Inspiration October 11, 2017
What made her stick out back in Wisconsin is making her a star on Instagram.
One glimpse at the @autumnontuesdays Instagram and you’ll see a myriad of exquisitely made-up characters, from Princess Jasmine and Moana to the terrifying clown Pennywise from “IT.”
But upon closer inspection, you’ll see the fresh-faced beauty behind the striking creations, Autumn Skibinski, and her welcoming smile that makes you feel like you’ve known her for years.
And that’s exactly how she likes it. “People assume you’re going to be stuck up and vain,” Autumn tells ENTITY, of the misconception of social media influencers. “It’s not necessarily true. I’m a nice person. Social media is not who I am or what I am, it’s something I do. As long as people keep their egos in check, it can be a really cool thing.”
It certainly has been for Autumn, who moved to Los Angeles from a small town in Wisconsin where she used to feel like an outsider for wearing tutus and bright eye shadow with rainbow colors to school.
“I never really fit in in Wisconsin. LA is where the opportunities are. I knew I wanted something bigger. It wouldn’t be as fulfilling for me playing cover shows at bars,” the aspiring musician and makeup artist says. So she packed up and moved to Los Angeles, and the rest is history.
And good thing for ENTITY, because that gave us the chance to chat with Autumn at our headquarters. The talented influencer opened up about everything from her favorite makeup splurges to dealing with haters and how to grow your own Instagram following from scratch.
ENTITY: What got you interested in makeup?
AS: When I was playing music, I had two female guitar players, and I started doing their makeup for shows. I was like, I really like this! I then made the move to Los Angeles for school to study Music Business. I ended up losing my job.
I thought, I could find another office job and potentially continue to be unhappy, or I could take a risk. Well, I went with pursuing makeup, and it’s been over two years now. I’m so glad I made that decision.
ENTITY: How about music?
AS: Well, I moved to LA for music. My dad is in two bands — I grew up in that environment going to shows. I’ve been writing since I was eight and playing the piano. Then, I started dating a musician in high school. He inspired me to go out and travel and actually play my songs.
ENTITY: Is there a beauty icon who inspires you?
AS: I don’t draw inspiration from one particular source — one day I’ll be all black and gothed out, and the next in all bright colors. I draw inspiration from everyone and everything. Being yourself is what’s important about being a creative.
ENTITY: How important is the quality level of beauty products?
AS: I used to use only drugstore brands. But I had to buy higher-end products when I started taking on clients. And as soon as I did, it made all the difference in the world. My biggest thing is having the right tools — if you’re using crappy brushes with the most amazing product, it’s just not going to look good.
ENTITY: Do you have one in particular that’s your favorite splurge?
AS: All of my products. Makeup is so, so, so expensive. Right now I love the Modern Renaissance Palette by Anastasia Beverly Hills. It has a full range of matte versus sheen, and a variety of looks to create.
ENTITY: Do you still have a go-to drugstore product?
AS: Mascara. With high-end brands, you’re really paying for the brush, not the formula. I love the L’Oréal Paris “Lash Paradise” ($8.99). It’s a dupe for the “Better Than Sex” mascara by Too Faced ($23). So I’ll buy that and use my own disposable brushes.
ENTITY: How long have you been working on your Instagram following?
AS: Since I lost my job two years ago. I knew that people trust those with larger followings, so growing my own would help me get bookings. So I focused on it. I grew 40K in two years, which I think is pretty cool. I have clients who I help to grow their following as well.
ENTITY: What are some tips for growing your IG?
AS: 1. Post at the right time. Think about when you’re looking at Instagram — when you first wake up in the morning, on your lunch break, around dinner time, etc.
2. Be consistent Monday through Friday.
3. Don’t over post, people will unfollow you.
4. I like to post in three’s. It helps to create a cohesive look.
5. Make sure quality is good. Use an iPhone with natural lighting, no grainy front camera. It is possible to have quality without making a huge investment.
6. Know what your particular followers want to see.
7. If you’re going to mix business and personal, make sure the look is cohesive. Otherwise you might want to use separate accounts.
ENTITY: With growth comes trolls, so how do you deal with the haters?
AS: I just have to remember, why do I care what the haters think? People will say mean things. It can be overwhelming. You have to push through and remember someone likes what you’re doing, and if they don’t, then who cares?
ENTITY: How about competition, for example between other women who perhaps think there’s only room for a certain number of us to be successful?
AS: Since I moved to LA, this has been a struggle in general. In Wisconsin, if you met someone with similar interests, you’d say, “We have so much in common, let’s be friends!” whereas here, that makes you competition.
In beauty, networking is huge. I was so creepy, I added all LA makeup artists on social media, and asked to assist them, or just to get a drink and chat. Nobody here does that, but that’s where I get so much of my work. As a younger woman, getting respectful treatment is harder. You put up with all of that on set.
With other women, you can say, “I worked really hard to get here, why don’t I help you up, too? That way, if you pass me, you’ll take me back up with you.”
ENTITY: Sponsored posts are huge on Instagram. Are you ever conflicted about doing a post if the brand or product wasn’t really a “fit”?
AS: I’ve had some bad experiences with brands changing the terms of agreements on posts, etc. I’ve been conflicted about how to approach the posts moving forward. It’s a super awkward situation since they did such a nice thing by sending me products.
I have had to have those awkward conversations, but I tell them I don’t feel comfortable promoting their products. Now I’m at the point where I have a decent amount of people following me. I stand up for my truth for me and for them as well.
ENTITY: What’s your favorite part about your job?
AS: I love when people message me and say I made them feel more secure, or that they were having a bad day and hearing my music really brightened it up. Connecting with people I never would have otherwise, and partnering with brands I’ve been a fan of for a number of years is so much fun. I recently partnered with Hot Topic. The high-school emo girl in me is ecstatic.
So, being an influencer may not be all glamour and free products, but it definitely has its upsides. And Autumn clearly hasn’t let the popularity change her. From putting her foot down over sketchy sponsored product offers to showing off her personality through her favorite Disney bounds, the Instagram may be her brand, but it really does seem to show off the “real” Autumn. And if you met her, you’d agree.
Even though she worked her way up to a wow-worthy Instagram “influencer,” Autumn wants fans to realize how time-consuming and difficult that can be. But don’t despair.
“If you hit a rough patch, it’s just about picking up where you left off,” Autumn says. “It’s a matter of trying a bunch of things and seeing what sticks.” Worked for her.
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