MAC, L'Oreal, Anastasia Beverly Hills, & Tarte meets YouTube: Kay-Lani
Q&A: How this Latina is taking the beauty industry by storm and proving that mom's really are superwomen
Kay-Lani is a self-taught makeup artist and YouTube sensation. With over 1 million followers on her social media accounts she has become the face of everything beauty for millennials who watch her every move. She has built her platform from nothing and has managed to not only turn it into profit but also never let it interfere with the most important job in the world, motherhood. Check out her interview where she chats about starting her YouTube career, makeup, social media, and inner beauty:
- What sparked your interest in makeup? YouTube? When I was 16 years old, I got my makeup professionally done for the very first time for prom. I could not believe my eyes. The transformation completely blew me away! From that point on, I began to have an interest in the beauty industry. I would sit in my room until 4 am just practicing my looks. At that time, YouTube was not as big as it is today, so I would practice with looks that I saw on the red carpet or in magazines... and here we are today!
- What are some of the challenges you faced when you first started your career? How did you overcome? In this industry, like many industries, there is a lot of competition. I battled with that a lot in the beginning of my career, because I think it is always a little tough for veteran artists to accept that new faces and new talent are making their way in, which is understandable. However, even when my work was not what it is now, I always tried to remain confident and I believe that is how I gained the respect from veteran artists.
- How do you handle the pressures of social media and having your life open to criticism? I take it all with a grain of salt. One thing I always tell people is that my life is very normal. I do not like looking at myself like this big "makeup star." I just love what I do and people enjoy watching me do what I love. I would be lying if I said it is easy. I always say that it is all a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because I have connected with so many people all over the world. People that I probably would have never came across if it was not for social media. To wake up every day flooded with support is definitely a blessing. Now, the curse is having to deal with opinions from people who think they know you when they really don't. However, as I always say, the positive 100% outweighs the negative.
- How do you incorporate motherhood into your business? I have always exposed my daughter to my work from an early age. I always have her next to me when I film and edit. She knows when mommy is working and she understands that mommy has to work hard in order to provide her with the things that she needs. She is a huge YouTube fanatic so she has completely fascinated with the fact that mommy is a YouTuber.
- As a mother, any advice on balancing motherhood with business? I always tell fellow moms that it is all about priorities. You will make what is important to you a priority. Being a YouTuber/Content Creator is very demanding of your time. Especially if you work the way that I do, I do not have a team of people who help me. I film, produce and edit all of my content so that definitely takes up a huge chunk of my time. If it takes me a whole week to edit just one video it is because I am busy being a full time mother, and that is fine. In the end, I still managed to get it done. It is not easy, but it is definitely not impossible.
- What are some of your favorite drug store products? Honestly, CoverGirl's new Vitalist Healthy Elixir Foundation is my go-to drugstore foundation. I have told so many people about it. The coverage is amazing and price is even better.
- Any tips for a quick low-cost beat? I am big on getting beautiful up on a budget. I know many of my followers are moms and young girls, so I try to use products that I know my girls could afford to purchase. I actually have a video on my channel where I do a side-by-side comparison of drugstore makeup and high-end makeup. In my opinion, you cannot tell the difference. (Video: HIGH END MAKEUP VS AFFORDABLE MAKEUP | VIVA_GLAM_KAY)
- What advice would you give to moms who are considering a YouTube channel? I say go for it. I know in the beginning it is a little scary, but I do not like living my life with "what if's". The only way you will know is if you try. There is room for all of us to be great in this industry.
- What are your views on makeup and the common critique of it being a form of deception? I do not put much thought into it. People are allowed to have their own opinions and I respect that. Many of us wear makeup for our own personal reasons. I say its common sense that someone is going to look different when they are not wearing makeup.
- Does makeup take away from a women's beauty or self-esteem? Absolutely not! Makeup actually helps us feel good. Now, does that mean we need it in order to feel good? Not at all. We are strong women regardless of makeup.
- When your daughter thinks of you, what role do you want her to view you as? I just want her to know that mommy always worked hard to give her the life she deserved. That she does not need to depend on someone to make it. Although, it may be hard I want her to know that giving up on your dreams is not an option.
Giving up on your dream is not an option. Whether it is makeup, beauty, hair, art, etc. if it is your passion pursue it. Many times, we find ourselves doubting the impact we will have in an industry or the ability to create a successful company because “everyone is doing it”. Kay-Lani is a perfect example of someone who did not care that “everyone” is doing it because she understood that she would create her own avenue in an already saturated industry. The truth is everyone is doing it. By it, I mean everything. There are thousands of companies all doing the same thing, blogs offering the same advice, brands trying to make it in the same niches. The question is not who is doing it; it is how are you going to do it? What are you willing to invest to make your dreams a reality?