Emma Chamberlain doesn't seem like a fighter. In a recent YouTube video, she jokingly said she'd get in the ring with the Kardashians, Harry Styles, and Timothée Chalamet. But her candid, vintage-inspired Instagram and the countless videos hugging her cats and doing crafts don't exactly scream, "I'm coming for you" or even "I'll subtweet you." Chamberlain does, however, sound ready to fight certain beauty products— with a full-on one-two punch.
"I want to fight either makeup wipes or sheet masks," she tells me. "With makeup wipes, it's because, number one, I've heard that they're not that great for your skin. And number two, [they're] very wasteful. So I hate that." Her hatred of sheet masks stings with the same disdain. And of course, they just feel gross. "They're kind of wasteful, but also very frustrating. I feel like [sheet masks] never sit on my face properly — I must have a weird face shape," she says. "And they make a really big mess. I like the ones that you paint on much better."
That sound you hear? It's single-use makeup products everywhere quaking in fear.
Chamberlain's come a long way with her beauty routines, beyond opting for more environmentally friendly products. For one, she's approached her makeup routine with simplicity since quarantine began, as opposed to caking on layers of CC cream like she did when she was younger. "[My foundation] would crease, and I'd be like, 'Why is it creasing?'" she says. "It's like, 'Oh, I don't know, Emma, maybe because you're using half the bottle. Relax.'"
Like anyone with access to makeup has done, Chamberlain's run the gamut of cringe-y makeup and skincare habits from tween years past: not cleansing her face enough, not fully taking her makeup off, etc. She's also not immune to the pimple-popping siren song many of us fall victim to. "Zits, pimples — I was obsessed with popping things. I used to have acne on my back as well, and I'd sit in the mirror and turn around and be popping zits on my back ... It was a fun little hobby for me," says Chamberlain. "Newsflash: It is not a hobby, and it is not good for your skin."
Chamberlain's viewers have watched her skincare journey evolve in real time, ever since she began posting to her YouTube channel in 2017. She's never shied away from filming with a breakout. She's showcased her ever-changing makeup and skincare routines right at her bathroom sink. She's been open from the get-go about turning to Accutane to treat her hormonal acne, which forced her to rethink the products she was using and try some new ones — some more unconventional than others.
"I was on Accutane during quarantine, so I was dealing with the intense dryness, the cracking, the skin sensitivity, all of that. There was a lot of emphasis on sunscreen, a lot of emphasis on Aquaphor for the lips," she says. "I was also using this nipple cream for new mothers on my lips, because that's how dry they were and I needed something more intense."
Now that she's finished with Accutane and free of its skincare restrictions, Chamberlain's been able to have a little more fun, returning to her favorite products and trying new ones. But you can rest assured, reaching 9 million YouTube subscribers hasn't changed her shopping habits all that much. She's not a fan of splurging on expensive, hyped-up beauty products only good in name. She wants results, and she wants to share them with her fans. Which is why her partnership with Bliss — she's the face of their Clean Genius Collection — is kismet. If a $20 skincare product effectively gets the job done for her, then that's exactly what she's grabbing from the shelf.
"I think this is a great metaphor for [my partnership with Bliss]: I am a huge sweatpants wearer, OK? I could go and find a really cool pair of sweatpants on Amazon that are literally $10, and I will wear them for two years," she says. "They will fit great, and they'll be so comfortable. And I don't care that they're $10 because they do the job and they do it right ... There's no reason to spend unnecessary money."
Saving your skin and a few bucks? As Chamberlain puts it, "It's just a win, win."