I’ve been making TikTok videos about makeup since the start of the first coronavirus lockdown in 2020. I was still in high school at the time and I was really bored. I liked makeup and started styling my sisters to create fun looks and post them on my TikTok.

My first posts were far from perfect and not particularly good. My Halloween makeup videos went viral. I realized I had found my niche. I opened a separate account for my makeup called @zaruchinator and it just took off from there. I now have more than 855,000 followers and 26 million likes on TikTok.

I’m completely self-taught and haven’t even used YouTube tutorials. I’ve always been creative. I painted a lot before I got makeup and took all the art courses at my school. Make-up is just another medium for me. It’s cool to be able to express my art with it.

Finding relevant hashtags was especially important to my success

When I want to find inspiration, I browse TikTok hashtags for looks that interest me. For example, this past Halloween I did a lizard look inspired by #lizardmakeup. One of my posts under this hashtag got 342,000 views – 10x the number of views for my other Halloween posts this week. But that was nothing compared to #frankensteinmakeup. I even got over 1.7 million views on one look here.

Hashtags like #halloweenmakeup, #halloweenmakeuplook and #halloweenmakeuptutourial are always great for getting inspiration and promoting your own looks. I always look at trending hashtags to improve my own content. But simple hashtags like #makeup are also popular and show good content on the discovery page.

I need to post regularly to stay successful

TikTokers that have a large following are very consistent. That’s why I create a make-up look every two days and upload four videos for a look. Then I post them 12 hours apart so anyone who clicks on my page can see my last post was uploaded in the past few hours and not days or weeks ago. It’s important to keep posting, messaging, and engaging with the users who have commented on my content.

Then I reached out to brands and Instagram shoutout pages to spread my work. I didn’t have much success doing it on TikTok in my first 18 months, but now other brands and sites text me all the time. To be successful on social media, you have to think long-term. Now I get about three to five emails a day with requests for partnerships.

Makeup tutorials don’t always have to be the same

I’ve worked with Amazon Prime, Estée Lauder and Lancôme – even Bailey Nelson sunglasses. I also work a lot with Australian brand Nude by Nature and was able to enter a competition with Makeup Revolution. I ended up finishing in the top 15 in the world and winning the Australian division, which was pretty cool. The developers of Fortnite contacted me directly last Halloween about their Halloween promotion. They had released different avatar outfits and wanted influencers to recreate three skins to promote the video game.

My partners are very, very generous. If a makeup company wants to promote lipsticks, I can choose about four. Then I get the lipsticks for free and they pay for shipping. In addition, I also receive money for promoting their products. My fees are usually between 800 and 1,500 euros for a post. When I started, I still charged about 50 euros for a TikTok.

There are other factors too, like my relationship with the brand and how big the brand is. If it’s a smaller brand I don’t usually charge that much. I don’t really care about the money. I work with my partners when I like their products. My TikTok earnings can vary wildly in a month, but on average I make around 3,600 Euro.

I’m on TikTok between six and nine hours a day

Since the corona situation has eased again, I can spend less time on TikTok. I study architecture at a university and have a part-time job. I’ve thought about turning my hobby into a full-time job, but the market is very competitive.

In the lead up to Halloween, I often get emails from reputable brands wanting to work with me. Events and holidays are important for creative makeup, so people look for inspiration on Halloween, Christmas and even Valentine’s Day. So it’s really important to get a lot of attention ahead of those big days.

Skulls are sure to be a trend this year. They’re actually quite easy to make once you know how. I highly recommend choosing a tutorial with someone who has drawn the baselines of the skull. Once you’ve done that, all you have to do is add a little shading to deeper areas of the face. Of course, since your face already has the same shape as a skull, you’re just enhancing the shadows and shapes of your bone structure.


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