Beauty Gurus: A Continued Rant

I wrote an article awhile back about my concerns with beauty gurus. But, I’ve come to realize that I didn’t even get to some of the more important points. Here are some more of my gripes with beauty gurus.

Challenge videos! AKA: Non-content

“Full Face of __ Challenge.” “Applying Foundation With a ___ Challenge.”

Take a random makeup item (highlighter, liquid lipsticks, glitter) and smother your face in it. Ok, it makes a good April Fools video, but how many of these challenge videos do I need?


Those videos look fun to make, I guess, but it’s not what most people are looking for—especially the foundation application videos. One of the most egregious examples is the “condom beauty blender challenge.” Not only does it (surprise, bitch!) not work, it’s also a waste of condoms and time. If I own a beauty blender or a makeup sponge, I am not gonna use a condom as well. Imagine if you decided to take your perfectly working hairbrush and hammer nails into the back of it; sure, the nails may (or may not) detangle your hair as effectively as the bristles, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.


One of my favorite new YouTube channels is Cluam Sutherland. I have never seen someone get YouTube so perfectly. She is a satirical parody icon. For example, one of the videos she did was applying her foundation with a brick. That was a joke. Some real examples include applying foundation with a tampon, a blob of slime (a blob of slime is a correct measurement, trust me, I’m a chemist), a litany of foodstuffs, and a pair of testicles. Yes, some girl has used her boyfriend’s balls to apply her makeup. #CoupleGoals

Fake “wokeness”

If you haven’t heard, Rihanna’s new beauty line, Fenty Beauty, has recently launched in Sephora. What’s interesting is that Fenty released an initial 40 foundation shades that are very inclusive. Colors range from the lightest of light to the darkest of dark. Beauty influencers such as John Maclean (who has very pale skin) and Nyma Tang (who has very dark skin) were happy to see their shades actually available in an initial launch; it’s hard for people on both ends of the shade spectrum (especially people with darker skin tones, as the undertones for dark foundation, usually look grey or red) to get the color they need.

Companies should be held more accountable for their limited shade range. (I’m lookin’ at you, It Cosmetics. That photo is one of their foundation lines.) That’s a whole other can of worms that will need its own article. But when a company finally does embrace all skin tones like Fenty Beauty, beauty gurus can’t use it as a way to prove their “wokeness.” What does that mean?


Well, imagine you’re a famous beauty guru with tons of loyal fans. Your foundation shade is always available because you have a light skin tone with basic undertones. You can use any brand as well—they will always make your color. How do you show that you’re supportive of the black community?  Well, that’s simple! Rave about how INCLUSIVE and REVOLUTIONARY and GROUNDBREAKING Fenty Beauty is for releasing 40 shades FOR ALL SKIN TYPES. I’m glad you noticed for the first time on your platform that a brand was doing a good job—it was hard not to with all the media coverage around this launch.


How about instead of praising the fix for a problem you have never acknowledged before, you hold other brands accountable for their limited shade range? How about every time there’s a new foundation line, you look at their color options and actually comment on whether the brands are doing a good job or not, not just talking when there’s intense reporting about it?


Jackie Aina does this a lot (she’s the only POC with at least 1 million subscribers), as does Stephanie Nicole. It’s not brain science, or rocket surgery (yes, I said that correctly, I am a scientist after all). Just notice. Expect more from these brands.

That brings up a good point. I don’t know why I bother to expect more from these influencers. I often find myself consistently disappointed by their actions. It’s because they don’t need to change. Problematic gurus like Jeffree Star and James Charles continue to grow at exponential rates. They play the same game and don’t ever change, and they don’t need to.


I’ll reiterate my same point from before. I miss the beauty gurus who cared about makeup, not trends in the industry. The days of Nikkie Tutorials and Michelle Phan are being phased out for pretty plastic dolls that seem more promotional than supportive. I hope there’s a change, but I don’t know how soon it’s gonna be.

Image Credit: Feature, 1, 2, 3