I am very done with big “influencers”.
I unsubscribed from most of them long ago, and the few who retained a shred of credibility, like Tati, have lost it. How can we trust them when they spend their time sucking up to brands and shilling their own terrible products? Answer: we can’t. It’s not in the best interest of their businesses or their wallets to be honest with their viewers anymore.
Luckily there are smaller channels that deserve our attention. By “small” I mean under 50k subscribers, which is A LOT, but they’re still not big enough to get tons of attention. Many don’t receive PR and don’t have brand deals or sponsorships, so they have nothing to lose by giving us their real opinions. I also appreciate that most of these creators still have real jobs. They’re still real people and not “content creators”.
So, here are some of my favorite small channels. This is a mix of beauty, lifestyle, fashion… essentially just people I enjoy listening to.
Abby Williamson – Abby is based in Seattle, and she’s so damn cool. She’s a photographer and works in the music industry, so she always has recommendations for indie bands. She’s very outspoken and opinionated and I enjoy her.
Nisipisa – Nisa is hilarious, first and foremost. She reminds me a lot of Sailor J, who’s sadly not making videos anymore. She has gorgeous skin, is ruthless with her palettes and refers to herself as a feminist harpy, and I’m into it.
Rowan Ellis – Rowan’s channel is a little bit of everything. She talks beauty, feminism, LGBT issues, and discusses her experiences as a gay woman in the UK.
Theresa Is Dead – Admittedly I started watching this channel because we have the same name. I know that’s a lame reason but you don’t see many T(h)eresas on the internet. She turned out to be hilarious so I kept watching. She’s in NYC and her videos usually start with a story about something weird that happened to her on the train or her weird co-workers. It’s pretty great.
Elle S – Elle is like the queen of bold, colorful makeup looks and wigs and panning. She’s also really outspoken about consumer culture and brands generally being shady. She makes videos about her dream palettes, and we have similar taste. She’s also the one who broke the story about Urban Decay’s Naked Cherry palette and that’s pretty cool.
Georgia Harris – Georgia’s channel is like a lot of other beauty channels, with demos and tutorials, but she uses primarily indie brands and comes up with some really interesting looks. She’s also chubby, like me, has hooded lids, like me, and wears cool beanies.
Hailey Evans – Hailey is a Canadian makeup artist who’s working on a very low/no buy this year. She did it last year too and almost made it through the entire year without purchasing anything extraneous. I think that’s pretty impressive. She explained her rules and the exceptions she was allowing herself, and it’s been helpful to have an idea of where to start with my own low/smart buy. I also really like her voice. I’m not sure why.
HorrorGal – I really dig her aesthetic. She has the creepy decor of my dreams and the hair skills that I lack. She primarily discusses horror movies; classics like Child’s Play and Nightmare On Elm St. It’s a nice break from all of the beauty content I watch. I also like that she’s older than basically everyone else I watch. I don’t know why but it seems like you have to be under 25 to be successful on YouTube, and that’s kind of lame. Listening to a 20-year-old talk about how much she’s learned about life from being a creator makes me want to vomit.
KitschSnitch – Kat is one half of my favorite YouTube channel, Beauty News. Her channel is mostly reviews, demos, and project pans. She also shows off her cats, and I appreciate that.
Nerdy Girl Makeup – Lindsay is a nerd and I’m into it. She does tutorials with a lot of the inexpensive theme palettes from Hot Topic. I’ve wanted some of them but hesitated because I was concerned about the quality, so I appreciate that someone is reviewing them.
Spooky Lips and Fat Hips – Lacey is cool as hell. She and Georgia do a podcast together, and she’s in a sort of YT squad with a few of my other favorites. I like that she’s unapologetic about her body and her nerdy interests. She wears the colorful eyeshadow and dark lipsticks I really wish I could pull off, so I’m living vicariously through her.
I’d love to hear some of your favorite small channels!