NYC-based makeup artist Meredith Duxbury is a well-known digital content creator among the TikTok beauty community with over 14.8 million followers on the platform. Referred to as “the complexion queen of TikTok,” she is also the face of the Morphe Making You Blush collection, which launched in March 2022.
Duxbury grew up following beauty creators like Jacqueline Hill before deciding she wanted to post her own beauty content on social media. “I started on TikTok. I would stack up some cardboard boxes and make a random tripod out of whatever I could find, and I started doing [before-and-after] transitions here and there,” Duxbury said on the latest Glossy Podcast. “My videos took off when I started doing rap lip-syncing videos to Nicki Minaj’s ‘I’m Legit’ song. And I created a trend called #thefoundationchallenge where I would smear foundation all over my face. It would get hundreds of millions of views.”
The TikTok star hit 1 million followers in December 2020, and one month later, she reached 7 million followers.
“I created three videos a day during quarantine and learned so much about the [influencer] industry. But I’d say 2019 was when I [first] immersed myself in the beauty world,” said Duxbury. “[The TikTok algorithm] shows that, if you’re consistent, you can grow.”
Below are additional highlights from the conversation, which have been lightly edited for clarity.
Duxbury’s take on TikTok trends
“There are tons of trends I come across every day. There’s a really cool one right now that TikTok recently launched. There are a ton of new filters and one of them is a diagram you put on your face, which shows you where you should be contouring or where you should be applying blush. It’s cool to go through that [beauty] filter category and see all the different people trying it, because everybody has a different face shape. Filters are a fun way to bring trends to life on TikTok.
There’s another unique blush trend that just went around on TikTok. It’s trying purple blushes, which I thought was so fun because, usually, people use pink blushes. That’s going to go viral on TikTok because people love trying different, unique shades of blush.”
How TikTok accelerates beauty trends
“[TikTok is] making the beauty industry move at a very fast pace. I’ve talked to a ton of brands and they say, ‘It’s so hard because we want to create a campaign around a trend, but the trend is gone within a week.’ It’s hard because, as a huge brand, you have to plan budgets and plan creative strategies. By the time it’s approved, the trend is over and moved on to the next thing. It’s making everyone move at a much faster pace. It’s very interesting because beauty is hard to move at a fast pace because it’s a creative process; creating a makeup brand takes years and years. So it’s keeping everyone on their toes.”
The importance of having a strong presence on multiple social platforms
“It’s really important to have an ecosystem of channels and to be active on all of them, but TikTok is definitely my main platform. I put most of my time into TikTok, but I think it’s great for people who don’t have TikTok or if it’s not in the country they live in, to be able to go on Instagram and see [my TikTok] content [there], as well. It’s also fun for me when I go on brand trips, or when I go on a trip with my boyfriend or family, to document that and show people my personality, [and] show them there’s more than just that one framed face on TikTok they see. I love creating YouTube vlogs to show people behind the scenes of my life and more of my personality, but TikTok is my main channel.
Instagram and YouTube are great platforms, but even some of the OG beauty creators and celebrities, like Hailey Bieber and Bella Hadid, are all hopping on TikTok because everybody knows it’s the place to be. There’s new, fun stuff on there. You can be creative and open and show your personality. It’s not just a still picture. It’s really about showing yourself and how you are on a day-to-day basis. I think TikTok as the main platform for everybody for a long time.”