Meet Lauren. She’s a 25-year-old makeup artist from Chicago, and battles with a rare skin condition: vitiligo. Oh… and she’s an absolute beaut.

We had a chat with her to make ourselves a bit more educated on vitiligo, how it affects people and what she reckons to the beauty industry at the mo’.

Vitiligo: Lauren's Story
Vitiligo: Lauren's Story

For people who may not be aware of vitiligo, what is the condition?

It’s a condition where the cells that produce melanin/pigment stop functioning. As a result, the body ends up having patches of total loss of color. It moves at its own pace so each person who has it will be affected differently so it’s unique to every individual.

Have you always embraced your skin?

Not at all. I developed vitiligo on my knees and elbows when I was around 6 years old which only progressed as I got older. I was extremely insecure about it even just a few years ago. It wasn’t until I was about 21 that I decided to try to embrace and flaunt it. It took me some time to step out of my comfort zone, but I feel so much better about it now.

We’ve done some serious stalking on your Insta recently (don’t judge). Has makeup always been your passion?

Absolutely. Growing up I was never very “girly”. Even now, I love doing my hair and makeup but still have a more “tomboy” personality. But, I was always interested in makeup and loved watching my grandma and mom put it on. I started wearing a little here and there in middle school, and my love for makeup and makeup artistry only grew from there.

Vitiligo: Lauren's Story
Vitiligo: Lauren's Story

Do you think beauty brands raise enough awareness around vitiligo and other skin conditions?

No, they definitely don’t and they need to. I feel like beauty brands need to have some representation of those with various skin conditions. And they should show them embracing it in various ways- whether it’s by covering it up or flaunting it. Doing that will only benefit them and help so many other people in the world feel a little less insecure about themselves.

When did you get into Instagram, and do you see it as a positive place to be online?

I started using Instagram in 2012. It was way more personal at first but as I continued to experiment with makeup, it became almost like a log of my growth as an artist. I also started using it as a tool to embrace my vitiligo, and the outpour of positivity completely surprised me; it’s really helped me get to the level of confidence I have now.

I definitely feel like it’s a positive online space. Even though there’s a lot of trolls and just plain rude people out there, they don’t outweigh the amount of supportive and loving people that’s on there.

Vitiligo: Lauren's Story
Vitiligo: Lauren's Story

Which females do you admire the most?

I love super glam business women- especially those who openly speak on being a feminist and challenge societal norms. I definitely admire Amber Rose and artist Bei Badgirl. They exude so much femininity and beauty yet openly go against societal norms and are so pro-women.

I also love that they have voices and aren’t afraid to use them. They speak out on double standards and just fully embody girl power. On top of that, they’re so successful by doing things that they love.

Amen to that. So, tell us… what are your top summer beauty tips? 

Glow, glow, glow. I’m obsessed with strobing/highlighting and summertime is all about bronzy, dewy, glowing skin. Find an oil to mix with foundation to make it more luminous. Highlight the top of your cheekbones, nose, Cupid’s bow and a little above the arch of the brow to amp up the glossy, glow factor. Adding a little bronzer is always a nice touch as well.

If you had to be part of the boohoo squad, which one would you be in?

I guess it’ll be the Street Stylers. I love how it’s “borrowed from the boys, owned by the girls.” That’s definitely my style. I have a bunch of men’s clothes and I love adding some feminine touches to them.

If you were an emoji, which one would you be?

The little alien guy… because I’m a weirdo.

And last but not least… if you had a mantra, what would it be? 

I always say, “if someone’s doing something they love that doesn’t offend, or hurt other people, then you shouldn’t knock them down for it.”

Make sure you go and check out Lauren’s IG for some incred tutorials and her just slaying life in general @laur_elyse