If in Italy we know what a primer, a blush or an eyelash curler is, that’s thanks to her, Clio Zammatteo, alias ClioMakeUp, who, in 2008, opened her YouTube channel, when the YouTuber profession, above all in Italy, hardly existed. While she was living her American dream in New York, she shared what she was learning at make-up school through short tutorials, which became increasingly technical in time, thus contributing to spread the art of make-up: from the catwalks to everyday life. Today Clio is make-up artist, YouTuber, beauty blogger, book author and TV personality, but she is still the sweet, a little clumsy girl of her debut days, the virtual friend, who to turn to for advice and for a honest answer. She has also recently launched a lipsticks line – fully made in Italy and sold online – which, 14 hours from its launch, was sold out. This is Clio’s time to shine, crowned by the birth of little Grace. MANINTOWN has interviewed her for you.
When did you realize that you could invest everything on this dream and project of yours?
I actually realized this quite late, around 2012, as, until then, I had many collaborations, TV shows, books, and I used to manage almost everything by myself, I was more of a true YouTuber, a person who made a living thanks to her passion. Around 2012, when more people started to work at the project, and, above all, we opened the blog, I started to understand that it could become a profession, because I was employing other people, I was not merely supporting myself. Every year there has been a little growth, which helped me believe in the longevity of the project, while on the web is rife with short-lived phenomena. This one, on the contrary, kept on growing, as my husband, my sister-in-law and I, the main trio of ClioMakeUp, have always been focusing on how to grow.
You show that dreams can come true. Which were your ingredients for success?
Certainly honesty and teamwork, as by now ClioMakeUp is a twenty-people business. We want to convey an idea of home, family, loyalty and honesty, the values which we have always relied on, in everything we do. Also the collaborations always start from the products, the tests and the determination to be honest with a community that has always followed and supported us. Plus, having never forgotten my roots and having stayed true to myself has also meant a lot.
You have always advocated body-positive messages, without distorting realty with Photoshop and the likes. What is your take on those who obsessively seek perfection?
I think that physical appearance is only a little part of what a person really is. Having said this, I cannot judge other people’s choices. A big bum or a long nose do not make the difference nowadays, in fact, we have to focus on something else. Obviously make-up and looking good are important to me, but it is not something I daily grapple with, and it is not something that makes me a better or a worse person. I have always been honest, also with myself, regarding my qualities and flaws.
What’s your secret to accepting yourself?
The key is understanding what the really important things in life are, then all the rest can take a back seat. Surrounding yourself with people who love you for what you are is another key element. Finding a person like Claudio, my husband, who has always loved and supported me for what I am, has led me to love myself better.
Another thorny issue you have addressed is maternity and the followers’, though often accidental, intrusiveness, which can sometimes hurt. For those who share (almost) everything on the social networks, are there any limits that should not be overstepped?There undoubtedly are, personally I don’t publish everything about my life. Nobody does this. People tend to publish only the positive aspects. As far as I am concerned, neither this is the case, as I do not try to show a sweetened, polished version of me. It is important not to share everything, otherwise people will end up expecting too much from you, and it’s no good when people expect to know virtually anything about your private life. In my opinion, this, the right balance, is something one learns in time.
What makes your lipstick line different?
It addresses everyone. Nowadays, above all new brands, often only address a specific target. My brand, on the contrary, addresses all: girls who feel beautiful and those who feel less beautiful, as well as those who feel like experimenting. Very young girls, but also mature women. It is a user-friendly brand that makes no distinctions. Most importantly, the people who buy my products are aware that there are so much work, research and experimentation behind them, months and months of tests, they know that it is not an activity born merely to make money. People trust ClioMakeUp, because they know that I have tried many products and when I recommend something, it means that I consider it to be the best.
How is your relationship with fashion? What are your fashion go-to items?
I don’t have a great relationship with the fashion (she giggles, Ed). I have realized that, having chosen make-up, fashion sort of takes the back seat. I don’t spend a lot on clothes, as fashion is a bit like make-up, everyday millions of new garments, shoes, bags are launched on the market, websites are updated every single week. If make-up is my chosen job and I can invest on it, I try to restrain myself when it comes to apparel. I buy basic items that can be worn every day. Moreover I love dresses and I often wear them. I wear them in summer and also in winter with thick stockings and oversize pullovers. I have my own style, hence I do not really follow the trends. I like flowery prints, but I can never renounce black dresses, black is a classic for a make-up artist, because when you get dirty, it does not show, but also because it’s a colour I like, that goes well with everything, most importantly, with different outfits, it always look different. It is an evergreen, absolutely timeless.
Not only tutorials, but also vlogs. The best travel experience?
I have travelled to lots of places, but what really holds a special place in my heart is Iceland, where I did three vlogs. It was a wonderful journey, even if we went in a very cold period of the year, at the start of January, with only four hours of sunshine a day, it was freezing cold. Despite the climate was not the best one can hope for, it was a breath-taking journey, with unparalleled sunsets. That place filled me with peace of mind, ditto the friendliness of the people, everything was truly fantastic. We spent some truly wonderful days there, I can’t wait for Grace to grow up a little, so I can take her there, as I think she will like it too.
Your posts often show a deep love for Italy. Have you ever considered coming back for good?
Yes, we often think about it, although we have to finish our experience in America first, which has already given us a lot, but there are still a couple of things we have to do. For sure, for the future, we have already started to wonder in which Italian city we would like to live with Grace, above all because I would like my little one to grow at home, close to our loved ones.
A project still to be fulfilled?
I can honestly say that I am lucky, all my dreams are coming true, this is an incredible feeling. I would say that my goal for the future is to make this line of ours grow, but there is no haste, I am not a person who wants all on the spot, I am aware that to do things properly, you need to take your time, hence that’s what we are doing. Thanks to the people who follow us and to the quality of the product, I am confident that we can do great things in the future.
Which products for men would you recommend?
Drawing from my experience with Claudio, I would suggest the moisturizing serums as, compared with the creams, they have a lighter texture, hence they are more suitable for those men who hate the “heavy” look, or the slightly greasy effect of some creams and also for those with a beard, like Claudio, who use the serum because it penetrates in depth without leaving the beard greasy. Other good products are the matting creams, there are many on the market for the “T” area, above all for men with greasy skin, and then all the oils for the beard, especially in this moment when the beard is in fashion. Oils help keep the beard tidy, shiny, they really make the difference, it is apparent.
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