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He may still be able to order from the kids’ menu at most restaurants, but 12-year-old beauty blogger Harrison Schwartz’s 1.1 million followers on Instagram (@harrison._.) show that creativity and tenacity speak louder than age. Glossy talked to Schwartz ahead of his second photoshoot with Petite ‘n Pretty, a tween and teen makeup brand that he has worked with for almost three years.
Below, his journey to becoming a male beauty influencer, his favorite makeup looks and his response to negative comments on social media.
When did you first get into makeup?
“I was about 9 years old. I was at a sleepaway camp in the summer and I put on makeup with some girls I was friends with. At first, it was kind of a joke. But then I got home and I started watching a lot of makeup tutorials online, and my mom let me start using some of her makeup. And then [my parents] eventually bought me my own makeup, and I kept practicing. And then I started my own Instagram account. After posting a few videos, my account started to grow pretty quickly. I’ve been going for two or three years now, and having fun with it.”
When you started to get followers on Instagram and YouTube, was it a surprise?
“I remember that I was at my grandparents’ house and I posted my second makeup video [to Instagram]. It was at, like, 2,000 views, and it just kept getting more. I was freaking out because it was on the Explore page, and I was getting so many likes and comments. The next morning, I woke up and it had over 100,000 views, with people being like, ‘Oh my God, look at this cute little kid that’s doing makeup.’ I wasn’t very good — this was a while ago, [in 2017]. But then I kept posting. I wasn’t expecting [the attention], but I was excited.”
What challenges have you faced on social media as your audience has grown?
“I pretty much just do my own thing. I don’t focus on the followers or other people telling me certain things I should do with my Instagram. I’m trying to just keep posting my videos and focus on what I want to do I’m grateful that I have parents who respect that and are supportive of me. I have faced some challenges, like [mean] comments, but I never really let them get to me. I knew that I was always going to be the bigger person. [Those people] are just sitting behind the screen.”
Speaking of social media, how are you approaching TikTok?
“I’m not as active on TikTok, but every once in a while, I’ll post a makeup video on there. I have about 12,000 followers. I don’t [promote] it on my Instagram that much, but I have some makeup TikToks and some TikToks I’ve made with my friends. TikTok is just for fun.”
Why did you choose to work with Petite ‘n Pretty?
“One of the things I like about Petite ‘n Pretty is that their products are high quality, and I liked how they’re made for teens. They don’t use that as an excuse to cut corners because some people are like, ‘Oh, it’s just kids. They won’t know.’ They show a lot of respect for teenagers by making beautiful makeup. Me and my mom are really big fans of their mascara. I actually went to L.A. for a different photoshoot with them in 2019, and I have gotten [sent] a lot of their products [through PR for content creation]. I still have so much.”
How did you style your looks for the shoot?
“They would tell me a makeup look or theme, and then I would do what I wanted to.”
On your Instagram, you have tons of cool, colorful looks. Do you have a different everyday look?
“I do not normally wear makeup outside of the house, unless it’s a special occasion. I love doing the makeup, I just sometimes feel uncomfortable wearing makeup, because I’ll want to rub my eyes or I want to itch my face. But if I do it’s definitely a more natural look.”
How did you gain your confidence with makeup?
“I don’t care what other people think. I also really like to incorporate bold colors in the makeup looks. I love inspiring people to not care what other people think.”
What’s your favorite makeup look you’ve done?
“[It was] probably after I got back from my first time going to the Morphe store [in 2019]. I got so much new makeup. They gave me a basket and said, ‘You can take as much as you can fill up.’ So I was so excited. When I got home, I did a really fun makeup look and I love how it turned out — it’s still on my page today.”
Are you also a big skin-care fan?
“When I first started doing makeup, I was not into it. And I wasn’t very good at taking off my makeup, which was horrible for my skin. As I got older, I realized how important skin care is. I started a whole routine with my makeup remover, my cleanser — the Petite ‘n Pretty cleanser is definitely one of my favorites.”
Where would you like your beauty career to go?
“When I’m older, I think a really fun job would be to be a celebrity makeup artist. One of my good friends, Scott Barnes, is Jennifer Lopez’s makeup artist. I definitely want to do something like he did. I also [want to] make sure to follow my passion, have fun and be myself.”