18-year-old beats crippling shyness by transforming herself into film characters and becoming Youtube sensationBarcroft


A teenager who used to be so shy she avoided parties and could not speak in class has become an internet star through her YouTube channel.

Emma Pickles, 18, has found a new confidence since she started posting make-up tutorial videos online.

More than 1.5 million people have watched her transform herself into everything from movie characters Edward Scissorhands to X-Men's Mystique and pop star Katy Perry with intricate prosthetics.

Emma, from Halifax, Yorkshire says she developed such a fear of public speaking that she found even asking for a cinema ticket a struggle.

Emma said: "I wouldn't leave the house without putting on a full face of makeup and I even panicked at answering my phone.

"When a teacher asked me a question in class I used to go bright red and start shaking all over.

"When I would go to the cinema I even found it hard to ask for a ticket."

Emma found refuge by transforming her appearance using make-up.

She said: "As a child I was fascinated by the power make-up has to transform a person.
In the beginning I was so bad at it. I'd just throw on my mum's mascara and end up looking like raccoon.

"But then I started spending my pocket money on make-up and I realised I could do mine better than the other girls at school. I hated the bags under my eyes so I would use my mum's concealer to cover them up. I felt like I had big nose - so I soon discovered techniques to make it look smaller."

Five years ago, aged 13, Emma discovered theatrical make-up tutorials online.

She said: "I saw a video tutorial of how to do the Edward Scissorhands look and I gave it a go.
It sounds big headed but I realised I had a natural talent for it and I became hooked.

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While friends were going out to parties at the weekend, I was at home making myself into vampires and werewolves.

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"My favourite looks are the creepy ones - but because of my social anxiety I've never even been to a Halloween party."

But when she began posting her videos, Emma gained new confidence and her amazing make-up tutorials are now followed by thousands of loyal fans who subscribe to her channel.

She says: "I've achieved so much through YouTube and having to speak in front of a camera has given me a lot more confidence.

"I even met my boyfriend through YouTube."

Last year Emma posted her first video on YouTube after being encouraged by her boyfriend Brad Smith, 26, whom she met at a YouTube meet-up three years ago.

She said: "I'd never thought of posting my own tutorial. I was terrified. But Brad encouraged me and I uploaded a video of me turning myself into the Queen of Hearts.

"I had 400 subscribers to start with and I was so scared they weren't going to like it. After posting it I was glued to my computer, watching the comments come in.

"Thankfully, most of the comments were really positive. People were saying how talented I was and it felt so nice. It gave my confidence a boost."

Now Emma's channel has become so successful she makes a living from it.

YouTube guidelines means Emma cannot reveal how much money she makes from her channel, but admits it is enough to pay her bills and visit boyfriend Brad in London twice a month.

Emma plans to move out of the house she shares with her mother, Liz, 47, and younger brother, Matthew, 13, on the back of her success.

In the future she hopes to do makeup for film and TV - and at Halloween she was asked to do make-up for a Halloween party hosted by Google.