Guru Spotlight: ThisisSmileyandShell
10 September 2014
Michelle (ThisisSmileyandShell) is one of our favorite young beauty gurus. This brunette beauty handles high school, being on a competitive dance team, and running a successful vlog with such energy and grace! She not only makes great tutorials, but also opens up about the details of her life, whether it’s chatting about boys, teenage slang with her grandparents, or serious reflections on the difficulties of being a teenager. Her multi-tasking and time management skills are surely to be envied, but what we love most about Michelle is that she knows the value of self-love. “While blush does a great job of giving you a nice glow, I prefer the natural glow created by joy and contentment.”
What is the best beauty advice that you have gotten?
Like Audrey Hepburn said, "happiest girls are the prettiest girls." I've always believed that beauty is an internal aspect that can only be enhanced by products, not created with them. While blush does a great job of giving you a nice glow, I prefer the natural glow created by joy and contentment. That's probably the best beauty advice I've yet to receive.
If your vlog had a mission statement, what would it be?
I've never wanted my channel to have a sole purpose of informing women on makeup. While that is necessary to being a "beauty guru," I believe there's something far more important. Nowadays so many young girls struggle with confidence which breaks my heart. If I could make every viewer feel even the slightest bit more proud of the way they look, that'd be absolutely incredible. Everyone deserves to feel blessed with the appearance they have been given.
What are your favorite vlogs to watch?
I adore Hellokatyxo! It's quite difficult to find a YouTuber who strays from the "cookie cutter" ways and I feel like Katy does an excellent job of doing so. Her classy and timeless looks are to die for and I never feel like I can't conquer the world after watching her advice videos.
What beauty products can you not live without?
My holy grail product would have to be Rimmel's "Stay Matte" face powder. Especially with the intense heat approaching, this powder never fails to keep my skin matte. Also couldn't live without my Maybelline Rocket Waterproof Mascara!
How long have you been into make-up?
Like most YouTubers, I gained a passion for makeup after watching other beauty vlogs. Juicystar07, otherwise known as Blair, convinced me that I must get into the vlogging lifestyle at the young age of 13. While I may not have known the difference between blush and bronzer at the time, I'm glad to have experienced the creativity of the makeup world at this age.
If you could only make up one part of your face per day, what would it be?
Eyelashes! A little bit of mascara makes the biggest difference in the long run.
What was your first make-up experience that you can remember?
Every June my dance recital would roll around and it was time for my mom to do my makeup. I always looked forward to having the perfect smoky eye and that slight stain of lipstick. This was my first encounter with makeup.
Do you have any advice for someone who wants a start a vlog?
Definitely don't hesitate about making a channel. YouTube has taught me so much about being independent, prosperous, and I've even learned the ins and outs of business. One thing I see amongst many new vloggers is discouragement due to low views. You cannot let the number of views you have dictate your channel. If it makes you happy, do it- whether you receive five or five thousand views.
What type of camera do you use? What do you use to edit your videos?
I use a Sony A35 which is my favorite DSLR camera! For editing I prefer good ol’ iMovie which, contrary to popular belief, is pretty amazing.
What are the best aspects of running your own blog? What are the hardest?
The best aspect would be having the privilege to create whatever you want to. There is so much creativity and freedom available whenever you decide to open up a channel. The hardest aspect would be my level of perfectionism. I will spend hours on a video and end up not liking the outcome, which only results in a mediocre project sitting in my iMovie failed projects.
What are you favorite places to shop?
I love anything simple and classy. My favorites lately have been J Crew, H&M, and my own little flea market, Etsy.
Are there any trends that you are inspired by this season?
HIGH WAISTED EVERYTHING. This has been a growing trend for awhile now, but I love anything that goes up to my belly button. My favorite piece has been my red Zara skirt that I picked up from a thrift shop which sits right about my waist and has a sort of flare to it.
If you had a thousand dollars to spend on make-up, what essentials would you buy?
First I would invest in some new skincare products. My mom introduced me to Clinique when I was ten and always told me a clean canvas was the secret to a good makeup application. I loved trying out new cleansers and exfoliaters! Then I would purchase another original Naked palette, some good setting sprays, and a good tinted moisturizer for the summer.
If you only had a hundred dollars to spend on make-up, what essentials would you buy?
I've always been a lover of drugstore products, so this wouldn't be a problem. I would purchase my rocket mascara, stay matte powder, some good drugstore eyeshadow bases, and my favorite baby lip's lip balm! Then I would spend the remaining cash on a high end foundation, maybe the Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation.
What is your most memorable beauty faux-pas?
In seventh grade I was convinced that I didn't need mascara. I would sloppily make-up what I thought was a decent smoky eye then leave out the mascara... needless to say this was not a good look!
Who is your make-up inspiration?
Lauren Conrad. I've never seen someone apply so little makeup but apply it so well. Simplicity is the key!
Who is your biggest inspiration in life?
My oldest brother Derek has always been an inspiration to me. I've never seen someone work so hard to reach a goal that seemed so far. I believe he's showed me a lot about being independent and building up determination to get what you want. Currently he lives in NYC working at a publishing company with his incredible wife Avery. I hope to be up there some day with him!
What do you like most about your dance team?
Through my dance team I've met an unimaginable amount of people. Being so independent, I have never been the best at meeting new people. My six best friends have taught me a lot about letting loose and exiting that comfort zone that we all tend to stay in. That's something I hope to never take for granted.
How has starting a vlog changed your daily life? What have you learned from it?
Making a videos amongst such a busy schedule has helped me develop good time management skills. Somehow I manage to keep straight A's, be on the dance team, spend time with my family, and continue to upload my weekly video. While I owe a lot of thanks to God, I'm blessed to have the ability to keep up with such a busy life (ironically, I say that as I'm cuddled up with my coffee).
Your teenager’s lament video was amazing! If you could change one thing about the “vicious world called high school” what would it be?
The level of conformity at my high school is outrageous. In middle school I had always heard "you stop caring what others think of you in high school," but oh what a myth that was! I live in one of the most materialistic parts of the U.S. and it's quite apparent. If you don't have the $400 designer purse or $300 pair of leather riding boots, you stick out like a sore thumb. Someday I hope girls (and boys) have the confidence to be different and not receive judgement for doing so.
What are some of your favorite memories from the past year?
Visiting San Antonio with my drill team girls, going to the Smoky Mountains with some college kids, hitting 100k subscribers, and hopefully getting my license (cross your fingers) in July :)
If you’re up for sharing one of your hardest moments for the past year, could you tell us how you got through it?
One of my biggest flaws is how hard I am on myself. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be the person I dream to be. Sometimes you can't do everything and I've had to learn how to depend on others to help me get through stuff. Learning to rely on others for help has been something I've been dealing with for awhile. Through a lot of prayer, I've managed to be better at it.
It’s great that you have a strong relationship with your mom. Can you share some advice the things that you do/don’t do that might help maintain that relationship?
My mom has always been my best friend. She manages to keep me in line yet give me the freedom to do what I want to (although I've never been a trouble maker, so this isn't really a problem). I think you have to be willing to share aspects of your life that you normally keep to yourself. I always let my mom know when I'm struggling or when she's really just making me mad one day. Grudges are never good. You've got to forgive and forget no matter how hard your pride tries to prevent that.
Lucia Chloe - Beauty Editor - IWantThatLook.com
Tags: makeup tutorial, beauty guru, thisissmileyandshell