so… I’ve been brewing on this subject and all its variables for a long while and I had finally made up my mind regarding the approach I feel is the best for me. and it would make for great new video content for you, so everything was fine and dandy… all I had to do was an intro video about this… and it took me MONTHS to finally get something out that I thought vaguely encompassed all my thoughts on this subject. still cluttered with my rambles and lacking some details, but hey… at some point, I have to let it go.
it’s a chat about my relationship with the beauty industry, how it has evolved over the past decade, and how I’ve been feeling I need to do some changes and adjustments to rekindle my joy when it comes to both discovering and revisiting make up, to consolidate my collection, keeping what is really essential/joy-sparking in my drawers and very clear in my mind, to help me reign in my impulse purchases.
I want it to be a catalyst to sparkle new behaviours in my life for the long haul, so it will be a new series in my channel (don’t worry, I’ll keep doing all my empties, reviews and Up Close and Poresonals), having as main characters a mindful declutter of all my collection (friends, it’ll be open season to loot my stash!), several “second chances” episodes, revisiting products I’m not sure I know I want to get rid of; and repotting/de-panning into empty palettes products I know I want to keep for a while longer but without the clutter of keeping the clunky packaging.
I’m still undecided if I want to do a project pan, and I’d love to know how you’d go about something like that. The same about a videos on make up news/launches, with a strong “but let’s not get carried away and buy stuff” vibe… for the time being, I’m not doing a no-buy, since I feel it would be too restrictive.
but who knows what the future holds?
if you’re up for this ride, don’t forget to like and subscribe my channel!
I don’t pretend to bring you insightful solutions, today. these are just questions, heartbreaks and thoughts I blurted out on camera while getting ready, of which I then tried to make a bit more sense by writing this post.
the (obvious) context
times have always been complicated. I’m not going to sit here on my privileged white European arse and pretend otherwise. I’m also, off the bat, acknowledging I’m not aware of all the wrongs in the world, despite my pitiful efforts to stay informed. I’m aware of several, and feel equally frustrated, angry and powerless to do anything to help.
I don’t tend to embark on simplistic two-sided views of the world. good and bad, hot and cold… many wrongs have been done under the guise of “doing the right thing” (according to whom?), and harming others – directly or indirectly; physically or emotionally; financially, whatever – is a very profitable business. at times it feels like the most profitable business. the ever-growing business, that feels like an inevitable cascade of “more, more, more”. it feeds on people’s petty selfishness, their fears and frustrations, it fuels them with empty promises, just enough to keep them running on the hamster wheel, but not weak enough to make them want to break free. more than anything, it keeps people isolated enough to not realise their true power as a group. I digress (as usual).
this one… well, it’s hitting a bit closer to home – literally, for me – and, full disclosure, the possible consequences of the current affairs have been wreaking havoc with my anxiety. and I’m not even directly affected by what is happening… there are so many feelings all at once, so many serious things to focus on, so much to feel responsible for, or powerless to solve, or angry at.
why make beauty videos now, then?
it may sound like a sob story (and I think I mentioned this before, when the pandemic started), but YouTube videos helped me immensely when I had a depression in 2019. yes, I’m talking on one hand about making videos – which I wasn’t able to do for a while, so when I finally got back it was a big stepping stone signalling the improvement of my mental health. when done without too much pressure, filming and editing brings me joy, and I plan to hold on to that joy for however long it stays that way for me. but, and mainly, I remember clearly that time when merely watching videos provided me with an escape: at first, a friendly background voice talking about simple, “normal” things when I couldn’t focus; and later being able to actually feel like was again engaging with the content I was watching. they actually helped me keep me out of my own head, and instead made me feel there was something “normal” to come back to, in a way. people passionate about their crafts and creative processes have always been my jam.
I’m an entertainer at heart, it’s actually my job, duh, and I see it as, yes, a public service. if I can provide that bit of escapism, replicate that feeling of distraction and company to even one viewer who is under any kind of distress, it’s worth it.
and let us never forget that any form of self-expression can be an act of defiance, empowerment, individuality, assertiveness, hence… freedom. make-up included.
so there you go.
all of this is to mean we can be many things at once, feel many things at once, some that collide and contradict others, even. we’re lucky for not being in the terrible situations that we’re witnessing every day (and all the others that go ignored by the media), but we can nonetheless empathise and feel our hearts in a twist. we can be living our normal lives, having a relaxed laugh with friends, and at the same time feel guilt, or even a sense of impending doom (justified or not, doesn’t matter. it’s there).
we can be concerned about what is happening in plain sight and still start to grasp other situations we weren’t aware of, or that we, by no matter what motives, didn’t pay attention to. we can be torn between believing in a better world and noticing all the “progress” we think we had done is mostly a smoke screen… or at its very best, standing on the most fragile foundation, vulnerable to any blow. the most precious things usually are.
I hate whataboutism. it mostly nullifies one thing to favour another. it’s useless, because stuff doesn’t go away just because you choose to ignore or de-prioritise it. and we shouldn’t miss the forest for the trees, either.
the fact is many many things were already wrong in the world. many many things are wrong at the same time in the world, and we need to come to terms with that. this is, for sure, another putrid drop in the cesspool of desperation and human lows. it’s not the best time for those “faith in humanity restored” hashtags, if we’re looking at the big picture.
it’s terrible to watch, knowing we’re only dipping our toes in the ripple effects, with monsters crawling around under the muddled surface – I can’t pretend to fathom what it is to actually live it. it seems our hearts can break infinitely, and at the same time it feels like we’re at a point where they can’t take another sigh.
I get that we don’t want to feel overwhelmed, on one hand, so it’s a natural defence mechanism; on the other hand some situations may challenge us to change our perspectives, which, when we’re already angry, afraid and tired, is a pretty hefty request.
so… a “yes, and” approach feels more balanced to me.
even though we’re not in the deep of it all, it is normal to feel overwhelmed: by the shock wave of something new that we’re powerless to stop; by the fact that everything is deeply confusing and there’s no absolute truths, no absolute good and bad, no absolute right or wrong to support ourselves on, just the muddy waters of war through which we humbly must admit we can’t really see; the endless widespread suffering, grief, waste of lives, of potential to do better, to improve on what was going well; the crippling anticipation of big and small consequences, both that are happening and are still to come; and also dealing with our biases, realising our never-ending list of blind spots, our personal failures, and feeling at once responsible and powerless with all this.
we want to log off to stay sane and we feel bad if we do. we want to choose one thing to worry about at a time and can’t help but feel we’re letting the freaking world down.
we’re very complex, full of contradictions, and most of us are doing the best we can with the information and tools we have. and we can learn to do better. allowing ourselves and others to be vulnerable and kind should be The New Brave, instead of all this toxic macho competitive bullcrap, that takes advantage of and steps on anything that stands in the way, even if it was just minding its own business. in my ideal world, we’d have the humility to admit we make mistakes (both in actions and in judgements), gather the determination to learn from them and do our best not to repeat them, and proudly stand with anyone who is being wronged. we’d allow ourselves to not mistake kindness for weakness.
hey, in the meantime, sometimes all we can do is breathe. and, yes, slap some make-up on.
It is definitely quite a time to be alive when you can establish a true connection with someone on the other side of the world through common interests, and become a part of their lives in such a meaningful way, without ever really meeting in person. This has happened to me a few times, mostly through dancing, but also due to, yes, blogging and makeup. Today I bring you an unboxing of a swap I did with the sweetest subscriber. There are no words to convey how grateful I am for you guys to be a part of my life, be it through a simple view or like, but also when you reach out and talk to me. I hope this unboxing restores just a bit of your faith in humanity for you, just as this whole experience I have had with Barbara did for me.
this is an unscheduled video that I decided to make.
I’ve gotten my first payment from the YouTube ads — that YOU didn’t click out of —, so I want YOU to help me decide what to do with those whopping 72€.
this is something I’ve always wanted to do if I ever got some revenue from my channel, so I’m pretty chuffed!
leave your suggestions on the YouTube comments section!
the second announcement is that my channel is being demonetised… I don’t meet the new YouTube requirements when it comes to the amount of views — so I won’t be able to put ads on my videos anymore — nor keep accumulating my cents off of the ones that I’ve already posted.
this leaves me somewhere between frustrated, sad and plain mad. yeah, I’m an emotional bundle of stuff.
I haven’t been that affected because my audience isn’t that big to begin with. yet, keep in mind that some of my older videos still attract a nice amount of views which would continue to add to my revenue, as well as any videos that I make from now on.
BUT the biggest thing is I’m feeling a bit hurt from the discrimination and, above all, I’m sorry for all those small YouTubers that may have now lost their meagre revenues and may not be able to carry on.
some videos are only relevant for a moment in time and, if the monetisation is off long enough, then that video won’t contribute to your income as it should and could.
other videos may be a steady source of views, but monetisation is off, so… it won’t build up as it should.
I think everyone should be allowed to give it a shot, no matter how long it takes to see some revenue.
in my understanding, if you have ONE view on your video, and that viewer took the time to sit through an ad for you and YOUR content, then you ARE entitled to that fraction of a cent that comes from the view. it may not pay off as often as you deserve (there’s a lot of time and yes, some money, into keeping a channel), but there’s something there that you’ve EARNED. and that should be as simple as that.
now, those cents thousands of small creators won’t be allowed to make will funnel towards and pile up in… you guessed it: the usual big creators’ accounts.
it left a bad taste in my mouth: the big YouTubers will become bigger, the people who can afford to keep a channel will continue to do so until they get tired or they’ll grow “enough”, but many smaller YouTubers, especially with lower incomes, may feel disheartened and give up.
this is not (I’m paraphrasing Matt Mullenweg here) “democratising publishing”, it’s quite the opposite.
my personal goals with my channel remain: to one day be able to break even, instead of going through my personal savings to feed the channel.
this was a step backward — or sideways — but I’m fortunate enough to be able to keep on keeping on.
Now, if you want to help smaller YouTubers, there’s a few things you CAN do:
Give them your time:
– subscribe to them,
– watch their videos when they come out (most keep a steady schedule),
– watch the videos until the end (that algorithm is counting),
– binge-watch on their past videos,
– prioritise them over the bigger YouTubers on your screening schedule ;
Spare some change: If they have an add, don’t skip it (unless it’s excruciatingly long);
Be there: show up and show your support, talk to them on the comments, give them feedback when asked, leave suggestions of things you’d like to see from them;
Spread the word: share the channels with people who may be interested in them — because they have the same skin concerns, taste in makeup looks, or clothing or games or whatever.
I was so kindly asked to answer a few questions about myself that I couldn’t resist making a video for this viewer. I was given the Confessions of a Beauty YouTuber tag, and despite thinking that I don’t fit the pompous title, I gave my honest answers.
So, if you’re into long chatty videos, grab some tea, coffee or a beer and sit down with me!
it’s sometimes overwhelming… you have a more distant relationship with makeup, but you want to know about new stuff or learn something new, try something different. you go to youtube and get punched in the face with so many tutorials and the overall craziness of it all and sometimes end up running back to your safe space, curling in a ball and embracing the simplicity of a chapstick.
I hope this video helps you to make some sense of it all, to realise what to take from the tutorials, and give you some newfound joy of simply playing with makeup.