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Student Takes Over You Tube


By Lindsay Pugh

Senior Kirsten Leighty shows off her latest purchases from Sephora in her hit youtube haul video.

If one googles “beauty communities”, 80,800,000 results appear. Click on any one of these results, and websites on beauty advice, reviews for products, blog posts, and videos will load on the sidebars.

YouTube videos and fashion blog sites inspired senior Kirsten Leighty to begin making her own beauty videos. Leighty has created 245 how to-beauty videos on YouTube, under the name kmoneykmoneykmoney. Her channel has 14,555 subscribers, with over one million video views.

As she continues to post videos, her popularity continues to grow. One user published a video entitled, “Kirsten Leighty is so awesome!”

She also has another channel, kirstenleighty, which contributes another 3,156 subscribers and 101,358 more views. Her larger channel is intended to be for her tutorials, and her smaller one is a more personal channel with blogs on her life and thoughts.

“14,000 seems like a big number, but since you don’t see those people every day, it seems unreal,” Leighty said.

Her notoriety reached Seventeen, the teen fashion magazine. They contacted her to become one of their Beauty Smarties featured on Leighty received an email with a contract attached that she and her parents or legal guardians had to sign.

“I didn’t believe it; I thought it was a total joke,” Leighty said. “I told my mom and she didn’t believe it either. I was so excited.”

She replied within a week. Since responding back to Seventeen, Leighty has had two of her videos posted on As of yet, she has not been featured in the actual magazine.

“They thought my videos were inspirational,” Leighty said. “My videos have lots of tips. I try to give advice. A lot of people have self-esteem issues and I try to help that.”

Leighty has been blogging for almost two years. Her Seventeen contract stipulates that she will be a Beauty Smartie until 2014. Her contract also requires that Leighty act in a way that presents both her and Seventeen in a positive light to the public. As she continued to make more videos, her viewers began to ask her more personal questions about herself.

“It started with beauty tutorials, but people get interested in you and your personal life,” Leighty said. “I get questions about where I live, my family, my boyfriend, and what clothes and music I like,” Leighty said.

She posts hair and makeup tutorials, “Outfits of the Week”, product reviews, and monthly book reviews. She has nine “Ask Kirsten” videos, and over a hundred hair and make-up tutorials.  Several of these are makeup looks inspired by Disney princesses like Merida of Brave, Tiana of The Princess and the Frog,  and Belle of Beauty and the Beast. She also has a “Kirsten Talks” series, where she expands on her opinions on various topics. Leighty’s most popular video, “My Tattoos and Piercings”, has 154,765 views.

She gets paid for her job blogging for Seventeen, but blogging is not her only source of revenue. She also works a more typical teenage job at the Fort Lee Bowling Center.

Leighty plans to keep blogging through college. She is thinking about using blogging as a basis for her career. She will attend UNCW in North Carolina, where she lived prior to moving to Prince George, to major in education. She has not decided whether she wants to teach younger kids, “the kind that love you for life”, or at the high school level.

“My favorite part [of blogging] is the interaction with the people,” Leighty said. “Their positiveness is what keeps me going.”

With that many views, there is plenty of interaction to  go around.



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