Is Beauty Vlogging Finally Growing Up?
12 October 2015, 11:37
Pixi2woo. BeautyCrush. HelloOctoberxo. VelvetGh0st. BritPopPrincess. How likely are you to be able name the full names of some of these British beauty YouTubers? And would you be likely to buy merchandise from a brand with a "cute and fluffy" name? If the answer to both is unlikely, it may go some way to explaining why there's a surge of rebranding in the beauty vlogging world.
Last month we wrote about Estée Lalonde and her decision to drop her username, EssieButton. In Estée's "Let's Meet Again" video, the vlogger chats openly about wanting to expand her horizons beyond beauty and drop the name which she feels no longer defines her.
Whilst some of the emerging British YouTubers of the past few years have switched on to what's in a name (Amelia Liana, Tijan Serena), it seems there's a lot of vloggers now regretting their usernames and pulling out all the stops to undergo a transformation both in terms of content and identity online.
Over the weekend, BeautyCrush reestablished herself as Samantha Maria and spoke in detail about why she made the change.
"I've decided to rebrand myself/my channel, my blog, my social media... A lot of people know me [by BeautyCrush] and they think it's cute. But when I created the name BeautyCrush, it was a long time ago and I was quite young at the time" explains Samantha in her video announcing the rebrand. She goes on to add: "I feel like the long I've been on YouTube, the more I've changed online as a person and my interests have shifted a little bit as well"
Samantha reiterates in the video about how her name change has been a long time coming and she hasn't felt pressured or been pushed into the change (presumably by her management team)
So, as we saw with Estée, these rebrands are essentially a big jump into creating a lifestyle brand and one which doesn't just stop at lipstick and bubble bath. Indeed, Samantha herself made her foray into the fashion business when she launched her clothing line - Novem & Knight - with boyfriend Jason last year.
Beauty YouTubers have fought for years to be accepted as credible sources of journalism essentially, alongside the likes of Allure magazine and the online editions of Elle, Grazia etc. Over the years, several British bloggers have broken through the barriers and are held in similar esteem to any fashion, beauty or travel editor out there (we're looking at you, LibertyLondonGirl and Poppy Dinsey). So it's no wonder that, as the next life of YouTube emerges, the business savvy beauty crowd are eager to progress too.
Another veteran vlogger and blogger to follow suit is Kate from Gh0stParties. Whilst not using her full name, Kate this week switched to the brand name "Kate La Vie" which saw her website and social media channels undergo a spring clean with a new design and new name.
"I feel like this change has been coming for so long, I’ve never really liked ghostparties as a name and I just thought it was such an irrelevant persona." she wrote on her blog this week. With over 80,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel, we're expecting her YouTube username to also be changed.
But is this what audiences want? When we think about Zoella, we can't help but wonder if the name "Zoe Sugg" would have the same sweetheart appeal to her young fans? Overall, audiences don't especially have an opinion either way but we wonder what would happen if the power players- like Zoella and Sprinkle of Glitter - opted to change their name?
Although some fans have questioned what the "big deal" is. One viewer commented on Samantha Maria's video: "I honestly don't know why people are really in an uproar about a name change lol. I'm sorry I'm just not understanding it. People change their usernames all the time. If it's hard to get used to I would keep it to myself and get over it in a day, but sorry Sam you had to address it more than you should have."
So who do you agree with? Should your favourite YouTubers come out and explains their identity crisis and every conversation they've had about their business and brand? Or should they nod to the change and move on?
Ultimately, whatever way you look at the new channel header or a Twitter handle change, it's a business exchange. Call us skeptical if you will but we'd be reluctant to buy a Ł30 candle from a brand called "GhostParties" but more likely to buy into the "Kate La Vie" lifestyle whole heatedly. Call us niaeve if you will but we'd rather buy a home wear collection from Estée Lalonde than Essie Button. And so on and so forth.
YouTube has been around for 10 years with some of our favourite beauty channels around for a good seven or eight years. YouTube is no longer a hobby but a lifestyle business- just like Cath Kidston, Tom Ford, Kate Spade and Kate Sommerville- and YouTubers have finally caught on to the need to shift and realign their brands.