How Alix Earle Became TikTok’s It Girl
As the blond, willowy daughter of a New Jersey construction magnate, Alix Earle, 22, doesn’t seem like an everywoman on the surface. Yet, since her TikTok debut in early 2020, viewers have flocked to the University of Miami senior, who’s opened up during her Get Ready With Me videos about everything from her cystic acne to her anxiety to her messy house to her former relationship with MLB player Tyler Wade. Earle has achieved It-girl status, landing splashy brand deals (Tarte, Rare Beauty, GrubHub) and collaborating with A-listers like Selena Gomez. Products Earle recommends sell out so fast that it’s been called “the Alix Earle effect.” Here, she schools the masses on how to become a TikTok superstar.
Play to Your Strengths
When she started posting on TikTok, Earle didn’t quite know what would resonate with her audience. “I tried a lot of the TikTok dances,” she says. “I quickly learned that wasn’t for me.” It wasn’t until she made a video showing her acne before and after makeup that people in her comments started clamoring for her makeup routine and she figured out her niche.
Learn From Your Peers
Though Earle is now known for her ease with cosmetics, that wasn’t always the case. “Growing up I saw my mom doing her makeup, but I definitely had some scary makeup days,” says the influencer, citing the times she piled on orange-hued bronzer. “Looking back on old photos, I was like, ‘What was I thinking?’” But with trial and error — and a little help from other creators — she was able to hone her skills. “TikTok came around, obviously you’re seeing a bunch of people do their makeup, and I was exposed to a lot more products and techniques. So TikTok has definitely evolved my game.”
Have Thick Skin
Since ascending to fame, Earle has seen various rumors and critiques circulate about herself, such as that she’s dating Kendall Jenner’s ex Devin Booker (she’s never met him) or that she’s glorifying depression by showcasing her unkempt dorm room. She quickly learned to ignore it. “When I was younger, I used to let a lot of things get to me,” she says. “I have never really taken anything on social media too seriously. My friends always say, ‘You’re perfect for this. I couldn’t handle it.’ Because I just don’t care.”
Keep It Real
Earle credits her massive audience in part to the fact that she’s open about the cosmetic work she’s had done, regularly posting about Botox and fillers and her breast-enhancement surgery. “Growing up, I saw a lot of perfection on social media, and would compare myself to it, a lot. And as I got older, I realized that that’s not real,” she says. “Not that getting plastic surgery is great, but people should know that this is what people are having done, and this is not how people are naturally looking.”
Use What You’ve Got
As a marketing major, Earle says she has unique insight into how to grow an audience, and regularly uses what she’s learned in the classroom to build her brand. “When sounds are trending, it’s easy for everyone to do the voice-over, and do the sound or do the dance,” she says. “But I think when you’re using your own voice and your own thoughts or whatever story you’re telling, that’s obviously just original to you. So it’s not going to be saturated by everyone else following the trend, because it’s your experience.”