WRITTEN BY: Caroline Cotten
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: JANA SCHUESSLER
STYLED BY: Ali Mullin
HAIR BY: Ricky Mota
MAKEUP BY: Liv Madorma
PRODUCED BY: GREAT SOCIAL CLUB
It’s not often that we get to watch someone grow up in the spotlight and truly get to watch and support them step by step as they navigate their individuality and learn life’s lessons. No path is linear, but the more we listen, understand, and encourage each other, the better our relationships in this increasingly connected world can be. When you are a public figure, like Olivia Jade, the noise can be louder and news travels even faster. The House Magazine had the pleasure of interviewing Jade, beauty influencer and YouTube vlogger, and have been fortunate enough to dive deeper into what makes her who she is, from fashion and beauty to finding empowerment in being vulnerable.
Jade’s exposure to the world of fashion and glamor at a young age is of no surprise. After being raised by her mother, an actress and her father, a fashion designer, it’s only natural to find oneself on a creative journey, drawing inspiration from the surrounding environment. Jade’s curiosity led her to Youtube, first leveraging it as a learning tool, watching other creators in the beauty space. Being self-savvy, it only makes sense that her next step was to pick up the camera herself; “I taught myself how to edit and film through YouTube tutorials and the rest is history. I love it so much.” From here, it became an obsession, a passion, and a fundamental aspect of self expression.
This was seven years ago, at the tender age of 14, way before the time when being an influencer was considered an acceptated career. And even if it had been done before, that wasn’t what Jade was originally seeking from this endeavor. She has an outgoing personality and couldn’t help but externalize the passion she had bubbling inside. When asked about her goals for the platform when she first started, she revealed she had no intention of building an audience, “In fact, I wanted to keep my videos hidden and private so no one would tease me at school.”
Jade found a passion in her vlogs and carved her own creative path while finding a place to express herself. Her vlogs dating back to 2014, were refreshingly charismatic, not to mention impressively well versed on beauty routines. Jade was never for a lack of ideas either, posting content on a weekly basis, makeup routines were a core asset but she also knew to mix things up, sprinkling in Q&As, fashion haul’s, and all sorts of on- trend favorites. She may have been young, but she certainly had a natural ability to connect authentically to her audience. It was a clear indicator of her natural charm and intuitive knowledge of trends which brought meaningful value to her followers.
Flashforward to today, her drive and enthusiasm has brought her a long way. Jade has built herself a loyal audience and substantial following. “I genuinely just loved talking to a camera about makeup and fashion and did not know this would be my job in my future,” she tells us. “It was merely just a passion project that turned into work with the rise of social media.”
Since her start, she’s managed a significant number of collaborations and stayed true to her girly yet casual minimalistic style. Jade entered the vlogging sphere right on time to grow up alongside the simultaneous rise of social media’s increasing influence into our daily lives. Her success as a trusted voice for fellow beauty enthusiasts opened the door for Jade to engage with the beauty industry on an even deeper level. At 19, Jade collaborated with Sephora on a makeup palette. This was a milestone in her vlogging career that was “such an amazing learning experience and a complete honor. I will always cherish that.”
Recently, Olivia partook in Dancing With The Stars. “When I first got the offer to do dancing with the stars, my initial thought was, ‘oh god can I even dance?’ And then I felt a lot of gratitude that such a big show wanted to give me this opportunity.” Like vlogging, Olivia jumped in wholeheartedly. Her hard work brought her just up to the week before the semi-finals.
Participating in the show came at the perfect time for Olivia, sharing that, “I loved Dancing With The Stars growing up and it was truly an honor to be a part of something that completely changed my life in a few short months. It gave me a confidence and pride that I hadn’t felt in a very long time. I think it healed a lot of pain I was going through at the time and I am so glad I said yes.”
Dancing on Dancing With The Stars allowed yet another outlet for self expression. Jade vulnerably articulated that she has felt misinterpreted by the world in many ways. “I think so often people paint a picture based on the surface of who others are and that isn’t always 100% accurate. Dancing With The Stars was exciting because I wanted to show sides to myself that I feel like most people don’t even know.” From Waltzes to Tangos, Dancing With the Stars was integral for her to reestablish and reaffirm confidence in herself, while at the same time, letting the world see her bubbly yet motivated and driven character.
Dancing with The Stars was not all work and no play; Jade had fun with the creative freedom when it came to costumes, hair and makeup. Being on the set of DWTS entails hours of whipping your body into shape, memorizing foreign movements, and managing an abundance of logistics. It’s a chaotic time commitment to create and perform on a weekly basis to a panel with high expectations. Yet, Jade had fun building a lasting friendship with her partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, and working collaboratively with the DWTS team, sharing ideas back and forth to curate a captivating on-stage presence.
In the spirit of Jade’s desire for people to get to know her on a deeper level, she just launched her podcast, “Conversations with Olivia”. The episodes feature a range of guests from athletes, entrepreneurs, therapists, and friends. Topics discuss themes of authenticity, acceptance, and vulnerability. Intentionally of course, as Jade has made it clear she is on a path of personal growth and she hopes her audience can relate. “I want everyone listening to be able to resonate with a guest or even take some of the tools that I am being taught and apply them in their own lives.”
On one of the podcasts Jade hosted with therapist Dr. Hilary Goldsher, Jade opened up the forum to answer questions submitted by her followers. Dr. Goldsher and Jade discussed sensitive topics such as comparisons with their family relationships, romantic relationships, and relationships with oneself. During the session, Jade and Dr. Goldsher spoke to the importance of analyzing whether your actions are for others or for yourself, and the significant impact social media has on infiltrating beliefs about ourselves. Jade discusses her role as a prominent influencer and being conscious of who is watching her and the pressure she feels in this role. “It’s helpful for me to remember that we were never meant to see the amount of people we see on social media. The amount of people we can reach on social media is unfathomable…you have to remember that this isn’t how we are built to digest information in a healthy way so you have to take it all with a grain of salt.”
Unfortunately, makeup and clothing can only provide so much protection when it comes to creating a barrier to hurt. “I’d be a complete liar if I said negativity and comments don’t hurt my feelings. I am a pretty sensitive human.” She has learned to set boundaries, but she’s human and these don’t always work. The tools she is learning for herself are a necessity for the territory of being an influencer and putting yourself out there on social media. She knows she isn’t the only one dealing with the negativity, expressing to us, “I hope that one day our society starts to judge people based on personal experiences instead of this band wagon bullying effect.” Living in a media centric world, we have all seen or experienced the criticism it can fuel to some degree. Yet, Jade hasn’t let it stop her from doing what she loves.
Jade offers her advice to those who have also experienced hatred via social platforms and hopes to uplift those feeling sad or discouraged. “I encourage you to remind yourself that 9/10 times is an extremely insecure and sad person sitting behind the screen. Bullying is the most cowardly form of human interaction, ever.”
So, despite any hardship and cruel comments, Jade has pushed on and is using her platforms to promote positivity. She’s taken time off from at various points in her career and while she missed the process of vlogging during these breaks, she mostly missed the interactions with her audience. Whether it’s giving fashion advice, sharing her day to day, or opening up about herself, Jade cares about her followers and how to connect to them in a meaningful way. It’s also important to note that while social media has become a career, her inspiration for everything comes from living her life. To Jade, that means putting the phone away and engaging in the world around you, whether it’s finding peace in her morning routine or soaking up the outdoors.
Jade’s next chapter in life will find her venturing beyond her vlogging career. She’s been working with Operation Progress, an organization with a mission to lift and shape a community of underserved children by providing educational tools and skills to facilitate a path for success and hopes to continue working with charities. While she’ll continue on with her beauty platform, she hopes to one day design her own makeup line. Currently she is investing a lot of her time on her podcast where she has the opportunity to spread her knowledge and influence on an emotional level. It’s impressive to witness and discuss with Jade how far she has come, from cheerfully jumping into the YouTube culture, to finding a meaning in the goals she has set for herself. Jade is a kind and genuine human, forging a determined path that embodies her values, embraces her story, and maintains grace for herself and others along the way.
We’re excited to keep up with Jade and watch what’s next as she clears her path for personal growth. Keep up with her podcast “Conversations with Olivia” and follow her instagram @OliviaJade and YouTube Channel, “Olivia Jade”.