Bethany Mota has gone from YouTube star to fashion designer, and now, author!
The 21-year-old California-bred beauty, whose YouTube channel boasts over 10.3 million subscribers, has released her first book titled, Make Your Mind Up: My Guide to Finding Your Own Style, Life, and Motavation. In this inspiring read, Mota discusses how to navigate life in your own distinct way, while sharing style and motavation (get it?) advice along the way.
We chatted with the YouTuber-turned-author all about her new book, which is out now, her surprising summer makeup hack (it involves a toilet seat!), how she deals with all the haters on YouTube, whether or not she'll ever create a makeup line, and more.
Read it all in our exclusive interview below:
Where did the idea for Make Your Mind Up come from? What was the process like?
I would say that the idea sparked a few years ago. I wanted to write a book, but I knew that I wanted to give myself a little bit more time and wait until I had enough to talk about and enough to put in it. So, I gave myself that time. It took about a year and the process was definitely harder than I expected it to be. This was also the must vulnerable that I’ve ever been. In my videos, I like to talk about things that are personal and I like to talk about things I like — my interests. But with the book it’s a whole other level of being personal because I talk about some things that I have never even spoken about before like dating, self-love, and confidence. There is also a lot of lifestyle stuff as well, like fashion and beauty. It’s just everything I’ve learned so far and my tips and tricks for life and all different topics. I had so much fun just being able to dive into everything because I feel like, especially with videos, there is always a time limit whereas with this I was able to talk about certain topics in depth, which I’ve never really been able to do before.
Awesome! What would you say are the key takeaways from this book?
I wanted to make sure that this book offers so much so you could get outfit inspiration or you could get a recipe idea and you could also get tips on begin more confident and facing your fears. It’s kind of just everything. But, I think overall what I would like people to takeaway from this book is just feeling more confident in themselves and in their decisions and who they are and what they want to do. Even the title, Make Your Mind Up, it’s all about making a decision and moving forward even if it scares you or its unfamiliar, because even like writing this book for me was scary and it was a challenge and it was something that I was very unfamiliar with. I decided to do it anyway, even though it scared me a little bit. I talk about other fears that I’ve faced in my life in the book. That is probably the main thing that I hope people get from this, just the courage to express themselves in all ways whether it be through fashion or going after a dream or a goal they have and doing it regardless of fear.
Obviously, you’re super busy! Between writing your book and also keeping your YouTube channel, how do you find “me” time?” Are there any go-to things that you do just to relax?
I love “me” time! I love being alone and for me that’s how I recharge and that way I can go back and I can work harder than ever when I have that time kind of just to decompress. For me, I do that in a lot of different ways. I’ll like binge watch a TV show or I have like a meditation app that I use sometimes to kind of just relax. I also find that working out really helps me, it’s kind of like my “me” time. That is like one of my favorite things to do even if it’s just like yoga or whatever it may be, I find that working out just puts me more in touch with my body and makes me feel relaxed. It helps me a lot whenever I’m stressed out, even though in the beginning I’m like “why did I agree to do this?,” after I feel a lot better.
You have a lot of amazing things happening right now, but do you ever feel like giving up? What keeps you going?
Yeah totally, I think everyone has moments of self-doubt and we experience it multiple times in our lives. I have had, especially with YouTube because it’s such a creative job, you have to be very emotionally invested into your YouTube channel, at least I feel like. That’s when I get the best results, when I’m very, very invested in it. Also, because I’m so invested in it, it can affect me emotionally. If something doesn't go how I planned or if I had a video idea and it didn't turn out how I thought it would you can take this personally and be like “oh my gosh I’m failing, what’s going on!” You have to remember that one video doesn't represent, or doesn't determine everything I do on YouTube. I think everything I do is a learning experience and accepting failure is something that I’ve had to learn because I used to not be able to handle failure so much, I would take it personally and would think like “oh my gosh this is it, I’m failing.” I think it’s all mindset as well because if you focus on negative things and you tell yourself you can’t do something or you’re not capable of doing something then you’re less likely to do it instead of switching your mindset and saying “yeah, this is challenging but I’m going to do it,” or “yeah, this didn't go as planned but I’m going to learn from it and apply it to what I’d do in the future.” When you can tap into that and start looking at everything, even failures, as opportunities to learn and grow then it can actually just to what you do because then you’re gaining more experience so that you know better next time.
What’s one thing that you haven’t done that you’re dying to do? Have you ever considered creating a makeup line?
Yeah, ever since I did the clothing line with Aeropostale, I realized that I love designing or just creating products. I think it’s so incredible to have an idea and then see it come to life and see people wear it and use it and see it become a part of their lives and their routines. It’s such a cool thing. So I would definitely love to do something, whether it’s clothing or makeup related, just create something that I really enjoy. Anything creating. I mean everything that I do is creating — with YouTube videos I have an Idea, and I make it come to life. With the book, that was something that was just in my mind and now I’m actually able to hold this book, so anything that I can create I’m all for it.
You got your start on YouTube and a lot of times from YouTubers we hear about all the hateful comments they get from trolls and haters, how do you deal with the mean comments?
I’ve learned just to not let it affect me. I’ve been on YouTube for about 8 years now, so I’ve definitely dealt with enough hate comments to not let it faze me anymore. I think I realize that most of the time it’s not personal; it’s something going on in the person’s life or something they’re battling, or maybe they are just having a bad day so they take it out on someone on the internet — especially, because it’s so easy to take it out on someone on the internet. You don't have to show a photo of yourself if you don't want to. You can be completely anonymous and say whatever you want. So people take advantage of that and they don't actually think about how it can affect someone, because when you’re really happy and you’re in an amazing state, the last thing you want to do is think, “oh, how can I make that person feel bad?” It’s just the last thing on your mind. You really have no desire to do that. So if someone is reaching out and trying to make you feel insecure, or just bad in general, more than likely there is something negative going on inside of them that’s causing them to react or act out in that way. Now I see it as, instead of “oh, this person is attacking me,” it’s “oh, I wonder if this person is going through something, maybe I can help, maybe this is a cry for help, maybe I can talk to them.” I have spoken to people who were negative towards me in the past and I’ve had good experiences with it. When I reach out, they sometimes end up apologizing and it was never about me, it was just something that they were going through.
You’ve been doing YouTube for 8 years, as you said, what have you learned through this journey?
Oh wow! I’ve learned to challenge myself a lot. I’ve learned what it feels like to feel uncomfortable and be in a place that feels scary where you have to make decisions and being able to make decisions anyway. That’s the thing, when I got into YouTube there was no roadmap, there was no “this is how you do it, this is how you go about it.” For everyone, especially 8 years ago, we were all trying to figure it out, and I’m still trying to figure it out. I think YouTube has caused me to have a lot of trust in myself, trust my instincts on what I feel is best and kind of just go for it, do what feels right. I don't think that I would’ve had that trust in myself had I not made YouTube videos because it is like you are your own boss. I have to come up with my own ideas and make things happen and that does take a lot of trust, especially when you have to deal with those moments of self-doubt and overcoming that, it makes you even stronger in that way.
Now that you have all these years of experience, what advice would you give to someone who wants to start a YouTube channel but is too afraid to?
I would say figure out what you want to do first and make videos on what that is. Don't feel like you have to do what’s trendy or you have to fit in because I did that in the beginning, and you end up just not being happy because that’s not what you really want to do. First ask yourself if you really want to make videos for the right reasons. If you only want success then you could be disappointed really quickly. If you focus on just success and numbers and growing, it doesn’t happen very quickly most of the time. So I think just asking yourself “what do I want to do?” Once you figure that out, it’s honestly just taking the first step, because it took me two to three months to make my first video. I was so shy, I was the last person on earth that you would expect to put herself out there for the world to see. Honestly after making that first video, it kind of just opens the door, and then you realize, “oh, it’s really not that scary.” It’s not that bad and it’s actually so empowering knowing that I had an idea, I filmed it myself, I edited it — this is my little project. And, for me at least, when I posted that first video, I was like addicted to that and I wanted to continuing doing that — I loved the process. So I think it’s just [taking] the first step, getting yourself to do it and not freaking out so much about it.
We imagine you also watch other talented YouTubers , which are some of your favorite?
I actually don’t have a lot of time to watch other YouTubers, but I respect all YouTubers so much just because I know the work that it takes. I will say I love Miranda Sings, she is one of my favorites. When I did a collab with Tyler Okaley a year and a half ago, we dressed up as Miranda Sings, and it was just a dream come true for me because I just love her. I could hear her voice all day. I’m just obsessed. There are so many people in the community that I just love and respect. I mean there are so many talented, creative and hardworking people on the platform, so I’m really happy to also just be a part of it.
Summer is here! What are your top beauty tips for the season?
I would say I use a lot of tinted moisturizers and BB cream in the summer, just because I feel like it’s just lighter on my skin. I also have these life hacks that I found online, because in the summer you get really oily, really quickly, and so if I’m ever out in public and I get really oily and I don't have blotting sheets, I go to the bathroom and get the toilet seat cover and I just rip a piece of it and it works. It works so well and does not remove the makeup at all. It literally just gets rid of the oil. I found this life hack on Pinterest or something and I was like, “that’s brilliant,” such a great summer hack.
Which makeup products are you currently obsessed with?
I love good brows! Even if I don't wear a lot of makeup everyday, I’ll still do brows. I love all the Anastasia Beverly Hills products like the brow powders, and I always have the little twisty brow pencil in my bag. Recently, I’ve really been into highlight. I never used highlight, and then a couple months ago I got my first highlighter, and I loved it. I love it so much.