October 19, 2016

There’s A Sinister Secret Behind My Beauty Guru Videos, And I’m Ready To Tell You What It Is

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Jaci Berkopec
Jaci Berkopec

My name is Cherry Rae; I’m a YouTube beauty guru. Cherry Rae isn’t my real name, nor is it my ‘YouTube name.’ It’s a name I thought up of on the spot simply because well, I was eating cherries earlier today, and Rae is my late friend’s name.

I started out doing YouTube videos two years ago; getting a feel for what was ‘trendy’ at the time. At first, it was beauty tips that turned into monthly vlogs, such as October’s Vlogtober and December’s Vlogmas. The more content I produced and uploaded, the more hits my videos began to get, bringing in sponsors. When I realized I was making more money than I did on a good night serving as a bartender, I quit my job and focused all my attention on to YouTube.

Fast forward to the past couple of months, I changed up my angle. And boy, did my numbers skyrocket. I began with weekly vlogs that centered around what I did on a day-to-day basis, which surprisingly, people wanted more of. The things that I thought were mundane seemed to be the most interesting thing to my viewers. My viewers would continue to comment on my makeup, and how they wanted to see tutorials. That was music to my ears. I knew these beauty gurus on YouTube make a lot more money than I was, and that meant I would reach a bigger audience, which would lead to more money in my pocket.

Call it greedy, but I found an easy way to make money – I will never have to sit in a cubicle at a 9-5 job.

Exploring into the beauty department once again, I decided to put my beauty school certificate – yes, it’s a real thing – to use for once. I started out with updated basic makeup tutorials – you’ve probably seen me showing you how to: “get your eyebrows on FLEEK!”, “winged liner and bold lip for DATE NIGHT!”, or my personal favorite: “Halloween looks to KILL!”

Yes, click bait titles were a must in order to draw in viewers, and more importantly, money.

My Halloween looks began getting attention as it spread viral outside of the YouTube universe, reaching audiences on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. My natural artistic talent for SFX Makeup became my identifier; nobody gave a shit about anything else that I posted anymore.

I began to gain more sponsors, and they had one rule: my camera must always be on. They wanted ‘real’ footage with as little editing as possible. They wanted to see the mascara wand hit the tip of my nose, and watch my reaction versus cutting it out and editing it to a flawless execution. I was fine with this – I didn’t mind showing my audience how ‘real’ I was.

Besides, with Periscope, and other live streaming platforms that I could not edit my actions and reactions on, this was a breeze for me.


I began filming my first Halloween look with my friend, Rae – yes, she was alive last week. The first was a compilation of 31 looks I would post throughout the month of October for a project titled: ’31 Days of Halloween.’

We were filming a look based off the ‘Jeepers Creepers’ poster. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, or simply forgot what it looked like, here’s the poster:

Jeepers Creepers
Jeepers Creepers

I began to spread liquid latex all over her face, making sure I didn’t get any in her eye, just like the professional I was. For those of you who have never used liquid latex, it’s a sticky and rubbery substance, similar to Elmer’s School Glue, but dries much harder as it self-vulcanizes at room temperature. The idea behind liquid latex is that the more shit that’s stuck on it, the easier it is to take it off in one piece when you are done using it.

This wasn’t my first rodeo – I’ve done this before. But, due to my negligence, I keep my super glue right beside my latex glue – I transferred them into similar bottles, and even marked them – but I guess I just wasn’t paying attention.

You have to understand something – when you do something every day of your life, you become a zombie. For example – do you remember locking the door, getting in your car, driving to work, and sitting at your desk? Those mundane tasks – locking the door, getting in the car, etc – we do them so often we sometimes forget the steps in between. That’s what happened to me; I forgot to put away the superglue I was using for another project, and instead, I left it beside the liquid latex bottle – side by side, millimeters apart. To be honest, the whole application can be done so quickly, you begin to focus on the other elements of the mask you are creating, not paying attention to which bottle you reach for, because you’ve done this a hundred times.

Rae began to complain about her face burning; I told her it was her skin being dry, and the moisturizer underneath the makeup kicking in.

I continued to add fake blood and gore around the eyes, getting right into the waterline so that it looked like she was crying blood. For the final touch, I took white contacts, and popped them into her eyes. At first, they kept sticking to the tip of my finger, the leftover glue rubbing on to the actual contact. Finally, it was in her eye, which was now bloodshot from the irritation. As someone who rarely wears contacts, this irritation was not uncommon. I noticed that we were starting to divert a bit from the original poster I was basing the look off of, but I had to add my own flair.

For the final touches, I found an old potato sack underneath my sink, and cut it up, sticking pieces on top of the latex glue. We waited almost an hour before adding the finishing touches – the thick white sewing on the potato sack.

The glue had completely dried; some of the substance completely seeping into her pores, making her skin burn even more. I began to thread a thick yarn piece through the potato sack, feeling for the fake skin that glue had created.

“Ow!” Rae complained – more than once, actually.

I figured I was just tugging at the skin too hard, and she was feeling the pull of the glue. I told her to stop complaining, and finally finished the last stitching. Boy, did it look good! If they were to remake the movie, they could’ve easily used my look I had created.

Proud of myself, I let Rae sit with the makeup for another four hours, as I was editing the recording. By now, we were hitting the sixth hour of having all that shit on her face that, which according to her; was no longer burning. Eventually, Rae asked for me to take it off, as she was planning on going out that night and couldn’t really show up with this Halloween look at the bar – it was a little too early in October to get away with that.

My finger hovered over my trackpad, just as I was about to hit ‘submit’ onto my YouTube channel, when she started screaming bloody murder.

“What! What is it?”

“It’s stuck! It’s stuck on my face!” She wailed.

I rolled my eyes. Often times, the glue was on so tight that it felt like your skin was being ripped off, when really it’s just the baby hairs on your face being pulled, giving off the feeling of it being ripped off. That’s a little comforting to know, right?

“Help me! It’s stuck! It’s fucking stuck!” Her wails were now beginning to turn into short breaths, and I could sense she was about to hyperventilate.

I went to grab the removing solution when I saw it; the bottle of superglue was almost empty, and the bottle of latex glue was full and unused. “Shit,” I whispered under my breath.

I began mixing everything with the latex glue removing solution – nail polish remover, rubbing alcohol, and even soap. I began to apply the mixture, starting at the base of the neck and working my way up towards the perimeter of her face.

There’s no easy way to put this, so please, those of you with a weak stomach – I would suggest you stop reading.

I began to peel the mask off, feeling warm liquid with every tug upwards. My nails were stained dark red, the blood trickling down my fingers, onto my palms, sitting in the palm lines. Rae had stopped screaming, and that’s when I noticed she had passed out from what she was witnessing in the mirror. I couldn’t stop now – she couldn’t feel anything, so I began to really have a go at it – I just ripped it off.

Pieces of skin hung from the superglue, layers on top of layers. The sewn pieces that were supposed to go through the glue were threaded through her skin, which caused an excessive amount of force needed to pull off as much of the mask as possible. There were chunks of spots on her face where so much skin had come off; the muscles were beginning to show through.

There was still a patch near her eyes, I put extra solution on there, and tugged. The SFX Makeup that made her look like she was crying blood was no longer needed; she really was. I had tugged so hard that the flesh on her bottom socket was completely gone, strings of muscle showing through.

I stared at the mess I had created. Rae’s body began to convulse, and I stepped away. The glue had seeped into her pores, blocking airways and passages, and the facial trauma she had just received was the icing on top of the cake to her death.

And if I’m going to be honest with you, I didn’t feel bad at all. In some weird and twisted way, all this amazed me.

As for the rules of my camera always needing to be on? I deleted all of the footage, as far as anyone was concerned – Rae and I never saw each other that day. I told my viewers my camera was out of focus and the recording was non usable.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a client ready to have a ‘Silence of the Lambs’ Halloween look. I’ve got the right butterfly, and even have the superglue so that when the butterfly tries to fly away on her mouth, it’ll pull on her lips and skin. I won’t even need SFX Makeup for that! Ha! TC mark

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