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4 Black Women In Beauty Who Call Out The Lack Of Inclusivity In The Industry

It’s Black History Month, and there is so much to celebrate! While it’s important to do every month, this month is a great time to reflect on the past and celebrate Black culture and its rich history. Whether it’s doing service in your community or educating yourself on topics and trends you owe to Black culture, there is always a reason to appreciate the many Black activists and leaders in history, and engage with the ones currently making history today. Many advocates are standing up for Black people each day, and they all fight for various causes such as voters’ rights, equal treatment, and civil rights. But there’s one cause in particular that needs to be included: an increase in inclusivity in the beauty industry. 

Now I love beauty — specifically Black beauty. As a child, I was raised to be proud of the color of my skin, never feel ashamed of it, and above all, celebrate it! How? Well for me, that meant using makeup. I love enhancing my features with contour or blush, using products that make my melanin glow, and pairing pretty colors with my brown skin. But there have been times when I haven’t been so lucky, and the brands I wish to try don’t have the right product or foundation that matches my skin. In those moments, I’ve wondered how this could happen and if it could change. Well, with the ever-growing rise of Black beauty content creators, I’m glad to say that there are people who are using their platform to call out brands for their errors and fight to make things right. There are so many creators taking a stand, but these women are some of my favorites who have called out the lack of inclusivity in the industry, and continue to do so each day. 

Jackie Aina

Jackie Aina is a professional makeup artist turned YouTube and TikTok sensation whose content centers around beauty, fashion, and lifestyle, but more importantly, inspiring and empowering women of color. She posted her first makeup video 14 years ago on YouTube and since then has blossomed into a beauty powerhouse, paving the way for other Black and POC creators. About a decade later, Aina has amassed a huge fanbase with over 1 million Instagram followers. 

What I love about Aina is her relatability. Any time I watch her videos, I feel like I’m FaceTiming a close friend of mine. She doesn’t treat her videos as advertisements, but rather to keep viewers informed. In a 2021 interview with E! News, Aina shared that she strives to critique a product she reviews with facts

“If I have a business relationship with the brand owner or the person who owns the product that I’m reviewing, I always try to critique it with facts because I would want the same respect given to me, but ultimately, I’m not obligated to lie about a product. I would never guarantee a positive review,” she said. “If it’s a favorite of mine and I’m recommending it as a favorite, it’s because I made that decision on my own.”

Aina has advocated for diversity and inclusion in the beauty world for years. In a 2016 video, “The Worst Beauty Brands EVER For POC,” Aina addressed brands and shade ranges that were not accessible for people of color. “I really do not like whenever I’m talking about this topic and people are like, ‘You shouldn’t be begging for inclusion. You should just be supporting your own,’” she said. “It’s not begging to just call it for what it is. This line lacks diversity.”

Despite the negative comments she received, Aina persisted in her mission of calling out beauty brands’ lack of diversity. As a result, she proved that change is possible when she announced in 2018 that Too Faced’s Born This Way Foundation line was getting nine shades curated by her. 

“At the end of the day, all of us just want to be heard,” she told E! “Whether we realize it or not, I think validation is extremely important to most people in general and so, being able to be approached by a brand that said, ‘We want you to actually fix something for us’ … I feel like this was definitely a really meaningful partnership for me because it directly tied into things that I think needed change in the industry.”

Jackie Aina continues to shed light on the lack of inclusivity while informing her followers about how having diversity in the beauty industry is important. If you haven’t followed her yet, I recommend taking a deeper dive into her content!

Nyma Tang

Of course, I have to include Nyma Tang! Tang uses her platform to talk about colorism, and helps those with darker tones navigate through the challenges of Western beauty standards. She started her YouTube channel in 2017 with tutorial videos, and over time, she’s gained over 1 million followers. Tang’s channel features the series The Darkest Shade, in which she reviews various foundations, bronzers, and more to help her followers find the best products while giving brands feedback about how they can be more inclusive.

In a May 2023 interview with Makeup.com by L’Oréal, Tang shared what inspired her to start speaking out about representation, inclusivity, and colorism in the industry. “It was when I started playing with makeup,” Tang said. “It was a really disheartening experience when I first started getting interested in makeup, going store to store and the shades [I needed] either not being available or them saying, ‘Oh, well we have the shades, but they’re online.’ Just feeling othered at every single beauty counter that I was going to really was what sparked it for me.”

In February 2023, Tang became the face of L’Oréal Paris True Match Foundation’s global campaign. She told HORL Magazine in May that L’Oréal Paris had always been her go-to. “Back then, I was wearing shade C10 because that was their darkest shade and it was something that I could actually work with within the drugstore. Now that I have C12 it’s just a no-brainer,” she said.

But of course, the work is never truly done. Tang knows that there is still room for improvement in the beauty industry to have inclusive products. In a 2019 interview with the Daily Front Row, she shared what beauty brands should be focusing on. “A lot of brands only market to women with lighter skin tones, which is often indicative of a lack of diversity within the company itself,” she explained. “I think a lot of these brands need to bring more Black women into the brand to market to Black women because they are able to speak the language and understand the struggles that many darker-skinned women face. If you don’t have that level of understanding, you have to bring someone in that does, or else it will sound very tone-deaf.”

Christina Abiola

Christina Abiola is an influencer who is also making waves in the beauty industry. As a mom and entrepreneur, she uses her voice and platform to uplift women through her relatable and inspiring content. Abiola was driven to start sharing on social media because of the lack of representation in the beauty world. In a 2022 interview with Huda Beauty, she shared that she was always fascinated with beauty. 

“I wanted to feel beautiful, so I watched all the shows, read the magazines, I even went as far as wearing my mother’s makeup,” she said. “In the end, I didn’t see anyone who looked like me in the beauty world. For some time, I felt maybe beauty wasn’t for me because I didn’t see myself represented.”

That’s when Abiola decided to create her own representation of beauty, and started her Instagram. Thanks to Abiola’s content, so many people have been exposed to the magic that is Black beauty while also getting to know Abiola on a deeper level.

As a Black beauty lover, I love to see representation across media platforms, and Abiola is a great example of recognizing the lack of inclusivity, taking a stand, filling the gap herself, and showing her viewers that Black women can, and will continue to, represent beauty. 

“What I love the most about Black beauty is just the fact that those two words can stand side by side and be taken seriously,” she explained to Huda Beauty. “Imagine there was a time in our history where Black women, dark skin women were looked at as creatures. We did not represent beauty. To now see dark skin women grace the cover of Vogue, or take over the socials of Huda Beauty, one of the biggest makeup brands in the world! We have come such a long way, it’s a dream come true. I am excited to see what Black women will do in the beauty industry, and I hope to be one of the leaders in this movement.”


Golloria is a South Sudanese content creator who uses her platform to call out makeup brands for not having her shade. She has over 1 million followers on TikTok and blew up instantly while introducing followers to inclusive beauty brands that are doing things correctly.

In a July 2023 interview with Cosmopolitan, Golloria shared how started her popular TikTok account. She says that she would walk through makeup aisles and not be able to find a single product for her skin. “I’d get angry and annoyed as I watched my lighter-skinned friends shop without a care in the world,” she said. “Later, as a freshman in college, I vividly remember the embarrassment I felt when an associate at a popular makeup store picked up the darkest shade of a new concealer and swatched it on my cheek — only to reveal a chalky orange hue four shades lighter than my actual skin.”

It wasn’t until Golloria tried Fenty Beauty’s foundation that things began to take a turn for the better. “I felt so beautiful,” she shared. “So seen. But also still frustrated. Fenty is one of only a handful of truly tone-inclusive brands out there. Why do these continue to be the exception, not the norm?”

So in January 2022, she decided to start a TikTok dedicated to celebrating the brands who get it right and calling out the ones who aren’t. Watching Golloria’s reviews is like watching the Oscars. I stare at my screen anxiously waiting to see if another hyped-up complexion product will make her approval list. I remember celebrating along with her when she tried out the Haus Labs foundation, and that told me everything I needed to know!

But of course, inclusivity hasn’t been fully achieved. Golloria understands the importance of having inclusive shade ranges. So what can be done? “My plea to the beauty industry is simple: Start working with more Black people,” she told Cosmopolitan. “Hire Black employees, shoot campaigns on Black models, and give creators with darker complexions the opportunity to be shade consultants for your lines. And then be open to the constructive criticism that comes from the collaboration. Until that’s a reality, I’ll keep creating content — and sharing my favorite products, inclusive brands, and dark-skin hacks for all the people out there who haven’t yet felt seen.”

These Black women understand the importance of representation and inclusivity, and I love how they’ve decided to use their love for beauty to make an impact. If you haven’t followed any of these creators, I highly recommend you do!

Camille Birdsong is a Her Campus National Writer for the Style section. She writes weekly articles about all things fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and decor. Beyond Her Campus, Camille works as an Associate Producer for CNN Max. She previously worked at NBC News, where she produced heartwarming stories for the TODAY Show audience and viewers nationwide. Camille graduated in 2022 with a B.A. in Journalism and a minor in Leadership Studies at Hampton University. She was the Director and Line Producer of her university’s newscast and has interned at NBC Nightly News, the TODAY Show and the Weekend TODAY Show. Camille is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and is passionate about sharing community-driven stories. In her downtime, she loves creating content, visiting new cafes, and obsessing over reality dating shows.