“I’m known for two things — it’s the hair and the eyeliner,” mechanical engineering sophomore Aleya Dolorfino said.
When she is not working to land her dream job as a Disney “Imagineer,” Dolorfino is making videos for the popular video sharing app Tik Tok. She downloaded the app in June 2019 and went viral within weeks, using it as a creative outlet for her colorful makeup looks and cosplay videos.
Since then, she has gained 151,000 followers.
“I like being able to showcase different makeup looks because I don’t always want to post certain stuff on my Instagram or something like that,” Dolorfino said.
When it comes to the looks, Dolorfino said she sometimes gets inspiration from other Tik Tok users, but her favorite thing to do is recreate characters from movies, TV shows and comic books.
“I like seeing how accurate I can get to it or how I can make a character my own because it just shows that I can just be creative with something that’s already there,” Dolorfino said. “I think it’s fun to dress up and be someone else for a little bit.”
Her most popular post, with more than 1.3 million views, features Dolorfino with a galaxy and constellations painted on her face as she lip-syncs to an audio track called “Haven’t slept for a solid 83 hours.”
“I have no idea how it happened, honestly,” Dolorfino said. “I just kept making more videos and started gaining popularity.”
When it comes to her platform, Dolorfino said that to her, she does not think of 151,000 followers as such a large number until someone points it out to her.
“I post these videos for me,” Dolorfino said. “I just enjoy doing the makeup, having fun, doing stuff like that.”
However, that does not stop eager fans from wanting to meet Dolorfino.
“I have been stopped at Farmers Market by a little girl who had her mom ask me if I would take a picture with her, so that was interesting,” Dolorfino said. “It’s such a weird interaction, I’m not used to that.”
As much as Dolorfino said she enjoys using the app, she said that there is another side to posting that is not as enticing.
“The online world is a lot scarier than people think it is,” Dolorfino said. “There are so many people and they believe that because there’s a screen in front of them, that they are not hurting the people who are on the screen, but the people on the screen are still real people.”
Dolorfino said that when Charlie Damilio, a 15-year old, became famous on the app overnight, that Damilio received an immense amount of hate from all over the world.
“I could not understand why so many people would be so mean to a 15-year-old,” Dolorfino said.
Although the comments on her posts used to bother her in the beginning, Dolorfino said she brushes them off as quickly as she brushes her makeup on.
“I think because I have been on this app for a while, the hate comments, I kind of just brush them off now, because, in the beginning, I definitely was more affected by it than I am now,” Dolorfino said.
Dolorfino said her friends and family have been very supportive throughout the process.
“My whole apartment is a Tik Tok apartment now because they help me with videos,” Dolorfino said.
One of her roommates, mechanical engineering sophomore Jacob Sarmiento, said Dolorfino has inspired him to get on the app too.
“Now, because of Aleya, every person in our apartment has a Tik Tok and it wasn’t that way before,” Sarmiento said. “She’ll be creating content, will walk by, and be like ‘Hey, what’s up?’ or pull us into her videos.”
To aspiring “Tik-Tokers,” Dolorfino said users should post what they want, and to not get caught up in the trends.
“Don’t try to be popular, just do what you want to do and if people like what you want to do, it makes the app more fun — which is honestly what the app is supposed to be for anyways,” Dolorfino said.
Her “set up” consists of a dollar store container, a phone stand given to her on her birthday and a welding project from a class.
“You don’t need to spend money in order to have fun on an app like this,” Dolorfino said. “Just be creative and have fun.”