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Friday, 18 September 2009

Making Beauty Videos

I thought I would also use this post to tell you a bit more about how I make videos, there was some debate on Twitter last week!

So here's my total time for one video:

Shower and cleanse face - 30 mins
I usually time the making of a video for when the daylight is best in the room I film in, which is the afternoon. So I normally go for a run, swim, gym or cycle beforehand then have to shower which is also where I cleanse my face ready for the tutorial.

Style Hair - 30 mins
Ok sometimes I don't dry or style my hair so just put it back and hope you don't notice! Again most of my looks are linked to my lifestyle so if I am going out I will normally have a look and outfit in mind and film the tutorial around that.

Select Make Up - 30 minutes
I have a lot of make up! I like to select a range of brands and textures, this can take a bit of time. I like to play about with colours and spend time deciding which formulations to use together that will work. I like to plan this part as it makes filming and editing a much more efficient process. I think you can tell in my videos where I have been playing about as they need a lot more editing to cut out the faffing about with products.The videos that I film for the elfcosmeticsuk YouTube channel are normally the beginning of looks, so things like using false lashes, primers, concealers and foundations are all useful first steps in any look. Sometimes I go ahead and make another look video just to be efficient!

Select and prepare brushes/sponges/palettes up to 30 minutes
I have a lot of brushes but only a few of my favourite ones, so I have to make sure they are clean, disinfected and dry; ready to use. I normally clean my brushes after using them and definitely if they have had strong colours on them from the prior use or if I have used them in my kit on a client. Natalya was saying on twitter that she spent an hour washing her brushes! I gave her the tip of using distilled alcohol to speed up the drying process whilst at the same time disinfecting them.

Set up camera, lighting, background and mirror up to 20 minutes.
This can take up to 20 minutes as it depends on the ambient lighting in the room. I did invest in a professional lighting rig, but it kept blowing fuses and it was so hot and bright that I couldnt stand to sit under them for more than a few minutes! So now I use spot lamps which throw a white light, they still aren't as good as natural day light but come the long winter nights, it's the best we gurus can do.

Filming - 30 minutes
The actual filming is very short, although there have been ocassions where I have been unhappy with the lighting and look that I have scrapped it and started it again. I like to keep my videos to below 10 minutes, but if I am doing a full face look with will creep up to 15 minutes. My wedding video also was a three parter because it was start to finish bridal make up which is trickier than every day make up!

Editing 1 hour
For any video maker this is the most time consuming part. I upload my film from my camera to the laptop, sometimes I record directly to my laptop but that is fiddly and I would rather not have to drag my laptop around when I am filming! This upload is done in real time, at the speed at which the video plays. So can take 3o mins just to upload to my laptop before I can edit it.

I use Windows Movie Maker as well which is really basic and takes a lot of memory just to run, which means I can't do anything else on my laptop when it is working or it will crash. Editing means watching every minute of film and cutting and splicing back together the sequences to make something which is easy to follow and doesn't miss out any useful detail.

Rendering - 30 minutes
Rendering is the process where Movie Maker takes my edited project and turns it in to a movie files which can be uploaded to YouTube. I may have to do this up to three times to get the final version. This takes an age and it's a waiting game!

Sound Engineering - 30 minutes
On my e.l.f videos I like to take the rendered movie file and clean up the sound as it's often hissy and dirty. This takes time in finding and editing out background noise. I tend not to do this for my own videos as it takes so long. The produced sound file then has to be edited back in to the movie file and then the whole project (new sound and video) has to be re rendered back to a movie file! So you can see why I don't do this for my videos just for others as it's so time consuming!

Digital Photography - 30 minutes

I use a better quality camera to take still images of my eyes and face of the finished looks. I try not to use flash photography as it washes out the colours or makes them look different to natural light. This can take up to 30 minutes to get the right lighting, angles and focus and just get three decent shots. I then download them from my camera and work on them to zoom in to the eyes as my camera doesn't take good close up shots, I have to digitally and manually edit images to get the right size for the close ups!

Uploading - 30 minutes
If you've uploaded to YouTube, you will know that it's not that straightforward and doesn't always work first time! There is nothing more frustrating than leaving something to upload, to come back and find an error message. Sometimes this is YouTube, sometimes it's my wireless internet!

Blogging - 30 minutes
I like to blog about new videos here, writing an article can take a short or long time, depending on the topic!

So what's the grand total for one look video and accompanying blog article: 6 hours 20 minutes!

Of course I don't spend that 6 hours chained to my laptop working on a video but when you think about it, it's a long time and it's no wonder I can't do that many videos in a week! I think if I did try to do more than two videos a week I would lose interest in making them as it will become a bit of a chore! But luckily I still love making YouTube make up videos and blogging mainly because of the lovely feedback I get from all the lovely viewers and readers!

I'd love to hear about how you make videos and blog articles, and if you have any time saving tips for me! Also what do you like/dislike about vlogging?



  1. It really does take that long doesn't it?! I just don't know how people can bash them out 4 or 5 times a week they must have literally nothing else to do!

  2. Very informative. It does take a long time and I don't even do the whole digital photo's portion.

    What are you using for spot lighting? My husband just built a lighting system for me, so sweet.

  3. @candycaneps, so you're still speaking to me after I told you I was nearly 34? LOL!!
    I use a mixture of halogens and daylight simulation lights.

    @Emma, I know, either aren't well planned, edited or they have a better and more simple system than I have!

  4. You've heard me complain more than once about the length of time it takes from start to finish!! I think I've got it down to a fine art now :)

  5. Ah it is such a long process. I have never made a video but I can only imagine! I appreciate so much how long you spend on this, and really love watching your videos. I am always so appalled when I see people whining about gurus not doing enough videos etc. You do this for free and you are such a kind and generous person! Thankyou!
    Would love if you could come check out my blog and say hi!

  6. oh my goodness that is a while! But worth it for us to watch them, love your vids. Did I just read that right- you're nearly 34?? That has got to be a joke?! x

  7. im glad you put this up hun, because alot people dont realise how much effort and time goes into videos, hopefully now they well realise, by the way might i add you look beautiful :)

    ps, where do you get the spot lights that throw white light because i cant seem to find them

    ciao x

  8. Wow, I have no idea it could take that long! I don't do videos, but I realize blogging alone can take a lot of time. Your info is making me appreciate tutorial videos even more. :)

  9. Thanks for doing this post, i blog but don't make videos so i never realised how long the process took. Blogging definately seems like a much quicker process. I will now appreciate people's video's much more knowing how much effort has gone in to it. xXx

  10. Thank you for your love and dedication on making videos. Videos and blog--that makes sense but now many people request gurus to do the twitter in addition, which is to me, INSANE!!! Apparently I am not part of this ipod-, itouch-, "one click and I should get everything now" generation and never understand the people's need to be connected 24/7.

  11. Wow that's crazy long time! I should time how long my blog posts take, from conception, buying materials, taking pictures, writing about it, editing (editing more, and more again), and posting. Keep up the great work, I love watching you!

  12. Was just browsing gorgeous, and noticed this post (since I am considering make videos). I can IMAGINE how utterly time consuming it is - URGH. Esp if you want to do things right, its hard work!

    I'd say the people who can get lots of videos out a week must be very dedicated and organised to get these videos done :)

  13. whoaA! Did you just say you were almost 34??
    (O_o) Can.not.believe.that.
    =D You look gorgeous! I'm happy to have happened upon your videos/blog.
    I already feel like you're an old friend^^
    Thanks for all your effort into producing these great videos. It's like your online legacy!


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