In case you're unfamiliar with 13-year-old YouTube and Instagram sensation Reuben de Maid, don't fret—that will all change shortly. First of all, as mentioned, UK-born de Maid has quickly made a name for himself in the beauty world as one of the youngest (and may we say most adorable) influencers in the industry. His YouTube channel currently tops out at a stunning 226,000 subscribers, and his Instagram following is 315,000. And while he may not have been a household name before (not everyone follows teen beauty influencers, after all), he most surely is after making appearances on The Ellen Show, where he performed (he also sings, NBD) and met up with his makeup hero, Kim Kardashian West. (He also appeared on Keeping Up With the Kardashians.)
So what does all this have to do with Byrdie, you may be wondering? Well, in an exciting turn of events (just kidding, we totally planned it), de Maid popped into our L.A. Byrdie HQ to give features editor Amanda Montell and me his own Reuben-ified makeover. (For inspiration, think the Jenner and Kardashian aesthetic—brows, contour, and nude lips, with his own whimsical twists on light pink eye shadow and a holographic lip gloss courtesy of brands like Petite 'n Pretty.) Both Amanda and I are fairly low-key when it comes to our beauty routines (lashes, lips, glowing skin is the name of our game), so we thought we'd give Reuben the challenge of gifting me with a more natural version of his signature (weekend KKW) and Amanda his full-on glamorous signature (red carpet KKW). Oh, and as the ever-curious beauty editors we are, we also picked up five out-of-the-box application tips from de Maid which are completely genius. Below are our "after" looks with the "Reuben's Rubric" (if you will) of makeup application.
The Makeover Looks
Post-brows and -base (both Amanda and I love the Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation, $77, so we brought it with us for Reuben to use), we took a few quick Boomerangs to capture the pre-application magic. For the perfect brow look, de Maid used Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil ($24) on both of us—just different shades. Then, roughly an hour later, we each emerged with our unique looks. For Amanda, the end result featured ultra-dark brows, a glossy nude lip, and mesmerizing eyes. For what it's worth, it was actually the first time she had ever been "baked," and while it was more makeup than she was used to wearing, it photographed amazingly and essentially looked as if she had swiped the pretty filter over her already flawless complexion.
For me, as mentioned, the aesthetic was more natural—all glowy skin (although there was still a lot more bronzer than I'm used to applying myself), defined brows (he's a master), and a light coating of glimmering bubblegum-pink gloss and lengthening mascara. There was also a light dusting of earthy-toned eye shadow involved. While still striking in person, again, the finish almost looked airbrushed in front of the camera. In fact, we didn't even need a filter. (Lighting is always key, however.) So how exactly does de Maid achieve such a look? Here are five epic tips we picked up along the way.
Tip #1: Add Yellow Eye Shadow to an Ashy Bronzer
While we chatted about trends in beauty (and de Maid's love for bronzer), the fact that many formulas appear too ashy after application came up. De Maid's ingenious fix? He adds a quick swirl of bright yellow or gold-toned eye shadow to his brush to help neutralize the potentially dulling effect of the bronzer. I watched him do it right in front of me to Amanda's face, and it was, indeed, impressive. He used the shade Creamsicle from Morphe Jaclyn Hill Eyeshadow Palette ($39).
Tip #2: Bake With the Right Powder
During the makeovers, de Maid introduced us to RCMA No Color Powder ($12), which, he says, is simply the best. "You buy it on eBay," he explained. "But it's not fake makeup or anything. I just always buy it on eBay." He used the powder to bake Amanda's face and set my own more neutral look. We're considering it the ultimate under-the-radar product discovery. Afterward, he ensured even more staying powder with a (very thorough) spritz of setting spray.
Tip #3: Clean up Makeup Fallout With a Wipe-Wrapped Spoolie Brush
After some leftover shadow and mascara had made their way onto my nose, de Maid quickly wrapped a makeup remover wipe around his spoolie brush. "Wait, WHAT are you doing?" I heard Amanda exclaim. De Maid quickly explained it's his quick and effortless MO for cleaning up fallout as he goes about application. Brilliant, just brilliant.
Tip #4: Banish Cakey Lips With Gloss
As de Maid skillfully gifted both Amanda and me with Jenner- and Kardashian-like nude pouts, I lamented how I always struggle with nude lips, as I get that dreaded cakey line right in the center. "How do I prevent it?" I asked him somewhat desperately. His cool-as-a-cucumber reply: "Just add gloss." He loves Petite 'n Pretty 10K Shine Lip Gloss ($16) to diffuse the look of a solid nude lip. Apparently, matte is a 100% no-go for de Maid.
Tip #5: Swap Foundation for Concealer
Or at least, one concealer in particular. For Amanda's full-impact makeup look (aka more coverage), de Maid mixed a little bit of Too Faced Born This Way Super Coverage Multi-Use Sculpting Concealer ($29). Then, after he got her base to his liking, he began on her eyes, which involved shadow and lots and lots of mascara.
To get our looks, here are all of Reuben's essentials.