If you’re a beauty blogger or vlogger, Beauty & The Vlog, needs to be on your radar. The podcast, which releases new episodes every Thursday, takes on an interview format spotlighting Youtube beauty stars, Marketing, PR (including myself! listen to the podcast here) and social media experts who share their insights into this ever expanding world of online beauty. The host and Southern California native, Erika Vieira, started her show in 2014 and manages to juggle its growth while having a full-time marketing sales job, a one and half year old, and another baby girl on the way. I sat down with the wide-eyed, dark hair, petite beauty (whom reminds me of a beach-y, SoCal version of Penelope Cruz) to learn more about her story: starting the podcast, who inspired her entrepreneurial spirit, tips for parenting and running your own business and her love for healthy living.
I grew up in a suburb outside of Los Angeles and I moved to the city when I went to college at Loyola Marymount. Once I graduated I didn’t leave. I just love it here.
My dad is a doctor, and growing up he had his own clinic. He was an entrepreneur, so we always grew up with that idea that you can create your own business and you create your own opportunity. We learned the importance of having a strong work ethic and that things aren’t going to be handed to you. If you want something, you really need to go out there and work for it. I saw my dad working crazy hours. He worked all of the time growing up and I just thought that’s how it is and that’s what’s normal. I definitely inherited that from my dad.
My mom worked as a pediatric X-ray technician, but once I was born and my two sisters (we’re all 16 months apart) she stayed home to take care of us.
What spurred your love for beauty?
My mom is a girly girl, but I think part of it too was because I was in theater growing up, so I got to buy makeup for my theater performances. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been allowed to wear makeup, even though I really wanted to. We also did beauty pageants when we were growing up. I just always liked makeup and beauty and I think theater was a piece of that.
I remember being in junior high and my mom took us to the makeup counter because we needed some makeup for the play I was in. We went to MAC and Makeup Forever counters. I just remember those two brands and at MAC I just always remember their Spice Lip Liner. Those two brands really are the first ones I ever used. We went to Nordstrom and I got to pick out makeup for the play.
Starting the podcast
I had a clothing line with my sister for about three or four years after college. We sold licensed sports apparel for women. So, here in LA you would be find our stuff at UCLA or the Staples Center, but on the side, as a hobby, I worked with Maria Menounos’ podcast network, AfterBuzzTv. I would interview celebrities and do fashion shows.
They sent me to VidCon to interview you-tubers one year. I had always been a fan of watching Youtube makeup videos. I would watch Kandee Johnson and Jaclyn Hill, and so when I went to VidCon I was with StyleHaul. They lined up a few different creators for me to interview and these were big people at the time. I think it was around four years ago, and these creators had around a million subscribers.
I was blown away by the whole Youtube thing and just how massive the fanbase is, how crazy these kids are and how excited they were. They were more excited about these you-tubers than the celebrities! I was like, wow, these people are in high demand and people want to know more about them, and in my mind I always knew I wanted to start my own podcast show.
Maria’s fiancé, Keven Undergaro, was my mentor. He was like, you should just do it. He gave me the encouragement and so I decided I just wanted to do a show interviewing females in the Youtube world.
In addition to the podcast, currently I’m the sales director for an engineering company, so I know a lot about sales and marketing. I knew if i was going to start a podcast, I wanted it to look really professional. I used 99designs to create the logo. I hired somebody to do the website. I invested money into it for the website the logo, but everything else was just figuring it out on my own.
In the beginning, I personally cold emailed a ton of people I watched on Youtube. Fortunately, I had some people respond and from there I would ask them if they had any friends who would be good for the show. I did get some referrals that way.
I wanted at least 10 or 15 pre-recorded episodes for when I launched and in the beginning I put out two podcasts a week. I wanted it to look like a good show with a lot of content in the beginning, since the algorithm of iTunes promotes new podcasts and the more content you have the more visibility you will get. But then it got to be too much and I had to scale it back to one episode per week.
What makes for a good interview?
It’s important when interviewing to listen and let the person talk. Too often I listen to other podcasts or interviews, and the interviewer is so concerned with their agenda and their questions and are afraid of silences that they fill the silences too quickly. When in reality people are thinking about things, giving themselves a pause or they are just about to say something. If you allow people the time to answer the questions and allow a few silences here and there you might be surprised at what comes up. And if a silence happens and it’s too long then you come in there and ask another question.
The other thing that makes interviews really good is when the interviewer probes. The person might give you something and you’re like, oh, wow, thats really interesting, and then it’s your job as an interviewer to go back and probe. I always make mental notes where I say, I have to go back to that point. Some people throw out little things here and there and you know there’s more to the story, but they wont reveal it unless you probe them. So, you have to really listen and don’t be afraid to go back because that’s what people love.
Biggest challenges with the podcast?
The biggest challenge is probably having to manage the schedule of the guests. My content is dependent on getting guests on the show. I’ve done really well with it and I’ve had over 80 guests, but it can be a little bit frustrating because some people with cancel or they’ll cancel last minute and because my time is so blocked out, if somebody cancels on me last minute that’s an hour that could have gone to somebody else. For the most part, people have been really professional and great, but then other times they haven’t. It’s tough sometimes having to manage the schedule of my guests with my own.
Who’s your dream guest?
My dream guest would have to be Kandee Johnson. She was the first Youtuber that I ever watched. She was the one who got me into beauty videos. I think I was searching for Halloween makeup and I found her videos and I was like, OMG. I didn’t even know they had videos like this. I watched all of her videos. And then I got into others, like Jaclyn Hill and Marlena MakeupGeek. I also think that these three girls are great role models and very positive. If my daughter was older and she wanted to watch Youtubers, I would feel good about her watching these three girls. They are good, positive people.
What do you hope to teach your daughters about beauty?
When it comes to teaching my daughter and the one on the way about beauty it’s really about teaching them confidence. It’s all about making them feel like they are beautiful and that they have more than just beauty. It’s important for girls to have other things going on than just beauty.
I feel that girls who just rely on their beauty are the most insecure because if anybody insults that beauty that’s their whole core and that falls apart so, I think it’s important to be confident in the way you look, but also have confidence in other areas of your life. I was always brought up in a very positive household. My parents were like you have the ability to do whatever you want to do and I think they definitely instilled confidence in us, too, and I want to instill that level of confidence in my daughters.
How will you navigate social media with your daughters?
Social media kind of scares me a little bit in how it exposes children when they are so young. On Instagram there are younger and younger girls going on there and looking eighteen when they’re actually twelve. It kind of scares me a little, but I ask that question to people who have older kids and are going through it. I don’t know how I’ll handle it when my girls are older. We didn’t grow up with it and I find it a little bit disturbing for young girls to be on social media.
Any other passions?
I’m really into health and nutrition even more so than beauty. I am really into food quality. I think if I were to go back to school, I might do something with food and nutrition. I just love it. I am a firm believer that food is medicine and what you eat has a huge effect on you, your energy, your body and so, I am always very aware of what I eat. I don’t eat any bread or pasta. I don’t eat anything with gluten in it. I am really particular about the meats I eat; they have to be grass fed. I’m that annoying person that asks at restaurants is this wild caught or farm raised. I am very particular about that stuff and I think health goes hand in hand with beauty and with skin. If you eat clean, your skin is the largest organ of your body and it fully reflects what you are putting into your body.
I am really into vitamins and supplements, too. Though, things have shifted now that I am pregnant, but I definitely take prenatals and I really like Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. It’s great for the skin. I’ve been taking collagen for a few years now. I add a scoop of it into my coffee or in my smoothie.
I also love fitness. Things are different now that I’m pregnant, but I still do yoga and pilates. Now that I’m pregnant I do a lot of walking. Before I would go every day to Equinox and take different classes. I would workout every day and if I didn’t workout for one day, I would feel like I had to do something. I still am very active, but I toned it down now that I’m pregnant.
Any advice for women out there looking to start their own blog/Youtube/podcast, and/or juggling work and motherhood?
I think the best thing for anyone who is thinking about starting a youtube or blog is to really be honest with yourself. Ask the question – what are you going to do that hasn’t already been done or is really going to differentiate yourself from what’s already out there? I think a lot of people say I’m going to start a channel or a blog, and they don’t think about the fact that there is a lot of competition out there. You have to be aware of what you are putting out there and it has to be unique and professional.
And for people with kids. It’s tough. My advice: be really nice to your parents and your in-laws because you need all the help you can get. It’s not easy. When you have kids it changes everything and you just have to be really good with time management. You have to cut the fat. If you’re doing things that are taking a lot of your time and aren’t giving you results, then maybe it’s not worth it.
That’s what I did when I had my first baby and I decided I wasn’t going to video record the interviews and post to Youtube. I was getting way more downloads with the podcast, so I decided to just focus on that and I decided I needed to pay someone to help me with the post production. Sometimes you just have to make choices and cut the fat.
Erika Vieira is the producer and host of Beauty & The Vlog. New episodes air every Thursday and can be found on her blog at beautyandthevlog.com.
-as told to BOND EN AVANT, Photographed by Amy Chang, founder + editor