YouTube sensation Anna Akana is more than your average vlogger — She has over 1.4M subscribers on YouTube, has released a book, and even has her own clothing line. Her new digitial series, Miss 2059 will also be available on the Go90 entertainment app this summer. At a time when we feel like content is coming at us from all sides, we were psyched to sit down with Akana to discuss what her personal definition of good content is. She also told us about advice for fellow creatives, a love for cats, her morning beauty routine, and why she eats vegan only 6 days a week…
From start to finish what would be your ideal food day?
For breakfast, I’d go to M Cafe De Chaya and get their macro meal with a miso soup. Lunch would be spent at Fundamental LA on the west side – tortilla soup, simple greens, and beer on tap. My go-to celebratory dinner place is The Bazaar by Jose Andres. I know my order by heart, but what really has me coming back is their Philly Cheese Steak – liquid cheese inside of a light bread puff topped with thin slices of beef. A passion fruit cocktail on the side makes it heaven. To finish off the day would be their Coconut Nitro Island dessert.
How do you practice beauty from the inside out?
I work out with a trainer three times a week. On my off days I foam roll and stretch. I try to get a massage once a week but I’ve really dropped the ball on that. For diet, I eat vegan six days out of the week. I’ve been an on-again off-again vegetarian, pescatarian and vegan since I was a teen and giving myself one cheat day out of the week has made all the difference in keeping me on track. As much as I take care of my body, I also take care of my mind. I go to a therapist biweekly, meditate as often as I can, and keep a gratitude journal.
What’s your personal definition of good content?
Good content is when the audience can take away something. Whether it’s a laugh, moral, or even to be entertained for a few minutes. As long as the audience leaves with something, I’m happy.
In a world totally diluted with so much content, what advice would you give content creators starting out?
Don’t focus on numbers – that’s out of your control. Your goal should be to build a library of content that best represents your work. Be consistent and keep going. It’s easy to get discouraged by the lack of viewers. I’ve been guilty of obsessing over how to stay relevant and letting that influence my content, but ultimately I regret it. I wish that for those six months that I’d tried to be what the internet wanted, I had stayed true to what I thought was good.
What’s the key to great video content?
You get out what you put in. The ones I’m most proud of are the ones that I worked hard on, put a lot of thought into, and cared about.
What are your morning and nightly beauty routines?
I use a Burt’s Bees rosewater toner in the morning and the evening. In the morning I hydrate with a moisturizing sunscreen of SPF 15. In the evening I use Aquaphor all over my face and Vaseline on my lips if I’m particularly dry. I also make sure to drink a glass of water when I wake up and before I go to sleep.
What’s your go-to breakfast?
I’m one of those horrible people that skips breakfast a lot (I know, I shouldn’t!). I’ll usually end up just grabbing a banana on-the-go.
What foods give you the most energy? Which leave you feeling lethargic?
Meat, cheese and bread always leave me feeling terrible. I try to have them in limited amounts and mostly on cheat days. Fresh fruits (particularly strawberries and mango) and greens with no dressing make me feel energized.
Your go-to healthy snacks…
I love a fruit salad that is lightly drizzled with honey: slices of strawberries, blueberries, almonds, pecans and raspberries. I also adore almond butter on any fruit.
You never liked X till you tried it at Y…
I never liked shrimp sushi until I tried it at Sugarfish. I could go to Sugarfish three times a day.
Where do you love to travel? What won’t you travel without?
My boyfriend and I try to visit a new country every year. We went to Japan in 2015 and would love to go back and explore Kyoto (we mostly stayed in the Tokyo area). I absolutely have to travel with this giant green jacket I got at Forever 21. It’s lightweight but insulated so it keeps me warm no matter where we are. Plus it doubles as a great pillow on the plane.
What advice would you give women looking in the mirror in the morning and getting dressed?
You look fine. We have a tendency to think we’re so ugly. I have bouts where I get obsessed with looking at before and after photos of plastic surgery and scrutinize my nose, lips, eyes. But what makes someone beautiful is what they do and who they are, not if they have the perfect pout or pointed nose.
You swear you were X in a past life…
A cat. I have four of them and I feel like I am one.
What are your favorite cities for food? What restaurants do you go to in each?
I’m a huge fan of hole-in-the-wall pizza joints and Fatty Crab in New York.
In the same vein as ‘what is the new black’ in fashion, what’s the new potato right now?
For me, it’s knitted crop tops and high-waisted jeans. I love looking like a mom from the 90s.