A Love Letter to YouTube Beauty Gurus

Dear Youtube Beauty Gurus,

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee more than all the Urban Decay NAKED palettes and Korean BB creams and Benefit highlighters in the world. I love thee for the chirpy ‘Hi, guys!’ greeting you all seem to do at the start of every video. I love thee for all the tangents you go off on whilst blending your foundation. Basically, I just think you’re great.When I first started watching beauty vloggers, I was overwhelmed. It was around the time that everyone on Youtube was putting out Kylie Jenner tutorials – nude overdrawn lips, high arched eyebrows, contour that went along your cheeks and jawline and nose. It’s a look that requires a lot of product, and on a student budget there’s only so far you can go.

Also, I look like I’ve got a beard when I contour my jawline.But once I explored the other videos the community was creating, I saw that the looks they were putting together weren’t homogenous after all. For instance, there’s Wayne Goss, who favours “clean beauty”, and Stef Sanjati, who does bold statement make-up in colours you might be afraid to use. People with all different face shapes show you how to emphasise the parts that you like, and there’s a million different vloggers with varying skin types and shades – there’ll be someone who gives product recommendations that you can trust.That’s not to say there aren’t any downsides. As much as these perfectly clear-skinned beauty vloggers recommend tinted moisturisers ‘to emphasise your natural beauty’, the fact is that if I went out in only tinted moisturiser and some Vaseline on my lips I’d look shocking.

Recently, there’s also been a lot of controversy over vloggers not being forthcoming about whether their video is sponsored or not. As their brands are usually built on having a gossipy, friendly relationship with their viewers, breaches of trust like this can damage their reputation – how can you rely on a Youtuber’s hints and tips if they’re just saying what a company wants them to?Despite all this, beauty vloggers have done some really positive things for girls’ self-esteem. Earlier this year, Youtuber ‘MyPaleSkin’ produced a video called ‘You Look Disgusting’, which prompted a discussion around the misogynist criticism faced by beauty gurus. It’s an issue women deal with daily – if you wear make-up you’re fake, a liar, narcissistic; if you don’t you’re ‘disgusting’. By tackling these attitudes in their videos, beauty vloggers can stop their viewers from internalising negative messages about their appearance.

And that’s why I love beauty gurus.


Edited by Tia Ralhan

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