Meet the rising Aussie makeup star making a living on TikTok

Rising makeup star and LGBTQI advocate, Brandon Lee Scott (@itsbybrandon), rose to TikTok stardom this year, where he is known for bringing beauty magic to life with phenomenal makeup looks crafted using a range of colourful makeup palettes.

The 25-year-old has amassed an impressive 674,000 followers on the platform and boasts over 8.7 million video likes.

And now, Brandon is one of the lucky Australian creators to be featured in TikTok’s first local Australian TVC campaign ‘It Starts on TikTok’, which is all about the idea that everything we do today is influenced by the app in some way.

Below, BD chats with the star to learn more about his success and his involvement in the new campaign.

Can you please tell us a bit more about yourself and how you got started on TikTok?

My name is Brandon Scott, I’m 25 and have been working within the makeup industry for over six years now.

In late 2017, I packed up my life and moved to London, UK in the search for adventure, life experience and subconsciously ‘my purpose in life’. I worked on a makeup counter in Harrods during my two years abroad, keeping those creative juices flowing.

It was mid 2019 when I decided to post and model some of my artistry looks across my personal social platforms, hesitant at first with a deep worry for being scrutinised as my audience only consisted of family and peers from my school years; however overtime I gained my confidence as my support on social media grew. This new found confidence led me to branch out into other platforms such as TikTok.

What was it like when you realised you were going viral?

In mid June 2020, I created a video inspired by a trend that was circulating social media called the #barbiechallenge. This video hit millions of views within the first 24 hours of it going live to my TikTok platform and would be my first time experiencing a piece of my content going 'viral' on such a huge level. This video to date has over 22 million views. As can be expected, having your work explode across social media and seeing your numbers sky rocket within a short bracket of time was extremely exciting but also relieving in some way.

Working as a beauty creator, there are months where you will be spending endless hours towards creating new content on repeat and not always reaping the acknowledgment you were hoping for, so in this scenario as excited anyone would be, I also felt an overwhelming sense of relief that for all the hard work and time I put into content pieces leading up to this video, I finally felt like my work was gaining the recognition I strive for.

What do you believe are the tricks to going viral?

After experiencing a few different of my videos going viral, I believe there are a few different routes to take if wanting to gain mass engagement.

- Jumping on hot relevant trends
- Being innovative and starting a new trend
- Shock factor
- Relatability

All of these routes can lead you to go viral, but most of all it’s about creating something that is authentic to you but also makes you stand out from the crowd. There are alot of people online doing their thing. You need to find your own thing and figure out how to make it stand out.

What is the inspiration behind your makeup looks?

My makeup looks are constantly inspired by different things, whether it's a character, colour story, music video, or other makeup artists across social media.

I find drawing inspiration from many different sources is a great way to ensure you're not being repetitive and that you're always trying new things, and challenging your artistry skills.

What has been your career highlight so far?

I feel so lucky to have many highlights within my career so early on, but being selected as the TikTok Campaign Hero, in its first ever brand campaign 'It Starts on TikTok' has to take the ticket.

To think roughly one and a half years ago, I wasn't even confident enough to post my work online and now you can find my face on billboards and Primetime TV across Australia is a huge achievement, and reminds me how far I've come in such a short time span.

Do you have any career goals you haven’t yet achieved?

I tend to stay focussed on the more short-term and humble goals to achieve each day, which is to grow my brand, inspire my audience and be able to support myself whilst working in this career that I've built for myself. I find achieving these goals each day allows bigger opportunities to present themselves long-term.

Quite honestly, if I can continue to grow my brand and create a stable income for myself doing what I love, then I'm happy.

If you could give your younger self any advice, what would it be?

To not let the judgement of the people you know steer you away from anything you want to do in life. To be unapologetically your authentic self, always.

I spent so much time suppressing any urge to do something creative with the fear of backlash. I can only imagine what I could have already achieved in my career if I had the confidence to share my work earlier on in my makeup career. However, I'm a huge believer that everything happens for a reason, so I'm content knowing this was how my career timeline was meant to pan out.

Can you tell us more about the 'It Starts on TikTok' campaign?

The campaign is expressing the idea that everything we do nowadays is influenced by the app in some way. It caters to all walks of life – you can be posting dancing or skateboarding videos, or on another hand you could be sharing cooking tips, or giving business advice. There are no limits to what you can share and inspire on the app and most importantly it's not only subjective to 'influencers' or 'bloggers' to create this content. You can be a stay at home mum or a DJ. The idea is... that all new ideas 'Start on TikTok'. It's the place to learn, create and share.

How did your involvement in the campaign come about?

I have been informed that I was initially hand selected to partake in the campaign from a wide selection of different creators. I was firstly contacted to be involved with the campaign on a general level, then a few days later I was greeted with a proposition to become a campaign hero, where I would become one of the ‘faces’ of TikTok Australia. I took part in the campaign photoshoot and took a more front and centre position.

What do you think the next TikTok trends will be?

Well we are moving into the spooky season so I'm predicting a lot of Halloween inspired trends will come about for the month of October. I know the TikTok makeup community will take a strong lead on this, but I'm super excited to see what other trends may arise. As a wild guess I'm thinking fashion halloween outfits, scare pranks, DIY jack-o-lantern’s etc.

Who are some of your favourite TikTok creators?

I love an array of different TikTokers, I'm either looking to learn life hacks, laugh or be inspired.

- @cocodevile - He puts so much production value behind his recreations of movies scenes and character paly
- @jessicawangofficial - Gives really great everyday hacks, taking photos etc
- @gabxxrielle - Makeup genius, her artistry is just so inspiring to me
-@peahcprc - Shares the insides of her interesting thoughts, I love someone who is unfiltered and authentically themselves, plus she makes me laugh.