- Sierra Eldridge
Black Beauty YouTubers Proving Persistence Leads to Success
#YouTube, the popular video-sharing platform we all know and love, was formed in 2005. For 15 years, we’ve been introduced to millions of creators, ranging from the gaming industry to fashion, and of course, to beauty.
Black YouTubers in the beauty community are some of our favorites to watch! Who else can we go to for hair advice and recommendations for makeup lines that’ll actually match our skin tone? What we don’t always see are the years of hard work behind the scenes that go into building a brand online. Here are our favorite beauty YouTubers that have been in the game for over a decade.
Jackie Aina - 11 years - 3.5M subscribers | Instagram - @jakieaina - 1.6M followers
Now you have to know everyone’s favorite auntie, Jackie Aina. Aina joined YouTube in 2009 where she started publishing makeup tutorials, and is now one of the top beauty YouTubers, amassing 3.5 million subscribers.
She has been a pioneer for discussing race and #diversity within the beauty industry both on and off her channel. She’s secured sponsorships with beauty brands, such as Too Faced and Anastasia Beverly Hills, to release products, with dark-skinned Black women in mind. She's even earned herself the NAACP YouTuber of the Year Award for her impactful and ample efforts to help people of color feel included in the beauty community and hold the industry accountable.
In August, Aina added another brand to her portfolio, her own brand FORVR Mood. The brand launched on August 10 and sells candles, silk headbands, and pillowcases. Aina said that Black women are often too focused on the “grind” and “hustle,” but don’t take enough time for self-care. She also said she is “probably going to be retiring from beauty collabs because I wanted to end that on a high note.” There is so much more she is ready to create and have ownership up, and we can’t wait to see the brand empire she creates. Shop FORVR Mood.
Patricia Bright - 10 years - 2.9M subscribers | Instagram - @patriciabright - 1.2M followers
UK’s own Patricia Bright has been on YouTube for 10 years, sharing everything from fashion hauls, beauty reviews, and even finance tips. During her time as a student, studying finance and accounting, Bright discovered YouTube vlogging.
Despite a small following initially, she continued posting video content online that showcased her passion for make-up and styling. After years of working in finance, and even finding a role at a multi-channel networking company that allowed her to learn more about YouTube, Bright was able to quit her job and become a full-time content creator. Almost ten years after her first video upload, Bright now has over 2.9 million YouTube subscribers and has worked with companies such as Dior and Amazon.
Bright also wants to celebrate her success and inspire others by “paying it forward” and demystifying the elements in becoming successful. Last year, she launched The Break Platform. The platform has a 9-week course named ‘The Break’ which, over ten modules, provides practical steps on building a social media or online product-based business. The other side of The Break platform is geared towards those who are looking to improve their financial literacy. The platform also has its own YouTube channel and podcast ‘Caught Off Guard’ which includes a series of interviews featuring successful and inspiring business people from a range of industries. If you are looking to become an influencer we highly recommend this course!
Naptural 85 - 11 years - 1.18M subscribers | Instagram - @naptural85 - 735k follower
Natural hair queen, Whitney White aka Naptural85 is the one to watch for Black natural hair content and has been sharing her routines and tips for 11 years. She initially started uploading just to meet like-minded people and saw YouTube as a safe space to talk about her natural hair journey while transitioning from relaxed to natural hair. During a time where relaxers were the norm, there were limited resources for Black women to see how to care for their natural kinks and curls; enter Naptural85’s channel.
In 2018, White and her sister Taffeta White launched a natural hair care brand, Melanin Haircare. This line was a response to the numerous inquiries White’s channel would get about her own DIY hair recipes. While she wanted to encourage them to be self-sufficient and make their own, she also saw the need for a service that would provide naturals with ready-made, non-toxic hair products.
These inspiring Black women have been in the game for 10+ years, going through different challenges but ultimately building a brand empire that allows them to be a household name, work with some of the biggest brands, and expand to their own product lines and offerings.
While we as viewers need to actively support and champion these Black creators, YouTube also acknowledges that white creators have historically received more visibility in comparison to their BIPOC counterparts and have addressed these issues in recent years. For 5 years, YouTube has hosted #YouTubeBlack, a corporate initiative that seeks to support and amplify the voices of creators of color, and in June of this year, YouTube launched a $100 million fund to amplify the voices of black creators on its platform by developing talent and funding new shows.
There’s still more work to be done, but the platform is taking steps in the right direction. Here at Black Girl Digital, we hope to see more #Blackcreators rise and get the recognition they deserve.