Ask Elle (Your Beauty Questions Answered): Best Dupe & Camera Comfort

Each week I'll be answering your beauty questions (feel free to submit more in the comments) as well as personal questions (submit those too!)

Marie J and Kim Pincombe asked me about dupes. Marie asked, "What is your best dupe?"

It's the .99 Jordana Matte lipstick in Tangerine Tango, pictured below:

jordana matte tangerine tango
Look for this online or at Kmart.
Did you know Jordana is a sister company to Milani?
And what is it a dupe for? MAC's Lady Danger, worn in my latest video and below:

dupe lady danger
They look different in the tube, but on my skin and my lips, they look identical. I guess I am drawn to those orange-reds! Ninety-nine cents vs. sixteen dollars!

From Della Favorite: "How do you feel comfortable in front of the camera?" and Anne J: "Your biggest blogging accomplishment?"

These two go together so I'm combining them. I've been blessed with some blogging experiences, but the accomplishment I'm most proud of is starting a Youtube channel and how far I've come with feeling comfortable in front of the camera.

I'm very shy when you first meet me and very introverted, in part due to social anxiety. I look mad, but I'm not, I promise! Style bloggers show their faces daily and personal blogs tell their stories and thoughts daily so we know them. Being a beauty blogger my focus is more on products and tutorials than my life, so it's hard to mash it all together and prove there's a person behind the lipstick.

I decided to start a Youtube to help show more of my personality and I'm so happy with how far I've come with it. When I first started, I would break out in hives on my chest, my neck would get red, and sometimes I would vomit from nerves before or after filming a video. I wouldn't wear my contacts or use a mirror for tutorials so I couldn't see the camera and get nervous. I used to talk out of the right side of my mouth--I had no idea I did this, but someone pointed it out. I'm not usually this nervous about things like this, so this reaction was a shock to me. But now, it's no big deal at all!

And now a year later, I feel at ease being in front of the camera. The best part is that it didn't take a year to get comfortable! I don't get nervous, and it is fun to me.

Tips to Feel Comfortable in Front of the Camera:

  • Practice! It took me talking in front of a mirror and making a couple of practice videos to feel comfortable to really film the the first one. Watch those practice videos to see what can be improved. Do you say "um" a lot? Are you smiling? Any nervous habits you can be aware of?
  • Film solo. I am the sole photographer on this blog so it helped in the beginning with not getting nervous in front of others watching me film or shoot. 
  • Confidence. You might not be confident filming, but have confidence in your subject matter and it will give you confidence. I am confident in my beauty knowledge, my personality, and being authentic. Allowing those things to show through really helps.

Extra Elle:
  • Yesterday morning, I accidentally turned off the alarm and slept in an extra hour and a half. I've never done that before! Oops!
  • Remember my Sephora haul from Monday? I dropped the Aligenist Bi-Phase Peel that worked so well and it splattered into a million (slight exaggeration) pieces. I almost teared up over the wasted money. But now my floor is extra clean. Win?


  1. That lipstick dupe is perfect and you seriously can't beat $.99! And I definitely want to accidentally turn off my alarm and sleep the rest of the day... haha!

    <3, Pamela
    Sequins & Sea Breezes

  2. Love this lip color! And I love your videos! Sometimes your body just forces you to sleep in, even thought it's no fun. You probably needed it!

  3. I can relate about being very shy. #introvertsunite ;) You always look so natural on camera, it sounds like you've come a long way!

  4. Great post dear!!!follow me on gfc and i follow you back!!now i follow you on google+,instagram,bloglovin,pinterest,tweeter i hope you follow me back!!!kiss

  5. I love Jordana products - their eyeliner is one of my favorites at just .99!!!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  6. That lip color looks fabulous on you!!! I haven't been to Kmart in awhile but I may have an excuse to go now that I know that brand is a sister company to Milani!!!! I was just talking about Milani last night at happy hour with some girls who all admitted that is their favorite lip brand too. As far as the camera goes, you look so natural on camera and I feel like you are sitting there talking to me when you are filming so you are doing great!! I come off shy and introverted at first with people too, so I completely get it. My chest gets all blotchy and red and I hate that it shows!!! Why must our bodies fail us when we are vulnerable?

  7. YouTube is definitely more scary that a blog (in my opinion). I think it is because it's just you sitting there.. versus typing. My first video I am so shy and timid in it -- that has since changed hahaha!

  8. You look great in orange red! It's great that you're comfortable in front of the camera now. I still can't do videos (well or show myself too much in general)!
    Aww I hope you get to try the alegenist another time!

    little luxury list formerly Chic 'n Cheap Living

  9. I've never tried Jordana products before, but I love that shade! So Springy! :) I feel like I'll always feel so awkward on camera haha, but thanks for the tips girl!

  10. I love all your tips for the filming! I've tried to film videos but I just feel so awkward in front of the camera. I really want to do youtube so hopefully I can one day just sit down and film and get more confortable as time goes on! Great post elle thanks for sharing!

  11. 1. I love that first lipstick you showed-- haven't tried it, I just like the look
    2. great photography tips :)
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

  12. I need to try Jordana products, I have never heard of them. Love that lipstick color. I'm still trying to find a dupe for Pink Adobe from Tom Ford that was discontinued. Still haven't found one.

  13. All of your tips are way too good and dying over that lipstick dupe. You can't go wrong with lipstick for a dollar! Definitely imploring some of those tips when we start YouTube!! Thanks girl!

    xx 365Hangers

  14. I have to say that I'm totally not a lipstick girl but if I can try it out for $1 I totally feel like it would be wrong not to!
    Also, the photography tips are totally helpful! I'm new to it all and even though I'm totally an outgoing person and literally never feel awkward I totally do in front of the camera. Look straight into the camera and smiling literally makes my skin crawl!

  15. I have just seen some Jordana lipsticks and everybody says wonders about them, now you say it's a good dupe for a MAC lipstick, how good is that? I want it too! The camera is really tricky, if a person feels nervous... but you are doing it so fine, I would never have thought you were nervous or with red skin because of it, so on. On the last video you looked very comfortable, I can say, I notice it, but never thought of commenting that, but now I am telling! No mouth going to the right, I never noticed! Very bad that the Bi-Phased product fell! Well, others will come!

  16. I have used jordana so I can strongly say their product is cool.

  17. I have never heard of Jordan before. To bad there no kmart in Germany. I guess you needed a little more sleep yesterday.


  18. I didn't know Jordana was Milani's sister company! VERY interesting! :)

    Good on you for facing a fear. That is super admirable. I know plenty of people that cannot STAND public speaking/being filmed. You are a superstar for breaking through that!

  19. I'll have to try the Jordana lipstick! Great tips for doing videos. That's something I've never attempted before and I feel like I wouldn't be that great at--lots of "ums" and nervous laughter no doubt!

  20. It's so awesome how far you've come with your nerves in front of the camera! Good for you. Your videos are really great and give us a sense of your personality and who you are, which is fun. Plus, they are super informational! I think I would be so nervous making a video and too self conscious to actually post anything!

  21. Um, .99 cent dupe? You just became the best person ever. I think it's great what your blog and YouTube channel have done for your confidence. I too was very afraid to tell anyone I knew I was a blogger. Then one day I came clean, put the link in my Instagram page and soon friends and family were reading, and being nice. (;

    Dropping a product is never fun. Especially an expensive one. I feel your pain girl!

  22. I love finding dupes that are almost exact and a fraction of the cost! I agree that practice makes you get more comfortable in front of the camera. The more you do it, the more comfortable you become.

  23. OMG you can't beat .99! I love that color on you too!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

  24. OMG NOOOOO TO DROPPING! I have done that before and I almost cried. I had already had a stressful day and then that happened and I was going insane! I feel for you!
    The Adored Life

  25. No I would be so sad if I dropped that :( Booooo

    .99cents Hook me up!!! Do Kmarts really still exist?

  26. I have a YouTube channel, but my videos are private. I'm just not sure how I feel about being in front of the camera yet. I'm introverted and have anxiety too so these are great tips! I love watching your videos. It's like talking with a friend!

  27. I've been thinking about trying to film videos to put in blog posts, but I'm not sure I would be that great at it. I don't think I'm all that photogenic. I may have to just give it a try anyway! You do a great job with your videos, Elle!

  28. ugh...I feel your pain on spilling your product!! What a tragic moment.

    And great tips you provided!



  29. Nailed the dupe! I love that question; perfect series idea!?

  30. awesome dupe! And that's crazy that you used to get such an extreme reaction, you've come so far!

    Breakfast at Gracey's

  31. Thanks for posting your camera tips Elle! I might take a crack at filming again because of it!

  32. Thank you for answering my dupe question - love it! (And bookmarked it!)
    ~ Kim Pincombe Cole

  33. Thanks for answering my question! :D Will definetly check out that Jordana lipstick since I've been wanting to buy one for my sister :)

  34. I am so not comfortable in picture let alone on video. Big props girl. Totally bummer on dropping the peel. :(

  35. I love your filming tips. I agree with filming solo. I feel so self-conscious when people watch me film.

    Connie | Sponsored by Coffee | Bloglovin’

  36. Thanks for the tips on filming :) you look so nice
    Love the look, its so classy!!

    Adi xx

  37. Such a great post, Elle! But I am really sorry about the Peel... Happened to me before, too. x

  38. Great tips on picture taking! I'm always making faces. I also always love the cheaper beauty supplies that still work.

  39. Film solo! YES! Christopher and I are in videos together all the time so he sees me talk on camera plenty. But when I've done a vlog where it's just me in the video I feel SO awkward if he's in the room. Clearly this makes no sense because he's going to see the video later and he and I film videos TOGETHER all the time (especially when we travel). I have no idea what that's about, but your advice is spot on! Film solo!

  40. I love Lady Danger, but I'll definitely be looking for the Jordana brand. I've never seen it in a store, but the color looks fantastic!

    I still have not worked up to video... I need to think about what I'd actually want to film and then just jump in!

  41. I am not sure I could vlog but great tips - also love the dupe for the MAC. PS i have taken off my alarm more times than I could tell you!

  42. This is such a fun blog post and I think it helps with getting to know you more. I don't ever think I could go on film, I have social anxiety myself so I know how you feel. But yeah I've been wanting an orange-red color and it's only 99 cent's, I'll have to keep a look out on that shade.


  43. Noooooo....I can't believe you dropped your new product from Algenist! I know the feeling....I dropped my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette shortly after purchasing it. It was a sad, sad day. I can still use it, but it's definitely not as pretty.


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