The Secret Life of a 30-Year-Old Beauty Vlogger

Amanda Montell

Ten years ago, "beauty vlogger" was barely a word, much less a profession. But ask any high school class in America what they want to be when they grow up, and a surprising number will answer "YouTuber." In 2017, making video tutorials, hauls, and reviews for the internet has become a legitimate option for women aspiring to a career in the beauty industry, alongside becoming a makeup artist, beauty editor, or starting your own cosmetics brand. The market grows more robust by the day. According to statistics by ExpandedRamblings.com, YouTube overall reaches more 18- to 24-year-olds than any U.S. cable network; and as of late 2015, 91% of American internet users between the ages of 13 and 17 use YouTube.

There's no denying the massive demand for YouTube beauty content. The difference is that because the beauty vlogger career is so new, the future of it is unpredictable. Even today's most subscribed-to beauty vloggers must consider the uncertainties: Can they count on YouTube to be as popular a platform in five years as it is now? And will their young viewership remain interested as their generation of beauty gurus grows older? In 2015, DigiDay.com reported that in the beauty and style category, 57.1% of YouTube viewers are girls and women ages 13 to 24. Does this mean the lifespan of a beauty vlogger's career might resemble that of a ballerina's: Retire at 35 and move on?

To get an inside take, we spoke with three top beauty vloggers who've been on YouTube for as long as eight years: Ingrid Nilsen, Laura Lee, and Stephanie Ledda (known as SMLx0). Read on to learn about the mysterious careers of aging beauty YouTubers.

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