BECKY Howes is fast becoming an internet star with her wild and wonderful make-up tips.
The 19-year-old, from Washington, has been dubbed the “make-up artist guru” after posting blogs and YouTube video tutorials of how to get radical make-up looks, inspired by famous faces such as Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Paramore’s Hayley Williams.
But life wasn’t always so picture perfect for Becky, who became ill with an eating disorder when she was just 13.
“I used to look at magazines and music videos and wonder why I didn’t look like all the celebrities,” she says.
“It made me feel really bad about my appearance. I’ve always been really into fashion and loved watching catwalk shows, but I was made to feel like that’s the way I should have looked, so I aspired to be as skinny and beautiful as all the models.”
Becky, who started her YouTube channel, Make-up by Bextacy, in March 2009, says that it’s thanks to the comments from her site’s users that she started to change the way she thought about herself.
She said: “It was about this time last year that my YouTube channel really started to take off and lots of people were leaving comments telling me that I was beautiful. It really made me think.
“I just told myself that the way I was feeling, and acting, wasn’t going to make me happy so asked I asked myself – why was I doing it?”
Now when Becky looks in the mirror she sees herself for the beautiful young girl she is, and feels much healthier and happier.
Becky’s YouTube channel reaches its second anniversary on March 29, and is fast approaching 350,000 upload views.
More than 3,500 people subscribe to Make-up by Bextacy, making sure they’re first to know about any new videos that the teenager produces.
On the wild looks she creates, Becky said: “I love experimenting with really bold and bright colours and creating really over-the-top looks, but that’s just me anyway. I’d go to the corner shop with most of the styles I’ve put on my blog.
“Celebrities like Lady Gaga and Jessie J are doing wonders for the make-up industry, making people want to do dramatic things with their looks.
“Whenever someone like this releases a new music video everyone wants to be first to upload a tutorial of how to get their look – it’s really competitive.
“But I’m a huge fan of all the other make-up gurus out there, and we can all learn from each other. Lauren Luke is my absolute hero.
“She started out just like me with a blog on YouTube and then she was picked up by a make-up company who gave her her own line of make-up and she went on to release a book.
“I’d absolutely love to have my own book. I met Lauren at a book signing and I burst into tears, and she started crying because I was – everyone was looking at us like we were nuts!”
Becky’s mum Karen said she was absolutely amazed at Becky’s drive, self-motivation and determination to succeed through what have been some difficult personal times for both her health and self confidence.
“I am so proud of her,” she said, “what she’s achieved and the sacrifices she’s made to get this far. I really want to shout her name from the rooftops because she deserves the recognition.”