Abby Roberts, GLAMOUR’s August cowl star, is the most important magnificence creator on the planet. Meet the actual lady behind the 1 billion TikTok likes (and counting)
Abby Roberts is formally TikTok’s largest magnificence creator on the planet with over 1.3 billion likes and 16.6 million followers, and she or he’s British. Now she’s utilizing her phenomenal social media success to launch a music profession and a magnificence model. She spills the tea to GLAMOUR’s Elle Turner for the inaugural GLAMOUR Energy of Gen-Z problem.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Daniel Thomas Smith, STYLING BY Steven Huang, HAIR BY Craig Marsden @OneRepresents, NAILS BY Cherrie Snow utilizing the Dior Manicure Assortment and Miss Dior Hand Cream
“My message to the individuals who informed me to not submit movies on-line once I first began out? I’d give them a giant f**okay you, actually,” Abby Roberts laughs playfully as we chat following her nine-hour GLAMOUR cowl shoot in a North London studio. She’s led the route for her three magnificence seems to be and – unsurprisingly – created the make-up herself. After a day of capturing, she’s thrown her crimson hair up right into a messy bun, wiped off nearly all of her make-up and switched into an outsized checked inexperienced blazer, a tartan miniskirt and a distressed T-shirt emblazoned deliberately with the phrase ‘Glamour’.
“My message to the individuals who informed me to not submit movies on-line once I first began out? I’d give them a giant f**okay you, actually”
Self-contained and quieter than I anticipated off-camera, she strikes me because the sit-back-and-observe kind, not requiring to be centre of consideration, other than when she’s behind the digicam the place she was confident and fired up. Her quiet confidence is precisely why the 20-year-old from Leeds was by no means going to bow right down to the haters who teased her when she uploaded her first make-up video on YouTube on the age of 11. “Should you’re obsessed with one thing, it is best to persist with it. I’m so glad I didn’t hearken to them as a result of look the place we are actually,” she smiles, referring to the stylist, photographer, hairdresser, videographer, supervisor and GLAMOUR group members all on set.
A self-taught make-up artist (she credit YouTube movies with serving to her hone her expertise), she’s definitely come a good distance within the 9 years since that preliminary add. She’d already amassed 200k Instagram followers and the eye of OG make-up royalty, NikkieTutorials earlier than she posted her first TikTok video at first of 2019. “It was only for enjoyable at first, I by no means noticed it going anyplace,” she says, however TikTok modified the sport. “It simply blew up, and within the first few months of me having the app, I gained hundreds of thousands of followers. I keep in mind refreshing the web page and I couldn’t consider the numbers.”
The Bratz doll make-up problem which noticed Abby’s TikTok go viral, was solely her third video on the platform. “The primary ones had been cringey lip-syncing movies and I wasn’t actually feeling it. However by the third one, I realised folks did challenges and traits on there,” she says.
It’s no coincidence that Abby’s posts outpaced so many different creators. Other than admitting that “it took quite a lot of years to get this good and to place within the apply and the hours,” her expertise with a liner brush is unmatched and her potential to set traits (particularly butterfly eyes, the Gucci snake and the cyborg) in addition to assimilate characters – from Joe Unique to Edward Scissorhands – is mind-blowing.
Her new-found fame has come as a shock, although. The pandemic was the right storm to push the social media platform ahead throughout a time the place we craved connection and leisure whereas we had been #boredinthehouse. “It blew up a lot over the pandemic. I used to be inside, not realising the 16 million on my display screen was an actual variety of folks. When every little thing opened up once more, it was a little bit of a shock when folks had been recognising me all over the place,” Abby says. She just lately re-shared a submit to her IG Tales with teenagers screaming her identify as she drove down the road together with her mates in disbelief.
Regardless of gaining fame for her maximalist make-up aesthetic, day-to-day, she’s far more low-key on the wonder entrance, she tells me. “Make-up doesn’t make me really feel any extra stunning, I’m comfortable to exit with out it,” she says. “Make-up is simply an extension of your self-expression, like the best way you costume. Should you can take that away on the finish of the day and nonetheless really feel stunning, that’s actually essential.”
I ask Abby why she thinks TikTok resonates a lot with Gen-Z. “I like the interplay with my followers, and being able to create such a good group,” she replies. “It’s crammed with all these children from completely different subcultures and viewpoints. I’ve been educated on points that I didn’t even know existed. I'm tremendous grateful for TikTok in that approach, in addition to simply inspiring me with my artwork. I’ve discovered my aesthetic. I don’t wish to choose only one factor – and the app embraces that.”
“Make-up is simply an extension of your self-expression, like the best way you costume. Should you can take that away on the finish of the day and nonetheless really feel stunning, that’s actually essential.”
It is smart that such an outspoken platform appeals a lot to a technology that’s identified for being vocal, I say. “What units Gen-Z aside might be how fearless we’re,” she concurs. “We’re not afraid to problem society’s requirements, or to specific ourselves. Gen-Z are such activists due to our potential to speak. Social media has introduced so many individuals collectively who would by no means have interacted earlier than,” she provides. “A variety of my greatest associates are from the US and everywhere in the world. Permitting folks from completely different communities to have these sorts of discussions brings distinctive opinions and makes folks wish to rise up for what they consider in.”
Does she personally really feel stress to talk up? “I undoubtedly really feel stress to talk up on sure points, nevertheless it’s not one thing I shrink back from as a result of there’s a bunch of issues that I’m super-passionate about,” Abby solutions, referencing her work in direction of LGBTQ+ equality – one thing that’s very near her coronary heart. “I owe a lot to that group as a result of it was how I bought into doing the loopy type of make-up that I’m identified for. I grew up watching RuPaul’s Drag Race and I used to be so impressed by all of the drag queens,” she provides. “I all the time have donation hyperlinks for LGBTQ+ organisations on my pages and I work with The Trevor Challenge [a leading LGBTQ+ crisis intervention organisation] on a regular basis.”
One other subject she’s scorching on is offering extra alternatives in artistic careers. “If you’re at school, you’re typically pressured into considering that college is the one approach,” she tells me, revealing her lecturers informed her she wanted a plan B in case her make-up profession crashed. “Should you’re a father or mother, encourage your children in the event that they’re inventive – and for those who’re a instructor, don’t power folks into getting caught into Uni,” she says. “I used to be all the time a artistic. Me and my sister [fellow beauty TikToker, Charlotte Roberts] are the identical. We grew up in a home the place our mother and father had been like, ‘Do what makes you content.’ The home all the time had work all over the place. I used to be the identical at school – making stuff and being inventive.”
Born and bred in Leeds, she stays ultra-close to her household as she splits her time between house and London. Her mother and father, housewife Jennie and pa Phil, who runs a photo voltaic panel firm, low-key stan each their daughters and Abby’s spoken previously of how her dad (beforehand her advert hoc supervisor) drove her to each magnificence occasion. He even let her scribble throughout him for a drag make-up problem. He says he’s not into it, however we’re not shopping for it. You look fierce, Phil.
Abby’s college life was the place she flexed her artistic streak on social media for the primary time. “Me and my associates had been the nerdy little artwork children who sat within the artwork room each break time,” she says. Two of them are on set together with her at this time. “Damini is a clothier – she makes superb clothes. And Sophie is my photographer, so she does all my Instagram images. We assist one another,” she nods.
She’s tight together with her on-line buddies, too, particularly Charli D’Amelio and former GLAMOUR UK cowl star Addison Rae. “I met certainly one of my closest associates, Benji [@benjikrol], on TikTok,” she shares, revealing some massive plans for the longer term. “We’re shifting to LA collectively quickly, so we’ll have our little TikToker home. It’s been so lengthy since I’ve seen all my associates from over there, so it’ll be good to meet up with everybody.”
Regardless of the net positives of discovering and constructing her group, it comes with negativity, too. “The feedback you get from being an influencer may be brutal,” Abby reveals. “They go on your insecurities. I don’t know if it’s as a result of it’s simpler to be nameless on TikTok, or simply as a result of it’s a youthful demographic, however younger women are imply. If I submit movies in revealing outfits or tight-fitting clothes, folks touch upon my physique. They aren’t afraid to talk their thoughts and it’s one thing you’ve bought to be actually cautious of – like, if somebody reveals their rolls, the feedback are so nasty and it simply reinforces false magnificence requirements,” she sighs. “My physique picture is one thing that I’ve all the time struggled with, so it will get to me. It’s troublesome to know how you can transfer previous that.”
How does she take care of her psychological well being? “I began going to a therapist, nevertheless it actually bothered me as a result of the therapist was telling me how you can dwell my life,” Abby admits. “I bought so pissed off at that. I used to be like, ‘You don’t know me or my state of affairs.’ I discovered that actually troublesome at first. So I type of ghosted my therapist,” she laughs. “I haven’t seen her in months, however I began going to a brand new one and he’s a lot cooler. He simply lets me vent!”
It’s courageous of Abby to not sugar-coat her expertise, I inform her. “To be trustworthy, it’s nonetheless a wrestle,” she replies. “I examine myself so much to different folks. It’s an ongoing factor and plenty of teenage women really feel the identical approach. Individuals are imply, folks bully one another on-line on a regular basis. Everybody simply must study to be a bit kinder in remark sections general.”
Her MO when a troll wants taking down? “Should you’re going to answer somebody, you’ve bought to make them really feel dumb for commenting one thing nasty within the first place – have a little bit of enjoyable with it,” she smirks. “OK, user1234, I’m listening?”
“Should you’re a father or mother, encourage your children in the event that they’re inventive – and for those who’re a instructor, don’t power folks into getting caught into Uni”
Generally, Abby’s needed to study to take time away from social media to recuperate. “I’m actually dangerous at overworking,” she admits. “I don’t know when to cease.” It’s a behavior that put her in hospital earlier this yr. “They stated it was stress inflicting my coronary heart to do all types of funky issues. That was a realisation second for me that I have to take time for myself. So I’ve been making that my mission.”
Abby’s subsequent transfer into music has additionally helped her handle her psychological well being, she says. “Engaged on my music is one thing that I’ve discovered actually therapeutic by attending to vent these emotions and feelings, and placing that into songwriting.”
It’s a transfer which may shock a few of Abby’s followers however she’s already teamed up with Yungblud’s producer, Mati Schwartz on her first single, which is due out in September, with the total EP launch following subsequent yr. “I’m very proud to say that the songs that I’m popping out with, they’re type of hearth, I’m not going to lie,” she smiles.
“I’ve achieved a lot with make-up, so I wished to revisit some extra of my childhood passions,” she provides. “As a child. I might write songs with my cousin and we might carry out them to the household. If I can get to the place I’m with make-up – I used to be sh*t at make-up once I began, let me let you know – if I put in the identical hours and dedication, I could be a good musician. I began studying guitar final yr, as a result of it was essential to me to have the ability to contribute to my periods, and I’m super-involved in songwriting as effectively.”
Simply as together with her magnificence seems to be, Abby received’t be pigeonholed with regards to music both. “I hearken to so many several types of music and I don’t wish to pencil myself into one particular field,” she says. “As an artist, I’m so expressive with no matter I do and I undoubtedly need to have the ability to do the identical type of factor with my music. Having stated that, I like bed room pop and I’m a giant fan of indie rock – so [I’m] making an attempt to fuse these two.” Abby cites fellow northerners, the Arctic Monkeys and musician Beabadoobee as music inspirations, “And Lana Del Rey – my queen! Needed to give a bit of shout-out there,” she laughs.
If conquering the music world isn’t sufficient, Abby continues to be engaged on her bucket checklist, which incorporates creating her personal magnificence model. “Individuals suppose that as a result of I’m younger and I’m a ‘TikToker’, or ‘influencer’, that I’m not a businesswoman,” she reveals. “I’m in search of buyers and going to occasions with all these 50-year-old males. I’m a 20-year-old woman with crimson hair, I stand out fairly a bit in these rooms,” she provides.
It’s nonetheless early days for the model, however that doesn’t cease Abby teasing us, “It’s one thing you haven’t seen earlier than,” she says. “At this level, I do know what I’m doing. I’ve a imaginative and prescient of myself – the place I wish to be and my targets for the longer term – and I’m gonna make it occur.” After solely half an hour with the social media star, I can inform she’s not messing round.
For extra from GLAMOUR's Deputy Magnificence Editor, Elle Turner observe her on Instagram @elleturneruk.