Everything You Need To Know About Shaaanxo

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YouTube sensation Shannon Harris – known as Shaaanxo to her 1.4 million subscribers – is a vlogging megastar. When she was 17, the New Zealand beauty created and uploaded her first make-up tutorial to the site. Fast forward four years, and Shannon now has two channels boasting a cool 93 million views. She also has her own brush and lash company, xoBeauty, and is dominating the social media scene.

Here, Beauty Directory’s Maddie Moore chats to Shannon about vlogging, how she grew her subscriber list, and the brands she wants to collaborate with.

How did you get into vlogging?
When I was in high school, I was in love with cosmetics and fashion. None of my friends at the time had the same passion, so I turned to YouTube to watch many girls and guys who shared my love! I found it so hard to get a hold of the products these vloggers were using, so I decided to give my own channel a go.

Did you expect to reach this level of success?
Not at all! I cried when I hit 100 subscribers. Now, I have over 1.4 million and I can’t even comprehend it. I am so thankful and humbled that people like what I do.

Had you always dreamed of being in the beauty industry?
Nope. I initially got into make-up because of bullying. I was teased about how I looked, so I turned to make-up for confidence. Now, its a different story. I use make-up to express myself and put my “chosen” face forward.

What were you doing before you became a vlogger?
Studying a Bachelor of Applied Visual Imaging, which involved loads of photography, videography and advertising.

How did you grow your fan base?
It’s clichéd, but I stay true to myself. I don’t put on an act, and I think people can relate to me. I am also very consistent with my uploads and aim for great quality.

Is the bulk of your audience from New Zealand or across the globe?
International. Naturally, I have a massive New Zealand audience, but I have followers from all over the world. I even had a subscriber come up to me when I was in Nice, France.

What’s been your career highlight to date?
Hitting 1,000,000 subscribers. It’s unreal!

In your opinion, what is trending in beauty content at the moment?
Nineties nude lips. Everyone is loving the dark, rosy hue that Kylie Jenner loves to sport.

What do you think is your biggest strength as a vlogger?
I put so much time into social media. I update multiple times daily and get involved when it comes to my viewers. Talking to them makes my day.

What was your favourite beauty video to shoot in 2014 and why?
My Kim Kardashian make-up look [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmbuTgTBK9A]. I am still obsessed with it and for some reason it was incredibly fun to film.

What would you like to see in the New Zealand vlogging scene? 
I really hope more YouTube conventions come our way, like VidCon, BeautyCon, and Playlist. It would be so good to have more events to get to know our viewers and fellow creators better.

Are you often approached by beauty brands about collaborations?
I get approached almost every single day. It’s amazing. The number of opportunities I’m offered means I have to be very selective and work with my personal favourites, and talk about the things I love the most. I refuse to endorse something I do not use myself, or something I don’t think my viewers would enjoy.

Are you open to collaborating with beauty brands?
Of course! I love working with make-up brands the most – especially ones that are easily accessible in New Zealand so my viewers get to have a go at the looks I create.

What are your favourite New Zealand beauty brands?
The accessible brands I love to use are Collection, Australis Cosmetics, Chi Chi, Za, Bobbi Brown, M.A.C, and Yves Saint Laurent.

Why did you decide to create two separate channels on YouTube?
I wanted to keep my main focus on beauty. So many people love to see the other side of me, the one when I’m not applying make-up and talking beauty. My second channel is based on Q&As, chats, advice, “follow me” vlogs and more.

If you could give one piece of vlogging advice, what would it be?
Be yourself and be confident. Have fun and make videos on topics that you are passionate about. Also, don’t forget about your viewers. Interacting is both important and fun.

What’s next for you?
To grow my business, xoBeauty. I would love to have my own cosmetic range one day. You never know…



This interview first appeared in Beauty Directory