Megan McKay, 30, is a true influencer. She’s been influencing since before the rise of Instagram and influencer culture. If you were on YouTube in the mid-2000s, you might recognize her as the Megan half of Megan & Liz, a twin sister pop duo that gained popularity in the 2010s, uploading their songs and covers to YouTube.
After gaining nearly a million YouTube subscribers and amassing millions of views on their music videos and covers, the sisters decided to start a separate beauty-focused YouTube channel in 2009. Their fans constantly asked for makeup advice, hair tutorials, and product recommendations, and unknowingly two beauty influencers were born.
Get her natural, glowy cover look
– Saie Glowy Super Gel
– Summer Fridays Skin Tint
– Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear All Over Concealer
– Rare Beauty Bronzer Stick
– Makeup by Mario Soft Pop Plumping Blush Veil in “Just Peachy” + Gucci Blush in “Tender Apricot”
– Dior Beauty in “Nude Glow”
– Hourglass Veil Setting Powder
– Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Bronzer as shadow
– Maybelline Sky High Mascara
– Kosas Tinted Brow Gel
– Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Freeze
– YSL Lipstick Balm in “Nude Sheer” + Summer Fridays B 38 utter Balm in “Pink Sugar”
Megan’s tip for long-lasting, sweat-proof makeup
Get your makeup to last through the Memphis summer heat with Megan’s tips.
• If you aren’t using a foundation primer or setting spray, add one to your routine! This makes all the difference.
– MILK MAKEUP Hydro Grip Primer
– Drugstore Dupe: e.l.f. Power Grip
– O/S On Til Dawn
– Drugstore Dupe: Morphe Continuous Setting Mist
• Don’t just set your under eyes with setting powder – set your whole face!
– Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Setting Powder
– Drugstore Dupe: Revlon PhotoReady Setting Powder
• Always carry a translucent pressed setting powder with you in your purse for touch-ups.
• If you do sweat on your face, DAB – do NOT wipe it off!
• Glowy, dewy makeup may be “in” right now, but it’s not known for lasting well in the heat. Aim for a matte look if you know you’ll be outside most of the day.
After pursuing their passion for music for many years, Megan and her sister were burned by their record label and started to feel burnout by the cutthroat music industry. Because both girls had built a combined following and unique audiences, they decided to take a break from the music scene and focus on monetizing their social media channels in 2015, specifically their Instagram accounts.
During their time touring, shooting music videos, and performing onstage, Megan learned a lot about makeup and skincare, so it was a natural next step to find her influencing niche in the beauty space.
Since becoming a full-time beauty influencer, Megan has worked with prestigious brands like Dove, Tula, and Dyson, to name a few. Although many people view influencing as an “easy” career and consider brand partnerships just cash grabs, this could not be further from the truth regarding Megan.
“I’ve consistently built an audience since I was 18 years old, and I’m fortunate that they have grown along with me,” she shares. “I’ve built trust with my followers, and they know that when I recommend a product or partner with a brand, it’s because it’s something I truly believe in and have tried out myself first.”
After watching a couple of Megan’s Instagram Reels, you can tell how passionate she is about makeup and beauty and how much effort she puts into creating premium content for her audience. A typical workday for her involves email correspondence, juggling creative briefs to ensure she’s meeting requirements and deliverables, and spending four to five hours shooting and editing content. Even when she doesn’t have content to shoot, she’s always scouring TikTok and Instagram for inspiration and to ensure she’s staying on top of trends and popular products.
In 2021, Megan added another title to her resume: professional makeup artist.
“I’ve always had a passion for makeup and loved trying new products and different types of looks,” she explains. “As I started to improve my skills and gain more confidence, I started doing my friends’ makeup and saw how happy it made them and how beautiful they felt. It brought me so much joy to be able to give them that confidence boost, and I wanted to be able to do that for others.”
As a makeup artist and beauty influencer, Megan spends a lot of time in full glam, which can be tough on her skin. She prioritizes no-makeup days when she’s not filming to give her skin a break. She’s committed to always doing her full skincare routine, rain or shine, and advises to always double cleanse after wearing makeup.
In a line of work that heavily emphasizes aesthetics and outer beauty, Megan’s biggest lesson has been learning to be comfortable in her skin- without makeup.
“Over the last few years, I’ve gotten so confident in my makeup-free skin,” she says. “I love a full face of makeup because it’s fun for me – not because I need it.”
You can keep up with Megan on Instagram @meganmacemckay and book her for a wedding or special occasion makeup on @makeupbymeganmace.
By Lucy Modzelewski
Photo by Laramie Renae