Kalel Cullen (born Kristin Smith, March 31, 1989) is an American YouTube personality. Smith adopted the stage name Kalel Cullen in reference to Superman and Twilight, respectively. Her birth name is Kristin Smith, something she has recently made more public. As of 2016, she is known on YouTube as simply 'Kalel'.
Kalel is widely known for her multiple YouTube channels and personalities. She is known to frequently delete all her content before revealing a new style or theme.
Beginning with successful beauty channel queenbeeuty in 2010, Kalel developed a large subscriber base. She later revealed in the channel’s final video that she had decided to shut down queenbeeuty. Five months after the video was posted, queenbeeuty was removed from YouTube.
Kalel briefly posted lifestyle, vlogs and advice videos on her second channel, KalelCullenTV, but the channel did not gain the traction of her previous one.
Kalel announced she would be moving to a new channel named Cozplai, where she intended to post tutorials showing how to make cosplay costumes for her favourite characters. Cozplai didn’t receive more than 100,000 subscribers in its short running period. Kalel soon expressed that the channel was too much work, and abandoned it.
In October 2012, Kalel launched WonderlandWardrobe, which consisted of DIY fashion and lifestyle videos, as well as vlogs. WonderlandWardrobe was a success, reaching over 400,000 subscribers by June 2013. Shortly thereafter, Kalel announced she intended to pursue her dream of fashion design, and would not have time to post content on her channel. She also expressed interest in writing a book, which she claimed would also consume her time. WonderlandWardrobe and its content was left on YouTube for some time, although Kalel has recently deleted it.
In late 2013, Kalel announced she would be starting a daily vlogging channel with her boyfriend, Anthony Padilla of Smosh. The couple posted tags and challenges alongside daily vlogs. The channel, entitled WatchUsLiveAndStuff or WULAS, was a tremendous success, garnering over half a million subscribers within a few months. By the end of it’s run, WULAS had amassed around 1.7 million subscribers.
Kalel later launched a new channel, Frilly and Fancy, along with an accompanying blog. The channel centred around cute, girly DIY fashion and craft. Kalel later ceased posting content for Frilly and Fancy.
In mid 2014, Kalel launched kalelpadilla, where she posted humour, lifestyle and advice videos.
After announcing their separation on December 4, 2014, Kalel and Anthony formally ended their daily vlogging channel in a video entitled ‘Going Our Separate Ways’. Kalel took control of the channel and began posting daily vlogs of her single life. Around 100,000 fans unsubscribed after the separation. Shortly thereafter, Kalel deleted kalelpadilla.
After some months, Kalel removed the vlogs she had posted with Anthony and renamed the channel Kalel Kitten. In 2015 she announced to her fans that she would be designing and releasing her own fashion line. Around the same time, Kalel revealed that she and a team of writers were producing a TV Show. However, as of July 2016, no further developments have been made on either of these escapades.
As of 2016, Kalel’s channel is named simply Kalel and has almost 2 million subscribers. She is known to disappear for months at a time without posting content, but when she is active she produces vegan, beauty, lifestyle and advice videos, as well as vlogs.
Kalel met Smosh’s Anthony Padilla in 2010 at a party. In Padilla’s ‘Draw My Life’ video, he explained that he and Kalel “ended up talking the entire night” and had “so much in common”. They began dating on October 10th, 2010. The couple lived together in Los Angeles, California, along with their cats Kabuki, Pip and Mogwai (now renamed Chibi). After nearly three years of dating, Kalel and Anthony went on vacation to Japan. Whilst there, Anthony proposed to Kalel in a vlog entitled ‘A Romantic Day In Japan’.
Before publicly announcing their separation in December 2014, Kalel and Anthony were building a family home together and had a wedding date of 10th October 2015. After announcing their separation, Kalel insisted that the couple would remain friends, however no indication has been given that this has been the case.
Kalel began posting vlogs on what was formerly WatchUsLiveAndStuff immediately after the separation. Some months after her split with Anthony, she explained that she and Anthony had both been seeing other people, which caused some controversy among fans. In March 2015, Kalel appeared in a video alongside fellow YouTuber Anna Akana, the subject matter being their inability to “stay single”.
In a 2015 vlog entitled 'I’M DATING', Kalel explained she had been given free tickets to a Sam Smith concert and was going with a date. Shortly afterwards, Kalel announced that she had begun dating this man and did not plan to reveal him on camera for some months. In a later video she debuted her boyfriend Alec Rosa, although some fans had already identified him.
In December 2015, Kalel ceased posting videos featuring Alec. In a video entitled 'Why 2015 Was The Worst Year Of My Life', Kalel briefly mentioned that the couple had split, but stressed that she did not want to talk about it.
A few weeks later, Kalel explained that she had met her new boyfriend at a New Year’s party in Las Vegas. Some fans criticised Kalel for entering into a new relationship so quickly. Kalel began posting vlogs featuring her new Persian boyfriend, although again she refrained from showing his face for some months. After officially “relaunching” her channel in June 2016, Kalel introduced her subscribers to her boyfriend Cyrus. In July 2016, she posted a 'Boyfriend Tag' video, in which Cyrus expressed that he thought Kalel was “the one”.
Kalel has often been the subject of controversy among her subscribers. Many have criticised her frequent absences from social media as well as her dishonesty with fans.
In 2010 it was revealed that Kalel had been dishonest about her entire backstory. She stated that her birth name was Kalel Cullen, and that her parents had met at a comic convention which was why they had named her after Superman. She claimed she had Scottish ancestry which is why her last name was Cullen. Around that time, Kalel posted a blog entry criticising fellow beauty gurus Elle and Blair Fowler (born Lisa and Laura) for lying about their names. It was later revealed that Kalel had lied about her own name, and was actually called Kristin Smith.
Kalel claimed her mother was Native American, but this was later revealed to be untrue. This angered many fans with Native American ancestry.
While posting videos for queenbeeuty, Kalel claimed to be in her third year of college. In actuality, Kalel had only just started a few weeks prior and was in her very first semester. When questioned about it, Kalel explained she “wanted to be a good role model” for her subscribers.
Kalel has received some criticism for her stance on veganism and animal rights. Kalel is famously vocal on social media about injustice towards animals, but has frequently been caught purchasing, using and consuming products which are not cruelty-free.
Shortly after announcing she had gone vegan, it was revealed in a vlog posted by Nikki Phillipi that Kalel was eating a meal which contained meat and dairy. While travelling in Europe Kalel announced there was “no way” she would be eating vegan as she didn’t want to “miss out on the cultural experience”. This angered many fans who accused her of hypocrisy. Kalel has also been seen to promote makeup brands such as Lancome and Mac which are not cruelty free.
In 2015 Kalel posted a video entitled ‘This Is My F*cking Face’ in which she discussed her frustration with mainstream beauty standards. She explained that while she gets comments criticising her nose, she would never undergo a nose reconstruction surgery as she would be “too disappointed” in herself. Despite this, in February 2016 she announced her intention to undergo a rhinoplasty. Many fans criticised her for this decision, citing her influence on young subscribers to be negative.