A YouTube personality by the time she was 10 years old, Amanda Steele became intimately acquainted with demographics and analytics at a precocious age. But it’s her telltale use of the word “like” that acts as a reminder of just how young the Huntington Beach native behind tween phenomenon MakeupbyMandy24 actually is. Now 18, Steele has amassed nearly 2.9 million fashion- and beauty-obsessed subscribers, leading to a modeling contract with American Eagle Outfitters for its Fall 2017 campaign.
The influencer also recently joined season two of the Hulu series Freakish, in which she plays Hailey, a high school student battling a zombie invasion. “I’m used to being in front of the camera, but it’s a lot more fun to completely transform,” says Steele, who launched her makeup tutorial YouTube channel in 2010. Still, she points out, the difference between “reality” content and fantasy isn’t as big a leap as it may seem: “People want to watch your YouTube videos because they feel like they know you,” she says. “It’s definitely a balance of…how you would act, but tailored to knowing that people are watching.”
Steele recently moved to Los Angeles to support her acting and fashion design aspirations. And while she’s known to indulge in the occasional digital detox, she remains devoted to her online audience: “I want to make sure that I’m being the person that they still want to follow over time.”
Photography by J.R. MANKOFF.
Written by LINDZI SCHARF.
Styling by REBECCA RUSSELL.