Fiona Frills Knows there are Millions of Eyes On Her

The Youtuber reflects on authenticity, evolution and engagement. 

Words by Tierney Finster 
Photos by Jess Calleiro

At just 15 years old, Fiona Frills (@FionaFrills) is already half-a-decade in to creating content for YouTube. Fiona got her start as an actress and presenter on Disney Channel and has since evolved into a lifestyle influencer and entrepreneur. Her videos, hosted on the “FionaFrills” channel, are made with teens in mind and her beauty brand, Frilliance, is developed especially for teen skin. Basically, she’s a teen queen.

Fiona lives in a coastal town in the Bay Area but comes down to Los Angeles to work and play pretty often. She posts new videos two to three times a month, so it’s important that she’s always trying new things and creating new content.

Today she’s shooting a nail video with Chase, one of her fellow content-creator friends. They’re both going to get Billie Eilish-inspired acrylic nails and participate in a 24-hour challenge to see who can live the most easily and get the most done with the talon-like acrylics. (Spoiler alert: She think she’s going to win).

Sounds like a pretty fun job, right? Fiona agrees.

Fiona tells TRASH about the secret to making great videos, how stress affects her creativity and what it’s been like coming of age online.


There are two. One relates to acting and one to YouTube. The first time I ever came to LA and auditioned for a series, I got the job. The show was  for Maker, which was under the Disney Channel, and I was 10 or 11. It was such a crazy experience because that was my first audition ever in LA and I got it. I was so proud of myself because I had always worked so hard to be an actress. It’s very hard because you get put down – they’re judging you off of how you look and your personality.

I did so much prep before the audition and I got the job out of 50 other girls. I was like, “Oh my gosh! I got this.” I was very happy.

For YouTube, it’s when it’s when it started hitting me that I was a YouTuber, because sometimes you forget. You're just posting videos and you don't always realize that someone's going to watch it. I go about making them for myself, which doesn't really make sense, but it's like you're just doing something that you love and you're posting about it. I realized people were watching and connecting with them when people started coming up to me like, “Thank you so much for making videos, they just make me smile. They make me happy, thank you for creating them."

That really touched my heart because I didn't know my videos could affect people like that. Everything snowballs, but once you get a slightly big snowball, it just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

You launched your YouTube channel when you were 10. What’s it been like to grow up online?  

I evolved with YouTube. It's a very unique experience because you get to make people happy. That's always my goal for my YouTube channel  - for people to laugh, feel appreciated, feel love and hopefully grow or learn something because of the video.

YouTube was very different when I first began. It was much easier to come up with content and for a lot of people to enjoy it, because there wasn't as much content on YouTube. Now that it’s been a few years, YouTube has changed so much. The algorithm is always changing.

I've grown with my channel, and it's a very awesome platform to see yourself grow and see all your followers grow as well. I would say how my YouTube channel grows the most is when a video goes viral, so it gets over a million or two million views. That's when you gain more subscribers, your views go up and your watch time goes up, which means YouTube will recommend your videos more.

YouTube is a great community and you get to really be yourself, which I think is amazing because as a kid who acted I was always playing a character. YouTube is all about being yourself. People watch you because they like who you are and what you believe in. I think that's super empowering.

Now my videos are a lot about educating and testing out new teen things. My videos are about being a real teen because I feel like there's not a lot of YouTubers that talk about real teen problems and teen struggles. That’s what my channel has evolved into, but used to do a lot more makeup videos and challenges.


Make sure you’re creating content you actually want to create. You have to do what you like, not what will get you likes. If that makes sense. You have to do what you enjoy, because your supporters and people who watch you realize when you're being fake or not genuine about your content. Be in love with what you do, do what you want and then other people will enjoy watching you be happy. Nobody wants to watch someone be not genuine in a video.

I've done videos before where I didn't really want to do it, but I still did it and it didn't do as well.  My supporters realize that. The videos I really enjoy making always do better, so do what you love and stay focused on what you like doing.

“You have to do what you like, not what will get you likes.”

What are some of your most viral videos?

I'll name two. They're actually very different. My first viral video was my “How to put in color contacts” video. I now have a series on my channel where I try color contacts. I believe that video has over five million views and people always watch it for Halloween. I teach them how to put in contacts. it's a very long story, but it relates to my background because I'm legally blind in my left eye. I’ve had to deal with contacts and glasses my whole life, so I wanted to share my tips on how to put them in.

Another type of video that does pretty well is my acrylic nails series. I think viewers show their parents like. "Yeah, can I please get acrylic nails? This girl did it and this is the process."

I think they use the video to educate themselves and their parents about acrylics. I walk through the process of getting them done - asking my mom, going to the salon, picking out the color, getting it fully done. I videoed every single step, and then I videoed how you deal with things like typing and going to the bathroom, but not in a weird way. I think the video helps parents feel more confident their kids can still function with these long nails.

Also, transformation videos do well. At the end of last year, I transformed myself. I cut almost 10 inches off my hair, dyed it and more.

If you died and came to life as an item of food, what would it be and why?

I would say Takis, because they're delicious but they're spicy. I feel like when you look at me, you're like, “Mm-hmm, she's kind of dusty. I don't know if I like her.” And then you watch me and you're like, “Oh wait, this is pretty good."

A lot of people judge me by how I look and what people think I'm like. In my town, people judge me before they actually know me. They think I'm stuck up. They think I'm rude and disrespectful but if you meet me I hope that's not the case. I always try to be the most humble person I can be. I say Takis because they look kind of, “Eh,” but when you try them, when you actually eat them, you’re like, “Oh wait, these are kind of good."

I just love Takis too. I eat so many, it's a problem.

What’s the most generous thing someone has done to support your creativity?

I would say what my mom does. My mom always has supported me through everything. She'll always drive me places if I need to film. She's been there with me the whole time. She submitted me to agencies. She's never been too pushy, but she keeps my head up. My mom's definitely the most supportive person in my life. We have a very close relationship. Sometimes we fight and get on each other’s nerves, but I love her. We’re mom and daughter and business partners too. It's hard to describe. She's like my momager.

My Dad's very supportive too, but sometimes he's like, "Wait, what kind of video did you do?" He'll get confused, like “What the frick are you doing?”

I'm like, "Oh, never mind."

What keeps you going?

When people come up to me and they're like, “You made my day. You are impacting my life and you inspired me.” That is something that keeps me going along. I enjoy what I do, but sometimes I don’t feel like doing a video because I’m tired or not feeling it. For the most part, I’m persistent, but supporters coming up to me helps me remember I’m doing something bigger than myself.

Honestly, still to this day, I forget I’m a YouTuber sometimes. I’m doing something I love, and I forget how many people are watching me and affected by what I make. There’s just about a million people who watch me, which is insane to think about. 

I remember the first time I ever met a subscriber was in Santee Alley in L.A.’s Fashion District. She came up to me, she was like, "Oh my God, are you on YouTube?" And I was more excited than her to say, “Yeah!” She was a teen. Most of my supporters are between 10 and 17, so there’s good range. Their support definitely helps me keep going.

What’s a question you’d like to ask a creator?

What would you like to stop? What are you doing right now that you want to stop?

It might be something you do daily, something as simple as eating a certain thing, or something bigger like, “What am I doing with my life?”

For me, I want to stop stressing myself out. I stress myself out a lot. I get creative blocks sometimes because I put so much stress on being creative. I really need to stop that. It's hard to do this.

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