More digital glam!

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Photo from www.maccosmetics.com

For this week's Video Issue, I wrote about the YouTube beauty guru phenomenon. Read the article here. Complete interviews with the featured gurus follow!

YouTuber: Michele1218 (www.youtube.com/user/michele1218)
What you'll find on her channel: wearable neutral looks demonstrated in easy-to-follow tutorials.

What inspired you to start making videos? How do you stay inspired?

I have always had a passion for makeup and beauty products and for as many friends as I have, none of them ever shared in my passion. When I stumbled across the beauty community on YouTube, one video in and I was hooked! I watched videos for about 3 months, learned so many amazing techniques, learned so much more about makeup and found new products that I never knew existed. Once I started to feel comfortable with myself and felt confident, I thought "Hey, this might be fun!" I knew how inspired I felt just watching some of these girls, and I thought it would be great if I can help inspire other girls as well! The rest was history! It’s not hard to stay inspired, I absolutely LOVE making videos and have had the time of my life meeting people and making friends. I have such a great relationship with my viewers and subscribers, and their comments and messages are what continue to inspire me everyday and make me want to continue making them!

What’s your favorite kind of video to make? Least favorite?

My favorite kind of videos to make are haul videos. They are my guilty pleasure! I get so crazy excited over makeup and when I shop and buy products I can't wait to share my thoughts and opinions with the world! I don't really have a least favorite type of video that I make, however I will say that reviews are becoming harder and harder to make. With so many companies finding out about all the YT Beauty gurus it seems like more and more review videos are becoming paid TV advertisements. Therefore viewers and subscribers are becoming more and more skeptical of the products people are reviewing. When I make a review video it seems as though I always have to defend it by saying my own money was spent and I was not sent free products or been paid to review. It’s unfortunate because there are a lot of girls including myself that never accept paid reviews and because the "bigger" gurus do it is assumed that we all do.

How much time per week do you spend on YouTube?

YouTube has seriously become like a 2nd full time job, but I wouldn't change a minute of it! I work 9-5 and most days come home and spend about 2-3 hours at night responding to comments and answering questions. I spend a lot of my weekends on YT as well. I also enjoy watching YouTube videos from my friends and girls I am subscribed to! I would much rather watch videos than TV sometimes!!

What do you think of “haul” videos?

As I said, haul videos are my absolute favorite! When I first started watching them I would just buy and buy and spend and spend just to have things that so and so loves or so and so swears by! Now I have learned to really try and "control" my wants to go buy everything I see in haul videos, and just go for the things I know I will get use out of! It’s so addicting! I learn about so many amazing products and form a "mental" list that I take shopping with me each time! Some of my most favorite product finds were because of watching a haul video!

Who do you think your audience is? What do you hope they gain from watching your videos?

I believe my audience age ranges anywhere from 10-50 years old! I have had both age groups message me about my videos, and that is just amazing to me! If they can take anything away from my videos I hope that they learn something from my videos that will help themselves feel more confident. Whether it’s to learn less is more. or that a certain eye shadow color will really bring out their eyes! As much as we all love makeup and people always have the impression that makeup videos are superficial because people should feel beautiful without it. That is SO true, but at least for me the whole community is more than just makeup. It’s a community of girls that all share a passion and love for the same thing. We are all there for one another on such a personal level that stretches WAY beyond blush and lipstick. It’s crazy, but I have friends through YouTube that I know better and have been better friends to me than some friends in real life that I have personally known for years! It’s just a great feeling to know that if any of us needs anything, we are all there, regardless if its about makeup or not!

What has been your most rewarding YouTube-related experience?

I receive messages every day from girls all over the world of all ages thanking me for being their inspiration. Whether they had a bad day at school, broke up with their boyfriend, or were stuck in a hospital for weeks. When they write to me to tell me that watching my videos cheered them up or put a smile on their faces ... THAT is the MOST rewarding experience I could ever ask for. It’s heartwarming and its something I NEVER get tired of hearing. I know how certain girls’ videos that I watch make me feel about myself and those girls whose videos I look forward to and count on to cheer me up, so the fact that I can do that to ONE person is all I need to know to keep me in front of my video camera!

If you were just starting YouTube today, would there be anything you’d do differently?

Yes! I would have chosen a different screen name! Haha! I just made up a name when I first started watching so that I could leave comments and send messages to my favorite girls. Had I known I would have made videos I would have made my username a little bit more interesting!

And a bonus question...
What’s your favorite make-up brand or beauty product?

My favorite makeup brand is MAC and my favorite product is mascara. I don't care what brand but I can never leave the house without it on!!

YouTuber: Vintage or Tacky (www.youtube.com/user/vintageortacky)

What you’ll find on her channel: vibrant, colorful eye shadow looks.

What inspired you to start making videos? How do you stay inspired?

I just started doing this for fun, just to show other beauty lovers my tricks and my favorite stuff. I stay inspired because the atmosphere has changed, now there is a teaching element, and community element. People have written me telling me how my videos have helped them. That touches your heart and makes you want to continue helping people and sharing the fun!

What’s your favorite kind of video to make? Least favorite?

Fave videos? Definitely tutorials. I love the artistic element. Least fave? Probably the ones where I need to be informative, like skincare videos. Don't get me wrong, I love those videos too, but I'm always worried I'll be under prepared and forget something. I'm a Virgo so I can be a bit of a perfectionist.

How much time per week do you spend on YouTube?

Probably more than I should, I average 35-plus hours give or take. I do this more than I do my day job.

What do you think of “haul” videos?

That's an interesting question. Haul videos that are just braggy, or that are done all the time are totally ridiculous, I don't like those. If all you do is haul videos, then your channel isn't for me. If you find new cool beauty products and you give a mini review of each item, they can be a really great way to find something new. Rather than have 10 review videos, put it all into one. I prefer the term "Show and Tell" for my "haul" type videos.

Who do you think your audience is? What do you hope they gain from watching your videos?

Less than half my viewership is under 18, however teens have more time on their hands, so they are probably my most avid video watchers. I hope that my audience gains some perspective from watching my videos. Yes, I have a beauty channel, but I don't always go on camera looking picture perfect. I showed my hair when I had a botched dye job, I've gone on camera without makeup. I try new hairstyles, hair colors, and makeup. It's not always pretty, but it's honest, it's fun and creative. I hope they learn to have fun with their looks, but not to be ruled by them. I'm not a skinny, pretty, perfect girl, but I put it all out there, and I hope I inspire others to just be themselves, and be the best they can be. My motto is "Be Vintage Or Tacky, Just be Yourself!" That and to wear sunscreen.

What has been your most rewarding YouTube-related experience?

When people send me messages telling me how much my videos have helped them, with makeup, or skincare, or self worth and self esteem. Knowing that some people just like me and value my opinion and my videos has made me a more confident person, and has helped me though some tough patches in the last few years.

If you were just starting YouTube today, would there be anything you’d do differently?

I would probably have a different user name, and I wouldn't have shared so much personal information, like my wedding blogs.

And a bonus question...
What’s your favorite make-up brand or beauty product?

Ah, the Million Dollar Question! My fave makeup brand is MAC, because of their quality and price (compared to other high-end companies, MAC is cheap), their palette system, the diversity of items, their pro line, and their recycling program. And, they don't test on animals. My fave beauty product? Sunscreen. It's the best anti-aging product ever.

YouTuber: Pursebuzz (www.youtube.com/user/pursebuzz)
What you’ll find on her channel: upbeat videos offering hair, makeup, and nail advice. Also, her “How to Fake Abs” makeup tutorial has over 13 million views. Respect.

What inspired you to start making videos? How do you stay inspired?

I started in 2006 on a separate channel to show my friend some makeup tips. After that I received some comments and that grabbed my interest. I was shocked that someone else wanted to know what I had to say. At the time I only saw professional makeup artists applying makeup on models but there weren’t any videos with makeup artists applying makeup on themselves or on everyday people. Sure, we would all love to have someone do our makeup and hair, but that’s not the case. I knew I had to start somewhere and I have always read in magazines on how to get (insert celebrity) look. So I broke down Carmen Electra’s look in her Max Factor ad showed it step by step, and I have loved it ever since. I am inspired each day by my readers and the things around me. I’ll watch a video about a movie, music video, or video game and I’ll just take something from there and make it my own. My viewers and readers inspire me because I do this for them. They will give me some fun requests and I am always up for the challenge.

What’s your favorite kind of video to make? Least favorite?

Favorite Video: I like videos where I can be creative and can express myself in characters. These videos are a great way to express yourself and have fun.
Least Favorite: I don’t have a least favorite, just depends on my mood. But I hate when I have deadlines and I have to stay up editing. I love my sleep.

How much time per week do you spend on YouTube?

Oh, I shouldn’t answer this. This will make me sound like a crazy person. I spend at least 3-5 hours each night answering questions, uploading, editing and catching up on videos. So I’d say at least 30 hours a week minimum.

What do you think of “haul” videos?

I love watching them. I feel like the beauty community is such a close group it is like watching a friend get things for Christmas.

Who do you think your audience is? What do you hope they gain from watching your videos?

My audiences are both genders looking expand their knowledge on cosmetic application, product reviews, and learn the latest hair styles. And some just like to watch so they can keep this information in their back pocket for that special occasion.

What has been your most rewarding YouTube-related experience?

Being able to help others. I am huge on understanding that your internal beauty is most important and makeup is just an accessory to your look. So it is rewarding to know that I have reached out to so many people and showed then how to be the best version of themselves. Like that phase “Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he will eat every day”.

If you were just starting YouTube today, would there be anything you’d do differently?

I wouldn’t use a digital camera on Kleenex boxes, that is for sure. I wouldn’t change anything that I have done.

And a bonus question...
What’s your favorite make-up brand or beauty product?

I love all brands. Every single brand has something unique and special. But my love of and obsession with makeup began with my MAC Parfait Amour eye shadow.

YouTuber: Lisa Freemont Street (www.youtube.com/user/LisaFreemontStreet)
What you’ll find on her channel: classy vintage hair and makeup techniques inspired by Old Hollywood and pin-up girls.

What inspired you to start making videos? How do you stay inspired?

Askmemakup, another YouTube guru, had a slew of really entertaining videos to offer. They were mainly retro styled makeup looks and I realized there weren't many vintage hairstyles on the site to go with them. So I created my own tutorial for a Rita Hayworth style, using era specific music and a succinct style that would hopefully make it easier to watch. It did, I guess, because I got a lot of requests based on that one video and my channel has grown from there. These continued requests and the feedback of my viewing audience keeps me motivated.

What’s your favorite kind of video to make? Least favorite?

My series called "Diamonds and Dames" consists of requested looks by my viewers, based on their favorite hairstyles of classic film. These are the most fun for me because they require the most research. I have to figure out what setting was used to create the style or how to tailor the look to my own hair texture or length. I also include music from the year the film was released, to lend some extra credibility to the video, and I tend to really get into character by the end of filming. My least favorite videos to film are makeup application videos. I am not as comfortable with this medium and usually have difficulty getting good lighting or fitting the tutorial into the time allotted.
 
How much time per week do you spend on YouTube?

I watch videos while I work every day. I have a list of gurus that I follow faithfully and I like to keep up with their videos. On my own videos, I would say I spend about four hours a week, including actual styling time.
 
What do you think of “haul” videos?

It's no secret that I don't enjoy haul videos unless they also include a review of the product in question. Very quickly, a haul video can become a simple means of bragging to a large audience. However, if you are showing me something with the intention of sharing your opinion about the quality and whether it is worth my money ... bravo!

Who do you think your audience is? What do you hope they gain from watching your videos?

I have come to realize that my viewers range in age from preteen to octogenarian. I love that! I get all kinds of comments from all over the world, from both men and women (the former say they watch my videos for the music ... haha). The one thing I hope they take away is that if you enjoy and appreciate a vintage style, you should not let the world's trends sway you.  Stay true to yourself and feel pretty all the time, even if you get a few odd looks along the way.

What has been your most rewarding YouTube-related experience?

I recently received an email from a teenage girl that felt overweight and unattractive amongst her peers, to the point that she felt invisible. After trying a few of the hairstyles featured on my channel, she began to develop confidence and to hold her head higher. She started to take pride in her appearance and participate in school activities. By the end of the year, her class gave her and award for “best hair” as well as a key part in the school play. Hearing that someone's life changed by putting into practice a few simple beauty techniques that you taught them ... that's heartwarming.
 
If you were just starting YouTube today, would there be anything you’d do differently?

I think if I had known in advance how bad my lighting and camera quality was at first, I would definitely have invested in better equipment from the beginning. As it is, I will continue to try and improve my set-up so that the videos become even easier to watch and more helpful.

And a bonus question...
What’s your favorite make-up brand or beauty product?

My favorite beauty product is a plain white concealer stick. It can be used to provide a pale base for eye shadow or as a highlight for brows and cheeks.

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