Lauren Luke: Make-Up Maven Turns to Activism

Lauren Luke (c)YouTube 
Lauren Luke is a self-taught make-up artist who has made a name for herself on YouTube by uploading tutorials on how to apply cosmetics to get the signature look of celebrities such as Avril Lavigne, Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Lopez. Her own wildly popular YouTube channel has received no fewer than 110 million views and boasts some 440,000 subscribers, making it the most popular in the UK. In addition to penning a weekly beauty column for The Guardian since 2009, Luke has also appeared in Allure, Vanity Fair, The New York Times, Time and Women's Wear Daily. Not bad for a self-starter who is only 30 years old.

But life has not always been easy for Luke. The South Shields native (North Eastern England) grew up poor and was bullied at school because of her size and looks. She has reportedly stated that she is proud of the fact that a woman of her size has garnered so much attention within an industry that has eyes strictly for the ultra thin.

Luke surprised everyone on July 1 when she posted a new tutorial, "How to Look Your Best the Morning After." She appears with a black eye and cuts on her face. She then proceeds to show her viewers how to use concealer to hide the bruises and abrasions after being assaulted by her partner. Luke even instructs viewers to use a scarf or their hair to cover any marks left on their neck.

Although the make-up maven's assault was a fake, Luke has used her precious platform in collaboration with the UK-based Refuge in a bid to raise awareness about domestic violence, more specifically to draw attention to the fact that some 65% of victims of domestic violence keep it hidden. According to the US-based National Organization of Women, 4.8 million women a year in that country are physically and sexually assaulted by intimate partners, yet only 20% seek medical attention for their injuries.

Even though our make-up artist was not the victim of assault in this particular instance, she does say that she was in an abusive relationship and managed to end it before it became violent.

"Back then I knew the whole situation wasn't normal, but I didn't know about the help that is out there. And that is why I wanted to work with Refuge - to get the message out to anyone who may need help and support that it's time to stop covering it up," Luke told The Online Mail.

Refuge is asking for donations of two pounds to represent the two women who are killed every week by their intimate partners. "How to Look Your Best the Morning After" is being shared on Twitter under the hashtag #dontcoveritup, and as of today, the video has been viewed nearly 360,000 times in just three days.

See it for yourself below.

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Patricia Singleton | July 5, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Thank you for becoming a spokesperson for victims that rarely tell about their abuse because of shame and low self-worth.

Heather | July 5, 2012 at 10:20 PM

No problem! I'm happy that Lauren Luke is so widely viewed by girls and young women. Women with more experience with relationships know just how common spousal abuse is. Among my high school friends we discovered that all of us had been struck, slapped or shoved at some point in our adult lives by a boyfriend. We all need to break the secrecy surrounding this issue. LL is a brave bright woman! Cheers to her.

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