Looking for the perfect smokey eye tutorial? Youtube is the place to go! This well-loved video sharing platform is known for its massive and ever-growing beauty community that in recent years has dominated the beauty industry.
This social media platform has really switched up how people interact with the beauty products that are being sold to them. As before Youtube, brands relied on lifestyle magazines and billboards to advertise their products; however, this way of marketing was highly impersonal; how could you gauge the quality of the product through heavily airbrushed photos? Youtube became a platform used by beauty lovers that gave consumers a comprehensive review of the best and worst beauty products on the market, changing the makeup and beauty game. Estee lauder revealed that they spend 75% of their marketing budget on digital influencers, which just goes to show how much they rely on the customers that these gurus bring in.
Realising the influence that beauty influencers played in the selling of their products, they turned to these people to drive sales for their items. But there was a trend that was seen too often within the beauty community when black women reviewed popular makeup products. The makeup that many brands were selling strongly reflected the colourism that goes on in the industry. A lot of the shades, whether that was foundation, eyeshadow or even lipstick, would be far too pale for darker-skinned women with fairer skin tones often being at the top of their shade ranges. It was a real struggle for many young black people to find makeup that matched their skin tones because a lot of the time, the makeup just wasn’t being made for them. This was made apparent through advertising campaigns which would often have white women at the face of their brand leaving black people unrepresented. MAC was one of the only brands that catered for women of colour, but it was pricey. Black women would often have to buy more than one shade just to find a skin tone match. We’d be mixing two shades together just to find our very own shade that often didn’t even cut it!. BET found that black women in America spend $233 million per year on cosmetics, which makes up 11% of the industry, but what is shocking about this statistic is that black American women only make up 14% of the population. Annually black women spend $7.5 Billion annually on beauty products, we have a massive spending potential that many brands disregard.
It was only until black influencers exposed the colourism that runs through the beauty industry that things could start to change. Here are three Youtubers that time and time again said that this was not acceptable. Their voices helped to transform the makeup industry for the black community:
A black beauty youtuber OG! Jackie Jackie Jackie jackieeeee has been in the game since 2010, teaching us the proper techniques of applying makeup for 11 years! From grainy videos to professional-quality tutorials, Aina has blossomed on her platform. She has a following of 3.5 million and is the Founder of Forvr mood, a luxury candle company that places the pampering of black women at its core. On her youtube channel she constantly calls for brands to do better, giving her audience a detailed look into the shades ranges that brands were releasing. She also emphasises the brands that were and have been inclusive of POC. Releasing an eyeshadow palette with the highly recognised cosmetic company Ananstasia bevely hills, she created a product that worked for all complexions, helping us girls get our eyeshadow fix!
Is a south Sudanese beauty blogger living in the US. As a dark-skinned woman, Tang uses her channel to really explore the range of products that are out there for women with darker skin tones. She has a following of 1.3 million subscribers and has been in the youtube sphere for four years. She advocates for inclusivity in the beauty community because when she was younger she felt as if ‘Society was telling [her] that I did not fit the standard of beauty and that was really difficult as a young woman’. With this being a pivotal experience she creates content that included women of all shades, empowering individualistic beauty. Tang has also recently released a collaboration with the brand Doseofcolors, curating shades that personify her signature nude and coral lips and are catered toward darker skinned women.
Entrepreneur, beauty and fashion blogger and mother of two, Patricia Bright is another OG of the youtube community. Based in the UK, Bright has been on the youtube platform for ten years. Being a dark skin woman, she would often call out brands for not having her shade range. Bright really held a spotlight up to brands, especially ones that could be accessed in the UK that weren’t considering black women. She collaborated with makeup revolution creating a vibrant eyeshadow palette representing her African roots, a blush for deeper and darker skin tones and face contours that didn’t show up as grey on black skin. The makeup revolution collaboration was makeup that everyone could afford as it was a drugstore product. She really covered all the skin ranges when it came to her collection! But her talents do not stop just there; Patricia focuses more now on entrepreneurship, giving detailed discussions on all things finance, giving critical knowledge and empowering young women to start up their own business and become their own boss.
The great thing about Youtube is the fact that anyone can use it, which creates a genuine and honest environment. The representation that black beauty gurus have brought to the makeup industry is very evident. For too long we didn’t see our faces on anything beauty related so it has been incredibly positive to see women that looked us representing us. Their effort to involve the black community has not gone unnoticed and they’ve really paved the way for future makeup lovers. Hopefully with the continuation of their truthful reviewing of makeup products and their voices for change, a fairer and more inclusive industry can be created. By these three gurus unveiling the bias that takes place within the industry they have made it too clear that there is little room for arguments against inclusivity in beauty.