Nadia, Mihlali and Jessica are three of the most recognisable names on South African YouTube. More than just filling our feeds with pretty pictures, our cover stars are also video editors, producers and entrepreneurs. This issue, like none other before, we let the social superstars take the reigns and shoot their own cover image in COSMO’s first-ever selfie cover.
Our editor Holly Meadows chats vlogs, beauty and building a business with the new A-list of social-media influence in our March issue, on shelves now. Here’s a snippet of what to expect in this game-changing issue.
Nadia, 26, is known for her LOL vlogs featuring her mom, grandpops, celebrity besties and hundreds of comments. In the last year alone she’s released a single, and lown around the world for jobs in Ibiza, Barcelona and Berlin. 2019 is set to catapult her to new career heights – watch this space.
How did your journey as a social-media superstar start?
I suppose how every other person’s journey on social media started – I picked up my phone and started creating content.
You’re one of the few influencers who reveals the ‘real’ side to life on social media. Why?
It’s exhausting to put on a show all the time. It takes a lot of pressure off and removes the anxiety of constantly wanting to be perfect (which we all know is impossible). I like to remind my viewers that I am human and I experience the same emotions that they do – I just film it.
Tips for COSMO readers wanting to become social-media influencers?
Have a strong sense of self. It’s easy to get lost in it all and to forget who you are. If you can be authentic, then it will show in the content you produce.
At just 22, Mihlali is one of South Africa’s youngest, most subscribed female YouTubers. She has become one of the country’s most successful beauty authorities, with global brands like Maybelline and Bobbi Brown lining up for endorsement deals.
What was your proudest moment last year?
Reaching 100K subscribers on my YouTube channel! After my father passed away in January 2018, I lost the motivation to carry on curating content. As much as our lives look perfect on camera, it isn’t easy pretending to be happy when you feel like the world is caving in. I started filming less and didn’t upload content for almost four months. But people continued to show support by saying how much they missed me. This helped me to get back on my feet and start filming videos again. I love and appreciate my audience for showing me so much understanding and empathy during that time.
Your skin is flawless. What products do you use?
I use apple cider vinegar and water as a toner, Pond’s Pimple Clear Face Wash, Johnson’s Fresh Hydration Micellar Cleansing Wipes and Dermalogica BioluminC Serum.
What essential makeup items are permanently in your beauty cabinet?
Lip gloss, mascara, mink lashes and my favourite red lipstick: MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Dance With Me.
Jessica Van Heerden
From giving expert makeup advice to unboxing pretty products, 25-year-old Jessica promises at least three videos a week to her many subscribers. The former marketing student is now a full-time YouTube star and she also runs her own promotional staffing agency. #SideHustleGoals.
What do you do on your days off?
I don’t have days off because I film a vlog every day. An ideal day off would be doing absolutely nothing with my boyfriend Bren, dragging him along to the mall, or treating myself to a long bath.
How do you create a kickass beauty video?
I always make sure I have good lighting. I use a combination of natural light and artificial light. Choose your backdrop carefully and always light it up to make your videos look professional. I like to have a structure, so I don’t ramble and talk too much. Sometimes I also jot down some bullet points.
How do you draw the line between posting what you love and making money off sponsored posts?
I’m so lucky to receive paid offers from brands I love and believe in. When I do sponsored content, I rarely get questioned by my viewers because I wholeheartedly believe in the products I’m posting about.
For more of our YouTube stars’, pick up our March 2019 issue on newsstands 25 February, or click here to subscribe.