Photo Credit: Lasonic Sivongxay
Beauty and fashion expert, wildly successful Japanese American YouTube / Social Media guru Roxette Arisa is making a name for herself in the skincare, beauty, and fashion space with over 75 MILLION views and 1.2 MILLION subs on YouTube alone. Whether she is giving tips on how to perfect your makeup for mask-wearing, providing how-to-tips for taking that lust-worthy passport photo, comparing designer and drugstore brands with a split face tutorial, or giving how-to-style basics by using clothes you already have in your closet, Arisa is a quickly rising star who is highly respected for her expertise in the beauty and fashion world.
Arisa’s rise in the beauty and fashion world is quite different from her contemporaries. Growing up in Culver City, California she always knew from a young age what she wanted to be: an Olympic figure skating medalist. She began skating at the age of 4, training and practicing to perfection. By the age of 15, she moved to Detroit where she was selected for the Jr. National Team as part of a duo ice dancing partnership. Arisa then moved to Canada, where she was being groomed to compete internationally for Canada, and in 2016, at 17 years old, she and her partner placed Silver at sectionals solidifying her stance as a competitor. But soon after, her world was rocked when her partner suddenly retired, and in 2017 she found her dreams of competing in the 2018 Olympics in Pyeong Chang all but a fleeting dream. The reality was that it would be near impossible to find a new skilled partner in time. But Arisa had found another passion.
Since a young age, she had worn makeup for skating competitions and as she got older, she realized that she had found an appreciation for applying and learning new makeup techniques. She often trained in skating for 8+ hours a day, but at night she would spend her time watching makeup tutorials online and she decided to create a YouTube page herself. To her, makeup was something that always gave her confidence and she wanted to share her advice with others. Before long, her following and views began skyrocketing and she realized that when one door closes another one opens. She decided to retire from skating and instead focus on her new passion – the beauty and fashion world. She packed up her bags and moved back home to Los Angeles. Around this time, brands began to take notice. In only a couple of years, Arisa has quickly become a favorite for beauty and fashion brands alike, and has become a beauty ambassador to Smashbox, e.l.f., partnered with brands like Revolve, Olay, Murad, NARS, Maybelline, MAC, Instagram, Clarisonic, Neutrogena, Kate Somerville, CeraVe, IPSY, L’Oreal, Lorac and created her own collections for Milani and SIGMA to name a few.
Sassy & Co Magazine recently caught up with Arisa to discuss her journey in the industry and here’s what went down:
Can you tell us more about yourself? How did you get started in the industry?
Growing up I was a competitive figure skater for 20 years and was always doing my makeup and hair for competitions to match the competition dresses I would wear. The confidence I felt when I put on a red lip or a smokey eye was a little bit addicting and I just fell in love with the world of beauty which led me to find the beauty community on YouTube and to eventually start a channel of my own. For my first couple of videos, I remember filming on my floor with my laptop webcam and a lamp turned sideways to give me some “light,” which is so funny to look back on. It’s been an amazing journey getting from those lamp and laptop days to now when I’m able to combine my two passions – beauty and fashion – on all of my platforms.
How did you develop an interest in fashion and what drove you to pursue that passion onto social media?
I’ve always loved fashion. I think fashion and beauty go hand in hand. Fashion is a form of self-expression and at the end of the day, I’m an artist – whether that be in makeup or in putting together an outfit in my head that I know is going to make me feel and look bomb. To me, fashion is a feeling – I want to feel confident and I want to inspire my followers to be confident.
What do you like most about being an influencer?
I love being able to connect with people all around the world. It’s such an amazing feeling to meet someone and know that you touched their life in any way possible. I definitely would say I have a special bond with my followers and think of them as my friends and my little online family.
In what way has social media changed your life?
I think at this point social media has really changed the world. I mean it’s the fastest-growing form of advertisement/marketing, it’s a way to connect with anyone and everyone around the world, and it’s a place to share what means the most to you. I know I definitely would not have had half of the experiences and opportunities that I have had without social media. It’s still surreal to me that I have built my career from the ground up by sharing what I’m truly passionate about. I’m forever grateful to my fans and followers because I really would not have the life I have today without their support.
What are some of the difficulties of being in the industry?
I think the biggest difficulty is comparison. It’s so easy to compare yourself to others online but you have to realize that everyone has their own journey and their own path. My dad always says “Everything that is happening to you, is happening at the right place and at the right time for YOU, because that’s just the way it was meant to happen.” That’s something I like to think about when I feel myself falling into that deep hole of comparison.
How does your thought process differ when creating content for Instagram versus content for YouTube?
Instagram and YouTube are totally different platforms. Instagram is all about the aesthetic and when I’m creating content for IG, I’m looking for something that will catch the viewers’ eye while scrolling. On YouTube – I feel like I get to share every part of me. I really get to connect with my followers on YouTube so my content is more laid back and truly a piece of me.
Photo Credit: Lasonic Sivongxay
What are your long-term goals for your social media accounts?
I really do think of my social media accounts as an art form. I want to continue expressing my creativity and growing and learning with my followers. I love photography and cinematography so I would love to expand on those art forms and implement it into my work on social media!
When choosing whether or not to work with a brand that wants to work with you, how do you decide? Which brand sponsorship(s) are you most proud of?
It’s actually really easy for me to decide what brands to work with because I never work with a brand or promote products that I don’t genuinely use. That’s something I’ve always stood by ever since I started making videos. I think of my followers as friends so I would never want to break their trust by promoting a product that doesn’t work for me. I’m super proud of the work I’ve done with Maybelline New York. They are a brand that I have been using since I was a teenager so it’s just so surreal to be able to work with them now. I also did a really cool AR video with MAC Cosmetics where my subscribers could actually try on different shades of lipstick in the video. That was a fun project! Smashbox Cosmetics and Dior Makeup stand out to me as well when I think of projects that I’m super proud of and grateful that I got to be a part of.
If someone is going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?
Miley Cyrus! I love her and everything she stands for. A lot of people say we look alike!
What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.
I have lots of plans and aspirations when it comes to my career, some of which I can’t talk about yet *wink wink*, but one of the things I would love to do is get into more traditional media – super interested in hosting and acting! On a personal level – I’m trying to give my apartment a little makeover right now and finally start decorating it. I’ve only lived here for 3 years – wish me luck!
The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:
1. Last good movie you’ve seen. How Do You Know? with Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd and Owen Wilson
2. What do you consider beautiful and why? I’m a true believer that beauty shines from the inside – that’s what my mom and dad always taught me.
3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? One of my dreams is to go to the South of France!
4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…” try to recreate Britney Spears’ “I’m A Slave 4 U” performance at the 2001 VMAs! Unfortunately, with my fear of snakes that definitely won’t be happening any time soon.
5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? One of my figure skating coaches once told me I needed to get my ears stapled back because they were too big. I think it’s important to love every part of yourself – this is a journey I’m still on but I think my ears make a nice little setting place for all the gold hoops I wear.