She is one of the most successful celebrities in the world, with an adoring fanbase reaching into the tens of millions and with an estimated monthly income of £50,000. Who is she? Kim Kardashian? Oprah Winfrey? No, this is the world of YouTube and one of its shining stars, Zoella.
When it comes to vlogging – posting video blogs about the latest trends on YouTube – few can rival Zoella, otherwise known as Zoe Sugg, a young British vlogger specialising in fashion and beauty. However, a handful of young Scots are giving her a run for her money.
Better known as Zoella, the 26-year-old from Wiltshire has become one of YouTube's leading vloggers. Her main channel currently has more than 10 million subscribers, with her videos recording 748,152,781 views. A second channel, More Zoella, has four million subscribers and 417,861,286 views. She has gone on to become a bestselling author and has also launched her own beauty range.
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Fashion and beauty dominate vlogging on YouTube – and many Scottish vloggers are now finding success too, with several achieving multi-million views for their videos.
So why is beauty vlogging so popular?
Zoella says that when she discovered beauty and make-up tutorials and videos on YouTube, she became hooked "because you got the sense of the person. I trusted their opinion. It was, 'this is me in my bedroom; I'm not a TV set.' It had this rawness to it. There's also more to watch on YouTube, it's selective; you can type in anything and get multiple videos."
US fashion writer Kristen Bousquet also refers to the "personality aspect" of fashion vloggers. "So many of today’s style blogs are either over-styled, serious, or too similar ... The vloggers on the other hand are bubbly, happy, and inclusive – their goal probably isn’t to sit front row at New York Fashion Week – and that likely translates to their audiences."
Here we look at some of the most influential Scots beauty/fashion vloggers.
YT subscribers: 153,368 • Views: 4,655,559. Joined March 12, 2013.
STILL in her early twenties, Glasgow make-up artist Jamie Grant has already made it big. Her YouTube videos range across everything from 'grungey smokey eye' tutorials to Christmas make-up gift ideas. Genevieve also has 410,000 followers on Instagram. In an interview in April 2015 she spoke of launching her own SASSBOMB range of make-up and skincare, and added: “I’ve got big make-up brands from America getting in touch asking me to work with them and I get paid to promote things which is just crazy. I’m happy just now working and doing this in my spare time but if I can start earning enough money and getting enough endorsements on my YouTube then I think it can be a full-time job."
She added: “I’m really lucky because, even as big as it’s got, everyone has been so lovely and I think it’s a lot to do with it being mainly girls that like the page. It’s not like I’m a model or something who has got famous for getting their boobs out. Make-up artists online are like angels to girls.”
YT subscribers: 29,729 • Views 1,226,160. Joined Aug 25, 2012
THE model and prolific vlogger from Airdrie has a strong presence on social media, with almost 40,000 followers on Instagram and 14,000 on Twitter. Still only in her mid-twenties, she was named as Scotland’s most stylish woman at the 2011 Scottish Style Awards. She said yesterday: "After modelling for over 10 years I felt that I wanted to take a slightly different path with my career. I started the YouTube channel because I wanted to be a TV presenter but needed a showreel and felt that YouTube would be a good way of showing my personality. It then just became my platform for expressing everything I'd every wanted to do in my life. I'd always had a passion for make-up so I could film tutorials for people. I also felt that I had experienced a lot throughout my life and wanted to help and inspire others by sharing that. I love it because I have complete control over what I put out into the world, I’ve never felt this kind of freedom with something before." Asked about getting so many views on her channel, Amanda added: "It’s really weird to think that one million people have viewed my videos. can you imagine if you put one million people in a room? That’s crazy to think about!"
ROBIN JAMES: MAN FOR HIMSELF
YT subscribers: 68,280 • Views: 9,707,190. Joined Dec 28 2011
A SPECIALIST when it comes to men's style, lifestyle and grooming videos, Robin says on his channel: "From hair tutorials and product reviews; seasonal lookbooks and how to wear videos; to travel vlogs and cocktail videos; I've got them all here." His most recent videos include a review of Tom Ford for Men Brow Gelcomb, and he is part of the Style Haul community.
He grew up in Forres – "one of the most beautiful places on earth" – and studied politics and history at Glasgow University. Interested in broadcast journalism, he worked with Channel 4, Sky and NBC Universal before launching his own blog and YouTube channel. He went freelance in January this year, working on Man For Himself and digital projects. As to the future, he says on his website: "I’m really excited to see where I can take Man For Himself. I don’t have any major plans but I certainly have some pretty epic goals that I want to achieve."
KATE JOHNSON: KATE LA VIE
Subscribers: 83,309 • Views: 3,853,021. Joined Aug 10, 2010
"REALLY influential beauty and interiors blogger," was one Glasgow verdict on her last week. As Kate, who is based in Glasgow, explains on her katelavie.com blog, which she set up six years ago: "I think of myself as a beauty and lifestyle blogger, as I often do product reviews and daily makeup posts, with a hint of home & interior updates and occasionally some style and personal posts." Her YouTube videos certainly have a strong following: morning skincare routine, everyday beauty staples, etc, as well as vlogs, beauty tutorials and travel. Also has nearly 47,000 followers on Twitter and 163,000 on Instagram. Her most recent YT video detailed her morning skincare routine; a two-week-old video on her morning routine has had 27,000 views.
YT subscribers: 10,173 • Views: 1,037,655. Joined Mar 23, 2012
MAKE-up artist Jamie, originally from Perth, is another young Scot who has channelled her passion for beauty and fashion into a strong social media presence. She says on her website: "I’ve always absolutely adored makeup and I find myself searching for product reviews on Google before I buy anything and potentially waste any money. When I began doing this, I discovered the blogging community and I instantly fell in love with the idea of sharing my thoughts on everything I enjoyed on my very own blog. I was 15 when I started up my own blog and it was definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made ... It brings me so much happiness to upload videos online and for people to like watching them just as much as I do creating them!"
Subscribers: 22,557 • Views: 3,460,078 views. Joined June 17, 2009
"SHARING my life as a dress designer and big-hair lover," reads Carolyn's description on YouTube. "Welcome to my crazy but glamorous life in Scotland as a dress designer." Her luxury-dress label in Edinburgh has attracted the interest not just of leading stylists, brands and celebrities. Her videos include everything from tips about a Victoria Beckham-inspired braid and "flawless skin tips". A video on how to make a red-carpet dress, posted six years ago, attracted more than half-a-million views.
MANY Scots have taken to posting videos on YouTube – not just on fashion and beauty but in areas as diverse as comedy and gaming.
The Colour Pop Girls (327 subscribers, 11,073 views) are fashion and lifestyle bloggers Honey Pop Kisses and Forever Yours Betty, and under their joint name they post videos on subjects ranging from everyday glam make-up to a Harris Tweed showcase at London Fashion Week. They have a cheerful, upbeat style.
Amy Bell (Little Magpie: 11,645 subscribers • 267,763 views) is a Glasgow-based fashion, travel and lifestyle blogger. She started her Little Magpie blog while she was studying English lit at university. It was, she says on her website, slightly tongue in cheek, “a place I could come to escape from my essays and write about girly, inane things like what I was wearing that day or what my favourite nail polish was at the time.” Iona Barker (Say It Ain't Sew; 131 subscribers; 4,851 views) is an expert on sewing – Say It Ain't Sew "has been teaching Scotland how to sew since 2010."
YouTuber, actor and musician, Liam Dryden (132,239 subscribers, 8,547,804 views) has become a cult success on the website via his entertaining, diverse videos. YOGSCAST Nilesy (624,779 subscribers, 65,088,871 views) is another, with his take on "cool and fun indie games like Minecraft, FTL, Rogue Legacy and Papers, Please."
A startling sign of the fortune that can be made by the top YouTube vloggers comes from PewDiePie – real name, Felix Kjellberg. This affable, enthusiastic, Brighton-based Swede, who posts videos of himself playing computer games, is currently the most subscribed user on YouTube. He has in excess of 44.2 million subscribers; last September he became the first YT user to claim more than 10 billion views on his channel. One of his most recent videos attracted more than half-a-million views in one day.
Still only 26, he has earned an estimated £16m in advertising in the last three years.