By  on February 23, 2010

Vlogging, or video blogging — like blogging in the traditional sense — can pay off.

Tessa Violet, a quirky New York fashion model whose chatty “Meekakitty” alter ego has gained a respectable following on YouTube, won $100,000 in a recent video contest sponsored by Lash Allure M.D.

“It’s pretty mind blowing,” Violet said about the prize. “So many people helped me, and for that I am unendingly thankful. Everyone on Twitter said it was like a miracle,” she added.

Violet’s tongue-in-cheek video on how she’d spend the loot (burritos for life, build Hogwarts castle, buy a jet pack) drew 1.7 million views on YouTube. About halfway through her two-minute, 28-second video, however, Violet pledged to apply the dough to her zero-balance college fund, promising a 24-hour video blog if she won.

Violet was the clear winner in a public vote, partly because she enlisted fellow vloggers to entreat their viewers to support her bid.

Lash Allure M.D., whose goal was to establish an Internet buzz about its new lash-enhancing serum, was pleased that the contest’s 100 video entries received nearly four million views, and three million votes on

“It was such a risk, but it got our name in front of three million to five million people quickly,” said Leesa Smith, executive vice president of marketing at Beauty Bio Sciences, which owns Lash Allure M.D. “It was wildly successful and we are gearing up next fall to do it again or something similar. A lot of big vloggers called and said, ‘If you do it again, we are in.’”

The company sold 3,848 units of the $49.50 serum, or $190,476 worth of product, during the three-month contest, which ended in late December. The serum is carried on Lash Allure’s Web site and at about 200 Dillard’s doors.

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