British makeup artist Lauren Luke is an international star on YouTube for her how-to makeup videos. But her latest video upload, "How to look your Best the Morning After," was a startling and realistic shock for thousands of fans. Stunned, they watched a battered, bruised Luke calmly demonstrate how to cover up her injuries, including cuts and strangle marks on her neck.
She opens with smile and an apology: "Sorry I haven’t been online lately. I’ve had a bit of a rough time, but im going to do a video today on how to cover it up."
She calmly proceeds to show how you can conceal fresh bruises from being “pushed hard against a coffee table."
"Gently apply layer after layer, I know it might hurt. Just try your best," she advises, wincing slightly as she demonstrates her camoflage skills.
She goes on to advise using concealer on any cuts caused by “watches or rings,” and for those nasty bruises on her neck from strangulation, a scarf is the idea to hide it.
Suddenly, she hears a door slam. Instantly terrified, she jumps up and quickly switches off the computer. The screen goes blank momentarily, then a message appears: "65% of women who suffer domestic violence keep it hidden. Don't cover it up."
An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical abuse by a partner each year in the U.S., according to the National Coalition against domestic violence, and Luke tells Adweek that she drew on personal experience for the portrayal.
"The bruising on my face for the video wasn't real, but my emotions in that video were. I had a bad experience in the past with a previous boyfriend. He never physically hurt me, but I did sometimes fear what would happen next if I said the wrong thing. He could be overprotective and embarrass me in front of my work colleagues or friends because of his aggressive behavior," she said. "Sometimes it was like living with a volcano which could erupt at any second -- I felt I was walking on egg shells just to keep him from exploding and smashing something across the room."
For more information on getting help for domestic abuse, go to Refuge.org where you can also watch an interview with Luke.
At the time of publication, Luke's video had received more than 137, 000 views on YouTube.