But thanks to the power of the internet - and a little initiative - Lauren Luke is on her way to becoming a millionaire.
The 27-year-old has made a career out of her passion for cosmetics and make-up artistry.
Magic wand: Lauren Luke turned her love for make-up into a career
She has her own make-up brand and is using her expertise to publish books and video games.
Miss Luke said: 'I can't believe how things have taken off. It feels like a dream. At school I was bullied and had no friends. I used to sit at home in my bedroom and try out different bits of make-up and styles.
'Then I fell pregnant and dropped out of school and did dead-end jobs. So to have this success doing something I love, and really making something of myself, is brilliant.'
She's come a long way: The launch party of the By Lauren Luke range of make-up in Sephore, Times Square New York
Miss Luke began by selling popular-brands of make-up on internet site eBay. At the request of customers she recorded ten-minute videos on how to use the products and posted them on YouTube.
The clips proved incredibly successful, with 54million hits worldwide.
On the strength of that, she was approached by Anomaly, a company that finds new ideas and helps develop them into brands.
They put her in touch with cosmetics firm Zorbit which helped her create and launch the By Lauren Luke make-up range.
The company is co-owned by her, Anomaly and Zorbit and Miss Luke sits on the management board.
She has now signed a book deal with publishers Hodder & Stoughton, created a Nintendo DS Game called Supermodel Makeover and is in talks about a TV show.
Lauren with her son Jordan and her partner Ken Taylor
Miss Luke also recently signed an agreement with retailer Sephora which will see her products sold in 135 stores across the U.S.
And earlier this year, she also secured a deal with YouTube's owners Google, which entitles her to earn revenue from adverts displayed on the bottom of her videos.
It is understood the deals are together worth close to a million pounds.
Despite her new-found fortune, Miss Luke still lives in a tiny one-bedroom flat in South Shields, Tyne and Wear, with son Jordan, now 11, and partner Ken Taylor, 40.
'There's no space and what I want the most is to have somewhere with more room so I can sit and think about new ideas for my range, and so we aren't crammed in,' she said.
She is also in talks with Boots about selling her make-up in the UK. 'Things are going well in America but I would really like to be able to walk into a British high street store and see my make-up sold here.'
Video site YouTube is increasingly creating international stars because of the ease in which clips can be viewed and shared.
Earlier this year, a clip of Susan Boyle's audition for Britain's Got Talent received more than 100million hits worldwide. Within weeks she had become a global celebrity.