In the first few seconds of speaking to CC Clarke (real name Chelsea Clarke), my assumptions of what a beauty influencer might be like to talk to are swiftly corrected. Many may roll their eyes at the thought of someone making a living by happily whacking #ad or #spon under a photo of an indiscriminate product – complete with a tenuous caption explaining why they’re definitely genuine about promoting it (Khloe Kardashian and Febreze, anyone?) – but when top beauty influencers like Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner can command a reported $1 million pay check per sponsored Instagram post, suddenly the idea of earning a living this way doesn’t seem quite so funny.
In this digital world, one can’t deny that influencers are changing the way that companies communicate with scroll-happy customers, and CC is the perfect example of a modern-day star. She was recently named the most influential online beauty influencer by The Sunday Times and has organically grown her Instagram following to over two million with her content.
Not to mention she’s a business owner and beauty entrepreneur amassing a huge loyal online following through her YouTube beauty tutorials, and is the CEO of Castaway Beauty and Hot Ombre Cosmetics – both of which are experiencing a meteoric rise and huge growth worldwide.
Immediately bubbly and endearing on a Zoom call, despite her intimidating online following, CC is completely down to earth and admits that she’s nervous to do her very first podcast interview.
Welcoming her first child into the world at the end of 2020 (you can follow her whole pregnancy journey – birth and all – online), she is bursting with love for her daughter and is currently getting to grips with juggling motherhood and her online businesses, insisting she’s far from perfect:
“I do sometimes think, ‘Oh, don't look at me, because I don't have my shiz together today,’” she laughs. “But then telling people that also makes them feel like it's normal as well, because if I just painted it like it was sunshine and rainbows and daisies every day, it's unrealistic.
"I'll tell you what, each day is a challenge with everything going on as well as having a baby, and if I pretended that it was easy, I think people would get fed up with me pretty quickly. Painting the reality as well as being a voice for positivity and trying to inspire others is definitely important to me.”
Since becoming a mother, CC has been determined to show that she can be a dedicated parent whilst continuing to run her various business empires. Setting a good example for her daughter is everything to her.
“Oh, my goodness, I definitely want to continue what I love doing,” she gushes. “I got so many questions like, ‘Oh, you won't have time to put makeup on when you have a baby’, or ‘I guess you won't be songwriting anymore once you're a full time mum’. At one point, I have to admit I got sucked into this mentality of thinking it's all gonna be over – all of my passions that I've worked so hard for.
“Of course, I'd sacrifice the world for my little girl, but you still want to fulfil your dreams for yourself as well. I snapped out of that as soon as she was born, really. It gave me even more of a motivation to show her that I can still fulfil what I feel like my purpose is when it comes to music, makeup and artistry.”