With influencer marketing on the rise, it comes as no surprise that anyone and everyone is jumping into beauty blogging, Youtubing and Instagramming. And while commercial influencers, with makeup tutorials and ever-increasing sponsored posts, abound, it is hard to find authentic, talented influencers who are widening the dialogue on beauty.
Below is a list of 11 beauty gurus you’re going to want to keep tabs on this year. Because the dialogue about beauty is more than skin-deep.
1. Em Ford – @mypaleskinblog
Instagram followers: 947K
People keep asking me where I’ve been, and why I haven’t been posting as much… the truth is, that I’ve been sick, super sick. and there’s no worse feeling than knowing you’ve lost months of your life and no matter how hard you try… you won’t ever get them back, and even more frustratingly – not knowing why. I feel like I’ve had every test done In the world from checking for Lupus, to spending what felt like an eternity worrying and waiting to know if I have a brain tumour (all clear) or if I had a stroke in my sleep. I’ve lost hearing in one ear, couldn’t remember words, how to form sentences, often the ability to use my hands & arms as well as constant exhaustion and pain amongst a never ending series of things that just didn’t make sense to me or my doctors. But I’m still here. I’m okay, I’m pushing through, and I’m being the best me I can be ❤️. 6 months ago I actually celebrated sending 2 emails in one day, and in September I finished filming You Look Disgusting 2 – with a team of around 40+ people. There are good days and bad days, but just know that I’ve spent the past few months working my butt off as best as I can, making some insane content which I can’t wait to share with you – and trying to be back to just being a happy and healthy me ❤️ thanks for waiting, watching and always being so welcoming. ❤️ love you all xx #skinpositivity Edit: thank you so much for the love you guys. OMG me heart ❤️. I will look into what you’re saying re: Lyme and check if we’ve already tested for it. Also – I don’t have implants so wouldn’t be implant disease 🙁
This London-based influencer faced a tide of derogatory comments when she first started blogging, which led to her world famous “You Look Disgusting” video that took the internet by storm. Since then she has been lauded for her efforts in advocating skin positivity and self-acceptance by regularly posting makeup-free images on social media.
2. Nabela Noor – @nabela
Instagram followers: 1 Million
Like Em Ford, this Bangladeshi–American makeup guru was a victim of cyberbullying but is now carving a niche for herself as a Muslim influencer in the beauty community. She uses her social platform to promote self-love and shares her experience as a Muslim living in the US combating Islamophobia.
3. Nyma Tang – @nymatang
Instagram followers: 273K
Nyma Tang brings to the cosmetic community what it direly needs – a people of color perspective that highlights the shortcomings of the industry. She is known to be among the few who raise their voices and criticise the exclusivity of the field when it comes to women of colour.
4. Hamel Patel – @hamelpatel
Instagram followers: 53.3K
Dil le gayi kudi Gujarat di ∴ . . @vdlus Lumilayer Fresh primer #lumislayers @lauramercier #flawlessfusion ulta-longwear foundation in 4W2 chai & glow setting powder #mercierbyme @hudabeauty #hudabeautyoverachiever in 16G graham cracker, #hudabeautyeasybake in blondie, #hudabeautyobsessions in ruby @sigmabeauty sculpt palette #sigmabeauty @benefitcosmetics 24 hour brow setter #benefitbrows #benefitclubpink @narsissist climax mascara & brow perfector in näia #neverfakeit #narsissist @mentedcosmetics lip liner in m5 @maccosmetics clear lipglass @covergirl black liquid eyeliner #iamwhatimakeup @pixibeauty glow mist #makeup# #makeupartist #beautyinfluencer #wakeupandmakeup #indian #influencer #indianmakeup #desimakeup #bollywood #mua # #looksbyhp #style #fashion #modeling #portraitmood #navratri #navratri2018 #gujarati
Based in North Carolina with a sizable Instagram following, Hamel Patel gained popularity due to her artistic tribute to the eight original Disney Princesses by recreating their looks with an Indian twist. She is one of the few fresh faces that represent the “brown community” in the cosmetic industry.
5. Isabelle Weall – @itz.izz
Instagram followers: 272K
Isabelle Weall was seven years old when she contracted meningitis, and although she pulled through, the effects of the illness lingered which made her a quadruple amputee. However, this didn’t stop the positive 14-year-old from pursuing her racing dream and starting her makeup blog, which now boasts a large following.
6. Farah Dhukai – @farahdhukai
Instagram followers: 6.3 Million
Sometimes I scroll through Instagram and think to myself… “I wish I had her body, I wish I had her smile, I wish I could pose like her or be as confident as her, I wish pictures didn’t make me feel uncomfortable af and I wish I wasn’t a shy goofy mess” and I end up not wanting to post pictures because I don’t look like everyone else.. I didn’t want to post this picture because I didn’t think I looked “perfect” enough for social media… ♀️but then I thought, who decided what perfect is? F dat nonsense of being so hard on yourself and comparing your life/your looks to someone else’s.. perfect is loving your imperfectly perfect self 🙂 ✊❤️♀️ Tag a friend you think is beautiful and compliment the person who commented above you.. they just might need to hear something nice today and you could make their day ❤️
More commonly recognised as the inspiration behind the beauty brand Farsali, Farah Dhukai began work as an Instagram blogger back in 2012, gaining widespread popularity as a “local internet grandma”. She features a variety of DIY makeup and skincare routines made from homemade ingredients.
7. Deepica Mutyala – @deepica
Instagram followers: 186K
“Be the type of person that not only turns heads but turns souls” _ Saw this quote on my friend @harryjoshhair’s page. He’s always spreading positivity & love. Reminds me that success is nothing unless your path to success was built through kindness. Tag a page below that spreads positivity . We need more of that xx _ MUA: @taraschwartzmakeup Hair: @valerievanessa.hair Photo: @nujent Earrings: @pratidi_ny
This beauty bigwig is the founder of an online beauty community – Tinted that seeks to foster anyone who feels underrepresented in the current state of the beauty industry. Credited in bringing South Asians into the conversation of inclusivity, Deepica encourages “all shades in between” to #livetinted with her.
8. Jake Jamie – @jakejamie
Instagram followers: 299K
First selfie with my new username! Who dis? I changed my username from @makeupbyjakejamie as when I first started on Instagram I just did makeup, but now I do skincare, diys, lifestyle (and of course still makeup!) so I just wanted my name on Instagram to reflect those changes So now I’m simply just @jakejamie ❤️ do you guys like it? P.S I have teamed up with someone very special and together we have created an EPIC giveaway for you guys…. all will be revealed tomorrow!!!
Compared to Patrick Starr, Manny Gutierrez and other famous male vloggers, Jake Jamie is a relatively new and fresh addition to the beauty community. Known on YouTube as The Beauty Boy, this British blogger has made it his personal mission to crush the gender stereotype that makeup is an indicator of feminity and has gone on to found the #makeupisgenderless campaign.
9. Kylie Bamberger – @kyliebamberger
Instagram followers: 11.4K
Let’s talk about harmful expectations. When I lost my hair, it was expected that I would replace it with a wig. Expected that I wear something artificial and inauthentic. When I could hide under a wig, I never felt the need to face my hair loss. Those expectations set me back years from self acceptance. It’s those very same expectations I stand to change. Finally I was able to realize that while Alopecia stole my hair, it gave me more self love than I would ever know. I learned to respect this journey and help others along the way. #alopeciaawarenessmonth
Kylie Bamberger began losing her hair at the age of 12, and by the time she was 15, she became completely bald. She is now more accepting of her alopecia and prefers to go out without a wig while encouraging others to do so as well. Although she is not considered a makeup blogger, she is definitely gaining popularity as a beauty influencer spreading alopecia awareness and self-love through her Instagram posts and stories.
10. Catherine Martinez – @catthe1st
Instagram followers: 37.5K
NYU communicative sciences alumni Catherine Martinez has nailed inclusivity with her makeup tutorials made specifically in the American Sign Language. She thrives on integrating the deaf culture into the hearing world and is currently advocating for communicative resources in the media we see.