With more than 1 million YouTube subscribers and her videos averaging 4.5 million views a month, Shaaanxo is more than world famous in NZ – she’s world famous full stop.
We talk to beauty vlog star Shaaanxo, real name Shannon Harris, about her makeup muses, the fan mail that made her cry… and her exciting next step.
How often do you interact with your fans? Are they quite vocal?
Daily. I love to chat on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and of course YouTube. I get so much amazing feedback from my followers whenever I create new makeup looks, and they also give me heaps of ideas for new videos.
They are also always there for me if I need to ask a beauty question. It’s heaps of fun to get discussions going on there. Of course, there are always people on the internet who stay anonymous and post nasty comments, but I really just like to focus on the positive people and try not to let it get to me. The lovely people definitely outweigh the others!
How do you deal with the negative comments?
I don’t really reply to them or anything; I feel like if you reply to the negativity you’re fuelling it and I’d just rather ignore it and focus on the positive in life. Because I do that with everything in life — just positive energy.
What’s the most surprising message you’ve received?
I had a meet-up once and a girl gave me a letter and she told me to read it later that day. She basically told me the videos helped her while she was going through really bad depression and stuff. She was watching all my videos every single night. She’d watch like 10 before bed; it would help to relax her. I thought that was really cool. She was like, you’ve really saved me in a way which I can’t understand, but I thought it was really, really touching and I had a few tears.
What’s the craziest fan interaction you’ve had with someone?
It varies from people crying to people asking for photos; that’s quite standard and really nice. Then there are people who ask for autographs or guys who will ask for my autograph for their girlfriends. That’s quite funny because they can actually recognise me as well!
Is there a lot of interaction between other bloggers and vloggers out there?
I guess it just depends on each person. I like to do a lot of collaborations with people like Judy [vlogger It’sJudyTime]; she has a lot of subscribers. Then I do them with people who have less as well because it took me what, like four or five years, to get to where I am now and I know how hard it is to get recognised. So I do like to help I guess because that’s what I would’ve appreciated back then. And then obviously I love doing collaborations with people who have a lot more because it’s beneficial for my channel and it’s really cool to get to know other people who do what I do. But yeah, a lot of Youtubers do collaborations.
What’s your most frequent request?
I think it’s mainly things to do with drugstore looks. A lot of people are at school or studying, not raking in heaps of money, and they want to keep their beauty on a budget. I don’t have one specific thing people request but definitely affordable stuff comes up quite a bit. And the typical smoky eyes and Kim Kardashian [look], and red lips.
What’s your number one beauty product?
I think one of my biggest things right now is jojoba oil. I love it to remove makeup, moisturise skin; you can clean up your eye makeup with it, just everything. It is my Holy Grail product at the moment.
Who is your beauty idol?
That’s a really hard question for me. I guess I look up to Kim Kardashian’s smoky eyes a lot. I do a lot of celebrity-inspired makeup looks and just try to take different things so I can have a lot of variety in my videos.
What do you do in your spare time?
Boring things. I watch lots and lots of TV series and lots of movies. At the moment I’m watching the second series ofOrange is the New Black. I love stuff likeBreaking BadandGame of Thronesand those kinds of things. [My boyfriend and I] like to go on lots of walks and walk the dogs and just chilled stuff, nothing crazy.
What’s your long-term goal?
I would love to create something huge for myself in future; I want to have my own makeup brand. I already have the xoBeauty brushes and lashes, and I just want to create more high-quality products for us New Zealanders! I also want to change the way makeup is seen in NZ. I used to use makeup as a mask, but now I use it for self-expression and art. I want it to be seen as something creative, not as a cover-up.