Andrea Brooks, the beauty blogger known as AndreasChoice with almost 5 million followers between her IG and YouTube platforms, has always had a love for "beauty, art, and computers." Which, sounds like a match made in digital video heaven.
In 2008 Andrea decided to start a YouTube channel as a creative outlet while working as a teacher for disabled adults. But the load of working during the day and uploading videos at night, became too much and Andrea had to make her first major choice. She says, "Leaving a job I loved to pursue YouTube full time," was a difficult but highly important step in her career.
Her vlogging and makeup skills have catapulted her career; "here we are!" she exclaims about her rise to YouTube fame, but it's Andrea's down-to-earth approach (like her "how to hack" series which includes: hacking smelly shoes, body odor, and a messy home-- see how she uses a Dove soap bar in this one) that capture the essence of the video platform is all about. It's not about unattainability. It's about reliability. "I try to make women feel confident and beautiful and liberated in a world that makes it difficult to feel that way," shares the vlogger who worked to find her own voice and confidence.
More from Andrea below.
What are some of the challenges you've encountered along the way?
Sometimes you go into moments where you're uninspired but you still have to try and keep a schedule.
Who are the people you consider your mentors or influences and why?
My audience influences a lot of what I do. I can tell by their comments and messages what they want to see or are going to have coming up soon (Valentine's Day, Halloween, back-to-school, etc.) I love helping then out.
What is the best piece of "real talk" advice you've received?
To only give attention to the supporters.
What is your favorite life advice?
Life isn't about finding yourself. It's about creating yourself.
What is a time in your life when you thought, 'I can't do this anymore?'
I have those moments regularly, but I always find a new path that I CAN do ;)
International Women’s Day is coming up. A global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. If you could steer the conversation around International Women’s Day, what would that dialogue be about?
How, as women today we can have the confidence level to achieve what we want, while ignoring the media pressures of what women should be.
How has your relationship to yourself changed in the last five years?
I have been able to overcome challenges that I never thought were possible before. I have grown more confident.
What does female empowerment mean to you?
We have less power than men and still deal with oppression. Women have a more difficult time achieving goals than men do so we need to empower each and stand together to show everyone that when given the chance, we have so much to contribute to this world.