This month, Rebecca Fisher sat down with Siobhan McDonnell, Blogger and YouTuber of Letzmakeupblog.
From A (AndreasChoice) to Z (Zoella), YouTube beauty gurus have slowly but surely become household names in a generation enthralled by online content. Here Campus.ie’s Rebecca Fisher sits down with Siobhan McDonnell of LetzMakeup, a Galway based beauty guru who has pathed the way for Irish bloggers and vloggers among the masses.
According to recent statistics, over 300 hours’ worth of content is uploaded to YouTube, every single minute. Among the endless hours of captivatingly cute cat clips and cringe worthy cinnamon challenges, there is a golden beacon of entertainment in the form of the YouTube content creators, predominantly, the beauty community.
Each and every day thousands of men and women, across the globe upload videos to the sharing platform offering the latest in tips and tricks that the makeup world has to offer. In the midst of this cosmetic chaos lies Siobhán Mcdonnell, a makeup artist, blogger and self-proclaimed creative mind from the west of Ireland.
With her ebony hair and porcelain Irish complexion decorated by vivid, quirky illustrations, Siobhan is not your typical beauty guru. “I’ve been painting and drawing since I was knee high to a grasshopper,” she states when asked about her creative flair, something that has clearly been a key component of her personality all her life. While she has always had an artistic eye, it was while attending Art College in her late teens that Siobhan discovered her flair for all things Makeup;
“Some of the people in the film and TV part of the college would sometimes get me to do makeup for short films they were doing, because I was already quite good at makeup. When I was younger I was kind of a hippy, goth alternative sort of girl so I used to really play around with my makeup which was fun. Then I started doing friends makeup and then friends of friend’s makeup and it just kind of went on from there.”
The Irish beauty blogging brigade has increased dramatically in recent years, from SoSueMe to Penny and Polaroids, more and more of the world’s top bloggers are coming out of the emerald isle. When asked about the new wave of Irish talent online Siobhan had this to say;
“Everyone has a blog nowadays. I think loads of people would like to get into YouTube, whereas I think it’s a little bit more daunting, people are less willing to sit in front of a camera and expose themselves there, whereas you know it’s much easier, I suppose to just start writing down your thoughts on the computer.”
While the idea of putting yourself out there online may seem a daunting one, Siobhan believes girls shouldn’t be discouraged to join the blogging community and has a multitude of advice for anyone looking to start their own blog.
“First of all, just go for it! So many people are like “Oh I’d love to start off but I don’t know where to start”, you just start. I think a good tip to start as well, whether it’s a blog or a YouTube channel, is to start writing and uploading content as if it were a live blog, but don’t put it live for a while. At least this will give you a chance to get quite comfortable with it, maybe tweak the format and let you get used to doing it as well.”
As a Galway girl, Siobhan is proud to represent the tribesmen in the blogging community; “A lot of the other bigger bloggers and YouTubers in Ireland, a lot of them are Dublin based, so there are very few of us over this side of the country.” While she isn’t planning to make a move to the big smoke any time soon, Siobhan does believe that there are disadvantages to living out west as an online personality; “I have to turn down a lot because of being where I am, I mean I get invited to a lot of stuff in Dublin and in the UK, and even sometimes further afield and I think if you were based in Dublin it would be easier to hop on a plane or whatever.”
With over two hundred thousand followers and counting on her YouTube channel alone, it’s safe to say that Siobhan is an inspiration to many of her viewers, a lot of whom are young women. When asked about her status as a virtual role model, Siobhan replied modestly with;
“I don’t think I’m a role model in the way that some of the other girls who are on it nowadays are, I don’t want to say the more girly girls, but they are kind of more girly than me. I’m a relatively girly girl but I’m not like the kind of girl who’s going to go out and show you my bikini, you know what I mean I don’t wear lots of tight clothes and I’m not constantly on the beach and stuff.
“I think I’m a bit more normal in that way, but I suppose in terms of makeup artistry, younger girls do look up to me for tips and stuff like that and say that I’ve made their lives easier in terms of being more comfortable in being able to do their makeup. I think I am a little bit different to some of the other bloggers in that way”
Regardless of whether she sees herself as a role model or not, Siobhan believes her audience, particularly her younger, more impressionable viewers should try to love themselves for who they are and to look past the woes of teenage insecurity.
“What I’d love to say is just embrace your own beauty and your own natural skin colour, but that’s so much easier said than done. Being a little bit older I think it’s so important even when I got into my early twenties I started to like my freckles, like stuff that I hated when I was younger.
“If you just try to look over yourself when you are very young and kind of look past it and understand that these insecurities are there because you’re a teenager and they’re kind of a rite of passage, then understand that you’ll get over them, even knowing that little bit might help you.”
Well said Siobhan!, for more uplifting advice and tips on how to pull of that winged liner that you’ve been battling with for over a semester, make sure to check out Siobhan at www.letzmakeupblog.com and www.youtube.com/LetzMakeup.