The beauty of TikTok is anyone from anywhere can pop up on your For You page, and someway, somehow, you can relate to it. With most of us are stuck inside, not being able to meet new people with the same interests as us like before, TikTok has made introductions a bit easier. The social platform has brought the ever-so-smiley Gabe Adams, in particular, into our lives through our screens with his fun getting-ready-with-me makeup videos.
When he first started posting selfie-style videos, Adams had no expectations of viral success. So when he wasn't amassing high view counts, he definitely wasn't disappointed. Instead, Adams kept posting anyway, showing off how he creates his everyday, soft glam look or bold eye makeup.
In October 2020, Adams' TikTok views went from thousands to millions. "It wasn't until I did a full-body shot of myself where people could see I have no arms and no legs and what I was actually doing — that video actually took off," he tells Allure.
People in the comments expressed how impressed they were with Adams, to say the least. After being born without limbs 22 years ago, he's found miraculous ways to make the world work for him, including, but not limited to, wielding blending brushes and his favorite rainbow palettes in unexpected-yet-brilliant ways for the dreamiest, most seamless eye makeup.
Adams chatted with Allure over Zoom from his home in Salt Lake City, Utah, all about his makeup journey and how TikTok has changed the way he shares his life with the world.
Allure: How did you get into makeup?
Gabe Adams: I started doing makeup because of my background as a dancer. I joined the dance team back when I was in high school. I remember I was on stage for the first time, doing a rehearsal, and my dance coach was like, "You look washed out. You gotta figure out how to put on some makeup." I was like, "OK, sounds good." I went home, bought makeup, spent an hour just playing around with foundation and everything, trying to make sure that I got it blended out evenly.
Allure: What's your relationship like with beauty now? How does makeup make you feel?
Adams: I've always struggled with my physical appearance because it's something that I can't ever change. But I feel like the one thing I can change is how I feel within. When I started doing makeup, it brought out a whole new persona of myself and how I viewed myself in the mirror, and how I hold myself in better regards. It's really helped bring out a lot more confidence than I had a few years ago.
When I first started doing makeup, my parents were like, "Boys and men don't wear makeup." I was like, "Actually, that's false. Every man and boy that you watch on that TV screen wear makeup."
Makeup is a form of art. Makeup brings a face to life. Makeup is something that brings people happiness, joy, comfort, and confidence. [Eventually, my parents] came around themselves. A few months ago, I was at my parents' house, and I was talking about how every time I go to put on mascara, I have to touch the middle part of the wand so I can flip it around to pin it up against my desk so I can put it on. I get mascara on my lips every time. When I'm filming a TikTok video, it's super frustrating because then I have to run to the bathroom, wipe off the mascara that's on my lips. Then, my dad said, "I wonder if we could build you a longer wand." And I was like, "Wait, what? My dad actually wants to help me put on makeup?"
Allure: Are there any other ways you wish makeup was more accessible to you?
Adams: When I first started to do makeup, I remember being frustrated with the way I was having to hold the brushes. But over the last few months, I've been able to adapt and learn the best way and the exact angle I need them at to be able to get the precise blending and lines.
I become super adaptive; that's kind of been my life: adapting to things that aren't physically accessible to me and creating my own way to do things. So, my answer is no. I'm pretty sure for a lot of other people, it would be yes. I would definitely like to be that advocate that helps make that happen for those who want to be able to create looks but don't have the full capability of doing so.
Allure: What is the most unexpected way that you put on a product?
Adams: Definitely foundation. When I first started to wear foundation, it was the cringiest way that I could ever do it. I put a towel on the floor and my Beautyblender on top of the towel. I pretty much just smacked my face all over the Beautyblender on the floor. Now, I tape my Beautyblender to my makeup desk and dab it on that way. That is a thousand times better.
Allure: You don't really talk too much in your videos, right?
Adams: My fiancé mentioned that to me as well. He always is like, "Nobody really knows what you sound like." It's really funny because I was a motivational speaker for five years until COVID hit. That kind of knocked down my status in the speaking world, so TikTok has also brought a huge joy to my life and inspired me to do something else other than speaking.
For more from Gabe Adams, you can follow him on TikTok.
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