Fleur De Force: ‘Vlogging Does Get Lonely Sometimes’
The Youtuber has conquered the web with her beauty advice, the industry with her make-up collection and is taking on the book world again – time to find out just how Fleur De Force does it all…
It’s an odd experience meeting the person you’ve viewed on screen from the comfort of your bedroom several times a week. It feels like we know Fleur Bell (via her vlogging moniker Fleur De Force ) intimately, but only really know her via her hundreds of Youtube videos about beauty, style and life with husband of two and a half years, Mike. Sitting in her London flat is like being in a parallel blogging universe. ‘This is my ‘studio’ flat really’, the 26-year-old explains. ‘I designed it so everywhere I turned it was the perfect set’.
And we can confirm it’s beautiful. As Mike gets us a coffee, Fleur excitedly shows off her fab coffee table and we start talking about her new book, The Luxe Life, the follow-up to 2015’s The Glam Guide. But while we’re excited to find out about life as an online personality, Fleur’s the first to admit that it can be tougher than you’d think… Hi Fleur, how excited are you about your second book? Really excited. I can’t believe it’s come around so quickly. It’s been 18 months in the works and this one feels grownup and more premium. There’s been a lot of backlash against bloggers who don’t write their own books, like Zoella. Who wrote yours? I wrote every single word. It’s harder to write a book because it’s not what I normally do. I’m not throwing any shade at anyone, but I’m very controlling over everything I do, so I like to be completely involved. You’ve been blogging for seven years. Do you remember the first time you stepped in front of the camera? The first time was terrifying and some of the videos are awful. I’ve gone back and deleted some. Now I find talking on camera second nature. Do you feel like you need to look perfect on camera? No, I’ve definitely had some pretty dodgy looks going on throughout the years! [Laughs] I was 21 when I started and I’ve learned a lot about myself and make-up thanks to Youtube. It’s one of those things that I’m very open about. I love make-up and it’s what I do but it’s not realistic to be like: ‘I woke up like this,’ because no one does. You started in your twenties. Do you think it helped that you were older than the teens who are doing it now? I’m glad. Not that I get a lot of hate but the internet in general can be quite a harsh place and if I had been 15 or 16 I would have been affected by it a lot more. Now [when I see nasty comments] I’m like: ‘Whatever, delete’. Is trolling something that’s just become part of thejob? You have times when it makes you cry and it ruins half your day but it’s rare for me. A lot of people get a lot more hate than me. But if you’re putting yourself out there as an internet personality, it’s a very different thing to getting cyber bullied. Having been bullied when I was younger, I think being bullied by someone you know is totally different and so much worse. Is there any rivalry or are you all BFFS in the blogging world? In the beginning it was a bit more fun, none of us were really taking it seriously and we were all good mates. As it’s grown into our jobs we’ve all got a lot busier, so it’s not as fun. We’re not as close as we used to be. Have you seen it go to some bloggers’ heads? It’s not usually to do with the speed of your growth or what you’re doing, it’s a personality trait and if you’re affected by that kind of thing then it will happen. With a few people, sure, it’s inevitable.
It’s something that all non-bloggers wonder – how long do you spend on the perfect insta-pic?
Some of my friends spend a long time doing it – I get bored. I usually do a bit of changing the colour and cropping, add some filters and change the levels. The right type of Photoshop is fine.
Do you feel like you’re under a lot of pressure to be a role model?
No. Most of my audience are over 18 so I hope they’re old enough to form their own opinions. I do feel the responsibility to be a good person on the internet. People don’t need to see me getting drunk. I think there’s a line [I draw about] what I’ll blog. It’s nice to keep something for yourself.
But you’re very open about your relationship – isn’t that hard? I don’t vlog all day, every day. I think a lot of people think they know everything about us but realistically it’s 10 minutes of a 24-hour period. People tell me: ‘You never see Mike,’ but I’m just not filming our chats. We did try date night with no phones but it doesn’t work. You dedicated your book to your mum.
What’s the best piece of advice she’s given you?
It’s more the way she brought us up and the home she brought us up in.
She was always hosting and entertaining. I love all of that and it’s why there’s so much of it in the book. You have well over a million subscribers.
What’s the weirdest place you’ve been recognised?
An airport in Zambia. I did a little shoot with Comic Relief and we were catching a connecting flight. Someone ran up to me in the security queue and was like: ‘I love you!’
Do you ever get used to it?
What I do isn’t fame, it’s recognition for what I do. People are so friendly and excited to see you and I’m excited to meet them because Youtube is such a solitary thing. It does get lonely sometimes. It’s nice to meet girls my age because we could be friends.
What’s been your best celeb experience?
The BAFTAS was pretty cool. Those events can be a lot more stressful for me than people think. I am usually doing a Make-up With or Get Ready With video which takes four hours to film so I’ve usually been running around to get things shot. A lot of things like that, I do on my own. You seem relentlessly positive.
Do you have low days?
Yes, it’s the same as any job! But it’s less about the work and more about where I am.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you?
I guess that it’s easy. But if anyone complains about it, I’m like: ‘No, because we could be doing real life stuff right now.’ We’re very spoiled, we’re very lucky. Personally, it’s hard to think of a misconception because I share so much. People think we outsource our work but we don’t. I’ve fiercely held onto mine but you can’t manage it all and I’m about to get some help because I can’t physically clone myself to do more.
The Luxe Life by Fleur De Force (£18.99, Headline) is out on 29 July
You have times when bad comments make you cry andit ruins half your day
Hubby Mike appears alongside Fleur in some of her vlogs
See Fleur’s quickfire round at Look.co.uk/fleur