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HOLD THE PRESSES! There is a teenaged YouTube beauty guru!

Posted Jan 31 2012 1:18pm

That’s sarcasm of course. Normally I wouldn’t make fun of a PR pitch here on my blog (I use Twitter for that.) But the one I received this morning had me going both WTF? and is it April 1st today? I’m going to re-post it here (with my own commentary in bold), but since the girl I was pitched about is only 16 years old, I’m going to remove her name/YouTube name, et al.

Philadelphia, PA, January 31, 2012 – Vlogger’s  love affair with makeup and beauty products started long before she reached her teens. (Sign one from above that you are meant to be a guru.) One of her first words, spoken at 9 months, was “lipstick.” (Since that is practically impossible for a baby to pronounciate, why are we not calling her a freaking PRODIGY?)  By age 9, she had a critical eye. (Because she is the Tim Gunn of beauty.) Her mother, she confides, was not good at applying her lipstick. “I had to put it on her,” Vlogger says. “She didn’t know that it would last longer—and look better—with lip liner as a base.” (Insightful.)

Today, the 16-year-old is dispensing makeup advice via her video “channel,” on YouTube. (I love how the PR person puts channel in quotes. I can see her rolling her eyes and saying out loud “quote unquote channel” with a big sigh.)

A high school junior in the Philadelphia area, Vlogger started doing videos in 2010. “I knew kids in school who made great videos of themselves singing, but I wanted to teach people a skill,” she says.  She liked makeup, and since she also knew a few application tricks (that she likely learned from the beauty counter of her local department store) and do-it-yourself makeup recipes (Dr. Google is also good for this too), she decided to specialize in beauty application and products. (This is where I want to put specialize in quotes. She knew a handful of tricks so at 15 she wanted to “specialize” in beauty.)

In a single month, she gained more than 850 subscribers (i.e. everyone in her high school and their friends). To date, she has over 215,000 uploaded views and over 5,800 subscribers. Her goal is to top 10,000 subscribers. “When I reach 20,000, I want to open an online store with my own makeup line,” she says. (So knowing a handful of beauty tricks + reaching 20K subscribers = the ability to have the skill and know-how to launch a business. DUDE sign me up. If that’s all it takes, why didn’t I attempt that sooner?!)

Vlogger, who with other beauty gurus was featured in a Wall Street Journal article on teens who make makeup, initially faced some skepticism from schoolmates. “Some of them thought it was weird,” she says. But then a girl on the bus told her she loved the videos. “She said, ‘Keep doing it—don’t care what anyone says,’” she recalls. (Advice from A GIRL ON THE BUS = Lucy setting up shop to dish out advice for 5 cents to Charlie Brown.)

An attractive brunette with long, wavy locks and dark eyes, Vlogger has an easy conversational style. “Don’t mind my little frizzy hairs,” she says in a video made on vacation. “It’s, like, legit really hot here.” (Too legit to quit, in fact….Hammer time!)

Made with the camera she bought herself, the videos are fun to watch.  The camera zooms in to show the products and her expert application.  (As opposed to a camera her mom bought her that does not zoom. ) The action is quick and MTV-like (OMG I didn’t know MTV-like was a camera style now), often with a voiceover instruction. She frequently takes a whimsical approach. A video on New Year’s Eve makeup, for instance, begins with an eye-catching graphic:  a clock and then a countdown. (A creative genius!) It takes her three to five hours just to plan the tutorial and pinpoint the camera angles. (because that’s how it is for all gurus, dontchaknow?)

Her tutorial on how to tackle blackheads has landed more than 44,000 hits. “Every single teenager has blackheads,” she notes. Tips for making your eyelashes longer have garnered more than 21,500 views. Other topics include pumpkin masques, summer nails and “How to Make Press-on Eye Shadow.”

Her YouTube fans would approve. As one watcher commented: “i just want to say that you inspire me so much. you are amazing in everything you do and i love how much effort you put into your videos just to please us. thank you for being by FAR the best makeup guru on youtube. love, your greatest fan.” (like, omg, you are the bestest!)

Ok, before I die from laughter…this was a SERIOUS press release sent to me and a bunch of my fellow beauty bloggers. It also completely falls in line with how this generation seems to think that if you slap up a YouTube channel you are suddenly entitled to three things: 1. the title of guru, 2. free stuff  and 3. a PR-blitz on just how awesome you are. No, that comes from hard work, longevity and being truly amazing. I’m a veteran beauty blogger and have been doing it for 7 years now…and I am NOT a guru. I’m not sure why this was newsworthy enough for someone to pitch to me, but I think I am more appalled at the pitch itself.

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