Fashion blogging has taken the world by storm but it pales in comparison to the exponential growth of beauty vlogging. In just a few years, the format once seen as a space for amateur makeup and hair stylists to showcase their tips has exploded into a huge media business and made its stars millionaires in the process.
For the uninitiated, beauty vlogging refers to the posting of beauty related videos (makeup how to's, hair product reviews, get this look tutorials, etc.) on an online video channel, most likely YouTube.
While beauty vlogging is relatively new in the social media star galaxy, these ladies are not wasting time making that money. Not only do they receive a cut of ad revenues from YouTube, but they also receive lucrative endorsement deals, consulting fees, appearance fees, and some even go on to create their own products.
Cosmopolitan Magazine reports that many big name vloggers are pulling in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. The Michael Jordon of beauty vlogging, Michelle Phan, with her 6 million subscribers, is reported to have brought in approximately $5 million last year alone. Brands are falling over themselves to shell out big bucks because a good review or a product mention from a vlogger translates into revenue gold and vloggers are much cheaper compared to celebrities and ads in high end magazines like Vogue.
After reading about the business of beauty vlogging - and questioning my life decisions - I set out to hear what Houston beauty vloggers had to say about their industry and its meteoric rise.
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"There are probably only three beauty vloggers making six figure salaries on YouTube," said Kristina Braly the vlogger behind beauty and lifestyle YouTube channel Pretty Shiny Sparkly, "I think that the beauty of beauty blogging (pardon the pun) is that it is applicable to every woman. No matter her waistline or shoe size, every woman wants to make herself look the best that she can."
Kristina Braly is the vlogger behind beauty and lifestyle YouTube channel Pretty Shiny Sparkly. Braly has partnered with the likes of Avon, Gap, Chevy, and ABC Family. She is also the founder of Bloggers Do It Better, a movement aimed at showcasing real girls, with real style, wearing real trends.
Kena Shaw is a natural hair vlogger and radio personality. On her YouTube channel chocolateisnatural she teaches fellow curly girls how to care for and love their hair. Shaw also has a BlogTalkRadio show where she invites experts to speak on beauty and health issues.
She believes the success of beauty vlogging is found in every woman's want to share their beauty secrets. "People want to demonstrate their creativity and techniques with others. Friends and family were always asking me, 'Who did your hair?' When I informed them that I did it, well the next question was 'How did you do it?' I decided to start making videos to teach others how to achieve the same look."
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And what is the key to getting people to watch your videos? The age old answer to all of life's worries... just be yourself.
"... the beauty of vlogging is that you can't fool your audience. You are who you are, and if you're not likeable, then your audience will be able to tell ... be authentic. Sometimes that means showing yourself without any makeup on, sometimes it means talking about embarrassing topics--anything you would reveal to your best friend is what endears you to your audience," said Braly.
Oh, and buy a good camera. A great personality will only get you so far, and good lighting may get you the rest of the way. Shaw gave this top three list to vloggers just getting their start: "Invest in a good camera, make sure you have good lighting, get a good editing software to create interesting videos."
So in summary, with the right personality, good equipment, and great beauty tips, you could be the next millionaire vlogger. Don't forget the rest of us when you make it big.