Search History

Beauty Historian Erin Parsons Tells Us Her Makeup Dos and Don’ts

If you were to count the faces Erin Parsons has painted, you’d have a small army of supermodels, from Gigi Hadid to Shalom Harlow. The notorious makeup artist got her start assisting the iconic Pat McGrath before landing a contract with Maybelline as their resident Global Makeup Artist. A self-described recluse, Parsons has done something unusual for those of her ilk. In an industry flush with shiny new products, she examines contemporary makeup and its dense and uncharted history. In Parsons’s videos, she grinds cochineal insects into blood red lipstick or chips an ancient lapis lazuli stone into eyeshadow. What began as an obsession with Marylin Monroe’s red lips has led her to carve out a niche in the industry—and the freedom to just curl up with her dog and film at her vanity. For this week’s Search History, we slid into her DMs to find out which supermodels she’s recruiting for trivia night, the best part of going viral, and what’s overrated and underrated in makeup today.




KING-CLEMENTS: What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? 

PARSONS: Snuggle with my pup VeeVee 🙂 VeeVeePooPoo the powder puff Parsons is her full name lol.

KING-CLEMENTS: What’s in your system currently? 

PARSONS: I start with squeezed Lemon, Dr. Berg electrolyte powder and a huge Stanley of water. I drink while making an espresso. The old way with a Moka, fresh ground beans—this is a specialty and my only drug of choice. Bone broth for lunch and salad (I know very Gwyneth but great for the skin). Then for dinner a Pastis burger 🍔 my fav.

KING-CLEMENTS: Delicious. Where do you spend most time online? 

PARSONS: Probably Mikayla but she posts the most regularly and the videos tend to be more than a minute. Also Pinup Pixie, she’s become a friend, love her content 🙂

KING-CLEMENTS: Do you have any favorite non-viral makeup products right now?

PARSONS: Westman Atelier Eye Pencil, I basically don’t do eyeliner without it. Violette FR Aïssa Blush. If you want that “cold girl”’cheek color, it’s so perfect. Surrat Eyebrow Pencil in brunette. This list could get very long I must tell you 😆 Mily stickers for my beauty marks too!

KING-CLEMENTS: I’m sold. What were your last three Google searches? 

PARSONS: I’m having an obsession with Turkish music thanks to hairstylist friend Mustafa.


Erin Parsons

KING-CLEMENTS: That leads me to my next question—describe your private browsing persona in three words.

PARSONS: Three words is nearly impossible 😆I have an obsession for the truth. I want to know beauty history inside and out. I go down deep rabbit holes and I keep the browsers open ’til I solve the mystery 😝

KING-CLEMENTS: Have you solved any of them?

PARSONS: Yes. In regards to Kevyn Aucoin and the actual products he wanted for his makeup line. He passed in 2001 just before it launched. The products changed as it’s been 20 years. I was determined to find the exact items he created for the line. I found even more than that. I’ve only slightly touched on it. It’s fascinating! To see all his paperwork, all the formulas he referenced. I’m going to make a lot of videos surrounding this.

KING-CLEMENTS: Best and worst parts of going viral? 

PARSONS: Just stop reading comments after a few hours and you’ll only get the best, because it’s your wonderful subscribers who see the video first. They are so lovely and leave wonderful comments but after that anything goes. You don’t want to read what the trolls have to say or it could ruin your day. I learned the lesson early on. For the first hour I read every comment and try to message everyone back. After that I’ll check in periodically. I would also say the best part is if you’ve done a lot of research then many others share in what you’ve discovered. It’s quite fun to read what people think about the content 😊

KING-CLEMENTS: What’s the strangest DM you’ve received? 

PARSONS: I used to get people messaging about Gigi, those freaked me out. I won’t even say what I read but I stopped opening DMs for the most part. There’s a point where you can’t juggle all the apps, comments, DMs. But I’ve been able to connect with many through the years and most are very sweet 🙂

KING-CLEMENTS: You’ve worked with all the top models—who are you recruiting for your trivia team? 

PARSONS: Bella and Gigi 😆 because I know they’re competitive and would be determined to win. Stella Tennant came to mind, she was incredible—smart, calm, elegant. All the years of assisting Pat I did work with everyone really! I’d say Linda Evangelista on my team just because she’s my fav lol.

KING-CLEMENTS: You can have one person do your makeup for the rest of your life. Who are you choosing?

PARSONS: Whitey Snyder—Marilyn’s main makeup artist. Just so I can ask him a million questions.

KING-CLEMENTS: Can you send your favorite meme? 


Erin Parsons

KING-CLEMENTS: Money or clout? 

PARSONS: Money. I love money. I was poor. I know what it’s like not to have it, my ketchup soup story. I want steak for dinner, not ketchup packets hahah.

KING-CLEMENTS: Favorite place to go in full glam? 

PARSONS: My vanity table—in front of my phone camera because then I can peel it all off right after I’m done. I’m a total recluse to be honest, maybe it’s why I love social media so much. I go to X Pizza, my husbands place. They have DJs, art and drinks, so I’ll go there all decked out after filming to relax sometimes.

KING-CLEMENTS: You can only use 3 products for the rest of your life. What are they? 

PARSONS: Kevyn Aucoin eyelash curler, Clinique High Impact lash elevating mascara, Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk lipliner. 

KING-CLEMENTS: Least favorite viral products? 

PARSONS: Charlotte Tilbury Liquid Blush, people loved it but they were so patchy on me.

KING-CLEMENTS: Last question: What’s your password? 

PARSONS: Why did I just freeze like what??

Erin Parsons