Fowler Beauty Empire Built on New Media


Besides crafting, I love playing with makeup. For me it goes beyond an aesthetic thing of trying to look pretty because I have fun putting it on and using different colors and techniques. I remember when I first started playing with makeup I began by studying the pages of Seventeen magazine looking at the too simple makeup suggestions in the beauty section. I vividly remember instructions on how to apply bubble gum pink eye shadow. Looking back, I realize there is almost no way to pull off bubble gum pink eye shadow, and I have old photos that I definitely look like a flamingo in to prove it! Magazines were not the way to learn about makeup at the time, and thankfully somewhere along the way I turned to YouTube for video tutorials.

One of the first ‘beauty gurus’ I watched was allthatglitters21, aka Elle Fowler. A little less than five years ago Elle and her sister Blair (juicystar07) started posting videos on YouTube from their home in Tennessee. They started with easy makeup looks for beginners and also taught viewers how to use different brushes and makeup tools. Today they have expanded their guru tips to fashion, décor and organization, and product reviews. They have established themselves as credible sources that many women and girls look to before buying products. In addition to expanding their topics on YouTube, Elle and Blair have managed to create this beauty empire that includes other new media tools, as well as other business endeavors they have started. After her YouTube channel took off, Elle had created a community of followers (myself included) that eagerly awaited her next video. From there she started doing a few videos on items from her and Blair’s business They sell items such as personalized key chains, coffee mugs, head wraps, and many other small items. The website was a hit and viewers encouraged regular updates on new items on the site.

Meanwhile I was in high school and had a small group of friends who also happened to watch Elle’s videos. We were amazed we all happened to watch the same sweet girl from Tennessee, and even more surprised when we recognized each other wearing her makeup looks. Elle’s community had stretched all the way to my friends and I, and had given us something to bond over. Since then Elle and Blair have taken the world and created Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest accounts for their followers, both loyal and new, to take part in their creations, findings, and life. They also have a lifestyle website and been featured in promos for Target and worked with world-renowned makeup artist Bobbi Brown. Since they have built a name for themselves through online communities and media, Elle and Blair’s more recent projects now carry beyond the online world and include starting their own makeup line SkyLark, starting a handbag and shoe line, and writing a novel. Putting the makeup and their topic’s aside, it’s absolutely amazing what that these two young women have built for themselves through online communities and media. They were both self-taught and dedicated the time and effort to building their online career while at the same time attending university and high school. They have both become two established business savvy women, and for long time followers such as myself it’s been interesting to see them grow over the years and continue to learn from them, even if it’s not about makeup anymore. To think, it all started with a mediocre-quality camera and some makeup.

P.S fun fact: both sisters have been featured in Seventeen magazine for their beauty tips and looks. I know because, even though I was past the target age Seventeen appeals to, I still bought it. In a strange way I felt proud to see them so I had to buy it. Much to my delight, they lived up to their usual greatness and there was no pink eye shadow in sight.