The internet is a wonderful, magical, mystical creation that has created an entire generation of skeptics, trolls, and haters—and that’s especially true when it comes to beauty. Listen, we know you don’t really trust us, or any other publication out there telling you that *this* is the absolute best, life-changing product to buy right now.
We know that you’ve been burned by beauty bloggers and vloggers who sold out to big-name companies in return for biased, sponsored reviews. We get it, because we feel the same way. Which is why our icy, judgmental hearts melted when we stumbled upon one product-obsessed woman in a corner of Instagram, reviewing products in the coolest and most-unbiased of ways—no sponsorship involved. Swoons.
Meet Yana Sheptovetskaya, founder of the Intsagram account @Gelcream, who loves “holding and testing beautiful products,” according to GelCream’s Instagram bio. And, honestly, it’s probably the most accurate bio to ever describe an Instagram account, considering that all of Sheptovetskaya’s 167 photos are of her hand, holding pretty beauty products.
But other than just lookin’ nice, each of the Instagram posts features a short review in the caption, describing the product’s texture, the smell, the feel, the before-and-after effect, etc., along with a five-point rating scale. No, the reviews aren’t insanely long or in-depth, and no, Sheptovetskaya isn’t a self-proclaimed beauty expert by any means (“My reviews are light and easy,” she tells us. “I don’t have the relevant background to advice on how to treat the skin conditions, so I try to stay away from it”), but she is a product lover, and she’s giving the world—or, at least 7,000 of her followers—real, honest opinions on cult-favorite products, like the Herbivore Blue Tansy mask, the Oaui Dry Shampoo Foam, and the Root Science Polish Facial Exfoliant.
It helps, of course, that Sheptovetskaya has a background in fashion, previously holding the titles of fashion editor at both Russian Vogue and London’s AnOther Magazine, while currently acting as production manager at the fashion brand A.W.A.K.E. in London. “I’m in love with the fashion photography of the ‘90s, like the works of Paolo Roversi and Alexey Brodovitch, as well as the modern The Gentlewoman Magazine,” she says. “So GelCream is my little magazine where I keep the same type of format and have a few on-going features.”
As for picking the products she reviews, that’s where her background comes into play. “I select the products that create an emotion for me, either because of the brand history, or the packaging, or because of the product itself,” says Sheptovetskaya, noting how important the first moment she opens the box is, or when she first touches the bottle or smells the product. “I want to share this emotion with my readers,” she says.
And we can honestly say that scrolling through GelCream’s Instagram is somewhat of an emotional experience—at least, in terms of the hardcore envy we feel for how freaking beautiful and well-curated her photos are. (Yana, can you please re-design our own Instagram accounts? Thanks.) Though we’re not saying you should buy every single product that Sheptovetskaya features—and neither does she, based on some of her reviews—we do think you should give her a follow, or at least check in with her reviews before you drop $100 on some cool-looking, but ultimately awful, beauty product. And then maybe, just maybe, if you stare at her photos long enough, you’ll magically possess the powers to create your own Insta-perfect brand, too. Maybe.