Hello again internet friends.
I’m coming to you today with lots of complicated feelings. Sadness, rage, disgust, hopelessness, to name just a few. But I don’t want to talk about that because it’s not actually about me. It’s about people who can’t walk down the street or go to the store without being seen as a threat. It’s about people who’ve been harassed and othered by those in power for generations. It’s about the people whose backs this nation was built on, though they’ve never been given full access to the benefits of living here. It’s for these people that I’m sad and enraged. I’m disgusted with myself for contributing, however naively or accidentally, to the system that oppresses them. I’m listening, I will learn, and I will do better.
Since today is #blackouttuesday I haven’t been posting on social media. Not that I post that much anyway, but in solidarity I kept it that way. Instead of my usual content, I’d like to share some of my favorite Black artists, authors, YouTubers, etc. These are people I support, books I’ve read, makeup I’ve used, and causes I’ve donated to.
Most of these are beauty channels, but since you read my drivel about beauty junk I’m sure you won’t mind.
Tina does awesome looks and thorough reviews, and since her channel is relatively small her content isn’t scripted or overly produced. She’s a real person and I like it.
Sam does vlogs and beauty videos and I enjoy both equally. She shares some of her most vulnerable moments, plus her adorable kitties and handsome, hilarious partner, and she just seems like a nice person. I’ve been watching her for years and kind of want to be best friends with her.
Legitimately one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen in my life. I have absolutely nothing in common with her other than oily skin, but I love her videos. She does a lot of bright, intricate eye looks with big dramatic lashes, and she makes it all look so easy. I think she’s fantastic.
Sadly she doesn’t make videos anymore, but the ones she did make were amazing. They were literally just her sitting on the floor in front of a pile of laundry putting on makeup and turning scathing social commentary into something hilarious. I’ve seen these videos dozens of times and they still make me laugh until I cry. She’s moved on to acting, but you can keep tabs on her through Instagram.
You weren’t expecting a guy in this list, I know, but Will is so lovely and positive and his enthusiasm is infectious. He makes travel videos and he’s always so excited to be going places and meeting new people and I want to go on a road trip with him so we can car dance and have snacks.
Ok, so she’s not exactly a small YouTuber, but Jennelle’s channel absolutely blew up overnight. She’s a really cute and relatable woman, and she lives in a conversion van with her adorable pet snake, Alfredo. I found her last year when I was really obsessed with the idea of living in a van. I’m a tiny bit less obsessed, but I still enjoy her videos.
How to explain Nisa… she does beauty, but in a really sarcastic and irreverent way that appeals to me. I also find her extremely funny, especially when she’s lambasting the super white CEOs and product designers for major brands who think that having 3 shades of tan foundations makes them an inclusive brand. 10/10 highly recommend.
Black-owned beauty brands
Everyone knows about Juvia’s Place and Pat McGrath, and while I love those brands, there are lots of others with black founders, owners or creative directors.
Being sold in Ulta it’s not exactly an indie brand, but I really like their foundation and concealer. I also tried a lipstick, and it didn’t make my mouth crusty so point in their favor.
Their products are really aesthetically pleasing which is why I tried them in the first place. I’ve tried a liquid lipstick and one of their brushes, and no complaints from me.
Haircare, skincare, body care… is there anything this brand can’t do? The African Black Soap line has treated and prevented many a breakout, and their hair masks are like lovely. Also it’s pretty affordable.
If I don’t wash my hair every day, bad things happen. Sometimes I’m lazy, so I use a co-wash or cleansing conditioner. I’ve tried many of these at all price points over the last few years, but the one from this brand is by far my favorite, and I’ve repurchased it multiple times. It’s the perfect mix of cleansing and conditioning, not too heavy, smells really good and makes my hair look and feel clean.
Not gonna lie, this dude might be my favorite of the black artists I support. He does digital artwork, but it looks like classical paintings. He takes pop-culture icons like Taylor Swift and Sabrina and turns them into something… better. Black Widow becomes Empress Sissi, Sansa becomes a queen, and the women of Wakanda take their rightful celestial places. He does commissions and someday I want one.
This gentleman is a photographer and visual artist from my hometown, Rochester, NY. A pretentious dickhead once took me to one of Joshua’s openings as a first date. I was impressed, but not with the guy. You can also check out his work on his website.
The first place I remember seeing her art was at Epcot, of all places. I remember being struck most by her use of lines and color, but some of her work looks like colorful photo negatives. Like, if Abstract art and Impressionist art had an illicit love child, I imagine it would look like her paintings. I know very little about art, but I like hers.
I won’t get too precious about these folks, but I recommend basically anything they’ve written.
Being partly disabled, immunocompromised, struggling with mental health and constantly exhausted, I don’t have the physical or emotional strength to protest or march. What I do have is money. Not a lot of money, obviously, but more than I need, so I will give some away.
Keep marching. Keep making your voices heard. People are listening.