Shannon Harris, AKA Shaaanxo is one of the biggest names in the world of beauty vloggers, with over 2 million YouTube subscribers and close to 3 million Facebook followers. We caught up with the 22-year-old Palmerston North native to talk YouTube, beauty and the future.

You are the biggest YouTuber in New Zealand, did you ever imagine you would become this successful and have a worldwide following? 

Never. It’s been an amazing journey and I’m so thankful to have such an amazing worldwide fan-base!


What is the inspiration behind your videos?

My number one inspiration is pretty much that I loooove makeup and I enjoy doing what I do! I get inspiration from a lot of places – my viewers, the makeup that celebs are wearing, new products. I also find so much inspiration when I scroll through Instagram or Pinterest and look at the other amazing makeup artists out there. I love recreating other people’s makeup looks, and putting my own spin on them.


If you had to describe your channel to a new viewer, what would you say? 

This channel is run by an absolute beauty junkie. You will find information on everything from makeup to skincare to haircare, a few fashion videos, celebrity-inspired looks and makeup that varies from natural to dramatic!


We love how honest you are in your vlogs and the valuable advice you give to your millions of fans across the world – why do you think it’s important to be a good role model?

I guess I don’t see myself as being a role model, but if I am, that’s cool! I know that I stay true to myself and I think that is the most important message someone can give to a younger person. Too often people say ‘do this’ or ‘don’t do that’ when it comes to how we act or how we dress or how we do makeup. In my videos I say that there is no right or wrong way, you just do what makes you feel comfortable.


You run your own business, xoBeauty, selling make-up brushes, false eyelashes and a jewellery collaboration; what is that process like?

Exhausting! I started my business from absolutely nothing and had no help professionally or financially. I slaved away and created something that was (and still is) super precious to me. Now, I am more involved with product development and I have staff running the day-to-day business so I can still focus on my YouTube channels. Being able to expand and work with other companies and collaborate on products has been a massive honour as well as a learning curve, but I have loved it!


Some people may not realise how much work goes into making a 20-minute video; what actually goes on behind the scenes? How long would you spend planning, making and editing a video? 

Planning varies. Sometimes it’ll take hours to come up with a good idea, other times it’s instant. Usually it takes me roughly an hour to two hours to film one video, and then roughly twice that amount of time to import, edit, export. Then you upload to YouTube, rewatch it and edit the descriptions, thumbnails (which take forever sometimes!), annotations and end cards. Once all that’s done and the video goes up, I spend a decent amount of time promoting that video on my social media and also replying to comments.


What are your go-to beauty products?

At the moment I have been loving Chi Chi Magic Lash 3D Mascara (and a few others, I have a few on the go right now) and L’Oréal Brow Plumper. They are my musts if I am wearing makeup. Everything else changes!


What are your top five items to have in your handbag?

Lip balm and about 297,376 random coloured lipsticks! Because I always throw in the lipstick I’m wearing that day when I head out the door, but forget about the ones that are already lying around in the pits of my bag. They collect up pretty quick!


If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be and why? 

Caspar Lee. Even though he doesn’t do beauty, I loooove him so much! I never miss a video.


Tell us something that would surprise us about you?

I have terrible balance. I can’t skateboard, rollerblade, ice skate, ski, etc. I’m really bad at any sport to do with balance.


Do you have a piece of life advice you live by?

Positive thinking. I always look at the bright side, even in dark situations. There is always a positive, sometimes you just have to look really hard for it. And sometimes you don’t see the positive ’til a while later once you look back and see how far you have come.


What’s coming up next for you?

I’m just chilling. Working hard with my YouTube channel as always. Also working on some secret stuff with xoBeauty, hint hint.