Caroline Kuhn: Beauty Vlogger, Citizen of the World, and Everyday Inspiration
Whilst on my hunt for women breaking the mold in beauty and in life generally, I stumbled across the stunning Caroline Kuhn. I was first attracted to her beauty YouTube channel, where she shares her tips and tricks with an understated and classic style. As I dug further into who she is, I discovered that she works as a paralegal, travels the world, and preaches women empowerment to her followers. There is something so genuine and relatable about Caroline; whether it be her personality or just the unspoken vibe she emits out into the world, she is not afraid to share what makes her tick, both the good and the bad. Caroline does not have an expensive lighting set up for her videos nor does she have a photographer following her around for candid Instagram photos. She is simply and amazingly a woman living her life and sharing that life with the internet.
Samantha: Please introduce yourself to the Openletr readers. Tell us about your background, and how you got to where you are today.
Caroline: Hello Openletr readers!!! My name is Caroline Kuhn, and I'm a beauty influencer. I'm originally from Brazil, but I consider myself to be a citizen of the world after living in a total of seven countries. I'm currently living in Maryland with plans to move to California.
Samantha: What originally drew you into the YouTube beauty community?
Caroline: I've always been fascinated with makeup and skincare, ever since I was a little girl. Many times I would be rummaging through my mom's makeup drawers as a child. Growing up, I would take every shopping opportunity to visit makeup counters and aisles. This led me to google product reviews and, eventually, I ended up on YouTube!
Samantha: When did you first start wearing makeup and how did it make you feel? Is that still how you feel about makeup?
Caroline: I don't remember when I first started wearing makeup, but I do remember when I purchased my first products in high school when I started earning my own money. During my sophomore year, I wore concealer under my eyes, Benefit Benetint on my cheeks and lips, L’Oreal's Telescopic Mascara, and a Mac eyebrow pencil every single day. I felt so much more confident with concealer, mascara and rosy cheeks. A lot has changed since! Today, I wear makeup much less often, usually twice a week, to allow my pores to breathe, and I try to make a conscious choice to only purchase and wear cruelty-free makeup, because animal rights is an important cause to me.
Samantha: You have such great skin! What are your top three beauty/skincare tips?
Caroline: Thank you! My skin isn't perfect all the time, but my tips to keeping it as clear as possible are to use clay mask as often as possible to draw out impurities, reduce the amount of dairy consumed, and ALWAYS remove makeup before bed, no matter how tired you are.
Samantha: Do you find that your beauty, gender, or race has affected your position as a paralegal?
Caroline: Yes, unfortunately. After a few negative job experiences, I now find myself doubting if being a paralegal or working in a law firm is really for me. Secretly, I wanted to be a paralegal after seeing Meghan Markle in Suits! Ha!
Samantha: Who do you look to for inspiration? Whether it be in the beauty realm, law, or just in general?
Caroline: I once heard in a podcast by Kathrin Zenkina that the word "inspire" means to "breathe." The process of breathing includes inhaling and exhaling, so if you find yourself out of inspiration, it may mean that you have exhaled all that you have inside you, and now it is time to inhale again. Sometimes inhaling means going to bed early, visiting a museum, or even watching makeup tutorials! Lucky for me, I'm very close to Washington DC, where there are so many incredible museums and inspiring places. My favorite place is the botanical gardens, because they have plants and flowers from many climates.
Samantha: Do you feel that working in a professional setting limits how bold you can be with your personal style or do you feel free to be yourself?
Caroline: Often, there are unspoken rules of dress code in many offices. Intense colors and bold looks may throw people off, especially recruiters, but no makeup at all may look unprofessional. Working in a professional setting has led me to minimalistic and easy makeup with a Glossier vibe. In a world of baking and caking faces with makeup, lived-in, dewy, fresh makeup is a breath of fresh air. A little concealer or bb cream, brow gel, and lipstick can transform your look! During work days, I gravitate towards makeup that can be done in less than 10 minutes, because sleep & breakfast > makeup.
Samantha: Many people feel pressured to live up to a certain expectation when it comes to beauty. Do you struggle with meeting expectations?
Caroline: Yes, definitely. It's silly, but some insecurities hindered me from fully being able to express myself creatively through makeup. It's a personal journey that I'm still working through.
Samantha: Struggling with self-image issues is, unfortunately, something we all deal with now and again (things like acne, body image, etc.). How have self-image issues affected your life/work? What advice would you give someone struggling with the same thing?
Caroline: No matter how much confidence is being preached to us, it's hard to incorporate a belief if it only comes from women fitting the stereotypical "perfect." The beauty of getting older is caring more about what is truly important and less about fitting into the mold set out for us in society. Seeing other women who have what society tells us is "imperfect" and being confident about it has revolutionized my world.
Samantha: In what ways do you think the beauty industry and community need to improve in 2019?
Caroline: What we’re not gonna do in 2019 is clickbait, gossip, or clout chase! Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.
Photo courtesy of Caroline Kuhn, Maryland, USA.