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Influencers have become a growing force in the beauty industry. However, while beauty influencers stand to benefit from all of the freedom that the internet potentially offers, they still stumble into the same pitfalls as fashion magazines. Many of the most popular YouTubers–the Jeffree Stars and Jaclyn Hills— resemble models who already walk the runway.
Beauty fans around the world represent many different races, sexual and gender orientations, sizes, and skin tones. While influencers who get the biggest deals with major cosmetics brands often don’t look like us, there are exceptions. Makeup is for everyone. Here are some of my favorite beauty bloggers who take “unconventionally beautiful” to a new level and offer messages that are more than skin deep.
1. @laynadelay, 18
One of my favorite Instagram gurus is @laynadelay. Layna specializes in bright colors and bold shapes. Her makeup skills put a glam spin on FX makeup. Never scared to shy away from her brights or glitter, Layna always serves a new look, whether it’s pink monochrome or a full face of devilish red, complete with horns. It’s nice to see someone who is pushing the limits of makeup and showing that it can truly be an art beyond the usual glam look portrayed on Instagram and YouTube.
2. @sacheu, 22
Sarah Cheung may be conventionally pretty, but her makeup videos offer so much more than the average beauty blogger. Her easy-to-follow tutorials are intersected with politically-charged videos that tackle topics like anti-blackness in the Asian community.
Sarah is also a student, with videos fearlessly unpacking major philosophical topics, like utilitarianism and free will. While many YouTubers only scratch the surface of beauty, Sarah shows that knowledge is the always the best beauty tip.
3. @onlinekyne, 20
When it comes to drag queens, many of the top talents have had to build themselves up over time. Few get famous until their mid-to-late 20s. So it’s unusual to find such a young talent as @onlinekyne.
With countless videos on makeup, sewing, and even wig styling, Kyne has shown himself to be a triple threat. Kyne’s Machinist Marie Antoinette (as shown above) got him voted into the top 12 of the NYX Cosmetics FACE Awards. It’s inspiring to see someone so young accomplishing so much in the drag world.
4. @kenniejd, 23
On the surface, Kennie JD’s channel is devoted to her love of K-Beauty, loaded with product reviews and makeup tutorials inspired by looks from her favorite K-Pop idols. However, with her video series like K-Beauty on Dark Skin and The Darkest Shade: K-Beauty Edition, Kendall shares her struggles as a black girl in the K-Beauty world.
In one video, she calls out the fact that many Korean makeup brands are expanding into the international market, without catering to these international consumers by expanding their range of foundation shades. With nearly 160,000 subscribers, Kendall is using her popularity to push K-Beauty to be more inclusive and representative for people of color.
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