1. Tell me a bit about yourself and where we can find you creating.
Hey there! I'm Laura and I'm the green beauty addict and wellness warrior behind Laura's Natural Life. You can find me on my blog, Laura'sNaturalLife.com, but also over on Youtube and of course, Instagram. I strive to help women create their green, gorgeous lives through green beauty, natural living and wellness.
2. Why is green beauty and wellness so important to you?
Several years ago, I moved into a new home that had just been built. My body couldn't handle the chemicals from the common building materials like vinyl, paint and carpet and overnight I went from being a normal girl to a chronically ill girl. The overload of toxins prompted two chronic illnesses to show themselves - Lyme Disease and Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome. I spent years truly feeling hopeless and horrible, but I climbed my way back. The biggest impact was transition to a chemical-free lifestyle. I still have chronic illness, but to be honest I feel the best I've felt in my entire life.
3. When did you know you wanted to pursue it as a career? Do you consider yourself creative?
Shortly after I started working in holistic healthcare as a receptionist and seeing patients empowered to live their healthiest lives, I knew that I wanted to inspire others in the same way! Once I found green beauty and began to understand how toxic chemicals in our everyday home and beauty products impact our health I knew I had to spread the word. I don't consider myself creative in the traditional artist sense. I'm a horrific painter, drawer and crafter. My life is a series of Pinterest Fails. I've been a musician for most of my life and find that I thrive in different creative outlets, but I think making videos is the best fit for me. I get to be myself, but still be in front of people and talk about things that I love!
4. When it comes to self-love, how do you practice? Do you feel that it affects your work?
I definitely feel that it affects the way that I work. I have a tendency to stay all up in my head and over think until my brain is absolute mush. I take a detox bath or a far infrared sauna nearly everyday, and move everyday. I follow the Tone It Up workout schedule often, and I love taking walks outside. I think another big part of self-love is knowing when to say no and knowing it is ok to do so.
5. What are your top tips for girls who want to make rad Youtube videos?
1. Stop thinking about it and just go for it! Seriously, no matter how much research you do, you cannot learn it all before you start. There are tutorials for just about everything on YouTube from how to work with lighting, video editing, and more advancing things like adding special effects etc.
2. Don't worry about fancy equipment. Your iPhone and iMovie or Windows Movie Editor will be just fine to start!
3. Be consistent. Decide how often you want to upload and stick with it.
4. Lighting is important, try sitting in front of a window in your home.
5. Audio is also important. Luckily, the iPhone picks up voice pretty well, but just be sure there are loud distractions in the background. There are also really inexpensive lavaliere microphones that will work with your iPhone if you want to upgrade your sound. 6. Editing takes forever. Just know that it will suck when you first start, but it will quickly become easier to do.
6. Creating those videos must be a lot of work! How do you create systems for tasks you do over and over?
Scheduling, journaling and batching are my secret weapons.
Schedule - If it's not in your calendar, it's not going to happen. I do the same tasks on the same days of the week. I film Fridays, edit Sundays and schedule and fill out the description boxes on Mondays all for my videos to go live on Tuesdays.
Batch - Don't work on just one video at a time. If you're taking the time to get dolled up, set up your lighting, arrange your background and get in the zone to talk to the camera, film more than one video at a time. I usually film three in one day and then spread out the editing.
Journal - Use the journal to keep track of what has been done for each video - did I edit, export, upload, description box, and thumbnail?
7. When you're feeling down, what do you do to boost yourself back into happiness?
Text Jaimie! And my other creative girl boss friends. I also like to take my dog for walks, or just take myself for walks. I plan a lot of vacations. Most of them I never actually take, but I enjoy immersing myself in the research to go to some fancy far off place and imagine how amazing it would be to go.
8. How does your community contribute to your happiness?
Oh man, my community is incredible! It's truly shocking to me to find even just one person who is interested in green beauty or non-toxic living or wellness, but to find thousands is just flooring. I've made more real friends since putting my weird self on the internet than I have in person in years!
9. Tell us 3 holy-grail green products we all need in our homes.
Oh man, just three!?
I'm crazy about essential oils, because I think they are a great replacement for a lot of toxic products like cleaning solutions and home fragrances.
I would also recommend switching to a non-toxic laundry detergent and ditching dryer sheets. These should be free of harsh scents. I like ECOS a lot, but Honest Co. and Seventh Generation are great and easy to find as well. Instead of dryer sheets, try wool dryer balls. They work just as well but don't leave chemicals in your clothing. I found mine at Target!
Plants! Ok, this is a bit hypocritical, because I have a serious black thumb. I swear plants don't really need to be watered, but they always prove me wrong and then die. However, if you're able to keep plants alive, houseplants are great for cleaning the air and they also cheer you up.