Today, YouTube sensation Estée Lalonde released her debut book, Bloom: Navigating Life and Style. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Estée, here are some fast facts: Estée’s online presence has garnered over 2.3 million fans across YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter—but she is best known for her beauty videos and travel vlogs, which feature appearances by her beloved partner Aslan and rescue pup Reggie.
She has partnered with such global brands as the Body Shop, TLC, and most recently, Adidas for a campaign called #PersonalBest, during which Estée will strive to live a healthy, fit (and maintainable) lifestyle. And now, the woman who exudes confidence, originality and charm online is taking a step back to reveal that her journey of self discovery hasn’t always been easy—and it isn’t over yet. Did we forget to mention that despite Estée’s wild success, she is only 26 years old?
“For me, the word ‘bloom’ encapsulates the idea that anything is possible when you put your mind to it,” Estée says of the title of her debut. “It’s a word that hints at becoming who you are meant to be.”
Prior to its release, Bloom was described as a combination of diary and scrapbook. Bloom is broken into eight large sections (including ‘Life’, ‘People’, ‘Work’, ‘Beauty’ and so on), and each large section contains many smaller personal entries, which do indeed read like the pages of a diary. Estée doesn’t hold back, sharing her experiences with anxiety and depression, moving across the Atlantic Ocean at only 19 years old, unhealthy eating habits, and more.
“I wanted to write a book that was honest and that people of all ages could relate to,” Estée writes in the introduction.
Of course, writing a raw portrait of one’s life doesn’t mean only writing about the hardships—Estée shares many positive facets of her life as well, including stories about her favorite cities in the world (Spoiler alert: She’s been everywhere!), falling in love with her long distance boyfriend and with herself, building a career out of her passion for blogging, and my personal favorite, an ode to her canine bestie Reggie. There’s even a hysterical anecdote about a bout with food poisoning following a six hour ride on a camel—seriously.
Throughout the book, you’ll notice beautiful photographs of Estée and her world, giving Bloom its scrapbook feel. Aside from adding visual aids to each chapter, the photographs contribute to how gorgeous this book is as a whole. In fact, as I was reading, I couldn’t bear to dogear pages to mark my favorite quotes as I sometimes do, because I didn’t want to ruin the book’s sleek, clean look. Bloom’s got style, just like Estée.
Speaking of style, you may be wondering how Estée manages to talk about such personal topics in her life, as mentioned earlier, while also discussing topics that may seem more lighthearted to some, like style, all in the same book. In actuality, all the topics in Bloom fit together because they are all pieces of a whole person. Beauty products go beyond the superficial for Estée and in fact, they entangle with personal topics like self confidence.
“Beauty products themselves have never been the thing I liked about beauty,” she writes. “I like the way red lipstick looks, but what I like even better is how red lipstick makes me feel. I’ve realized that I can be both an empowered woman with a message and feel great when I wear winged eyeliner. These two things are not mutually exclusive!”
In a world that simultaneously shames women for caring too much and too little about appearances at any given moment, it’s refreshing to hear a beauty guru talk about wearing makeup for herself, not for the people around her. More specifically, it’s great to hear about the effect makeup can have on our feelings inside as well as our outside appearance. For Estée, fashion can have the same effect, despite the body image issues she battled in the past.
Over the years, Estée’s confidence has grown, and this is evident in her self-assured writing. She offers tidbits of advice, which are the highlight of Bloom in my opinion and truly apply to people of all ages. For example, in the ‘Home’ section, Estée writes about the positive effect plants have on her living space.
“I love flowers of all descriptions. In my opinion it’s the best way to add colour and brightness to a space because they truly lift the mood of a room,” Estée says. “I love treating myself to a little bunch of flowers when I’m picking up my groceries. They don’t have to be the most extravagant or expensive flowers; as long as you love them they will bring you joy.”
This simple tip rings so true: We all should do more things to bring joy into our daily lives. For more of Estée’s advice and stories about navigating life and style, you can check out Bloom here.