How Sara Echeagaray Went From TikTok Star to Too Faced's Creative Director in Residence
For 21-year-old Sara Echeagaray, who boasts millions of TikTok followers, has a starring role in a Disney+ show, and is currently the creative director in residence for Too Faced cosmetics, fame initially seemed far removed from the small hometown she grew up in.
The daughter of Mexican immigrants, Echeagaray is from McAllen, TX — a border town that simultaneously made her feel closer to her parents' culture and distant from her dreams of pursuing acting. Despite being a theater kid at heart, Echeagaray viewed her aspiration of performing at arm's length, facing parental pressure to pursue more traditional career paths. Even so, she took every chance to act, starting with her first role as the lead in her school musical at age 13.
"Being on stage and performing and just getting an audience's reaction was so thrilling to me. It was like an adrenaline rush, and I really loved doing it," she tells POPSUGAR.
TikTok ended up being her way into the industry: a high schooler at the time, she took to the app during quarantine to post comedic skits, monologues, and clips of her acting to different audios. While dance trends like the Renegade dominated the FYP, Echeagaray's content was a breath of fresh air. Her page grew quickly, amassing more than seven million followers in the years since.
"I had no creative outlet to turn to. And I kind of just went to TikTok," she says. "It kind of started off as a joke, and then I became the joke. So the rest is kind of really history."
Echeagaray expressed immense gratitude for the app, as it gave her a creative outlet to funnel her talents into during a time when drama and theater weren't happening due to remote learning. Beyond that, she says her agent scouted her from her page on TikTok, which led to a budding acting career with a major Disney+ credit to Echeagaray's name, and to the young starlet's one-of-a-kind role as the first-ever creative director in residence for Too Faced cosmetics.
In her role as creative director in residence, Echeagaray injects her Gen Z perspective into the brand, leads social media initiatives, and hosts community-building events. Knowing how privy her generation is to targeted marketing and product placement, Echeagaray aims to bring authenticity back to audiences, connecting with them through her genuine love of the Too Faced brand.
As creative director in residence, Echeagaray recently attended a panel titled "Latino Representation on TikTok." Held Sept. 20 by Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) with the support of the ELC Hispanic Connections Employee Resource Group and ELC's digital internal publication The Culture Report, this panel featured Echeagaray as a main speaker to highlight how brands can engage with Latine users. With authenticity being the theme of the night, she gave an overview of her content creation and approach to working with companies as a Latine influencer to illuminate how brands and creatives can approach the app in tandem.
On TikTok, she frequently touts her Too Faced curated collection titled Sara's Favorite Things ($72). This makeup kit exclusively curated by Echeagaray features the Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara, the Lip Injection Maximum Plump, and the viral Cloud Crush Blush in the shade Candy Clouds; all this is packed into an exclusive Too Faced butterfly-print cosmetics bag.
Too Faced has been a part of Echeagaray's life since she first started doing makeup. "Ever since I knew how to apply mascara, that was one of my favorite ones that I would always gravitate towards," she says of the Better Than Sex mascara. "So that one's like just very nostalgic and holds so much meaning to me."
Most recently, Echeagaray also launched the curated Sara's Sweet Collection with Too Faced, which features two more items especially curated by Echeagaray: the Lip Injection Maximum Plump Lip Gloss in the shade Maple Syrup Pancakes ($33) and the limited-edition Maple Syrup Pancakes Eye Shadow Palette ($54). This collection is like a sweeter take on classic autumnal colors, with the glosses' rich copper color and the palette, which features a few nude tones like mauve brown paired with select muted metallics.
As for her acting career, it has been on temporary hold as she stands in solidarity with the ongoing strike. Still, Echeagaray's first acting credit is a major one. She joined the cast of the Disney+ original series "Big Shot" for the role of Ava in season two, which premiered in Oct. 2022.
"It was so weird getting the callback. It was kind of healing my inner child because I've always wanted to be on Disney Channel, as every kid does," she says.
Per Echeagaray, to this day, the experience feels like somewhat of a blur. Still, she assures her time as Ava marks a huge highlight in her career and even a true full-circle moment for the young actress as she reflects on her own upbringing and Mexican heritage.
"I remember when I saw Selena Gomez on frickin' Disney Channel, I was like, 'Oh my god, there's someone on screen that looks like me.' And because of that, I've always cherished that, and I was like, 'Maybe one day I could do that,'" Echeagaray says.
Echeagaray goes on to explain that with her role as Ava, she'd like to bring hope to or inspire generations of Latine individuals, both older and younger. "I just want kids to be able to dream and also have their parents support them at the same time."
Her parents, though supportive of her now, weren't always. Echeagaray's dreams of pursuing acting were initially met with disapproval, as it was a nontraditional track. Early into her career, Echeagaray tried to juggle everything alongside college, but she soon convinced her parents of the merits of following her dreams full-time, insisting she could always go back to school if need be.
"I wanted to live my life with no regrets, essentially," she says. "I don't want to jinx myself, but I'm very pleased with the outcome, and my parents are now very supportive of course, and they're very proud of me."
Echeagaray recalls two big milestones that demonstrated to her parents that this was the right career path, no matter how seemingly risky: her first million TikTok followers, and being scouted by her agent. "When I landed the role on my Disney show, that's when I think my mom and my dad were just like, 'Wow, you really proved to us. You really put our money where our mouth is.' And that's kind of, I think, the big 'I made it' moment."
Now, Echeagaray's parents and her sister even star in the occasional TikTok: "My family is a huge pillar in my life. Honestly, even if it didn't do or perform well, I personally just love the content itself; whenever I'm watching it back, I'm always just laughing a lot," she said during the Latino Representation on TikTok panel. "Family is a huge part of my life."
In looking toward the future, Echeagaray says she still has a lot to accomplish. Mainly, she hopes to keep acting and to continue nurturing her professional relationship with Too Faced. "I keep dreaming; my head is still up in the clouds," she says.