Youtube screenshot from Anastasiya Shpagina's makeup tutorial… (www.youtube.com )
Beauty video blogs have been gaining in popularity. Which are the best to watch? The 10 here have topped YouTube charts in the beauty category in 2012, with the most number of views as of mid-December.
The star vloggers (video bloggers) range from Los Angeles YouTube veteran Blair Fowler to a nameless Russian woman dubbed "4Oxygene" to rising personalities Venus Palermo of Britain and Anastasiya Shpagina of the Ukraine, who make themselves up daily to resemble dolls. Two clear trends emerge from the pack: The continuing popularity of braided hairstyles and a new enthusiasm for "living doll" makeup tutorials.
Self-taught hair-styling guru Nee, known as Bebexo on YouTube, has gained a following for her concise, step-by-step video tutorials that make the most complex-looking hairdos relatively easy to achieve. The most-watched beauty video of the year to date translates an intricate, mermaid-style braid into two classic, inverted braids, pinned together with hair pins. Ignited by Jennifer Lawrence's messy fishtail braid in "The Hunger Games," braided styles were a major hair trend in 2012.
Recently named an honorary face of Cover Girl on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," 13-year-old vlogger (and cancer patient) Talia Castellano has inspired legions of fans with her upbeat beauty product reviews. Dismissing wigs, Castellano has focused on cosmetics to help her feel pretty while undergoing treatment. Punctuated with phrases like "Holy crap!" and "Legit!" her commentary on affordable makeup and fashion finds, from sources such as Costco and Kmart, is endearingly down-to-earth. "This is my Forever 21 eyelash curler," she says. "Obviously, it's not the best eyelash curler. It was about five dollars. But it's bedazzled! I was like, 'Oh my God, I need that.' The band can fall out sometimes, which I guess is bad. But it's really squishy, which I like."
Doll-like beauty looks became a YouTube phenomenon last year. At the front of the pack is 14-year-old Chelsea Crockett’s advice on how to mirror Barbie’s makeup. "Since Barbie's face is completely impeccable, I'm concealing any imperfections," says Crockett, applying Erase Paste by Benefit to her face, seemingly unaware of any subliminal messages about self-image that she is conveying. Crockett continues with a "perfectly defined brow" and eye makeup that creates the illusion of an almond eye shape, with painted-on liquid eyeliner lashes for "a cartoon feel." Her confident conclusion: "So now you should look like the perfect, plastic Barbie doll." Assuming that’s one’s goal.
This French braid-focused tutorial is a follow-up to "10 easy, quick everyday hairstyles for long hair," which has more than 9 million views to date. Featuring 10 new riffs on the ever-popular plaited hairdo, the video features easy-to-mimic, step-by-step instructions along with sisterly reassurance. "Once your arms get used to being in that orientation, you'll get a lot better," says Sash. The looks build on an elegant, French-style side braid to create more elaborate bun, ponytail, up-do and double braid styles. As seen at the spring 2013 presentations of fashion designers, such as Tory Burch, Marchesa, Jason Wu and Balmain, plaited hairstyles continue as a key trend next season.
In this two-minute video, 17-year-old Katie dyes the tips of her 9-year-old sister’s hair in a boiling, stovetop pot of Tropical Punch-flavored Kool-Aid. Her one tip is that more water adds up to a less vibrant hue. No, really? A red flag that vloggers are no beauty pros, the video boasts an all-caps warning, "POSSIBLY PERMANENT," shouted after the title, and is riddled with consecutive disclaimers. "If you are younger, please ask for a parent's permission or help on this," Katie says. "This doesn't look dangerous, does it?" she inquires later, while dipping the locks of her kid sis. "I hope not." One draw is that dip-dyed hair showed up on the spring 2013 fashion runways of designers such as Peter Som and Oscar de la Renta.