Cassandra Bankson would never have thought that her biggest insecurity would make her an internet sensation or pave the way to a successful modelling career.
The 19-year-old suffers from severe cystic acne and was so ashamed of her looks, she hated going out in public. She hid her blemishes with layers of make-up - primers, foundation, powders and setting sprays – before stepping outside.
'I feel really disgusting,' she says in one of her first videos.
“This is probably the most nerve-racking thing I could possibly do because it is my biggest insecurity... But this is my face.”
Today, thanks to the help of a dermatologist, the once bullied teen has a new outlook on life - and much improved skin. And she has released a number of YouTube make-up tutorials showing how to hide acne, which have had more than 12 million views.
Now she has found further success on the catwalk at New York Fashion Week, modelling for hot New York label Boy Meets Girl.
“Beauty is confidence. You can’t have outer beauty without having that inner beauty,” Cassandra told the Today show in the US.
“I go out without makeup all the time and I feel just as free and liberated as if I was wearing a full coverage foundation.”
Boy Meets Girl label fashion designer Stacey Igel, who had no idea of Cassandra’s internet fame, said she was immediately struck by her looks.
“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 said.
Cassandra, who has struggled with acne since she was 14, says her skin condition is about 70 per cent improved since she first started her YouTube channel 'diamondsandheels14'.
She’s now become somewhat of a skin expert, with her videos explaining the physiology of skin and acne and she hopes to one day create her own skin care range.
See a Cassandra's interview in the video player above.