Confessions of a YouTube Makeup Guru: LaBelleMel31


If you haven’t seen LaBelleMel31 work her glossy magic on YouTube check her out here and of course, subscribe!

Q: What is your name? Do you have any nicknames?
My name is Melanie and I have lots of nicknames (haha), but I will just name a few. My close friend gave me a nickname playing off the sound of my name “Mi-gua”-ni which is Melon in mandarin and another friend called me Melbelle, which was how I came up with my YouTube account name by switching it around. =P

Q: We usually see you sitting down on camera! How tall are you?
I’m 5’1″ – I used to not like my height when I was in high school, but now I kinda like being petite. =D

Q: Does anyone ever tell you that you look like someone famous? If so, who?
Actually my close friend said that I reminded her of A-mei, a Taiwanese singer, who btw is one of my ultimate favorite singers under Asian music! Also I got a comment a few months back of how I look like an Asian Eva Longoria. Haha. I know I don’t, but that made my day 😉

Q: How did you and your husband meet? What does he think about your YouTube adventures?
I met my husband in college and I knew him as a friend for two years before we started dating. When I first started YouTube, he told me I couldn’t post any videos of me up so I kinda did it secretly for a month or so. He found out later though, but didn’t really mind as much as long as I didn’t overspend on makeup. Haha.


Q: How did you become interested in photography? What types of photography inspires you the most?
It was actually last October that I received my first dslr camera and since then I was hooked. I had hired a professional photographer for the wedding, but even then I kinda guided him into more artsy-er photos that I wanted. We were going on a late honeymoon in Dec and I convinced hubby that I wanted to take some pro photos to document our time there. I practically took thousands of photos during our trip and continued on to this day. Currently, I’m taking more engagement photos for friends and referrals, but hoping to branch out a little bit into wedding. So far, it’s just been a joy to capture such love and happiness that shine through from couples and I hope to continue for as long as I can.

Q: When did you become interested in cosmetics and beauty products?
I was always into hair and started braiding my own hair at around 13 or so. Since then I’ve always done my own hair and others for prom and even now I cut and style my own hair.

As for makeup, I’ve worn it since middle school, but never anything technical until a year ago watching YouTube makeup tutorials. The very first person I ever watched was Ricebunny and Stephienese on their blogs and then later Makeup Geek’s Marlena. They’ve really intrigued me and inspired me to branch out into more colors and for that I thank them. =)

Q: Who are your inspirations as far as fashion and beauty?
A lot of times I’m inspired by what I watch on TV or what I see on magazines. My ultimate favorite fashion and beauty person has to be Audrey Hepburn. She embodies the very word of timeless beauty in my mind – always very graceful and elegant.


Q: What is your philosophy on makeup?
I see makeup as another form of expressing your individuality and style. It can’t hurt you nor change you as a person but if it can give you that little ounce of confidence to take on the world, then embrace it. You can take it as far as you like in terms of boldness, but always remember that it can be easily washed off with just a little makeup remover so why not have fun with it.

Q: What are a few of your “obsessions” right now?
Haha – funny you should say that but if anyone reads my twitter – my current obsession is Bon Chon chicken wings! Haha – my next obsession is karaoke! Sadly I don’t have many around me that love to go out for that, but I’m recruiting if anyone’s interested 😉

OH, with TV shows or movies, I’m obsessed with DEXTER. Twilight took over for a bit, couple months back, but now that DEXTER’s new season is coming up this month, I’m right back to it. Haha. However that doesn’t mean I’m not counting down to the date of New Moon movie releasing in about 3 months!!! Also anything SATC and FRIENDS! With designers – anything Chanel =D


Q: Do you have any advice for someone who wants to start making YouTube beauty videos?
My advice is be yourself and do what you love to do. Your personality will naturally shine through and people will be able to see that. Even I sometimes get a bit stiff in front of the camera because let’s face it – you’re talking to an inanimate object that doesn’t talk back! Hehe. I interact much better with another person but sometimes you just have to imagine that there is someone on the other end of the camera who will be listening, watching and learning from you. Also don’t be afraid to try new things. You never know if it will work or not until you try it. If all fails, a video can be deleted and refilmed.

Q: What are some of your favorite channels to watch on YouTube?
I haven’t been watching a lot of videos lately but I most always click on Fuzkittie’s videos, because she’s so goofy and animated and you just can’t help but be drawn into watching her videos. I definitely thank YouTube for guiding me towards her videos because not only has she become a friend on-screen but also a great friend off-screen.

Other channels I most always click on are Fafinettex3, Julieg713, MakeupGeekTV, Misschievous, Bubzbeauty, MichellePhan, Stephienese, PincStuff and my most recent fave ManWomanFilm – those girls are such sweethearts and it has been a joy in getting to know them onscreen and even becoming friends with some of them. For that I’ll always cherish =)

Q: What got you started doing videos on YouTube?
I think this was probably before my close friend’s wedding in LA that I went on YouTube to search for updo ideas that I could do. Unfortunately at the time, there weren’t many great selections so I figure I would start up YouTube to document what I know and what I’ve learned and hopefully help others in the process. Then later I included more makeup tutorials as I grew confident in my skills after watching a million YouTube videos. Haha.


Q: How does it feel to have over 4,200 people care about you and your opinions?
It’s crazy how many people watch and actually take interest in my videos. You can’t imagine the biggest smile I have on my face whenever I read a comment that said I helped them in any way. That’s something that truly motivates me to continue to do what I do and for that I can’t thank enough of my subscribers for always being there, supporting and encouraging me. THANK YOU!

Q: What do you do to keep your channel a positive place despite all of the negativity constantly coming at YouTubers?
I think of myself as a pretty positive person, but even the most positive person can be bogged down by negativity. So far I’ve had a few but not a lot and I find that it’s so much easier to just click block, remove comment and move on. I’ve mentioned before in previous video that the person behind the computer doesn’t know me nor do I know him or her, so no emotional ties were invested, therefore makes it so much easier to block and forget about it. It would be a waste of your time to reflect upon negativity, but just focus on the positives such as the rest of the subscribers who leave all those lovely comments and appreciate you for who you are and what you give to them.

Q: We know you love your subscribers! But is there anything that you get sick of being told or asked?
I DO love my subscribers! Haha. I have an FAQ section on my YouTube profile and would love it that they go to it before asking questions that I may have answered numerous times. =P Other than that, I haven’t had any other problems that I know of or maybe it’s too soon to make that statement. =P

Q: Do you ever have buyers remorse for spending your hard earned money on beauty products?
I do sometimes get buyer’s remorse but not all the time because I do try to buy products that I’ve researched and read reviews about. However I know when to stop when I get a lipstick in almost the same color as the one I already have or having too many palettes! For that, I love the beauty of blog sales! It’s a lifesaver on more ways than one. =P haha.


Q: What draws you to buy a certain product or brand of makeup?
Currently I like to say that my collection is a pretty good size and now I’m just looking for something that’s different and intrigues me whether it be the packaging or the product itself. The quality of the product is a big thing for me and after that is the pricing. Packaging plays a part but not a big one only because packaging also adds to the cost of pricing which we all need to keep in mind.

This is probably the reason why I lean towards MAC more because it is reasonably-priced for the quality that it gives. I also love Urban Decay and MUFE. I haven’t even own one MUFE eye shadow only because of the price but we’ll see. Maybe the next Sephora’s F&F sale which I always love to take advantage whenever opportunities arise. =P

Q: Do you have any classic “go to” cosmetic items? What are a few of your favorites?
Biolage Conditioning Balm – whenever my hair feels dull or less shiny, this product never fails to deliver what I need. After washing my hair, I apply the conditioning balm and leave it in for 5 minutes then rinse it out; my hair feels silky smooth afterwards! Also do not buy this at retail because the cost is ridiculous. I got mine at Nordstrom Rack for much less than that. =P

I’m also loving my Shiseido mascara base – man, does that do wonders for my lashes. My pink hair velcros that you see in most of my makeup videos – this stuff pulls back your bangs without leaving kinks behind – lifesavers! And I most always carry a stash of bobby pins and hair ties with me because you never know when you will need to doll it up for the night. 😉

Q: Do you have any beauty secrets or tips that you think most other people don’t know about?
I’m sure I’m not the only person who mentioned this but the best beauty tips out there is eat well, drink plenty of water, protect and prolong your youthful skin by staying out of the sun and exercise. I can’t stress these enough because all these will benefit you so much in due time. =) I don’t leave the house without my eye cream and Dior;s snow sunscreen on.
Just remember, the best makeup out there can’t hide premature wrinkles or sun spots.

Also no matter how tired you are from partying to all hours of the night, first things first before sleeping is REMOVE that makeup! Leaving it on overnight will just suffocate your skin, clogs it and will lead to more skin problem so prevent it right from the get-go.

Q: Can you tell us anything that we probably didn’t know about you?
My sister Lilly is going to kill me but when we were probably around 5 or 6, my other sister and I took scissors to her hair and after we were done, we told her to go out and ask our parents if it was pretty! Oh man, we got in trouble but to this day, it remains a fondest memory in my mind. What can I say, my love for hair started young. Haha.

Also Christmas is one of my favorite holidays, not because of the gifts, but because it has the most and best songs written for it to sing out of all the holidays combined. Haha.

Q: We want to play Pee Wee’s Playhouse. Will you slip a “secret word” into your next video for our readers? The secret word is “Luxurious”.
Sure! Sounds fun. =)

4 Comments For This Post

  1. Calia Yang Says:

    I loved the interview and totally loved to getting Mel more! She’s so gorgeous and is such an inspiration in the beauty realm. Thanks Keri for interviewing Mel!

  2. Mel Says:

    aww.. thank you! =D

  3. peachy Says:

    I really thought at first you were that black girl in the first picture posted

  4. Catherin Sferra Says:

    Once I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the identical comment. Is there any method you possibly can take away me from that service? Thanks!

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