[Photo by: Katie Saccomanno]
Kittysnack, aka 23-year-old Katie Saccomanno from Washington, is a rising YouTube beauty guru recognizable for her signature “Dead Girl Glam” makeup looks that harken back to the days of Hot Topic and Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge. We caught up with Saccomanno to chat about self-expression, confidence and the unlikely inspiration behind her standout signature style: My Chemical Romance.
“Honestly Gerard Way’s makeup in the ‘Helena’ video is what inspires me with Dead Girl Glam,” Saccomanno says. “He is the O.G. Dead Girl Glam—whoever did his makeup, they created Dead Girl Glam in my eyes. I was just mesmerized by how dead and creepy but attractive Gerard Way was. I was in seventh grade, and I remember I watched it on MTV’s Top 20 Countdown, and I was like, ‘Wow, he looks so cool.’ It was just love at first sight with that whole look—with grungy, dark eyes and nude lips, to where it looks like you're sickly and you haven’t slept in days, but you look good.”
In fact, one of Kittysnack’s earliest videos that gained popularity was a “Helena” makeup tutorial.
There are plenty of wild looks on Kittysnack’s page, but she believes the alternative music community is one of the most supportive places to experiment with makeup. “It’s like, ‘We don't give a damn what other people think of us,’ and that has been a theme in punk. In metal, there's a running theme of, ‘I don't give a fuck what you think, I’m gonna be myself.’ I think it’s just self-expression, that feeling of community and safety that can form at a concert or a festival because everybody has that common ground, at least, of the music.”
As for Saccomanno’s go-to concert look? It’s “a black and gray smokey eye and a nude lip,” she says. “I like to keep it pretty simple.”
While Saccomanno’s technical skill is clearly a driving force behind the growing success of her content, one of the reasons subscribers admire her is the confidence she exudes in her bold, edgy style.
“If you put it on while you’re alone in the mirror and you feel good, that’s all that should matter,” she says. “Obviously confidence takes a long time to develop—and that's something that I talk about with body positivity on my channel—but it's also a lot of ‘fake it till you make it.’”
To get the Dead Girl Glam look, Saccomanno’s staples include Sugarpill Cosmetics’ “Love +” single eyeshadow, a highly pigmented pressed shadow known almost universally in the beauty community as one of the best red eyeshadows on the market; and Kat Von D Beauty’s “Shade + Light” eyeshadow palette, which she says contains her favorite black eyeshadow that “blends away like butter, it is so good.” For a signature, cool-toned brown lip to complement a smokey eye look, she recommends the ColourPop and Kathleen Lights collab Ultra Satin Lip in “Point Zero.” Or, for a paler dead-girl lip, try ColourPop’s “Skimpy” Lippie Stix. She also notes Coloured Raine’s liquid lipsticks as a favorite, including a pale nude called “Sugar.” All of the products Saccomanno recommends on her channel these days are cruelty-free, meaning not tested on animals—something she says is very important to her.
“I actually went cruelty-free after going to Warped Tour,” she says. “There’s always animal rights activists at Warped Tour, and usually people just kind of blow them off or take the pamphlet and walk away. I had gone vegetarian about a month earlier, and I took one of the pamphlets. I really just sat and thought about it, and I was like, ‘Yeah, I like makeup, but is it really worth it for these animals to suffer?’
“I’m never going to tell somebody what they should and shouldn't do,” she continues, “but if it's something that you want to do, it’s really important. If you care about animals, if you care about other creatures, going cruelty-free is just one way where you can make a small difference, just by putting your dollars toward a cruelty-free brand.”
What makes Kittysnack memorable in a sea of beauty gurus all pumping out variations on similar looks is her originality and relatability.
“When I first started my channel, I just wanted to fit in with the beauty gurus,” she admits. “But the past couple years, I've really noticed that my subscribers, my followers, really resonate with the fact that I was an emo kid and I love My Chemical Romance. I have My Chemical Romance Pop! figures in the background of my videos. I have this niche where beauty meets alternative lifestyle. This is really who I am, you know? This is just where I fit.”