YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and other visually-focused social networks have thrown into question the standards by which Western society defines beauty. The image of the svelte, long-haired blonde beauty is increasingly at odds with reality as the Internet is empowering minorities everywhere to speak for themselves. This has led to the emergence of a new breed of black, Asian or Latino tastemakers now vying for a cut of the estimated 12 billion dollars that minority women spend on beauty products every year. Here are some of these trendsetting beauty influencers of color.
Aina originally started her Youtube channel after experiencing multiple instances of make-up discrimination herself. She recalls being told on countless occasions that women of “certain skin tones” can’t wear certain looks, Aina decided to take matters into her own hands. On her Youtube channel, she reviews products, creates versatile make-up tutorials, and takes on issues that the mainstream beauty community would rather leave untouched, dispelling myths including the trope that women of color “can’t” wear certain make-up looks (such as red lipstick or bright eyeshadow colors).
Without a doubt, Kattan is one of the most influential beauty personas we have today, with 20.7M Instagram followers and her own popular cosmetics brand, Huda Beauty. Born in the United States, but working out of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, Kattan has a worldwide reach that many US-based beauty influencers, despite their massive number of followers, simply cannot match. Kattan collaborates with industry influencers and brands from all over the world, from Charlotte Tillbury to Nikki Tutorials, and often provides Arabic subtitles to her video tutorials.
Phan has been a force in the beauty influence business for longer than even her legion of fans realize, having started her Youtube channel back in 2007. In addition to being the first beauty vlogger to partner with L’Oreal, Phan runs her own beauty company, EM Cosmetics. She was also one of the first Asian-Americans (Phan is of Vietnamese origin) beauty influencers to grab the attention of the American market.
Starr is not only one of the better-known male beauty influencers on social media, he is also one of the most influential vloggers of color. Starr is Filipino-American and currently has 2.4 million YouTube subscribers. On his channel, Starr covers everything from make-up tutorials (aided by the occasional celebrity guest) to collaborations with other beauty influencers such as Laura Lee and Deepica Mutyala.
Deepica Mutyala is an Indian-American beauty vlogger born and raised in Texas but currently residing in New York. Deepica covers the typical beauty influencer topics as well as GRWM’s (Get Ready With Me). She also reviews products to see if they are “Brown-Girl Friendly” and produces Indian-themed make-up tutorials (such as an Indian wedding make-up look). Deepica has worked on collaborations with Buzzfeed and with fellow MUA (Make-Up Artist) Patrick Starr on a Diwali inspired make-up tutorial.
No, that is not her actual name (which is Hye-Min Park), but Pony is one of the most famous beauty influencers in the game today. She’s particularly prominent in South Korea, her home country. As a former graphic designer, Pony has an eye for design that informs her make-up looks and infuses products from her own make-up brand, Pony Effect. In addition to discussing and demonstrating Korean make-up looks, Pony frequently adorns make-up looks from around the world. She is also known for creating make-up looks specifically for her Muslim, hijab-wearing fans.
Puello is a Panamanian-born beauty influencer known for her frank and honest opinions on beauty products, as much as her fabulous make-up looks. Puello is one of the best-known Latina beauty influencers with close to a million followers on her Youtube channel.
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