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True to her channel name, every video Lex Fleming creates makes you look.
She started her channel (Madeyewlook) while still in high school, retreating into the world of makeup to both express her creativity and cope with unceasing bullying and her recent diagnosis with Type 1 diabetes. In four years, Fleming has turned her passion into a thriving business, complete with over 103 million views across her body art tutorials and her own makeup company, T1D.
In her videos, Fleming goes all out re-creating monsters, cultural icons, and innovative characters, all on the canvas of her own face. She’s transformed into the Beast from Beauty and the Beast, gone mad as a Hatter, and, in the spirit of Halloween, taught viewers how to create everything from peeled skin to zombie bite marks. It’s easy to fall into a rabbit hole of Fleming’s videos, as her simple instructions for complex looks make a 10-minute video go by in a blink. Even as a makeup novice, once I’ve started one of her videos, I’m in it to win it, as Fleming’s freelance sketches turn into some of the most outstanding art I’ve ever seen on the platform.
In addition to having a deep love of creativity, Fleming is a staunch ally against bullying on YouTube. In her channel bio, she addresses the matter head on, telling viewers:
“Please do not bully or leave negative comments on here towards me, or others. Always be kind, you never know what is happening in someone else’s life.”
Fleming believes in the healing power of makeup, as it allows individuals to build confidence, cover scars, and find beauty within themselves. She’s not alone in this attitude either; viral videos like the “Power of Makeup” trend and Amy Schumer’s “Girl, You Don’t Need Makeup” speak out against makeup shaming in the beauty community.
Along with creators such as Pixiewoo and Kandee Johnson, Fleming has expanded the genre of beauty on YouTube past lookbooks and smokey eye tutorials into a world where oddballs and outlandish ideas are celebrated. Because when it comes to something as simple as back-to-school makeup tutorials, wouldn’t you rather have this trick stowed away in your back pocket?
Screengrab via Madeyewlook/YouTube
Carly Lanning is a journalist who covers social media. Her work has been published by Psychology Today, NBC, Thrillist, and Ms. Magazine.