If you know of YouTubers Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson, then you probably know all about the drama these who have been embroiled in for most of 2020.
Between Jeffree’s racist past (and alleged present), Shane’s history of “jokes” which range from wildly inappropriate and racist to pedophilic and predatory, and the two allegedly conspiring to take down James Charles, a beauty YouTuber and Jeffree’s competition in the beauty space, this year has been their year of getting everything karma has in store for them. Seeing how the drama Jeffree and Shane allegedly tried to create last year nearly cost James his life, it’s only fitting that these two get put through the ringer.
Black YouTubers have been calling out Jeffree and Shane’s piss poor behavior for years, only for their cries and pleas to be met with disaffected silence and gaslighting. Now, in the wake of George Floyd’s death, everyone appears to be waking up and realizing that everything Black YouTube–and Black social media figures in general–has been saying about these two is correct. Thanks for finally getting on the bandwagon, guys.
So, with that said, you might be a white or non-Black former supporter of Jeffree and/or Shane and want to know how you can make amends or provide your form of reparations to Black YouTube, and the Black social media community in general. The first thing you can do, aside from recognizing that you were a part of the problem by listening to and supporting white racists instead of the Black whistleblowers, is to seek out some Black YouTubers to support and learn from. Thankfully, there are plenty out there, despite how YouTube consistently looks over these creators and their wealth of talent, knowledge, and lack of problematic behavior.
I’ve listed below 10 Black beauty and lifestyle YouTubers I watch or have watched with my sister in the past. None of these 10 Black YouTubers are Jackie Aina, Arnell Armon or her sister Alissa Ashley. While they are beautiful, knowledgeable and highly popular, they are also three of the most well-known Black beauty YouTubers that people, Black or otherwise, think of when trying to list Black beauty YouTubers to watch. They deserve all of the praise for their success, but my focus is to uplift some creators who always seem under the radar to me.
With that said, here’s my list of Black beauty and lifestyle YouTubers to pay attention to.
Will on a Whim
Will on a Whim’s channel is focused on Black haircare, but he also occasionally posts about his travel excursions, clothing hauls and home decor.
Will, whose full name is Will Humphrey, gives Black men and women the lowdown on which haircare products are working and which ones aren’t worth your money. Along with his product reviews, he also provides tutorials on hairstyles, homemade hair products (such as homemade gels) and hair techniques. He also dabbles in giving his reactions to some of the wildest hair videos out there on YouTube. Best of all, he presents all of his information in a fun, hilarious way, complete with a library of memes and clips to illustrate his emotions.
I found Kennie J.D. (full first name: Kendall) when I was writing about Korean makeup brands that actually cater to darker skintones. For those Black, K-pop loving girls out there who want to watch someone they can relate to, Kennie J.D. is your girl, especially since she also has her own makeup collaborations with Wishtrend. (The collaborative giftset is now sold out, but you can shop Kennie’s favorite products from the giftset at Wishtrend.)
She presents makeup reviews of popular American and Korean brands, and doesn’t hold back on her opinions, especially if the brand in question makes Black women’s skin look ashy. She also provides a counterpoint to other makeup channels reviewing K-beauty, since the women on those channels might not recognize the issue Black and darker-skinned women in general have when trying to participate in the K-beauty lifestyle. While Kennie’s content can get serious regarding race and complexion in the K-beauty world, she still presents the information with fun and humor. Her humor continues in her reviews of bad movies and thoughts on pop culture.
Nitraa B is someone my sister watches regularly, and it makes sense why she does–like my sister, Nitraa B (real name: Anitra) loves making her home and herself as beautiful as possible. Most of Nitraa’s content is about beautifying the home, and she provides her audience home decor hauls, cleaning videos, and vlogs featuring her husband and young son. She also posts makeup videos, GRWM (Get Ready With Me) videos, decorating videos and more.
Fun fact: Nitraa is also close to home, since she’s an Alabamian like me. I’m surprised I’ve never run into her yet, but here’s hoping the opportunity comes in the future.
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“A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life” 💬💄✨ ⠀ 🧐 …but Ms. Chanel, sometimes she already has… ☺️🥰❤️✨ ⠀ Thank you for all your love on my hair cut video, WOW! 😭🙏🏾 Y’all are so caring, HILARIOUS, and supportive – THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart, and the ends of my CRISP AF strands 😝😘😘❤️❤️ #naturalhair
Naptural85, aka Whitney White, is someone who is very dear to my sister and I, since we are avid users of her haircare line, Melanin Haircare. The brand evolved along with her YouTube page, which features numerous natural hair tutorials, product reviews, and information on how to care for and protect your hair.
Her content is presented in an accessible, fun way that makes you feel like you’re one of her friends trying out the products with her. Plus, the way Whitney has succeeded in taking care of her own hair will make you trust her commitment to her haircare line, which is all about protecting your hair with natural, healthy ingredients.
Malibu Dollface (real name: Bejean Milan) is so fun to watch–he’s relatable, fashionable and opinionated.
Malibu’s expertise is in reviewing and installing wigs. His wig reviews also come with a side of fashion, so not only are you getting a proper wig review, but you’re also getting a look as well.
He also peppers his channel with videos about the latest drama, particularly when a certain story affects Black people, specifically Black women. From Jordyn Woods to Surviving R. Kelly to Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, Malibu will give you some food for thought while being relatable and enjoyable to watch.
Nyma Tang is someone I feel is in the same ballpark as Jackie Aina, Alissa Ashley and Arnell Armon, but to me, I feel like she’s still routinely left out of conversations solely because of colorism, despite the fact that Nyma has had a collaboration with MAC Cosmetics. But Nyma’s content is probably some of the most useful makeup content out there for Black consumers, since she is part of the Black spectrum that is routinely underserved by makeup companies.
Nyma focuses her reviews primarily on giving consumers insight as to which brands are actually catering to darker skintones. She also has a series on her channel called “The Darkest Shade,” in which she specifically tests foundations to see if their darkest shade does, indeed, match her deep complexion. For makeup lovers out there who are routinely frustrated by searching for the right shade, Nyma gives you everything you need to know.
Too Much Mouth
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Can you tell it’s my favorite color? #mented Brow Pencil #jackieaina Palette #meltcosmetics Muerte Palette #tatcha liquid silk canvas #fenty Concealer #beautyblender concealer (as foundation) #hudabeauty powder #patmcgrath powder #uomabeauty contour stick #primebeauty bronzer #mented clay too much blush #colourpopcosmetics gloss
Too Much Mouth’s YouTube channel is full of beauty tutorials, reviews, and tips for Black makeup lovers, especially those who are darker skinned. Too Much Mouth (real name: Shanygne) uploads also include fashion hauls and reviews, fashion hacks, storytimes, and her commentary on the beauty world, particularly with how the beauty industry caters (or doesn’t cater) to the wide variety of Black consumers.
I actually got inspired from Shanygne to revisit the ’90s trends of browns and nudes, a trend that had a recent revival last year. While I’d toyed with the idea of recreating some ’90s makeup looks, I didn’t actually go whole hog until I saw how beautiful Shanygne looked wearing those nostalgic looks. So if you’re looking for some ’90s inspiration, Too Much Mouth is who you need to watch.
Patricia Bright is a YouTuber, businesswoman and fashionista whose hilarity and relatability quickly won me over. Bright’s business, YHair, gives Bright even more credibility in the beauty YouTube game, as well as her collaborations with Makeup Revolution. But what probably goes the furthest with me is how real she is regarding her own consumerism.
Whether her fashion or makeup hauls are sponsored or not, she gives her fans the same opinions she’d give if she were hanging out with her friends in the makeup or clothing stores. She is vulnerable regarding how she feels about certain clothes, makeup products, and her body, which makes her opinion trustworthy, because if we’re honest, we’ve all felt that tug of discomfort when something doesn’t fit right or look right, despite how much you want to make it work for you.
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If Brown Sugar Was A Person! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🤣🤣 I couldn’t help it with the caption. Thank You so much for luv on the video for this look both on YT and here. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ❗️Swipe to see the “I gotta hide cos I owe that girl $50” pose. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ MENTIONABLES —————— E Y E S H A D O W @juviasplace WAHALA PALETTE F O U N D A T I O N @juviasplace I Am Magic 120 (CHAD) C O N C E A L E R @juviasplace I Am Magic Concealer J5 C O N T O U R @juviasplace The Chocolates Palette B L U S H @juviasplace Saharan Blush Palette Vol.1 LASHES @bonsubeauty Ohemaa Trio ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #lipgloss #glitterliner #pressonnails #naturalhairstyles #4chair #wahalapalette #wahala#juviasplacewahalapalette
Ohemaa, like several of the makeup YouTubers I’ve mentioned in this article, caters specifically towards Black women with darker skintones. Ohemaa’s (full name: Ohemaa Bonsu) makeup looks are vibrant and eye-catching, making you want to learn all of her secrets from her.
She also provides numerous makeup reviews and application tips, giving her viewers the inside scoop into how to get flawless, stareworthy looks. She also dives into fashion hauls, commentary on colorism in the beauty industry, and vlogs about her life.
Tima Loves Lemons
Tima Loves Lemons is another go-to for Black girls who want to watch other Black girls who are into K-pop and K-beauty. Tima shows her follows how to go full Aesthetic with tutorials on various trends, reviews of K-beauty brands, fashion hauls and lookbooks, and more.
She’s also been featured on KimChi Chic Beauty’s Instagram page several times, modeling the latest products from the brand started by RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Kim Chi. Her reach is all over YouTube, Instagram and Twitter, with devoted fans looking to her for advice and tips on how to successfully live the alt-girl fantasy.
Who do you love from this list? And do you want to see more lists like this? Let me know in the comments section below!