If you're a beauty-lover on TikTok, chances are you’ve spotted Belfast woman Olivia Neill who has garnered an incredible 1.3 million followers on the social media platform.

Although YouTube is where she first shot to fame, and where she gained over 785k subscribers, she admits that TikTok is where she spends most of her time these days.

Olivia moved to London two years ago at the ripe old age of 18, and two years later has found herself the face of Rimmel’s new Thrill Seeker Mascara, an unmissable campaign splashed across London’s blackcabs and in Superdrugs around the UK.

@olivianeill AHH i can finally share my fave mascara with you guys I hope u love the @rimmellondon #ThrillSeeker mascara #fyp ♬ original sound - rimmellondon

The social media superstar is known for her super chatty weekly YouTube vlogs where she makes videos speaking to camera about everything and anything. Her easy demeanour makes listening to her seem like the most natural thing in the world, like one long WhatsApp voice note in your busiest group chat.

A master of many platforms, I was unsurprised to see Olivia launch a podcast last November. Inner Monologue with Olivia Neill is 30-minutes of non-stop chat recorded on Olivia’s couch (with a blanket over her head and a mic in hand) every week.

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Olivia arrived to our Zoom interview looking incredible with piercing green eyeshadow and the blow-dry of dreams. I caught up with the social star to find out her skincare secrets and career goals.

Olivia, congratulations on your gorgeous Rimmel campaign! Tell us a little bit about the shoot.

It was crazy! I’ve definitely never done anything to this scale before in my life, it was a huge production! I went in the studio for part of the day, then we went on an open top bus all around London. There was a huge film crew, I felt like I was an actress in a movie. The way they’ve rolled it out now everywhere, I’ll see it on black cabs passing when I’m driving around. When I’m watching Love Island in my dressing gown with a big bowl of pasta, I'll just pop up on the screen - it’s so cool!

Olivia Neill
Image courtesy of Rimmel

You moved to London just two years ago and you’re already splashed all over the city. How does it feel?

It’s crazy! I didn’t think starting YouTube this would be happen!

Speaking of YouTube, I love watching your channel. I really enjoyed your Paris vlog where you looked incredible (despite a language barrier in the hairdressers). How would you describe your makeup and beauty style?

It always changes, I'm really inspired by trends on TikTok and that. I started wearing makeup when I was 14 and was really into YouTube beauty gurus. At that time, everyone was really into putting as much makeup as they could on their face, like making it like a mask.

Whereas now, on the days I choose to wear makeup because a lot of the days I don’t wear makeup, I’m very much into enhancing my natural features. I don’t cake on a lot of foundations or anything, recently I’ve been having a lot of fun with eye make up and I love doing different colours.

I’ve got some green on today, I just think it’s lot of fun! It’s kind of more editorial but I really experimenting with it.

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In terms of beauty products do you have favourites that always go everywhere with you? Are there any products that you need with you all the time?

Every day I wear these three things; Rimmel Thrill Seeker mascara, and a lipliner with a lip balm over it. I don’t wear foundation but I would wear a moisturiser as I’ve got quite dry skin, and I use lash serum instead of getting fake lashes or lash extensions.

In terms of my lipliner, I love the Rimmel one in shade 'Cappuccino' and my favourite lip balm is the 'Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask’, it is my absolute favourite lip balm but it’s always sold out and quite hard to get.

I used to buy the most high coverage foundation I could find but now, even when I’ve got spots, I don’t mind just leaving it, I like to see everyone’s skin and different textures.

As I have dry skin, I like to do lots of skin prep: I use an ice roller, primer and cream, and I drink a lot of water too to hydrate my skin.

Is there any moisturiser you’ve found helps your dry skin?

Yes, I found one recently! It’s the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Night Cream, it feels like a balm, it’s genuinely so good. I went on holidays recently and burnt my nose, and it was peeling so bad I put that on and it sorted me right out.

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Your social media following is off the charts across so many platforms. Which platform do you find yourself spending the most time on consuming content?

YouTube is the most creatively fulfilling, I spend a full day filming and a couple of days editing. It’s obviously my OG platform, I feel like I’ve got my core audience there.

I think the one I spend the most time on is TikTok, my screen time is disgusting! I spend all my time on TikTok and I also probably make the most content on TikTok because it’s really quick and spontaneous, I quite like that it’s not very thought out and filtered.

I still use Instagram and I post all the time but I do think it’s a bit filtered, I don’t really like scrolling there as much.

What kind of content do you love to watch?

I get a lot of inspiration on TikTok, I get a lot of fashion inspiration, beauty, hair everything from TikTok. My FYP [For You Page] is all beautiful girls just lip syncing to songs and I love it so much! Obviously I get served funny TikToks and you can kind of tailor your FYP too and mine is quite funny now!

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Did you find it easy to dive into the podcasting scene last November?

I knew I had a talent for talking too much from my YouTube video, and whenever people would say to me, ‘you should start a podcast’ I would say no because I like how I can edit my own YouTube videos when I trip over my words, etc.

But I found this really cool production company, I was really nervous for the pilot but I sat down and chatted for an hour and realised I shouldn’t have been scared. I now record it in my flat on my sofa with a mic and my blanket over my head, my producer is on Zoom I love it so much it’s literally my therapy!

That’s amazing, I assumed you were in a studio!

Sometimes I go into the studio it makes me feel uncomfortable because I talk about the grossest most honest things and then I’m sitting in a high end production studio and it feels a little inappropriate.

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You talk about everything from abortion rights and relationships to fashion and beauty. Do you think it’s important to touch on a huge range of topics? What do you get the biggest reaction to?

It’s more like I talk so openly, I talk about issues I have with self-esteem or relationships, people will message me and say ‘I think we’re the same person, we have the same inner monologue’. I think it’s really important to use my platform to show that my life isn’t perfect, I think sometimes social media influencers can make their lives look perfect with a highlight reel but I think it’s important to talk about the not so perfect bits of your life as well.

You must bump into your followers everywhere, what is the common thing they say to you?

They're either one of two things: really baffled as they never expected to bump into me, or they treat me like they’re my best friend, which I actually love!

If they listen to my podcast or they watch my YouTube they know my family, my ex-boyfriend they know things that are going on in my life and they chat to me like they’re an old friend. I think I would be baffled though, I was getting my coffee the other day and I saw a Netflix actor and I was in shock I couldn’t breathe or speak so I think I would be baffled too!

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Do you feel that social media creates an unrealistic expectation of beauty in terms of filters and the incredible makeup skills we see online?

I definitely find myself comparing myself to other people online, I don't know if that’s a new thing though as magazines, editing and retouching have been around for years. I was just chatting about this on my podcast where I said I’m really against face-tuning photos where people edit their bodies and smooth out their skin to make themselves look completely perfect.

But then I realised that I also put on a full face of makeup and will wear shapewear if I’m wearing a tight dress, so then where do we draw the line? That’s not the real me if I’ve got a full face of makeup and shapewear on, that’s unrealistic.

For me, if I don’t like a photo I’m not posting it and not everyone feels confident enough to post an unfiltered photo. But I feel it’s really important not to edit your photos, if you’re comparing yourself to that you’re comparing yourself to something that’s not even real.

What does true beauty mean to you?

I feel like saying this may sound patronising but I think being confident in yourself is really beautiful, and honestly you can fake it 'til you make it too. It’s a hard place to get to and getting older helps, when I was younger I would put on as much makeup as I could if I felt self conscious and I still wouldn’t feel beautiful and I think it’s because I wasn’t loving myself.

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You’ve had so much success at such a young age, what’s next for you?

It’s so hard to talk about the future because if you asked me two years ago what I thought I’d be doing I would not say this! I don’t think about it too much or make too many goals. The only goal I have is I want to get a dog! I would be really happy if things carried on the way they are going, I get to work with my dream brands, I get the best opportunities and have the most amazing friends and family. I don’t stress myself out thinking too much about the future.