! I am being offered makeup products and ambassador positions at companies and while it’s exciting, I never expected it. I am so excited where this is taking me. After this whole experience I am considering becoming a professional MUA.

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