Te reo Māori blending in on new YouTube make-up tutorial

By Tepara Koti

A new make-up tutorial in te reo Māori has attracted over 100,000 views online.  Māori make-up artist Miria Flavell (Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Taranaki) says the response to her video has been overwhelming, drawing in fans from as far away as America and Europe.

Make-up tutorials online can be serious business. Young Aucklander Shannon Harris is an internationally-renown You Tube personality, better known as Shaaanxo. She has close to three million subscribers, as well as 1.5 million followers on Instagram.

Miria says getting back into the make-up industry after a five-year career change was the best decision she ever made.  In 2011, she studied at a make-up school, but after graduation moved into the film and television industry.

She says her passion for make-up grew from being a teenager using "$2 shop" products on her friends, to working in television and asking the make-up artists "a million questions".

But it hasn't been all "glitter and sparkle".  For the past 18 months, Miria has been working tirelessly to establish her own make-up artistry business and understands that being Māori and having te reo as her first language is a major point of difference.

"There are not many Māori You Tubers or bloggers in this field of mahi.  That has been my motivation and drive," she says. 

While requests came through recently asking for a tutorial in te reo, she says she was hesitant about doing it at first, not knowing how people would react.

However, over 700 people gave her that extra push to record her first reo Māori tutorial. Miria says since posting the clip the response has been "absolutely crazy".

"The amount of support I have received has been very overwhelming. I couldn't be more proud.  I'm getting messages from people over in America, Europe, Australia, Pacific Islands asking for more make-up tutorials in te reo Māori.  Although they don't understand most of what I'm saying they love our reo and they love how unique the videos are. That's the best feeling ever!"

Even Shaaanxo commented on Miria's te reo video saying "love it".

Miria confirms that there's more te reo videos to come. "For sure! The fact that I can be myself in all aspects of my life in my videos is the best thing ever. Te reo Māori is my life, it makes me who I am.  So te reo Māori will definitely be heard in all my videos!"

Her advice for other budding te reo speaking make-up artists or vloggers: "Don't wait for a good time to do it, there is never a right time! If you have the passion and love for it, go for it!  But most importantly be yourself. That's what will make you shine from the rest."

Here's Miria's full first te reo Māori make-up tutorial,

and here's a kapa haka make-up tutorial Miria posted in February during Te Matatini Kapa Haka Festival season: