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The foundation that started it all: P R I M A D O N N A
Senior Brysseida Fabian establishes prominence in local beauty community
November 15, 2017
Slouching against a hardwood desk during her algebra 2 class, she starts dozing off as her teacher drones on about linear equations. A minute later, her iPhone floods with notifications. She unlocks her phone, grinning when she realizes her latest video reached more than 40k views and makes a mental reminder to review the latest products that arrived at her house last night.
With 18.2k subscribers on YouTube and 23.7k Instagram followers, senior Brysseida Fabian has garnered many fans; “Red Half Cut Crease with Blue Liner” was only her third upload on YouTube and her first video to surpass 150k views. The video proved to be the turning point of her channel as she began to receive both recognition and sponsors.
Before her sudden stardom, Fabian was hesitant about starting her channel. She always thought of makeup as just a hobby, something that was a part of her daily schedule. It wasn’t until she saw other beauty YouTubers like Jeffree Star turn their passions for makeup into careers, when she started to view makeup in a new light.
“I’ve always wanted to start a YouTube channel because I kept seeing people doing them and they were really successful,” Fabian said. “I would get teachers, my family and friends continue to tell me to start my own YouTube channel, so I [finally] did. I didn’t expect to get thousands of people viewing my videos, commenting all these compliments. I never really expected that in my life ever.”
It’s not always just beauty makeup, makeup creates a whole different world. Makeup is how we express ourselves and it can also tell a story or show a certain type of culture.”
— Brysseida Fabian
Senior Lizbeth Veltran, Fabians’ best friend, played a major part in helping Fabian start her own channel. The two met at school when Fabian offered her leggings to Veltran who was wearing ripped jeans. Veltran, having recognized Fabian from Instagram as that “makeup girl”, began to bond over their love of makeup. From then on, the two became an inseparable duo.
“She actually was indecisive at first because she didn’t know how people were going to react to [her channel],” Veltran said. “But when she [created] it, we were all impressed by the feedback she’d gotten. She’s so creative, she comes up with her own makeup ideas and is always doing some kind of weird thing, like it’s mindblowing to me.”
Even though Fabian didn’t have the proper equipment, she managed to film her videos on her school-issued iPad. As more people started to subscribe to her videos, she began to borrow her boyfriend’s camera.
Pressured by how her peers had an idea of their future careers, Fabian began thinking about what she wanted to do in life. Her beauty channel was something she loved and hoped to turn into a potential business but what she really wants is to pursue was medical school.
“I want to freelance to be able to save up my money and use it to go to college [and] do something in the medical world,” Fabian said. “I really want to focus right now by establishing my business while influencing other girls within the beauty committee as well.”
As her popularity rises every day, Fabian also receives more sponsors from multiple makeup brands, such as Anastasia Beverly Hills, BECCA Cosmetics and Grande Cosmetics, along with brands from Instagram that are just starting out.
“I’m not always counting on the big brands to reach out to me because they’re big brands and I’m so little in such a little place like Lewisville,” Fabian said. “I think the only [big brand] is Anastasia, which I recently just got into.”
Along with all the brands she promotes, Fabian hopes she’ll be able to build her own brand as well.
“I’m starting to make cards, contact businesses and seeing in what way I can influence people in the beauty community here in the Dallas area,” Fabian said. “I want to be able to go to events, get more information about local companies and maybe even collab with them and have my own makeup products in the future.”
In fact, Fabian already has her brand name picked out: P R I M A D O N N A. This name is significant because it reminds Fabian of her past self from freshman year, the year she began to take makeup seriously.
“I would listen to Marina and the Diamonds and I really loved her lyrics because they spoke to me and it felt like they described exactly who I was at the time,” Fabian said. “It’s an emotional name for me because it takes me back to when I was a younger girl and I was confused, listening to music and just having fun and now it’s become such a big name for me.”
Many people often forget that most YouTubers choose to show only the good aspects of their lives and neglect to showcase the hateful comments or judgement that people write. Such is the case of Fabian, whose daily life gets affected by putting herself out there for the world to see.
“You don’t always get beautiful compliments,” Fabian said. “People call you ugly names and it’s sometimes very hard to deal with them. I would catch myself sometimes at night crying because of the comments written by these strangers. They’d comment under my pictures and videos, calling me names and I would literally take it to heart. I was so confused because I didn’t know what they wanted from me.”
Despite this, Fabian continues to advance in her efforts to influence people through makeup. She started the school’s first makeup club appointing Veltran as vice president and her theater tech teacher Laura McNary as the sponsor.
“Our concept of the makeup club is to get everyone to be able to express themselves, not to be embarrassed, scared or intimidated by other people who may be better than them at makeup,” Fabian said. “We want to help students learn with makeup and just have fun.”
The club meets every Monday during B-block and anyone is welcome to join. Aside from this club, Fabian also applies makeup in her theater tech classes, being in charge of putting on other people’s makeup for shows and plays.
“When she is really passionate about something, she really puts her heart into it as well as her skills,” McNary said. “Anytime you ask something to be done, she’s always there to pick things up and start working.”
While some people see makeup as just applying products on one’s face, to Fabian beauty isn’t skin deep, it is her passion and career.
“It’s not always just beauty makeup, makeup creates a whole different world,” Fabian said. “You can do a new look every day, creating different expressions. Makeup is how we express ourselves and it can also tell a story or show a certain type of culture.”
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