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Natalie Barbu, 25, isn’t just a lifestyle vlogger. She’s a content planner, strategist and producer with a 360-degree lens on the industry. With her YouTube channel of 297,000 subscribers, her “The Real Reel” podcast and her social media consulting business, WeBloom Social, she’s unstoppable.
“The Internet is a highlight reel, and you usually only see people’s good days,” she told The Post. “While you want to share that and celebrate all your highs, it’s also important to show to people that’s not all that you are. People compare themselves online — I’m guilty of it, too — so it’s really important to be authentic and to show that’s not real life all the time.
“There are ups and there are downs.”
Barbu graduated from North Carolina State University with her bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and transferred the skills and connections she formed in her college days to developing her new app, Rella, available for download this fall. It’s an extension of her social media agency, WeBloom Social.
“I wanted a way to work on the other side of the influencer industry — to help brands connect with influencers and create campaigns that are going to reach their audience and help their company,” she adds. “I’ve always worked as an influencer, so I wanted to help brands facilitate influencer relationships and brand deals. A lot of small businesses didn’t have access to these influencers to work with, but WeBloom allows them to tap into them.”
With her recent move to Miami, the self-starter is modernizing the 21st-century approach to content creation — expanding on different platforms and maintaining the relatable authenticity she’s known for. Her “Real Reel” podcast, in both name and meaning, couldn’t be a more perfect example of her mission to share real stories.
“While I love listening to entrepreneurship-focused podcasts with people who own multi-million dollar companies, people sometimes gloss over their hardships and, although it’s inspiring, they didn’t feel as relatable,” she said. “I wanted to interview my friend who’s a doula, my cousin in grad school and a photographer I knew — just because you don’t have many followers or aren’t super-rich doesn’t mean you don’t have a story to share.”
That’s not to say Barbu doesn’t feature well-established guests on her show, either. Two of her favorite episodes are with Summer Fridays founder Marianna Hewitt and Remote HQ founder Waikit Lau. And, to this day, she still cherishes her podcast with her best friend who’s a teacher.
“When interviewing business-focused people, I tend to ask people about their past — their childhood, their first job, how they entered the industry — because I think that’s more relatable than ‘Hey, I’m the CEO of this company,’” she explained.
Not only does Barbu provide value through glimpses of her intentional days, but she’s always trying to portray all of her passions into one video stream.
“I’m a very multifaceted person in the sense that I don’t want to pigeonhole myself to only post about productivity, business and entrepreneurship,” she said. “I want my channel to have a holistic view of who I am, so I will post how I started a business, as well as my beauty routine and fashion looks.”
Featuring some of Barbu’s favorite fashion looks, essentials in her morning routine and simply items she can’t live without, read on to learn about the top products she adores.
Natalie’s Top 5 Favorite Products
“My Sony camera is my number one, absolute favorite because I go everywhere with it,” Barbu said. “It’s compact so I can put it in smaller purses, but it provides great cinematic quality.”
AICook Juicer, $48.59 (originally $52.99)
“I make juices three to five times a week and my juicer saves so much money,” she said. “If you go out and buy juice, it’s around $10. You can make a juice in the morning, store it in the fridge, and it’s so easy to clean.”
Kindle Paperwhite, $129.99
“I used to think I had to read a physical book, but my Kindle is so much nicer to have,” she said. “I love nonfiction books, especially ones about entrepreneurship.”
“I love the Bala Weighted Bangles and use them a lot with Melissa Wood Health’s workouts,” Barbu said. She said Wood’s pilates workouts “completely transformed her fitness routine,” too.
Our Place Always Pan, $145
“I don’t use anything else but my Always Pan,” she said. “I wash it around three times a day because I make everything on it. It’s the best pan ever.”
Natalie’s Favorite Products in Her Morning Routine
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Powder, $42.98 (originally $49.99)
“I use Vital Proteins’ collagen in my coffee every morning,” Barbu said. “It helps grow my hair and nails and keep my skin clear.”
“I’ve been using whole beans for coffee because I don’t have my Keurig or Nespresso anymore,” she said. “My best friend started a coffee company called Berni Beans, and I’ve only been using her beans. They’re so good, sustainable, and support the rainforest. I try to support small businesses when I can.”
“My absolutely favorite workout sets are from Set Active,” she said. “I don’t wear non-sets anymore.”
“My half-gallon water bottle is something I take everywhere,” she said. “It has a strap on it so I carry it like a purse and it helps me drink more water throughout the day.”
“I love the Gisou Hair Oil because it makes my hair looks nice, wavy and non-frizzy — especially being in Miami with strong humidity,” she said. “It makes my hair look good without doing anything to it.”
Gisou has a miniature version of the hair oil for $25, too.
Latme Ice Roller, $10.36 (originally $12.95)
“My ice roller stays cold for a pretty long time and depuffs my face in the morning,” she said. “I ice my face after my serum to help it absorb, too.”
“I love using oil-based serums on my face because it makes my skin glow all day, even when I have makeup on,” she said.
“I use Sun Bum’s Mineral Face Tint with SPF 30 in the morning and it’s a great product in my morning skincare routine,” she said.
Natalie’s Favorite Lifestyle Products
Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case, $139.98 (originally $199)
“Anytime I’m working outside of my house, I have to have my AirPods in because I take a lot of meetings throughout the day.”
“Now that I’ve moved to Miami, I’ve been stocking up on bathing suits,” she said. “Amazon ones are really affordable and actually good quality.”
“My favorite lip gloss is the Fenty Glow’ lip gloss,” she said. “It’s a shimmering rose nude and the best one by Fenty.”
2021 Apple 11-Inch iPad Pro, $749 (originally $799)
“I make my thumbnails on my iPad Pro, so it’s nice to have with me and one of my favorites,” she said.
Sennheiser Pro Audio e935 Cardiod Dynamic Handheld Mic, $194 (originally $249)
“My podcast microphone is great because it’s handheld, so I can sit back and record rather than being on a desk,” she said.
“I used to be a big Air Force 1 girl but I switched to Vejas now, which I like,” she said.
Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer, $41.99 (originally $59.99)
“It’s so easy to use my Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer,” she said. “Whenever I go somewhere, I only bring that because it’s so much easier to style my hair with that.”
“I love my Warby Parker blue light glasses because I’m always on the computer,” she said.