Video beauty blogging, or beauty vlogging, has gained serious attention thanks to video stars like Michelle Phan, but how does it all work, exactly? We chatted with Elle Fowler from All That Glitters and her sister Blair Fowler from Juicy Star, Teni Panosian from Miss Maven and sisters Samantha and Nic Chapman from Pixiwoo for the details.
19 Secrets to Being a Successful Beauty Vlogger
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- 2 of 26I don't have any formal training in beauty, but I was the girl who did everyone's makeup for cheerleading in high school, and always really curious about different products. I kind of became this really knowledgeable consumer. When my friends started calling me from Sephora and asking what to buy, I thought about starting a blog.
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Sam: My sister Nic and I have been makeup artists for 20 years Five years ago, I was asked to explain how to create a smoky eye via email, but decided that filming a demo and uploading the video to YouTube was a better way to get my point across. Seven hundred videos later, we are still recording different tutorials and uploading to YouTube every week.
Nic: Sam was shocked to see that other people began commenting on that first video, asking for different looks, so she asked me to step in and help.
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When I was at my parents' house on summer break from college, I came across a girl who was reviewing some foundation, and I thought it was the coolest concept. I fell in love with the entire community right away.
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Nic: Being relatable and honest is the most important thing. Of course, it helps to know what you’re talking about, too.
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There’s a lot that goes into it, but building a relationship with your viewer is the most important thing. It’s easy to get in front of the camera and act robotic, but the viewer wants to see your personality.
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Staying really true to your personality is important, because people can tell if you really enjoy what you’re talking about or if you’re putting on a show.
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I use Final Cut Pro. No one taught me, I just kind of sat there and taught myself; however long it took I was going to learn. Now I’m very computer savvy. My camera is a Canon T3i. It’s an older model, but it’s from the rebel series and great for amateurs. Some people think they have to buy a $3,000 camera, but you don’t. I also use softboxes and a ring light; they’re ideal for beauty shots.
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When I first started, I used a webcam and iMovie on my sister’s MacBook. I still use iMovie, so I haven’t graduated to anything more exciting, but I did graduate from the webcam! In 2013 I got a Canon Rebel T5i. I stayed up for days reading the instruction manual.
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When I started, Twitter wasn’t a thing and neither was Instagram, so my audience grew very organically. Somehow people found my videos by searching. Now we use social media to share my content.
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It’s a combination of a lot of things, but putting up a lot of content is number one. If you don’t put up content every week, the viewers will see that you’re not committed.
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To satisfy my own creative needs, really. Also requests; I keep track of what people ask for and do a lot of those. ‘Getting ready with me’ videos are really popular because they show a lot of your personality.
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Mostly requests. I’ve been doing it for six years so I know the videos that work for my audience. It’s mainly what I think is interesting, what’s worked in the past, and requests from Twitter.
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I think Twitter is the most popular for me, but that’s the platform I am most active on, so that’s where I get a lot of engagement. Instagram is pretty good for sharing, too. Facebook doesn’t do much for my audience.
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I would say Instagram. Social media has a shelf life and Instagram is number one right now. You never know what’s going to be the next big thing.
- 21 of 26I post everything to Twitter. I'm not that into Facebook. The main way people see my videos is by subscribing on YouTube. I post all my videos on Instagram as well, with a link in my bio.
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Informative, personable, and aspirational.
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Relatable, humble, and real.
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Bubbly, exciting, and lively.
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Playful, organized, and, oh my gosh, I don’t know! Girly!