Once upon a time, a trio of girls from Australia decided to create a beauty Youtube channel unaware of how massive an impact they would make or how many people they would reach. In December of 2014, The Pastels was born and 74 videos and 4,335 subscribers later, they are making more than a dent in today’s beauty community.
The Pastels is made up of Anabelle, Clara, and Chanel, three friends who met in school and bonded over their love of make-up. In today’s white washed and, quite frankly, somewhat boring beauty community The Pastels are proving that Eurocentric beauty standards are not the default with each beautifully designed video and a bright, fun aesthetic that is revitalising the beauty community.
I had a chance to interview the gals and talk to them about a lot of things including their brand, the art scene in Australia, and what beauty products and tips they are currently crushing on.
How did you guys meet and how did you guys decide to create The Pastels?
Anabelle: We met through school so we go waaaaaaay back. As for The Pastels, I never expected it to be received so well because it started out as just for lols.
Clara: We all met through school. The Pastels started as a way for all of us to be productive during summer break and hang out.
How did each of you get into make-up?
Anabelle: I have always loved makeup, but around age 13/14 is when I started experimenting and wearing more than just lip gloss and eyeshadow.
Clara: Ever since I subscribed to juicystar007, so when I was around 15. Once I started watching youtube videos, I experimented more.
Chanel: I got into makeup very late, like at 17 years old. I only really started wearing makeup (rarely) because I loved recreating 1960s looks. I got into it more as I entered university because I finally felt a sense of freedom!
What’s the artistic environment like in Australia? How does Australia influence The Pastels, if at all?
Clara: I feel like one of the reasons for starting the Pastels was due to the Australian beauty youtube community not being very diverse. I know that this channel would help others a lot because beauty products for deeper skins tones in Australia can be difficult to come by.
Anabelle: I would definitely have benefitted from having The Pastels around when I was getting into makeup and beauty, which is why I feel like this is so important. We need positive, uplifting and empowering influences for our young POC. I guess we do this not in spite of where we are, but rather because of where we are. We can’t possibly be the only POC in Australia that enjoy makeup and beauty so it’s important that we, along with others, represent this demographic.
Chanel: I feel like almost every artistic environment in the Western art world is dominated by white artists. Similarly, I feel like passionate content creators on YouTube can be likened to artists in a way. Therefore, I hope that The Pastels can not only contribute to the beauty community but also to the community of creators. Communities can only flourish with diversity.
How would you describe the overall aesthetic of The Pastels?
Anabelle: Just a fun time.
Clara: Young, fun with a little hint of silly!
Chanel: Minimal yet still playful and cute.
You guys are a #squad but I reckon you all have various individual interests. What are some things that each of you are into?
Anabelle: I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself an actress but I love acting. I guess I’ve always been interested in communicating a story through movement, expression and technique. I use to go to the theatre a lot and I really wanna get back into it. Lately, I really enjoy cooking with my sister and DIY projects (I’m currently making a necklace rack/display so hopefully it turns out well).
Clara: I really enjoy getting crafty! One of my favourite gifts to give to my favourites is a handmade drawing, painting or card. Painting and drawing has always been something I’ve enjoyed from a young age and my parents have always encouraged it. I recently bought myself one of those adult colouring books which I love to do to unwind. I am a cat person, in my free time I follow/stalk at least 10 different instacat pages. This year I went to my first music festival which was so much fun and see myself going to a lot more in 2016!
Chanel: I’m into films so I’m really interested in film production. I just really love the entire process and craft of making films or anything video production related. So if I’m not working on my videography portfolio, I am usually watching other filmmakers talk about their work or reading journals and essays dissecting films. I also really like Gilmore Girls so I’m almost always listening to the Gilmore Guys podcast whenever I’m travelling.
Make-up channels are so prominent lately and it’s cool to go to your channel and see girls with different cultural backgrounds and skin tones all in one place. Have any of you had any difficulties or weirdness when it comes to make-up or beauty products because of your skin tone?
Anabelle: The shade range in Australian drugstores is a joke. It does not accommodate for people with deeper darker skin tones, leaving high end products as the only alternative. Higher end cosmetics can be extremely expensive and therefore not easily accessible; and even then, an exact colour match is not guaranteed.
Clara: Finding drugstore foundations in my shade is so difficult in Australia! The colour range is very limited here. Most of the time the darkest colour is way too light for me. Even with some high end makeup, stores won’t have the entire colour range and will stop at tan.
Chanel: I personally haven’t experienced colourism in foundation shades within Australian drugstores, and I want to acknowledge this privilege. However, I have experienced a sense of colourism whenever I walk into a store that specialises in Asian makeup. The ladies at the store would try to sell me their products by saying, “This product is great for Asian skintones”, but you’ll look at the product and there’ll only be two very pale shades. It’s just extremely disappointing and frustrating how pervasive colourism is in Asian cultures. It’s really ignoring and excluding East and South-East Asians who don’t fall into two shades of white, reinforcing unfair and often inaccessible ideals.
What other projects are you guys working on, individually or as The Pastels? What can we look forward to or expect?
Anabelle: I’m entering my final year of university and I’m really looking for to graduation. As for The Pastels, we are in the process of launching our own website so that’s really exciting and I’m really looking forward to future collaborations.
Clara: Yes, we’re currently in the talks of starting a website and we hope to do more collaborations. We’ve grown so much in the past year and only hope to grow more!
Chanel: Right now, I’m just really concentrating on graduating. I’m looking forward to creating my final body of work for my last year of university! I’ll be working on my own short film, hopefully. As The Pastels, I’m only expecting bigger and grander video ideas! I also hope to see us collaborate more with other content creators and more vlogs.
Do you guys have any beauty faves or tips that are like…essential?
Anabelle: Highlighter changed my life for the better, seriously, it’s a step that I will NEVER skip. It’s fun to have a full face of makeup on, but in the Australian heat, all that hard work can crack, fade or melt right off! I think glowy/dewy skin can be just as stunning as a full face.
Clara: I love doing coconut oil hair masques when I get the chance, I just pop some through my hair when it’s dry, wrap it in an old cotton tshirt and let it work overnight, then wash it out with shampoo and conditioner. It leaves my hair feeling less frizzy and soft as my hair can get really rough. Also I never use a towel to dry my hair I always use either a satin pillowcase or old t shirt. Using a towel makes my hair freeze! Also Mario Badescu drying lotion is my all time favourite when I’m breaking out. It helps speeds up the healing process of pimples. The Beauty blender is my all time fave, it doesn’t make my full coverage foundation look cakey and blends like a gem.
Chanel: Eyebrows and highlight make the world of a difference. I really like brow mascara because I love the messy hairy eyebrow look.
Subscribe to The Pastels’ Youtube channel
Follow The Pastels on Instagram: @thepastelsofficial
On Twitter: @officialpastels