Everything you ever wanted to know about the YouTube star (or were afraid to ask)

By Alex Apatoff
Updated April 28, 2014 09:50 PM

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

Bethany Mota has nearly six million subscribers on YouTube at just 18 years old. Each week, those subscribers tune in to see Mota in her bedroom going through shopping bags of seasonal fashion pieces and tutorials on how to pull off the latest makeup products.

Her bubbly personality inspires millions of teenage girls “to love themselves, and feel happy and more confident.” But where does the teen get her inspiration from? “I read a bunch of different magazines and I go on random blogs,” she says. “I’m not too into the trends — I like to look at trends as suggestions, not as rules.”

So rather than touting what she’s into on her channel, it’s all about the “customer” — or in this case, her viewers, whom she calls her “besties.” “I always ask them what they want to see next on my channel,” she says, and explains that when it comes to her beauty looks, her viewers comment most about the drugstore makeup and hair products she uses.

Some of her faves that check out at under $10? “Maybelline’s Precise Ink Pen Liner is by far the easiest liquid eyeliner I’ve ever used. I’m really bad at applying liquid liner and it glides on so nicely and actually stays on all day,” says Mota, whose video featuring the liner as part of a Valentine’s Day makeup look clocked in with over 2 million views. She’s also a huge fan of Cover Girl Smoochies, lip products she’s featured in her videos. “They smell legitimately like Jolly Ranchers. Their colors are a little more opaque, which is nice.”

Mota’s M.O. when it comes to designing her first clothing line with Aeropostale — which features Mota-esque cutesy clothes, like high-waisted skirts and bralettes printed with a watermelon motif — also included a back and forth with her viewers. “I go on Twitter and I ask my viewers, ‘What would you like to see next season in my line?’ or ‘What are things you love to wear?’” she says. “They’re the ones wearing it so I want to make sure it applies to them. So I want to make sure it is a combination of what I want to wear and stuff I’d want to buy.”

Evidence that her method works? “Lots of people wanted me to make high tops, so we just came out with them in the summer line,” she explains. “They’re black and have my heart peace sign logo all over them. Everyone was so excited to see that one.”

For more on Bethany Mota, see this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands now. And pick up the upcoming issue to see who won your Favorite Beauty Blogger poll!

–Catherine Kast