Meet Oxford’s beauty guru
According to Jasmine Reddin, 18 months ago she was “a dull project manager with a secret passion for make-up”. Since then she has transformed into the cyber-celebrity ‘Oxford Jasmine’ whose YouTube videos are eagerly watched by more than a quarter of a million people.
“I am totally bowled over because it is just me in my bedroom, talking to myself and trying out new products and colour combinations,” she pointed out.
The YouTube videos show close-ups of her applying make-up to her own face while chatting about cosmetics and techniques.
She also tests new make-up and skincare products, giving frank, no-holds-barred feedback on whether they are any good.
Now she is pulling in hundreds of thousands of viewers, Jasmine, 33, finds herself approached by major high street and professional brands asking her to review their products.
They know that one favourable mention from her will result in their products flying off the shelves.
Jasmine was quick to point out she has no allegiance to any cosmetic companies.“I have nothing to sell except my services as a make-up artist. I am not wedded to any particular brand, so I just pick what I think is good.
“I also like to choose things that are more ethical such as Fair Trade and that are not tested on animals.
“It has also got to be worth the money. None of us have hundreds of pounds to spend on make-up,” she added.
Her audience is three-quarters women aged from 14 to 60, although the downside of internet fame has been “some weird, stalker types”, hence she preferred not to reveal which area of Oxford she lives in.
Despite her indisputable skills as a make-up artist, she hardly wore make-up in her 20s and started the YouTube video blog simply as a hobby last summer.
“I would describe myself as the average woman. I remember how when you don’t really know what you are doing it is quite daunting. You don’t want to look stupid.
“I used to gaze at photographs of models wearing full make-up and think ‘Wow, that looks fantastic — but I have no idea how to do that’,” she explained.
When asked to be bridesmaid to her best friend, she wanted a special look. Searching for inspiration on the internet, she came across make-up tutorials.
“None of them were for Indian women so the colours and the techniques they were using weren’t quite right for me. But it was a good place to start,” she added.
After studying books, many hours of practicing and several beauty therapy courses she plucked up the courage to have a go at making her own tutorials.
“I create looks I am comfortable going out in and for some reason, people really seem to like it,” she added.
She would ideally like a few models to experiment on as “there is only so much I can do with my face” but her friends are all “too shy” to appear on the Internet.
Despite her own striking good-looks and love of make-up, anyone dismissing her as an empty-headed bimbo would be mistaken.
She possesses a degree and master’s in computing and comes across as extremely intelligent and professional.
Apart from the YouTube activities, she has her own blog, website and posts on social networking media Twitter.
“In my office career I always used computers and managed websites, so the technology side was fine but I had to learn about video making and editing,” she said.
When she is not painting her own face in front of thousands, she enjoys working as a freelance make-up artist.
“Normally, I’m hired to help out on special occasions such as a weddings, anniversaries or birthday celebrations.
“My oldest client was 86 and had never worn make up before. It was her daughter’s wedding so I was giving them both a make-over,” she added.
She firmly believes every woman has positive points that a good make-up artist will highlight.
“I love using cosmetics to enhance the beautiful features that everyone has, rather than try to fake something that isn’t there.
“There is always something about someone’s face that I am jealous of. They might have fantastic skin or bone structure, a great-shaped nose or lips.
So what is the most common error we women make when it comes to our make-up?
“It is nearly always foundation. You have to find the one that is right consistency for your skin because you might have greasy, dry or combination skin.
Then it is really difficult to find the perfect shade. I have spent years looking and still haven’t found the perfect foundation for my colouring. It is my Holy Grail.”
Although she is the star of her show and did a little part-time modelling when younger, she has no aspirations to go down that route.
“A lot of models are terribly insecure because they are valued only for their appearance.
“How awful is that? I would hate to be judged on how I look and not what I do,” she added.