In modern beauty culture, the belief is that perfection is the goal. Thankfully, that’s changing and people are demanding beauty brands take a look at how they influence modern society from their campaigns to their marketing, and their models. As a first-generation Filipina, I seek content—especially beauty content—that celebrates different cultures and shows just how beautiful brown skin really is.
If you do too, then you’ll love this list of WOC creators who are forcing the traditional beauty industry to rethink why, and for who, they are creating their products. Each one of them was carefully curated to make you expand your definition of beauty, and above all, how you see beauty in yourself.
When you read through this article, I don’t want you to simply “diversify your feed” because it goes much deeper than just hitting the follow button. One link between these women is they embrace every part of who they are, which in turn becomes their power, which is why people love following them—and why you will too!
Read on for the 10 women of color beauty content creators who are shaking up the industry, for good!
image above: paola mathé by riley reed
NAME: Hannah Harris
IG HANDLE: @browngirlhands
ABOUT: Hannah Harris is the creator behind the simple, but impactful Instagram, Brown Girl Hands which features brown girl hands holding beauty products, everything from Glossier to SuperGoop! What is it about featuring Black hands holding beauty products that make such an impact? Well, the obvious lack of Black hands featured in beauty campaigns, e-commerce, and social accounts is something Hannah Harris, the creator behind the Instagram, @browngirlhands is trying to change. Harris was inspired to start this account after reading Jessica Defino’s article, Where Are All the Brown Hands?, where she breaks down the where and why of how important representation in beauty is. Because as Harris writes in her bio, “Black hands are aesthetic too.”
IG HANDLE: @its.shiny
ABOUT: Shiny is a digital creator and skin positivity influencer based in NYC. Acne is one of the most common skin concerns in America, yet in a society obsessed with perfection, skin neutrality, skin positivity, simply loving your skin has only become a movement in recent years. Shiny is helping to shift the perspective on “bad skin” by simply being herself. “The way I fully got over it (being scared to step outside without makeup) was to jump into it head-on, sharing my biggest insecurity publicly,” she admits. “And now I think hmm, it’s not as scary as I thought!” Now, Shiny’s skinclusive message has garnered over 47k followers. Turns out, the easiest way to love yourself is by diving headfirst into the parts of yourself you love the least.
NAME: Niha Chandrasekar
IG HANDLE: @indiepeacock
ABOUT: Niharika is a make-up artist and content creator who uses color as self-expression and inspires others to create a stronger sense of self with her bold and creative looks using vivid colors. Incorporating creativity and color into your style or beauty routine is a fun way to change your energy and I truly believe it can dramatically change your mood! Part of what makes Niha so inspiring to follow on Instagram is how she embraces who she is and how she carves out her relationship to what it means to be a South Asian woman. Her idea of beauty is about self-expression and creativity, not striving toward what society defines as beautiful.
“I love embracing part of my culture through my makeup content by taking inspiration from Indian jewelry as well as the culture’s bold color stories,” she tells me. “In my content, I like showing the complexity of Indian women, meaning we don’t just radiate traditional Indian ways of dressing or makeup but also strive to be bold and go beyond our expected norms! I think that’s where a true and a real celebration of culture comes from.”
NAME: Janibell Rosanne
IG HANDLE: @janibellrosanne
ABOUT: Janibell is an Afro-Caribeña beauty content creator who uses fashion and beauty as a creative outlet. Her mission is to inspire young women to be unapologetic about who they are and who they want to be. Beauty, curls, and style—Janibell does it all. Her aesthetic is a little edgy and a little romantic. From sharing her natural hair journey to creating drool-worthy makeup looks inspired by the world around her, like this make-up video. One good thing about the Internet is young women can find themselves represented and reflected on screen, even just on Instagram, which is a lot more representation than what I grew up with.
NAME: Tiffany Black
IG HANDLE: @tifffay
ABOUT: Proud Diné (Navajo), Tiffany Black is a beauty influencer mostly known for creating bright colored eye-looks. She’s collaborated with other amazing Indigenous creatives such as fashion model, Quannah Rose who was recently featured on the cover of Vogue. At first glance, you might only see bright colors, but Tiffany’s work goes beyond just make-up. Combining both her love for art and her Diné community, channels her energy into increasing awareness for Indigenous issues. In 2019, she shared her personal story about sexual assault along with a curated make-up look to talk about the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women epidemic affecting women in Canada and the U.S.
NAME: Nikki Lopez
IG HANDLE: @theholyglosspel
ABOUT: Nikki is the creator of “The Shady Series”—an Instagram hashtag comparing foundation shades among brands, which sparked accountability for beauty brands to prove how inclusive their shade ranges are. One of the things I love most about Nikk’s “skinsta” is how she doesn’t shy away from pimples, breakouts, and shares her skin progress. Her two most popular series are “What’s On My Face?” where she talks about the skincare products she’s using and her “The Shady Series” that blew up her Instagram—here’s her shade analysis on Fenty Beauty. In a world of “perfect skin”, her vulnerability around her skincare journey is a welcome one.
IG HANDLE: @skinbykerr
ABOUT: Kerr is a Ghanian-born beauty influencer educating people about better skincare and the creator of #sundazescreen—a compilation of BIPOC-friendly sunscreens that don’t leave a white cast. More than that, Kerr is an aspiring dermatologist with a love for Korean beauty products. Her skincare obsession began after damaging her own skin and she has made it her mission to help educate BIPOC on how to take care of their skin ever since. She also hopes to increase the representation of Black women in dermatology.
NAME: Bekah Sun
IG HANDLE: @bekah_sun
ABOUT: Bekah Sun is a beauty enthusiast with an affinity for luxury and an insistence on equity in the beauty space. She’s also a Ph.D. candidate in cultural studies, visual studies, ethnic studies, gender and sexuality studies, and ethnography—I mean, wow! Her beauty content encourages other women of color to use beauty as a tool to be playful, experiment, and indulge—her emphasis on this idea to indulge is almost jarring. For many first-generation, women of color indulgence was not an option. Our families were working hard to provide the best education and what we needed with little room for extras. Still to this day, many of my friends, who also grew up first-gen, struggle with the idea of even spending money beyond what they need. To indulge is a radical concept of self-love for women of color.
IG HANDLE: @minoblue
ABOUT: Noémie is a beauty and lifestyle digital creator, and mom of three based in Los Angeles. This is one of my fave beauty recs accounts because Noémie shares all of her favorite beauty recommendations, like what to snag on the Sephora’s November sale. (Her Youth to the People Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser rec is definitely on my list.) She shares honest reviews about the products she’s trying out—no sugarcoating. Check out her Instagram story “EMPTIES” for all of the products she’s used. Her account is probably the most informative account on this list.
NAME: Lucy Nguyen
IG HANDLE: @sundaywithlucy
ABOUT: Lucy Nguyen is a second-generation Vietnamese-American living in Austin, TX. Outside of her community work in immigrant health and language justice, she is a content creator sharing her journey on fashion, sustainability, and cultural identity. Dreamy, Parisian vibes on any given day of the week, Lucy isn’t just giving the vibe on Sundays. I love her for not only her incredible aesthetic but her bold belief in celebrating her Vietnamese American heritage. Lucy uses beauty, art, and fashion to explore her cultural identity and reframe what it means to be Vietnamese American. “I find more and more that beauty isn’t individualized, it’s collective,” she notes. “I find beauty exists in the community. I feel the most beautiful people in my mind have a fervent connection with their roots, community, and values, and they bring inspiration and joy where ever they go.”