Did she do her own make-up The stunning catwalk debut of acne-suffering teen behind YouTube tutorials on how to cover spots
Lucy Waterlow and Sadie Whitelocks
21:49 GMT, 13 September 2012
An acne-ridden teenager who endured years of bullying, demonstrated a new sense of confidence today as she strutted down the catwalk at New York Fashion Week.
Size 4 Cassandra Bankson shot to fame last year
after releasing YouTube makeup tutorials showing how she hid the spots covering her face, neck and back.
But after seeking help from a dermatologist she is enjoying success as a model and this afternoon she made her first runway appearance, walking for designer Stacey Igel at her Boy Meets Girl show in Chelsea, Manhattan.
Spring in her step: Ms Bankson walks the runway at the Boy Meets Girl show at New York Fashion Week
Ms Igel said she was immediately struck by Ms Bankson's looks and decided to cast her:
'Cassandra's long hair fit the style of what we’re doing. Natural, carefree, she definitely had the vibe of what I was casting for the show,' she told the Today show.
Until recently 5ft 11in Ms Bankson,19, from Danville, California, was so ashamed of her looks she had stopped attending
school to avoid the constant heckling.
But thanks to her YouTube video which has attracted almost 40 million hits worldwide, she has been signed up by a number of modelling agencies across the U.S. posing for brands including Bebe and Range Rover.
Commenting on her first runway assignment earlier this week, she told the New York Post: 'It feels like a dream to be here during Fashion Week… I am a different person from who I used to be because I’ve got so much more confidence now,'
… the make-up tricks she shared in her YouTube video, have meant she has become a model
Model looks: Cassandra Bankson, who endured
years of bullying over the acne which covered her complexion, is set to
star at New York Fashion Week, walking for U.S. label Boy Meets Girl.
Here to help: The teen wanted to show others that there is hope if you have bad skin…
Ms Bankson, who was diagnosed with
cystic acne at 14. says her skin condition is about 70 per cent improved
since she first hit the web.
Since posting her YouTube video she has shared more of her tips on her You Tube channel
'diamondsandheels14' and via a blog. Her dream is to create her
own skin care range.
said the response to her first video was overwhelming. 'It was a real
eye opener,' she told Good Morning America. 'It (acne) is such epidemic
for adults as well as teens.'
the start of her video, which was shot in her parent's lounge,she is seen wearing full make-up and looking picture-perfect. It's
only as she starts stripping back the expert layers of primers,
foundation, powders and setting sprays, that the true extent of her
pimpled and blemished skin is revealed.
It feels like a dream to be here during Fashion Week… I’ve got so much more confidence now
teen, a horse-back riding and hiking fan, returns to the camera in a
bathrobe at her 'most insecure,' with bare skin and looking a very
really disgusting,' she admits, adding 'this is probably the most
nerve-wracking thing I could possibly do because it is my biggest
insecurity… But this is my face.'
She goes to show the extent of the problem as the acne has spread to her neck, shoulders and back.
It is a far cry from the modelling
portfolio shots that can be seen on her YouTube channel, where the
striking brunette lounges on car bonnets, takes to the catwalk and poses
in cut-out swimsuits with flawless skin.
The teen, then takes viewers on a step-by-step lesson on how to achieve her look by applying foundation.
Lotions and potions: Applying a mutitude of different cosmetics, the teen carefully covers her scars and spots
'I have extremely oily skin,' she says, giving tips about the primers and oil-reducing tricks.
Applying liberal amounts of
cosmetics, Ms Bankson seems well ahead of her years, confident and
knowledgeable about the complex potions upon which she relies.
She is frank, even wry, about her spots: 'I always carry everything down my neck because, well, I have acne there.'
has become something of a skin expert, with other videos explaining the
physiology of skin and acne and the treatments that best target the
By the end of the video, Ms Bankson is transformed – her flawless complexion giving no hint of the severe breakouts
I have somewhat clear looking skin,' she tells the camera. 'I hope that
you guys enjoy this. I hope you can have flawless skin too.'
Fresh-faced: The lesson almost complete, Cassandra demonstrates the art of clever make-up use
Beauty guru: In other films, Cassandra addresses 'contouring and shading' and teaches about acne formation. She shows her modelling portfolio in another, and would like to become a dermatologist