In July 2006, Michelle Phan started posting her own makeup tutorials on her Xanga account, under the name Ricebunny. Fast forward six years, and Phan’s YouTube videos have gained about half a billion views and turned more than two million subscribers into devoted fans, with legions of followers on Twitter and Facebook.
Over the past few years, we’ve witnessed the power of YouTube and the tremendous influence Asian Americans have made in new media. YouTube is a unique platform for people to share their stories and make them heard, which is why it has become so popular in the Asian-American community. You don’t need to be an actor, musician, or celebrity to pursue and share your passion. Phan has helped pioneer this effort and, since then, many other Asian-American YouTube beauty gurus and bloggers have emerged to share their creativity, artistry, and passion with the world. Here are three other YouTube beauty gurus we love for their creative takes on makeup.
From Head to Toe
Korean-American beauty guru Jen of From Head to Toe started her blog in 2008 and has garnered more than 327,000 fans and 38 million video views. This Midwesterner’s girl-next-door personality and charm is something her fans and viewers immediately fall in love with. She recently collaborated with Wong Fu Productions, Victor Kim, and AT&T in the web series Away We Happened, where she plays a young woman living in Los Angles opposite Victor Kim in New York City.
What makes From Head to Toe different from other beauty blogs is that Jen offers her refreshing insight on beauty, self-image, and body confidence. She often talks about her very petite frame and her struggle to find clothing that fits her body type, something we can all relate to—no matter your body size. But what we love about Jen is her heart-to-heart videos, in which she talks to the camera barefaced and shares her personal issues, such as how acne has affected her self-esteem. Her videos get to the heart of the subject matter and makes viewers feel like she is talking to them personally. At the end of the video, she offers her own advice of finding beauty in yourself, which is something you don’t really see in many of the YouTube beauty tutorial videos.
The RAEviewer, also known as Rae to her fans, is a Korean-American high-end beauty YouTube poster based in California. Rae has 83,850 subscribers and more than 11 million video views. She is currently a college student and aspires to become a beauty editor and start her own makeup line one day. At 23, Rae is one of the youngest YouTube beauty experts, but her knowledge about designer beauty products and skincare is expansive. She has done hundreds of beauty tutorials that feature products from Dior, Chanel, Burberry, Laura Mercier, Guerlain, Tom Ford, Armani, Lancôme, Yves Saint Laurent, and much more.
In her videos, Rae speaks candidly about different beauty collections, where she critiques everything from the product packaging to the texture and feel of the makeup on her skin. What’s great about Rae is that she takes beauty ad campaign looks that don’t always translate for Asian American features and makes it work for us. She works magic in creating a canvas for a variety of eye shadow colors, lipstick shades, nail polishes, foundations, blushes, and bronzers that work well for different Asian American skin tones.
Holly Ann-AeRee is one of the most popular and widely searched YouTube beauty masters. Since she started her blog and YouTube channel, she has amassed 323,193 subscribers and a whopping 43 million video views. Holly is now based in Los Angles, but she grew up on the East Coast. Adopted by Caucasian parents when she was just three months old in South Korea, Holly didn’t have many beauty inspirations growing up. “I grew up in a really small town and was pretty much one of three to four Asian people,” she said in an interview with Beautylish.com.
During her senior year of high school, she started practicing applying makeup and taught herself how to create different looks with her Asian -American features. Known for her dramatic eyes and baby pink lips, Holly is like the Kim Kardashian of the YouTube beauty world. Whether you love or hate her, Holly makes bold, dramatic looks that would make any shy girl stand out. While she remains an expert on makeup tutorials, she has also branched out to include more videos on fashion, style, and jewelry. And who could resist videos of her adorable Shiba Inu puppy Eevee?