Brazilian-born social media sensation Camila Coelho is here to help Hamptonites get their glow on thanks to her newly debuted beauty line.
"I have my passport photo from when I was 6 years old with a red lipstick on that my grandmother gave to me,” says Camila Coelho, laughing. “I literally begged for that lipstick.”
For the Brazilian-born beauty, it was love at first sight when it came to skincare and makeup. “Growing up I’ve always been a beauty lover and during my teen years, after high school, I decided to get a job at a makeup counter,” she shares of her start at a Dior makeup counter at her local Macy’s. “After just a few months I saw how strong beauty is—how empowering and transformative it can be.” Coelho soon transitioned to become a makeup artist and in 2010 started doing her first minitutorials on YouTube.
“It wasn’t like it is today that you know they can make a career out of social media. It was really a hobby,” reflects the now L.A.-based entrepreneur. “[My tutorials] were very long compared to other people’s because I always wanted to make sure that people understood completely what I was teaching them,” Coelho says of her deeply authentic style, which clearly connects with her audience. Over 3.44 million YouTube subscribers and 8.8 million Instagram followers later, Coelho has clearly connected. “It’s a very special relationship, and I’ve always tried since the beginning to be present, to see, to listen to them,” she says of her kinship with her followers. “I make an effort to listen to all their feedback and read their comments. I have someone on our team today that really gathers and filters the most common feedback, the most important things—and I get to read that every week and see what they’re thinking, what they want me to do. Even negative feedback is very important for me to grow and evolve.” The social media sensation says that her secret to success also includes not only a deep connection to her community, but also knowing when to say no. “I’m sharing my personal life in a way—so this communication with my followers is what has made this relationship special… And being real, you know.” This adherence to authenticity also applies to sponsored content, Coelho says. “Since the beginning, I always knew that if a brand reached out and I was going to talk about a product, it needed to be real. If it wasn’t real, my followers would know, and I would lose their trust,” she says.
Coelho launched her widely successful fashion line—Camila Coelho Collection—last year. “With CCC the aesthetic of the brand is definitely my style—chic, modern, classic pieces—but there’s always a touch of sexiness to it which comes from my Brazilian heritage.” Yet Coelho admits it is the beauty line that has been a true, lifelong dream since those early days and first YouTube tutorials. “I see how my life is coming to a full circle now. Beauty is how I started, and now I’m finally accomplishing my biggest professional dream, which is having my beauty brand. It gives me chills to look back from the makeup counter to becoming a makeup artist, and really then I had no idea what could come out of it, what could happen, and it’s happening now,” she says.
The beauty collection derives its roots from Coelho’s heritage, both in name and in concept. Elaluz (available at net-a-porter.com and Saks Fifth Avenue; elaluz.com) translates to “she is light” in Portuguese. Sustainability, inclusivity and effective, clean ingredients are core to the brand. The two launch products include an ultrahydrating lip treatment and lip/cheek stain, a hydrating beauty water and a beauty oil. “No beauty customer shops from only one line,” Coelho says. “I focused on my must-haves that I really believe in, the ones that help me bring my beauty from the inside out.”
“There were many things I wanted this brand to have and to represent. One of the things is definitely my Brazilian heritage,” she says. Coelho lived in the small town of Virginópolis, Brazil, until she was 14 years old, yet those regional roots remain in everything she does today. “My country is so rich in agriculture, and I really wanted my brand to explore our rich ingredients like nuts, the plants, the oils and the fruits.” Think rich, Brazilian ingredients like guarana and prickly pear extracts mixed with ultranourishing oils or butters from papaya, buriti, bataua, cupuacu, acai and Amazonian superfruit andiroba. “It’s really exciting to bring my heritage into this brand.”
When asked about other beauty secrets she draws from Brazil, Coelho is a wealth of knowledge. (Who knew carrot juice was the answer to a more golden tan?) She clearly has a passion for sharing all her heritage has to offer. “I grew up seeing my grandmother do these natural homemade hydrating masks. I remember this one mask she used to use, it was like, she would mix avocado with aloe vera and boudici oil—which is one of our launch ingredients,” she says. “Brazil is a tropical country so, you know, you’re exposed to the sun a lot, and we have this thing of doing hair masks.” Coelho notes that haircare is an important part of Brazilian beauty routines and will also be an integral category in the line (look for the first haircare launch in October)… as are lips. “Brazilians love lipstick… you see a lot of women with a bare face who still have lipstick on,” she says of her homeland.
Coelho humbly notes she owes part of her success to her longtime husband and business partner, Icaro Coelho, whom she has been with since she was 17 years old. “In the beginning, when we actually started working together, it wasn’t so easy because it was a learning process, but you learn to work with each other, to separate personal life from professional life,” she says. “You’re together all day, and at night we want to have our own personal husband-and-wife moment, but then something workwise comes up and we want to talk about work—so throughout the years we’ve learned that our personal life is so important that we need to separate things.” From time to just Netflix and chill to tabling work talk, the couple clearly has it down. “I’m really grateful that I have someone that I love and who’s my partner and that we’re accomplishing all these dreams together and experiencing all of this together.”
Life has not always been picture-perfect, Coelho admits, who just earlier this year revealed her long battle with epilepsy. “I’ve had epilepsy since I was 9 years old, and I struggled a lot in my teenage years,” she shares. “I truly believe every person has their own unique individual light shining inside of them. No matter where you come from, what you look like, you have a beautiful light. And depending on what happens to you, what you go through in life, you block that light. And I blocked my light when I was in my teenage years,” she says, explaining that her epilepsy made her feel ostracized. “I felt different from my friends because I couldn’t drink; because I felt different, I rejected what I had. My own inner light started shining again when I accepted myself as I was—and I accepted my challenges and struggles. That’s when Camila came back to life.” Coelho is an Epilepsy Foundation board member who uses her platform to bring light to the topic. “I know that every time I talk about epilepsy I’m using my voice and my platform and my story to help the most people I can… Not just people who have epilepsy—especially those—but also people who struggle with accepting themselves and loving themselves,” she says. “It’s important for me to use my voice in a positive way, to help people out. Everything I do, even with beauty, I try to do it in a positive way and inspire people in a positive way.”
Photography by: Photography: Raul Romo
Styling: Mimi cuttrell
Hair: Florido Basallo
Makeup: Camila Coelho using Elaluz
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