Today I did my first LIVE makeup tutorial on 一直播 – China’s version of Periscope – and it was… Interesting.


The words used to flash across my phone’s screen every morning around 10 or 11am, when makeup guru Samantha Ravndahl woke up and told the world to come and “get ready” with her live on Periscope.

I’ve tuned in a few times to see what she was up to; mainly it’s a live Youtube-like makeup tutorial with worse lighting, and live chat. The speaker gets distracted with questions moving quickly up the screen and “likes” floating up the screen as he/she watches herself shoot a live video.

It’s distracting for the artist, to say the least.

But all the makeup gurus do it—at least those with any type of real following.

Samantha (“ssssamanthaa” for the real followers) has over 2 million followers on Instagram, where she posts content almost every day (by content, I mean a single photo with a short caption).

Scale it up one level of fandom, and she has 109,000 followers on Twitter, where she shares 140 character thoughts—about makeup, her life, herself, whatever is hot in the media–several times a day.

Scale it up one MORE level of fandom, and you’ll find her true fans watching her live video feed on Periscope (owned by Twitter). Much like Facebook live (which doesn’t seem to have ever really caught on), a live video feed starts, prompting all followers on the app – and also followers on Twitter – to tune in and watch the live video. I don’t know the average number of viewers on a Ssssamanthaa live feed, but I remember seeing at least 3,000 people tuned in before for a live GRWM (get ready with me). I’m sure she regularly tops that.

In the past, I’ve strayed away from doing video—especially live video—because you need a massive following to make it work and growing that following is a very slow process. I’ve been reading/watching/following Samantha since I was in college. She’s been doing this full-time since before I discovered her then. Let’s just say she’s as focused and dedicated as it gets.

Also, I’m usually not on the same time zone as my potential followers; I’m in Asia 75% of the year, so a “GRWM” at 10am here would be 10pm in Indiana.

Besides.. does anybody really feel comfortable on video? I’m not so sure about that.

But today, I bit the bullet and did my first 30+ minute long LIVE GRWM on YiZhiBo (一直播), China’s version of Periscope and it went.. well, let’s see.

You can watch the video here and/or read my crazy internal dialogue during the makeup tutorial, below.

Here’s a breakdown of how that went (+ the products I used):


First 15 seconds: We’re live? Oh? What’s going on? Do I say Chinese or English? I forgot to introduce myself.

0.24: Oh yeah, my name. Forgot that. Oops!

Product Used: YSL Touché Eclat Blur Primer

0:30: Why did I say I don’t speak enough Chinese? What the what..

Product Used: Glossier Concealer in Light + Concealer Brush

1:32: Omg, what is this filter? My skin does not look this good IRL.

1:46: How can I talk and do my makeup at the same time? This is insane. How does anybody do this?

Product Used: Dior Nude Air in Color 010 Ivory + Foundation Air Brush

3:23: Hello to my 17 live watchers! ~


3:54: 大家好!大家好!大家好!Am I so annoying or is it just me?

Product Used: NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna + Contour Brush

5:00: Is any of this making sense to anybody? Anybody? Helloooo?!!

5:29: Megan can you speak English slower? K.

6:07: How fat is my face doe, rly

6:51 Can anybody even see my makeup through this filter???

Product Used: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Medium Brown

7:07: Brow Wiz is broken. Ratch.

7:30: There’s that Indiana accent comin’ through, y’all.

7:49: *click tongue* mhm, this whole “brows on camera” thing is gonna be difficult.

8:23: Yes, I just used a different pencil’s brush because my BROW WIZ IS BROKEN. But I’m cool, I’m cool. Not ratchet at all.

8:52: What’s up? Can somebody please answer me? You can send me little messages.. why are lots of people watching but nobody is answering?

Product Used: Glossier’s Boy Brow in Brown

10:24: Eyebrows on fleek, doe.

Product Used: Too Faced Shadow Insurance

11:20: Did I already say that? I feel like I’ve said the same thing a hundred times already.

Product Used: Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette

12:10: Everything I own is so dirty. Why didn’t I prep this?

13:19: Why did I say that.

13:53: That was a disaster. Antique Bronze because WHAT AM I DOING


14:24 yeah, ok girl

14:34 whatever ya gotta tell yourself to get through this

15:17 * rethinking all the life choices that led me to this point *

Product Used: Bobbi Brown Gentle Lash Curler

15:58 Is it though? Where’s your proof?

16:24 – Followers are starting to pick up – Probably 30-40 people live watching at this point

16:40 again though, rly

Product Used: Stila Stay All Day Liner in Black

16:59 So I probably should’ve thrown it away a while ago ~

17:16 OMG this is insane, you are not J.Lindh girl. Wut R U Doin trying to single stroke that eyeliner on video


18:01 NAILED IT (not)


18:30 Plz somebody tell me you know the struggz ~

18:55 Good idea, girl. Give it up. Move on.

19:05 MOVE ON

19:16 That is a good tip, but will it save you?

19:34 again doe

19:48 bc everyone knows in China knows what “clutch” means

Product Used: Lancome XL Cils

20:17 …and its really dirty and I hope you cannot see that

20:41 When you can finally read some of the Chinese

20:56 And then you say you can’t

21:04 And then you realize you can, because you just did

21:27 Why did you think that singing was suddenly a good idea

Product Used: Too Faced Better Than Sex

22:37 Hallelujah, I have lashes

22:54 And then my Chinese friends decided to bombard the video

~ up to 40 live watchers ~

23:25 Yes, it really is. The clumping is real.

Now the viewers are actually starting to talk to me


24:35 When you’re reading the live feed and doing your makeup and then you mess it up and then ALMOST MAKE THE CAMERA FALL OFF THE STAND

25:36 They said “go faster, go faster”… but why?

Product Used: A20 Labs Spectrum Highlighter in Rainbow Pearl + Fan Brush

26:36 I hate my hair right now

26:46 What is my tongue doing

27:26 Why am I doing a live Q&A in Chinese? Who’s idea was this?

28:10 And now I’m doing a hair tutorial, because WHY NOT

28:48 Can anyone even see what I’m doing?

29:08 Someone said I MISS YOU to me.. ??!

30:12 YES

30:31 NO

31:00 – And this is where things REALLY pick up. People are now POURING in to watch me. And I cut it off.

31:12 why did I do this to my hair

31:22 How do I stop this

31:36 Why am I so self-conscious on video?

31:50 I’m trying to X out and people are adding cry emojis galore




4303 people had watched the video by the time I wrote this review, just 3 hours later.

On my very first video.

That’s not a testament to my skill or charisma – it’s a testament to China.

This was my first video in China, but I have to say:

First: Doing live video is CRAZY nerve-wrecking. You feel like you’re talking so fast and saying all the wrong things and your makeup looks horrible and nobody is interested and your adrenaline is pumping and yet.. when I watched the video, it was just fine.

Second: The virality of videos in China is insane. Things just move so quickly and at such a large scale. Just.. wow.

I have nothing but insane respect for all the makeup artists out there slaying it every day. I’m not exactly sure that its for me, but doing it in China does relieve a little bit of the pressure for me, even though I keep saying over and over again I can’t say or read Chinese.. and yet I do. (Where’s my eye roll emoji? Ugh, Megan. Ugh.)

Just another crazy day trying crazy stuff in China.

And finally..

See you all tomorrow morning for my GRWM before heading to the MIT Hong Kong Innovation Center! You can find me on 一直播 my name is 林娴悦 !



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Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez is a board-certified general practitioner with more than 15 years of patient care experience. She takes an integrative approach to patient care that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and is deeply committed to assisting her patients in achieving and sustaining optimal health. Dr. Vanessa is also a skilled writer and medical reviewer, specializing in preventive care and health promotion. Her articles are written in an approachable manner that is simple to comprehend and implement in one’s own life. Dr. Vanessa’s mission is to equip her patients and readers with the knowledge and resources necessary to live their greatest lives.

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