Annie is wearing 'No Filter' Lipstick, 'I Am Awesome' Lip Gloss, and the 'I Feel Beautiful' Palette
Annie Tran is a social media influencer. She goes by as @annie.vtrann on Instagram and is known for her colorful and creative makeup creations. With over 65,700 followers and totaling over a million views on her videos, she is an Instagram sensation. She’s been on Instagram since 2014 and her following is quickly growing.
SAMMI SCOTTO: How did you get to be a beauty influencer? Can you describe your journey?
ANNIE TRAN: My journey was unexpected. I was the girl in high school who played sports and didn’t wear makeup, so things went a full 180 when my boyfriend got me my first Naked Palettes for Christmas. I didn’t really know what to do with them to be honest haha, so like anyone seeking tips & tricks on how to apply makeup, I turned to YouTube. I loved watching YouTube, and I still do. One day, out of complete boredom and curiosity, I sat down and filmed myself putting on makeup, and the rest was history. I received a ton of positive feedback from my first video, and my friends pushed me to post more, so I did. With the consistency of content going, it was not long before my videos started being recognized and shared throughout social media, and that’s how I became an influencer.
Have you always had confidence when it comes to being in the limelight? Where do you draw your confidence from today?
I definitely did not, and at first, I almost felt uncomfortable being so public with my life. Prior to all this, I was on a career path to being a teacher. I’ve worked in education for years as a tutor too, so I didn’t want my co-workers or students to see me being silly and doing glam makeup on Instagram. I would switch back and forth my account from private to public so often. Now, my confidence comes from my supporters. Their positivity, love, and kindness towards me is what reinforces me to do what I do. Additionally, being validated and recognized by brands that I love and respect also helps boost my sense of confidence.
What has been your greatest struggle to overcome? What is your greatest struggle at the moment?
As cliché as it is, my greatest struggle has always been myself. I have this tendency to second guess myself all the time. My biggest internal conflict is the decision between being an influencer or being a teacher. I’m so incredibly passionate about both, but I always feel like it has to be one or the other because attempting to balance both is very difficult. So the struggle is—when I’m teaching, I’m wondering what life would be like as an influencer, but when I left education to pursue social media, I constantly thought about returning to the classroom. It’s terrible to not feel 100% satisfied or definitive about what you’re doing even though you’re so passionate about it.
"As cliché as it is, my greatest struggle has always been myself. I have this tendency to second guess myself all the time."
If you could go back and give 12 year old Annie Tran advice, what would it be?
I would definitely tell her to stop tolerating negativity. I genuinely believe that 7th grade was the time in my life when depression really creeped up on me. Of course, I didn’t know what it was then, but I do now. Everyone goes through this awkward transition, but it was really tough on me. I grew up very shielded from certain things about the world, and I thought the world was a very simple place. So when middle school drama, beauty expectations and standards, and self-esteem issues came to light, I didn’t know how to handle it. So, if I could, I would tell myself that none of it matters 10 years from now—don’t sweat the small stuff!
Has there been a moment in particular where you felt as though you were meant to do this?
There have been several, and they have always been whenever a supporter of mine sends me a message disclosing a private story about their life. I’ve had women open up to me about their experiences with rape, abortion, sexual assault, mental illness, and more. They always let me know that despite their struggles in life, my makeup tutorials are able to help them escape even if it’s just for one minute. The fact that I can shed some light on someone’s life—that’s a big deal to me, and that’s a huge part of why I do what I do. Makeup tutorials aren’t going to cure cancer or end world hunger, but if I can bring a moment of escape just for one minute to one person, it’ll make a difference for me.
"Makeup tutorials aren’t going to cure cancer or end world hunger, but if I can bring a moment of escape just for one minute to one person, it’ll make a difference for me."
If you could bring awareness to one topic what would it be?
As a teacher, I’m always promoting global education & higher education to everyone—but, as a person, I’m always trying to bring light to mental health issues, particularly depression and anxiety. I got accepted into my Master’s Program for Communication, and my research project was going to be based around the ways that we communicate about mental health and what we can do to reduce and eliminate the stigma surrounding it. It’s important to be kind and empathetic towards what other people are experiencing because depression and anxiety are real, and everyone has the right to having their feelings validated. I can’t tell you how many times I hear people asking “well, aren’t you just sad? Can’t you just get over it? Everybody gets sad.” I wish more people could be aware and educated on what mental illness really entails.
How has the beauty industry changed since you've become an influencer?
It has changed drastically, I feel. When I first started, it was very easy to grow on Instagram as long as you had good and enjoyable content. However, with the changes in the Instagram algorithm, sometimes I feel like I can’t get engagement and interaction without posting a click-bait type of video. There’s many times where I would consider resorting to clickbait just to get some views, but I always try to ground myself and remember that I didn’t start this for views or likes—I started this to share my love of makeup. Additionally, I feel like the makeup industry is very concerned with drama and negativity nowadays. Drama channels, “shade,” and “tea,” are all new things to me.
"There’s many times where I would consider resorting to clickbait just to get some views, but I always try to ground myself and remember that I didn’t start this for views or likes—I started this to share my love of makeup."
Describe the biggest misconception people have about being a social media influencer?
The biggest misconception of being an influencer is probably that I have no life outside of what is seen on social media. People always say “oh, so you just sit at home and do nothing except makeup?” NO! Influencers are still dynamic people with multiple interests, and I have made that a huge point from the start of my makeup journey. I don’t just talk about makeup—I can talk about education, and mental illness, and really ANYTHING— because the makeup is just one facet of my life.
In one sentence can you answer "Who is the real Annie Tran?"
The real Annie Tran is your everyday girl—the one who procrastinates on homework, watches Netflix, and eats more fried chicken than she should be.