Growing Up Online

posted in: LIFE | 10

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Whenever I meet new people my age and explain my job to them they all look at me the same way. YouTube is a kid thing, it’s tweens eating ‘candy’ and covering themselves in slime.. it’s not adults.. they don’t get it and I totally understand. If I didn’t do what I do my only frame of reference for YouTube would be Milo watching people unwrap kinder eggs and Ella watching people do various ridiculous challenges for the entertainment of..kids. But those kids grow up and 10 years later they’re still acting the fool and it’s starting to feel awkward.

Change is a big thing online, I’ve spoken a lot in the past about the idea of remaining unchanged in a 5-10 year period being completely bizarre and yet entirely expected when it comes to YouTubers. They’re playing a character and viewers are annoyed that new writers have been brought in to shake things up for season 4. At 20 I thought I was as grown up as I’d ever be, I had a child, a mortgage, a steady job.. what else could possibly happen to me to influence my thoughts and opinions that hadn’t already happened? Well, how about divorce, DRIVING TEST(S), a million other jobs, another child, money worries, friendships made and lost.. you are a product of everything that has happened to you and at 20 that is just about nothing. I’m 30 now and know that in 10 years I will be different still. Future me would probably disagree with my 30-year-old self on most subjects, tell myself to stop worrying so much about my weight, save some money and apply eye cream more often. We grow up, it’s normal.

Recently a high profile YouTuber, let’s call her ‘Mouise’, posted a video about her plan to change her content and it met a mixed but largely positive response. She made so much sense in the video that I couldn’t not agree with her but I did wonder whether she would have reached the level of success that she has if she had felt free to be herself all along. Once you’ve built a brand on your sweet, PG persona it must be daunting to break out of that shell for fear of losing years of work. On the flipside if you no longer love your work because you’ve outgrown that persona.. is it really still your dream job? YouTube is a double-edged sword in that respect, you make your own hours and have great earning potential doing something creative and fun but the moment you ‘change’ your fate rests in the hands of your viewers. They can decide whether to lift you up or tear you down and so it must be tempting to sell your soul and carry on as you are for fear of the whole thing crumbling if you decide to choose happiness over stability.

I have been posting content online for 6 and a half years, I have changed massively in that time but I also have majorly itchy feet when it comes to change. I’ve had 5 blogs, as many YouTube channels and have recently totally rebranded my main site and social to ease me out of the budget beauty box I’d put myself in. I have to switch things up from time to time or I’d go mad so change isn’t something I struggle with but I’ve definitely felt the pressure to fit in to a certain YouTube mould if I want to grow my audience. I started making videos when I was 24, I was divorced, in a new relationship, unemployed and totally lost. I’m now 30, married, have a second child and completely settled.. my life is different, my financial situation is different, my interests are more varied and I’m just not the same person I was. That’s not a terrible thing, it’s human nature to evolve and change and would life not be insanely dull if you knew at this moment you were everything you could ever be and had  achieved everything you could ever achieve?

Of course numbers are important, checking in on performance every so often is necessary in every job but when you work for yourself (in whatever capacity) it’s important to remember why you started. They say if you love your job you’ll never work a day in your life and that’s a great thing to remind yourself of when you’re having a tough week and perhaps need to reassess whether you really still love what you do. I’ve dabbled with trying to perfect lighting and learn how to use my fancy camera’s but when it starts to feel like work I always come back to setting down my camera on the windowsill and chatting about nothing. Some could argue this is why my growth has been slow over the years but I think I’d have given up a long time ago if I’d succumbed to the cookie cutter pressure. Of course you have to listen to viewer feedback and criticism but it’s when you allow that to hold more weight than your own happiness that it affects your content. If you’re always worrying about what people think you’ll never truly be yourself.

For a long time I told myself that I was putting out an edited version of myself on YouTube because the viewers there had subscribed to the promise of a certain kind of content but I now realise my real worry is losing what has taken me 6 years to build. I have been steadily transitioning my content to what feels the most natural for me for some time now and felt pretty good about until I met someone new recently who asked me to send over my link. I didn’t feel comfortable sharing it because I didn’t feel it represented who I really was. That’s just crazy. It’s my channel, I’m not a brand.. surely if NOTHING else I can be MYSELF?! My favourite online personalities have a dry sense of humour and say whatever they want without fear of negativity or offending anyone but they’re not always the most popular. Sarcasm can come across as bitchy and mean and in real life you can read a room and decide what people will find amusing but a digital lobotomy is necessary to communicate to an unknown online audience if you want to be sure you won’t upset anyone. I’m not 24 anymore, I want to watch people I relate to and there must be other people who feel the same way so I’m going to take a leaf out of Louise’s Mouise’s book and try to shake the shell I have left and just be myself. You’ll either like me or you won’t but at least I’ll know it’s ME!

WATCH LOUISE’S VIDEO HERE

Shop My Stash / September

posted in: BEAUTY, VIDEOS | 2

Shop My Stash

This Summer I’ve fallen back in to my minimal makeup rut that is just not conducive with beauty blogging so once September rolled around I decided I needed to shake things up. I took my over-stuffed makeup bag over to my over-stuffed makeup drawers to unpack and thought this MIGHT be a wasted video idea. So I picked up my camera and filmed the process, out with the old and in with the new. I filmed what I was putting away as well as what I pulled out for the month ahead and the actual making up of my face as a bonus.. if you can call any extra footage of my face a bonus.

Shop My StashI always talk about my stand out products but there are some staples that stay with me for months that are totally overlooked. There are also really blah products that I use a few times and relegate to my drawer without ever mentioning them. This series should serve as a catch-all for my day to day makeup as I plan to run down everything I’ve used in mini-review form when picking out new items for the month ahead. It will also push me to rotate my makeup more often, I’m guilty of using the same products for too long which again is really no good when trying to run a beauty blog/youtube channel! This month I actually switched my mascara for the first time in about 18 months ..so I’m thinking this will be a good exercise for me!

Here’s what I’m using this month:

  • Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue in Birch 1.5
  • MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NC20
  • ELF Tone Correcting Powder
  • MAC Stereo Rose Blush
  • Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Creamy Beige
  • Urban Decay Naked Basics
  • H&M Eyeliner in Terroir
  • Natural Collection Brow Mascara
  • Bourjois 1 Second Volume Mascara
  • Bare Minerals Moxie Lip Liner in Pumped
  • NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien

Miss Sporty / Wonder Smooth

posted in: BEAUTY | 9

MISS SPORTY WONDER SMOOTH

This new launch from Miss Sporty has made me look again at the brand as a whole and realise how many cool new products they have now. I used to work opposite a Superdrug store when I started blogging and Miss Sporty got a lot of love from me back then. I seem to remember some kind of stacking products I really liked, oh man, what was that? Anyway, I’ve definitely overlooked it in the past few years a quick scan of the website has me excited to check out the stand next time I’m shopping. 

There are 14 new lip colours in this ‘Wonder Smooth’ collection, they’re priced at a very reasonable £2.59 and come in a variety of finishes. They claim to last up to 6 hours which I don’t think they do but the best of the bunch definitely aren’t too shabby when it comes to staying power. They’re hydrating and don’t exaggerate dry/flaky skin making them perfect for the coming colder seasons, some of the standouts were actually so nice on they’re making me question my commitment to a matte lip.

MISS SPORTY WONDER SMOOTHMISS SPORTY WONDER SMOOTH SWATCHESMISS SPORTY SUPER SMOOTHMISS SPORTY SUPER SMOOTH SWATCHESMISS SPORTY WONDER SMOOTHMISS SPORTY WONDER SMOOTH

Every one of these would benefit from being worn over a lip liner both for staying power and opacity but I do have some favourites that are excellent stand alone lip products if you’re not in to layering. Nude Power, a more brown toned nude than I’d usually like but flattering all the same, Heroic Copper, this one claims to be metallic but I can see a little shimmer AT MOST, nothing that should put you off if you’re not into a frosty finish and very on trend. I’m having a hard time picking between Cherry Cape & Incredible Red so I’ll include both of them, Incredible Red is the creamiest, most opaque formula of the entire collection. Lastly, Fantastic Blush I’m certain is a dupe for one of my MAC favourites but I’ll have to have a swatching session to be sure, a perfect mid-toned pink that my previously blonde self would have been ALL OVER!

I don’t see a link online for these yet but look out for the new range in your local Superdrug

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