It’s pretty hard not to spot Patrick Starrr in a crowd. The YouTuber and makeup artist — who has an affinity for towering head wraps, body bronzer, and stiletto nails loaded with crystals — tried going incognito during a recent shopping trip to Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City.
“You should’ve seen me bundled up — I had a big fur, and it was just my face and a sea of people at Saks watching the light show,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Someone asked, ‘Are you Patrick Starrr? We’re from Mississippi and we found you!’”
The 28-year-old influencer has gained more than 3.1 million subscribers on YouTube and 3.8 million Instagram followers, but being recognized on the street is something he’s still not used to. Even with a sparkling new MAC Cosmetics collection that launched on Dec. 14, Starrr can’t believe he’s reached this level of success.
“Growing up, I was always that service provider — being behind the scenes. I would make home videos with my family and work Fashion Week. I was a photographer and makeup artist,” he says. “So to be at the forefront of the camera and the attention is completely beyond what I’ve ever dreamed of.”
Starr — a Filipino-American boy born in Orlando, Fla., who went from playing in his mother’s cosmetics to doing Kim Kardashian’s makeup and having his own line of products — calls his glow-up “literally a Cinderella moment” that has taken him from “pumpkin to billboard.”
Yet with all the notoriety, he never lost touch with his roots. He tells Yahoo Lifestyle that he got the opportunity to fly about 20 of his family members and friends to Los Angeles for the lavish launch of his MAC collection.
“To be financially blessed to have them witness that — they don’t have social media, so they don’t really know what this life is about — that to me was more special than anything else,” he says. “I told them that them supporting me and never bullying me for who I am has allowed me to help millions of other people.”
Turn on the TV or pick up a newspaper and you’ll probably come across harrowing accounts of young boys and girls who were bullied before committing suicide. This is why Starrr praises his mother and father for their constant encouragement.
“Just having them with me pushes me to dance or do a tutorial, but little boys watching me that are getting beat up by their parents or scolded by their mom — it’s so hurtful,” he says. “But they’re helping me create a movement to create equality and inclusivity with a damn lipstick. It’s really silly that an inanimate object can change someone’s life.”
Starrr discovered that life-changing makeup product at the age of 15. He says, “I had a whipped foundation from the drugstore and I remember it was so dark, but I was like, ‘Damnnn, I look good and tan!’ I literally locked myself in my room and took some selfies and posted them on MySpace.”
While Starrr reveals that his mother would go behind his dad’s back and ask him to blow-dry her hair, his parents knew that their son loved all things in the realm of beauty. “For them to tell me not to wear makeup early on was to help me defend myself from bullies out there, but they love me no matter what,” he adds.
Starrr’s relationship with his dad has come full circle, the beauty guru shares as he reflects on a heart-warming experience they shared backstage at “The Damn Show,” which he hosted with MAC in New York City on Wednesday. “I was like, ‘My dad is helping me put on my beaded fringed skirt. Who’s father is going to help their eldest son put on a beaded fringe skirt?'”
For beauty boys who love makeup and don’t have this type of support system at home, this is Starrr’s advice: “Find your tribe. Find friends that appreciate what you do. I remember learning a lot from my brown beauties at MAC. They’d all wear turbans to protect their natural hairstyles, and I thought, ‘Hey, I’ll wear one too!’ When I worked at MAC, I found people that did what I love — that’s when it became cool. So whether that’s finding friends on social media or at a makeup counter — go to Ulta, go to Sephora, go to MAC, go to a damn mall and make a friend!”
The MAC x Patrick Starrr collection is now available online at maccosmetics.com and at MAC stores while supplies last.
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