You wouldn't know at first glance that Andrea, who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, is the user behind the Instagram and TikTok account HoneyDewGloss. Andrea remains anonymous on social media but has 57.8K followers and over 2.3 million likes on her TikTok account, where she posts skincare content on. I talked to her about her content and some of the ways her account has changed her life.
What was your inspiration behind the account?
I kind of started it as a joke. I didn't really expect to get anything out if it; I was kind of just posting stuff for fun. The video that blew up was about the ordinary peeling solution. The next morning, I opened my phone and I was getting hella notifications. That kind of got me started.
andrea (@honeydewgloss) has created a short video on TikTok with music original sound. one thing that actually deserves the hype #theordinary #foryou #skincare #fyp #foryoupage
Why do you choose to stay anonymous?
I feel like my account isn't really about me. It's more about the products and showing the products. I'm kind of just the person who runs it.
When did you realize you had a chance at becoming an influencer?
The viral video got me to 3K followers, and I feel like it gave me a running start that inspired me to experiment more and try different videos. That's how I ended up where I am right now. I feel like the other skincare accounts on TikTok really inspired me. One time, this girl randomly added me to an Instagram chat with a lot of other people who had pretty big accounts already. I was really able to learn from them and be friends with them, and I feel like they really inspired me to keep going.
What kind of hate do you get on your videos?
The first makeup destruction video I uploaded got some hate but people were mostly like, 'Oh, that's really satisfying'. So I was like, 'Okay, I'll just do another one because I have a ton of stuff'. The first clip was a lip balm sample that I got at the airport literally four years ago. I scooped it out, and I guess people got mad because it looked new, but it wasn't new. They were saying stuff like, 'Oh, makeup doesn't expire' or 'How can that be expired, it's literally new'. The comments kind of made me mad but more because they didn't know that skincare expires. For TikTok, it's kind of hard to get information out to people once you've already posted the videos, and it was really hard for me to try to get my point across. I wanted to tell them that these are expired products and it's my stuff, so why do you care so much about what I do? After a while it kind of got old and I got over it. Now, whenever I see comments come in on that one post, I just ignore them because it's not worth getting mad over random people.
Do people in your life know about the account?
When I started my Instagram account, I definitely kept that a secret, except from one friend who inspired me to do it. My account started to get suggested to my friends, so other people found out as well. Everyone kind of just knows I have it. It just became an open secret. People know I have it but they don't bring it up.
What opportunities has TikTok fame brought you?
I haven't done many sponsorships on TikTok, because I feel like TikTok videos aren't really worth that much. I definitely get more opportunities from my Instagram, because on Instagram people put a lot more thought into who they follow and who they engage with. That makes your followers worth more. I usually get more brand deals in my direct messages through Instagram or brands email me.
Would you consider your accounts to be a part-time job?
I definitely feel like it's a part-time job. It actually takes so much time to plan and organize and edit pictures and videos. Responding to emails and logistical stuff also takes a lot of time. It's hard when you've run out of inspiration and you just feel dead. I film TikToks an hour a day, and I have to clean everything up afterward. I would say it's a lot of work and definitely like a part-time job.
How do you film your TikToks?
I don't use anything fancy. I have an iPhone XR, which I use to film videos. I've been thinking about getting a macro lens but I haven't gotten around to doing that. I have this clear makeup stand that has a slot big enough for my phone, so I put my phone in that slot to hold it in place and make sure my phone isn't shaking when I'm filming. I also have this bi-fold white form board from Elmer's that I use as a background. I wait for golden hour to film.
What advice would you give to those who want to start a skincare account?
Don't be scared to try different and new things. When I started, I would retake my shots and my videos so many times because I was like, 'Oh, this is ugly, I don't want to post this'. Honestly, just going through the process and getting better, experimenting, and learning from other people is really beneficial. Don't be scared to ask for help or to reach out to brands. One thing that I want to make clear is that when you reach out to brands, use professional language, and remember to link your social media accounts. I'm interning for a skincare brand right now and I have to read unprofessional messages, and it's honestly better for both sides if you just make your message professional.