You know that scene in Mean Girls where Regina George scatters pages of her Burn Book throughout North Shore High School and she watches as the school erupts in chaos? That’s literally what the beauty community on YouTube is like right now, and I can’t look away.
Over the weekend, OG YouTuber Tati Westbrook let the whole community know what a terrible person James Charles is. She called him out on his inflated ego, how easily he could be bought, and his predatory behavior towards straight men. I guess his lack of support for her vitamin company was the icing on the cake. I would’ve cut him off a long time ago, but go off, sis.
So, now that Sister James is a thing of the past, I wanted to shine a light on some deserving LGBTQ+ beauty gurus who offer viewers more than just a pretty face. (Extremely well known or other problematic influencers will not be mentioned on the list).
1. Bretman Rock (@bretmanrock)
Bretman has 12 million followers on Instagram but he still doesn’t get the recognition he deserves on a worldwide scale. I’ve followed him from the beginning and he’s one of the few influencers whose personality hasn’t changed with fame. He’s humble, hilarious, super proud of his Filipino heritage, and is unproblematic. Honestly, he’s been doing this for years and has managed to stay out of the drama. He is who he is, which is why his followers love him.
2. Lauren Elyse( @laur_elyse)
Ugh, I adore this woman with all my heart and soul. Her Instagram feed is such a dream to look at. I’m not even exaggerating. The Chicago-based queer influencer was diagnosed with vitiligo, a skin pigmentation disease, when she was younger. In most of her looks, she highlights her patches with makeup.
3. Jordan Liberty (@jordanliberty)
“Substance > Influence.” That’s the first thing you see on Jordan’s page, and it says a lot about his artistry. He has to be one of my favorite makeup artists right now. As a makeup artist myself, I go to his page daily to check out any new tips and techniques. What I love most is that none of his looks can fall into the category of “Instagram makeup.” They’re the perfect amount of glam without doing too much. Every single look he creates is flawless. If you’re a working makeup artist, you definitely have to check him out.
4. Mei Pang (@meicrosoft)
Pang came on my radar a few months ago when one of her videos popped up on my Twitter feed. From the moment the video started, I was in awe. Her looks seem intricate but they’re actually super easy to emulate, kind of like a lazy way to fake a flawless look. Plus, her down-to-earth attitude is something that many can vibe with.
5. Jessica Kellgren-Fozard (@jessicaoutofthecloset)
Her feed isn’t strictly makeup but if you need vintage inspo, look no further. Not only does she make videos about vintage fashion, but she also brings awareness to the LGBTQ+, deaf, and disabled communities. Her wife also makes appearances in some of her videos, and guys, they’re the most adorable couple ever.
6. John Maclean (@lordmaclean)
John has a cult following on social media but he’s still not getting the recognition he deserves. If I could describe him in one word, it would be “ethereal”. He’s truly one of the most beautiful humans I’ve ever seen. His voice is a breath of fresh air, not to mention his super-posh accent makes you feel like you’ve stepped into British period film. What I love most about him is that he’s unbiased, something pretty rare in the beauty community. He also jokes that he’s a vampire — and to be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if he actually was.
7. Deon (@itsdeon)
The blend honey, the blend! I thought my blending game was on point, but Deon makes me look like an amateur. He only has 6,000 followers and I don’t understand why he doesn’t have more. Colorful eyeshadows can be scary to use but I love that Deon uses them at every chance he gets. He shows that with practice, bright colors can be tamed.
Did I miss any of your favorite LGBTQ+ influencers? Of course, there are thousands of talented LGBTQ+ influencers out there, but check this talented bunch out when you’re looking for someone new. And remember, we choose who we follow, even if the talent is there, let’s try not to make problematic, negative people famous.
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Alysia Stevenson is a twenty-seven New York City transplant currently living in Florida with her boyfriend and three furbabies. When she’s not writing, you can find her watching beauty tutorials on Youtube or Parks and Rec for the millionth time.