PROFILE: 'Yuya', Mexico's most profitable YouTuber

Monday, February 16, 2015

YouTube has revolutionized the beauty world. Gone are the days of cryptic magazine articles – online videos on makeup and hairstyling are the new way to reach an audience of millions across the planet.

Vloggers have jumped on the opportunity, with some making a big name for themselves. Such is the case of 21-year-old Mexican Mariand Castrejón, better known in the cyberworld as 'Yuya'.

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Castrejón has been the beauty muse for Latin American girls for five years now, with over 250 videos published and more than 9mn subscribers. She is currently the second most followed YouTube star in Mexico, right after comedy videographer-turned-soccer-player Gabriel Montiel, aka "Werevertumorro."

However, Castrejón surpasses Montiel in terms of earnings from her videos. According to YouTube stats website Social Blade, Castrejón's estimated annual income ranges between US$127,100 and US$2mn, with monthly earnings between US$10,000 and US$169,400.

Mariand Castrejón, or Yuya as she is better known. (SOURCE: YOUTUBE)

Castrejón was born in 1993 and grew up in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The nickname Yuya was given to her by her uncle, inspired by a famous Mexican TV character called 'Yuya la gorda' (fat Yuya).

She broke into the internet beauty world at 16 when she entered and won a make-up video contest on YouTube. Her success prompted her to start her own channel, which she named 'lady16makeup,' whcih she later changed to Yuya. Her videos range from practical tips (5 hairstyles for work or school) to relationship advice (Have they been unfaithful?)

Castrejón's fame has reached mainstream media and she has appeared in the Mexican edition of fashion magazine Vogue, as well as being a guest on music videos and TV shows. She was nominated as MTV's Digital Millenial Icon of the Year in 2013 and 2014, which she lost to Gabriel Montiel and Chilean Germán Garmendia, respectively. She has also published a book, Los secretos de Yuya (Yuya's secrets), with her best beauty tips.

The beauty vlogger was involved in a copyright lawsuit against manager Javier Talán, together with her colleague Gabriel Montiel. Talán had tried to register both Werevertumorrou and Yuya's brands as his own, which the vloggers have challenged in court. The lawsuits are still ongoing.

Unlike Montiel, Castrejón has not openly discussed the legal process with the media.

Montiel proceeded to delete all his videos in March 2014 to avoid controversy. Although he has since reposted many of them, Montiel has decided to put his YouTube career aside and become a professional soccer player.

This is not the case for Castrejón, who has kept all of her work online and continues to post videos regularly.