YouTube has become a major platform for makeup artists and hairstylists, both beginner and professional, to cultivate their gifts and share them with diverse audiences around the world. Though you’re probably familiar with Bethany Mota and Michelle Phan and others, how many black beauty bloggers can you name? Likely not that many.
Despite little to no recognition, YouTubers of color have challenged the idea that they don’t belong in this space. So for Black History Month, we’re celebrating 11 black YouTubers who are changing the face of beauty, one subscriber and beauty product at a time.
Raye Boyce, aka ItsMyRayeRaye, is a YouTuber famously known for her fun beauty tips, easy hair tutorials, and inexpensive DIY makeup looks. Boyce was one of the first black beauty vloggers to hit 1 million subscribers on YouTube, marking a major achievement for women of color. The Boston native also had a popular lipstick line in collaboration with ColourPop.
Ellarie has garnered a YouTube following of more than 300,000, who tune in to see #allthingsmakeup — from her mermaid-inspired eye looks to her adorable daughter painting her face. She’s given brown girls tons of inspiration, including how to wear brown eyeliner, rock the perfect shade of red lipstick, and sport metallic eyeshadow.
Jackie Aina, also known as Mother Jackie to her loyal subscribers of more than 1 million, has slayed tutorial after tutorial. While many vloggers feel pressure to give glowing reviews to secure partnerships, Aina has remained true to herself and transparent with her audiences in a comedic yet intentional way. She has challenged beauty brands to create more diverse shade ranges in foundations, made a #clapback video in response to the Marc Jacobs runway show, and tackled the appropriation of black hairstyles.
Shayla is a true example of a self-made beauty blogger. After working at MAC for more than seven years and as a freelance artist, she was told by a co-worker to use Instagram as a platform to showcase her skills. With more than 2.2 million followers on the platform, Shayla moved her tutorials over to YouTube, where she now has some 370,000 subscribers awaiting her next beauty look. From trendy makeup tutorials to everyday essentials, Shayla makes makeup fun and exciting.
Bold brows and fierce contour more of your beauty M.O? Then look no further than SonjdraDeluxe. Not only are her eyebrows a standout feature of her makeup routine, but she also very rarely uses makeup brushes — showing us all that a flawless makeup application can be achieved with your hands. With a complexion that looks like it has been touched by the sun gods, the Canadian-based makeup artist’s channel is one to watch.
If you’re looking for London beauty vlogger with a bodacious attitude, turn to Patricia Bright. With over 1 million Youtube subscribers, Bright’s channel offers a little bit of everything, including skin care secrets, plastic surgery stories, hilarious husband voice-overs, and much more. Aside from sharing her beauty tips and tricks, Bright is also candid on lessons she’s learned when it comes to finances, career, and family. Needless to say, she’s the beauty-loving friend we all need in our lives.
Kiitan A. is a Nigerian YouTuber ready to fulfill all of your hair lusts and needs through her channel. Whether it’s an unboxing videos to show a new lace front wig or how to revamp a hairstyle 12 different ways, Kiitan provides a variety of content for her 122,000 subscribers seeking a new hairdo. Sprinkled with quirky dance videos and makeup how-tos, her channel is a breath of fresh air.
HeyFranHey’s YouTube channel is for anyone looking to live a healthier, happier life. Suffering from anxiety? She’s got a holistic video on that topic. Attempting to make your own almond milk? She teaches you how to do it. Filled with homemade beauty recipes, natural hair remedies, and hygiene, nutrition and fitness facts, her 183,000 subscribers have a wellness component of beauty that is often overlooked.
The Plastic Boy
After garnering attention from L’Oréal’s True Match foundation ad, Gary Thompson, aka the Plastic Boy, is on every beauty lover’s must-watch list. With more than 10,000 subscribers, don’t expect him to remain under the radar for too long. Whether doing a first impression video on a new lip palette or getting real about his personal cosmetic enhancements, Thompson is certainly representing for the guys.
As a self-proclaimed “very gay, very dramatic” YouTuber, Kenneth Senegal challenges us to understand that makeup is diverse in shade as well as gender. His channel, which currently has some 283,000 subscribers, embodies the “tell it like it is” philosophy, so beware if you’re faint of heart. Among his story times, you’ll find beauty tutorials on black-owned makeup brands along with mainstream beauty hauls.
This 21-year-old makeup artist is definitely carving out a space for herself in the beauty industry. From her Mystery Makeup Monday series to her #MakeupBootCamp, Ashley makes makeup not only fun, but accessible to all who yearn to learn. The versatility on her channel, which probably accounts for her having 526,000-plus subscribers, also offers choices for people wanting a natural makeup look to those who desire full-on glam.
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