I ditched school at 16 and never got any A-Levels but bought my own pad at 20 – haters said I’d never manage it | The Sun

SHE left school at 16 with no A-levels, but Kirsty Belle is now a hugely successful beauty influencer – and even managed to buy her own house aged just 20.

When the 21-year-old, from South West London, dropped out of school to pursue her passion for makeup and content creation, her dad was "disappointed" that she hadn't stuck with the "traditional path of education."

But fast forward five years and she's since bought her own house and travelled the world with some of the biggest beauty brands in the country – and her loved ones couldn't be prouder of how much she's achieved.

Speaking to Fabulous Digital, the beauty guru says: "Even though I did well academically, I never felt passionately about my studies and didn't see myself pursuing further education."

With that in mind, Kirsty made the "scary" decision to leave school aged 16 and follow a career that she felt truly excited about.

"I knew that I wanted to pursue a career as a makeup artist and a content creator, and I felt that leaving school early would give me a head start in achieving my goals," she says.


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"I left school only three months into my A levels and enrolled in a nine-month hair and makeup course to become a professionally qualified MUA.

"It was a scary decision, but I knew that if I wanted to pursue what I loved, I had to start now."

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After being inspired by other influencers and thinking it'd be "cool" to do it herself, Kirsty decided to start her own YouTube channel.

Admitting she didn't take it "seriously" to be begin with, she began posting more and more content and soon, things really blew up.

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"At the time, I was unsure if it'd turn into my full-time career," she admits.

"I started my channel by posting lifestyle and makeup vlogs and tutorials, and I was able to gain a substantial following organically.

"My channel grew quickly, going from 1k subscribers to 10k in just a couple of weeks."

However, in 2019/20 when TikTok started to gain attraction, Kirsty tried the "Get TikTok Famous in a Week" YouTube challenge – and that's when her career really took off.

"At the time, TikTok was still relatively small, and I made the video as a bit of a joke," she says.

"But to my surprise, my TikTok account blew up as well and I again gained 10k followers in just a week."

At 20, I bought my own house…it was insane. I never thought I'd be able to do that and totally know how privileged I am for it.

After seeing the potential for growth on the video-sharing platform, Kirsty started creating an increasing amount of content that she hoped would further expand her audience.

And it seemed to work – with Kirsty not only garnering the attention of new social media followers, but also spiking interest from some of the best known beauty brands who were all eager to work with her on various campaigns.

"Working with some of the biggest brands in the makeup industry has been unbelievable, such as L'Oreal Paris, Maybelline, and Charlotte Tilbury," says the TikTok sensation.

"They're brands I use daily so to be able to partner with them is a dream come true.

"I've also been able to travel the world on jobs with Benefit Cosmetics, such as going to Hawaii, as well as attending iconic events such as the BRIT Awards and Paris Fashion Week as a brand representative."

And at just 20-years-old, the beauty whizz accomplished the ultimate achievement and bought her own house.

"At 20, I bought my own house…it was insane," she recalls. "I never thought I'd be able to do that and totally know how privileged I am for it.

"That was a huge pinch me moment and I'm so grateful."

But Kirsty's journey hasn't been without its difficulties – especially when she first decided to leave school.

"My mum was really supportive and actually helped me initially with leaving school and getting my dad on board," she says.

"At first he was a bit disappointed as he wanted me to stick to the traditional path of education, however now all my family are really supportive and proud of what I’ve achieved."

Speaking of another hurdle she's had to overcome, Kirsty continues: "Watching everyone else I went to school with do something so different, sometimes made me feel a little alone in my journey.

"They've all just either left or are still at university, so I'm trying to balance working with growing up, I'm still so young.

"People were experiencing that at 18 and 19, while I was working, and self-employed too.

"It's weird sometimes to think a lot of people my age are at entirely different points in their lives compared to where I am."

Working with some of the biggest brands in the makeup industry has been unbelievable, such as L'Oreal Paris, Maybelline, and Charlotte Tilbury

Kirsty also notes the late nights and says that creating and posting videos sometimes leaves her in a creative block.

"I'm often in meetings with companies online in other time zones which has me up until 2am," she explains.

"I also sometimes have days like we all do where I might not want to be super sociable, but I need to be at events or in meetings, so I just push through!"

Kirsty concludes: "It's funny how things work out sometimes and I never could have predicted that my passion for makeup and content creation would turn into a full-time career.

"It just goes to show that sometimes you have to take risks and put yourself out there to see where your passions can take you.

"I'm proud of my whole journey.

"I can't believe I'm doing my dream job at this age.

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"I'm also so excited for the future.

"I want to hopefully work in TV, turning my social media career into something where I could be interviewing people, or presenting."

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