Sally makes it up as she goes along

SALLY'S GOT THE LOOK: Sally Hickey is becoming a YouTube sensation.
SALLY'S GOT THE LOOK: Sally Hickey is becoming a YouTube sensation.

More and more Sally Hickey wonders if she is walking around with food stuck in her teeth.

The 20-year-old university student is a rising star on video sharing site YouTube where, as Sally Jo, she shares posts every four days of makeup application techniques.

She now has 27,000 followers, is represented by an American agency, Collective Digital Studio, and is even collecting a pay cheque.

"People sometimes recognise me at clubs or when I am out. Sometimes I think ‘is there food in my teeth?' when people look at me," she said.

The daughter of TV One weather man Jim Hickey, the former Spotswood College student is in her final year of a communications degree at Auckland University of Technology.

Her growing fame as an online makeup guide has not come overnight. She first began posting videos about how to put on lippy and the likes three years ago. By the end of last year she had 10,000 followers who regularly tuned in to her clips.

With that magic number came offers from American YouTube networks to act as her representative and in a few months she had nearly tripled her followers and created an income from advertising around her videos.

"It's not enough to live on but it helps with a poor student like myself," she said.

She is hoping to grow her audience at the conclusion of her studies and because her potential audience is anyone with access to the internet, the sky is the limit.

It is a legitimate and potentially lucrative career choice. Palmerston North woman Shannon Harris, 21, who Hickey has already collaborated with, has amassed a million followers for her makeup channel, which is enough to earn a living from.

Though they were initially wary of her makeup lessons distracting her from her studies, Hickey said her parents were now supportive of her foray into the online world of YouTube.

She said with most of her viewers logging in from overseas, few knew she was the daughter of New Zealand's most famous weather man.

"But I did say that if I get 100,000 hits we should do a video where he does my makeup," she said.

Taranaki Daily News