Meet Elanna McGowan, beauty blogger with nearly 100k followers and over 250k+ YT subscribers. Looking for makeup inspo or beauty tips & tricks, Elanna is your go-to-girl.
Chatting with Elanna was so effortless because she’s down to earth, hilarious, driven and let’s just say, there is so much more than what meets the eye. In other words, she is the total package!
How did Elanna make her mark in the blogging world? Keep reading to find out!
When did you first start using social media?
I started Youtube in 2015. I was a digital beauty creator for an online beauty magazine and created a couple of videos for them which I really enjoyed. It didn’t take long after when I made a New Years resolution to travel more and start a Youtube Channel of my own. At the time, I was still working as a pro trainer and makeup artist at Anastasia Beverly Hills, so it started out as a part time hobby, but I outlined strict goals to post videos every single week, and stay consistent.
Quite honestly, I kind of fell into Instagram since my main focus was always Youtube. However, I did notice the two platforms went hand in hand, so I branched out into Instagram too. Overall both of my social channels have always focused on beauty, specifically hair and makeup tips, tutorials etc.
Getting into blogging was pretty natural for me. I started out as a consumer, watching YouTube and beauty blogger videos all the time, i.e. Chloe Morello. Luckily, I got into blogging right before it peaked as it seems much harder now, with so many incredibly talented people creating amazing content. For me, I was extremely lucky to gain 60k subscribers in only my first year of doing Youtube.
After I had a baby, I knew I wouldn’t be able to do tutorials all the time and I wouldn’t have the flexibility I used to have, with only two days a week of child care, and nap times to get everything done. During that time, I made a point of creating at least 1 vlog per week, and 1 beauty tutorial to try and hit two of my major target audiences, and try to satisfy all of my followers. Obviously, I just had another baby, so things are only about to get more hectic but HEY, I’ll make it work!
FUN FACT: @luxyhair was one of the very first brands to gift Elanna products, which was actually of great value to her. She’s an extension lover if you didn’t already know.
Walk me through the step-by-step process that you went through to get to where you are today. What was the first thing you did? Next?
As you already know, I consistently posted two videos every single week on top of two jobs and somehow I was making it work.
After I moved to Northern Ireland in September 2015, I knew I needed to get a part-time job, so I started working the counter at Urban Decay, which I really enjoyed, especially the girls who worked with me there.
After a while, I started to slow down my hours at Urban Decay as my socials started to pick up, so I went from 4 days a week, to 3 days, to 2 days, and it was only after a year and a half that I was able to go full time with Youtube and Instagram. At the time Instagram wasn’t the big earner for me, it was all Youtube, but again, it all correlated. Basically, I saw Youtube as my steady income, and Instagram as a random paycheque.
After I got married and had kids, I was fortunately still able to make my blogging career work, with a lot of juggling, but flash forward to present day, and I have no plans of stopping anytime soon.
How long was it before your social media platforms became profitable? How did you live through those first few months/years? Did you have any struggles?
Oh my gosh, yes. Like I said, I had other jobs to keep me afloat. I do think there’s a certain mentality around blogging now, and people thinking, “why isn’t she working?” Meanwhile, I was hustling for years and was super consistent with my videos, so it probably wasn’t profitable until just before I went full time with it all.
One inspiration is Eric Conover, he’s an American YouTuber, Real Estate Agent and adventure filmmaker living in New York City. I followed him when he was a micro travel blogger with under 10k followers, and flash forward to today, he has one of the highest viewed penthouse apartment tour videos in New York. This was about four or five years ago, so he went from nothing to something but he worked for it. My point is if you want it, then go for it, work hard & stay consistent.
What did you do prior to influencing on social media?
Prior to social media, I worked as a pro makeup artist and trainer at Anastasia Beverly Hills. I also had my own wedding hair and makeup business for a couple of years.
If you weren’t an influencer, what would be your dream job?
Elanna: Oh, my gosh is money an issue or no?
Me: No, it could be anything you want.
Elanna: Oh I would totally be a florist and own my own flower shop. I am obsessed with flowers.
What are your thoughts on social media? And what do you think is the most commonly misunderstood thing about social media?
Thinking that bloggers actually share their entire lives. I know it may seem like we do, but for instance, when I’m looking at certain bloggers, I find myself fantasizing about their life, and thinking about how amazing or perfect it is. Then I’ll snap back to reality and take a step back – these people are human, yes, they’ve done a great job at executing their business online, but almost everyone has gone through hard times, and they may not choose to share those moments with their following.
At the end of the day, socials can be a highlight reel, and a lot of people only share the good times.
Tell us something about yourself that your followers don’t know
I’ve recently rekindled my love of art and started to paint again! Not only is it so therapeutic but I find it’s another great way to be creative besides hair/makeup etc.
I also used to Irish dance back in Canada even though I had no Irish connections, flash forward 10 years later it’s where I now live in (Northern Ireland) with two Irish babies.
What negative assumptions, if any, have been made about you via social media?
I think over time it has changed. In the past, when I wasn’t married or had no kids, I was very focused on hair & makeup. Meaning whenever I got comments, it was specifically about me or my hair/makeup, and if I got negative feedback I didn’t let it affect me.
However, after becoming a mom, I definitely would become more of a mama bear if any comments were made about my parenting or relationship.
I also try to avoid making polarising statements rather than opening up the conversation and inviting people to share their opinions. For example, “I did x,y,z because it was the best thing for my child.” People might see this as an opportunity to disagree with me and bash my decision. Instead, I open the conversation up in a way that invites people to share their thoughts/suggestions without it leading to extreme negativity. For example, “I am thinking of doing this, what are your thoughts? Any ideas/options?”
Of all the gifted packages you receive as an influencer, which product/item excites you the most? What would be your dream brand to collab with?
After buying a home, I’ve been super into interior design and everything house related. I’d love to work with Ikea, Homesense or any home design/furniture brands.
Who are three of the most important, and influential people in your life? and why?
My husband, my brother & my fellow blogger!
Paddy – oh my gosh, this sounds so flipping cheesy, but honestly, I don’t think I would be in what I’m doing still if it wasn’t for my husband Paddy. He is my biggest supporter and is always pushing me to be/do better. He’s always offering to take care of the little things, or suggesting I relax and lay back, so he can handle it. Overall, he’s so supportive and amazing, and I am super lucky to have him by my side.
My younger brother, Michael – He has always done what he’s set out to do which is very admirable to me. He’s very successful and super creative as well. In addition, he’s super giving and not pretentious, so I really admire that about him.
Chloe Morello – I’ve always admired her career, and her authenticity online.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to an aspiring influencer if you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip?
Just do it is my number one. If you are passionate about something, go for it because what do you have to lose?
And then of course, be consistent because the industry is saturated, and if you want to be noticed, you need to be consistently putting your name out there.
Finally, be true to yourself. Don’t change who you are because people are watching you.
Where can you expect to see Elanna in the next 10 years?
This beauty has no plans to leave the world of Instagram & Youtube, but she did share some of her secrets with me, and keep it hush hush, but a beauty brand may be in the works…
To keep up with Elanna’s journey, follow along @ellepearls.
Also, be sure to check out one of Elanna’s top viewed YT video, The Great Gatsby Faux Bob here, seen over 1M times.
Who are some of Elanna’s biggest inspirations?