Beauty

Amanda Steele Gets Candid About Instagram and Escaping “Unrealistic Standards”

“I know what goes into taking the photos that do well on Instagram and it's a lot.”

With 2.6 Instagram million followers and counting, it’s pretty difficult, if not impossible, for 18-year-old Amanda Steele, a vlogger who moonlights as a model, to go off the grid. Whether she’s in Milan or LA—both cities where she recently co-hosted parties (check out her diary above) for Bvlgari’s new scent, Omnia Pink Sapphire—her fans follow every photo-worthy move. As a card-carrying member of Gen Z, Steele is one of three new faces (Margaret Zhang and Madison Beer being the other two) representing the fruity floral fragrance targeted to this coveted demographic (millennials are so last year). Perfumer Alberto Morillas described the blend of pomelo, tiare flower, and white musk as “the fragrance of dream and escape,” which is interesting considering this demo (born in 1995 or later) has never known a world without internet or cell phones. Sure, crafting “content”—aka, designing a flat-lay at every meal—is one form of escapism, but truly disconnecting might be near debilitating for many members of this generation. We asked Steele, the ultimate social media butterfly, how she gets away from it all—be it the haters, an Instagram-fueled beauty trend, or “unrealistic standards.”

The step in her beauty routine she’d like to escape…

All of it. “At times, I am totally down and so happy if I’m doing my makeup every day, but when I’m not in the mood, I wish that I didn’t have to do it at all. I actually think I wear no makeup more than I do wear makeup! I won’t really put makeup on until nighttime if I’m going out to eat or with friends. Of course at events I’ll wear makeup, but wearing it during the day requires so many touch-ups and it ends up making me feel less confident. I really just like to be bare faced and let my skin breathe.”

The one aspect of being an Instagram star she wishes she could escape…

“The unrealistic standards. I think a lot of people deal with this, but you’re expected to be this real, authentic, super personable person, and then at the same time [followers] only want to see photos of you that are super fake. I know what goes into taking the photos that do well on Instagram and it’s a lot. It’s so posed and fake and not realistic. I wish that we could all just be real people sometimes and post things that maybe aren’t as cool or aesthetically pleasing but are really you and still get the same kind of positive feedback.” When asked if she was referring to things like #nomakeup selfies, Steele said: “Definitely makeup-free kind of stuff because like I said, every day I’m pretty much not wearing makeup. I’ve learned to love my natural face and it’s something that I’m very happy with and that kind of confidence is amazing. I think that girls should show more [photos] like that. Realistically, however, I see how [Instagram images] perform if I post a picture and I look super natural. If I’m not wearing much makeup, it will get significantly less likes than if I have full glam, fake eyelashes, super snatched contour, and my boobs pushed up. It’s just crazy.”

The Instagram beauty trend she’d like to escape seeing ever again…

Roadmap contouring. “I do not want to see crazy dots of highlighter and cream contour—like a super, super light concealer and a super, super dark contour. It’s scaring me! In the past, I was obsessed with it and I would watch those Instagram videos all day, but I’m really over it now. I still do a bright concealer and a contour pretty much every day, but I use a lighter hand. I don’t pack on a lot of colors.” Steele’s go-to complexion products: Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer and Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid Highglighter.

The key to escaping Internet trolls…

“I think it’s important to find yourself and really look to your mind and your heart for validation instead of what other people are saying. There are always going to be people that aren’t going to like you and say mean things, but knowing yourself and being happy with yourself really helps.”

The beauty product that provides an instant escape…

Becca’s creamy peach Under Eye Corrector. I like it because if I didn’t get enough sleep or I’ve been traveling, this product corrects bluish-purple dark circles really brightens up your entire face.”

The longest she’s ever escaped social media…

“I don’t know how I could stay off of social media for that long, which is pretty bad! It’s what I grew up on and all I know. My everyday life just includes it, but I usually only take breaks from social media when I lose my phone. Sometimes when I lose my phone I’m thankful for it because I need that time and I’m never going to take it. If I leave my phone in an Uber, I’ll go the whole week without dealing with it, but that’s the longest I’ve ever gone!”

The ultimate escape that doesn’t involve a plane ride…

Hulu and chill. “There’s this show called Crashing, it’s a comedy. Whenever things are too much for me and I’m stressed out or overwhelmed, I like to lay in bed, order Postmates, watch TV, and forget about everything for a second.”

The makeup must-haves she takes when she’s escaping home…

“If I’m just going out during the day, I don’t take much at all. I always have a lip balm with me and I’ll have lipstick to put on top. The lipstick has to be moisturizing in and of itself because I think I’m addicted to lip balms! I know if you are always using them it dries out your lips even more, but I always have to have that on me. One that I really like right now is Dior Lip Glow. It’s super moisturizing and it brings out the natural color in your lips.”

The spot she escapes to after the red carpet…

“Craig’s in LA. They have an amazing vegan menu there. There’s a vegan chicken parmesan, which is insane.”

The best excuse for escaping a party…

“I definitely sneak out with saying goodbye, which is rude! I’d rather let people have fun without noticing that I left because if I do say goodbye I’ll be brutally honest and say, ‘I don’t really want to be here, and I’d rather be in my bed.’”

The page could not be loaded!