We love discovering an in-the-know creative influencer who always seems to introduce us to the best beauty finds. These welcome additions to our feeds can become the digital besties we never knew we needed. From flawless hair and makeup tutorials to nail trend reports and exceptional skin care recommendations, countless hacks, tips, and more inspo help us look and feel our best.
As women of color, finding the right influencers who understand the nuances of our hair, skin, and even our nails isn’t always easy. So, we created a list of the must-follow beauty influencers on social media, from Instagram to TikTok to YouTube, who embrace the fact that pretty and polished comes in all colors. Check out our it-list of beauty diverse beauty insiders who have the scoop on all the best makeup, hair, skin, and nail trends.
Kahlana Barfield Brown, @kahlanabarfield
This InStyle magazine alum who debuted her own capsule clothing collection at Target last fall has partnered with a laundry list of major beauty brands including Estee Lauder, Lancome and L’oreal. The Howard University grad and Seattle, WA native has become a trusted shot caller for all things fly; so it’s no wonder that The New York Times named her one of the most stylish people of 2022. As an African American woman who is often the only person who looks like her in the room, she unapologetically champions products and services which are inclusive of all shades and hair textures.
Quannah Chasinghorse, @quannah.rose
Sadly, Native American and Indigenous women are often omitted from conversations around beauty and social media. Thankfully change-makers like Quannah are shifting this narrative. The model and activist is of Han Gwich’in (from Alaska and Canada) and Oglala Lakota (from South Dakota) heritage. You can’t miss her eye-catching face tattoos, known as Yidįįłtoo, confidently displayed at the corner of her eyes and on her chin. At the 2021 Met Gala, Quannah turned heads as she honored her Indigenous heritage by rocking authentic Navajo jewels and returned in 2022 in fierce blue eye shadow and feathers in her hair. Although she’s busy as an advocate for Indigenous issues, a climate warrior, and land protector, this bold trendsetter still found time to grace the cover of Allure magazine’s 26th annual Best of Beauty issue last fall, bringing Native American beauty to the forefront of the conversation.
[READ MORE: Don’t Sleep on These TikTok Beauty Trends]
Renée Chow, @gothamista
Korean digital content creator Renée Chow is a self-proclaimed “skinthusiast” and professional treasure hunter for all the things to help our skin look and feel best. Sis consistently does her homework and it shows. Motivated by problematic skin in her teens, she turned to YouTube to vlog about her discerning product finds with the desire to assist others through honest reviews. Splitting her time between New York City and Hong Kong, Chow is undoubtedly a skincare guru but will occasionally offer useful makeup and haircare tips. Her Asian influences and passion for Korean beauty products bring K-beauty into the mainstream, introducing carefully curated and accessible brands to her dedicated followers.
Mabel Martinez, @msmabelmartinez
As a plugged-in Dominican content creator who currently calls The Bronx home, Martinez has her pulse on the latest and greatest beauty product launches and style trends. From foolproof makeup tips to fun behind-the-scenes trips to her fave hair salon for Rapunzel-esque braided ponytails (complete with meticulously laid edges!), this freelance journalist is always serving a lewk we love. Her credentials include stints at Maybelline, Glamour, and People magazines. Whether rocking thigh-length box braids in Provence, France, or a pristine blowout to a bar in Washington Heights (NYC), this go-getter dishes beauty her way and we’re eating it up.
Deepica Mutyala, @deepica
Born in Houston, TX of South Asian descent, Deepica has taken the beauty industry by storm and (thankfully) doesn’t abandon her rich Indian ancestry while she does it. Mutyala first made noise on the beauty scene in 2015 after going viral for a YouTube video on how to use red lipstick to color-correct hyperpigmentation (specifically dark under-eye circles) on darker skin tones. Within days she was featured on The Today Show and Dr. Oz. In 2018, the Indian American beauty influencer launched Live Tinted, an online community centering the conversation around the intersection of community, culture, and style. Now, Live Tinted is a full-fledged cosmetic and skincare line. Even though she’s a busy entrepreneur, Deepica intentionally lends her insider knowledge to followers, like giving them the scoop on flattering pink lip hues for brown girls or the importance of applying sunscreen.
Ilianna Ayala Garcia, @beautymarkedlilly
Growing up in Spanish Harlem among Latinas with curly hair, brown skin, and curvy bodies—just like her—she was always surprised to see that straight hair, light skin, and waif-like figures were pushed as the ultimate beauty standard. Thus the plus-size model and beauty influencer, who is half Bolivian (on her dad’s side) and half Afro-Puerto Rican (on her mom’s side), decided to do something about it. A decade ago, Illianna began her natural hair journey and documented the process on Instagram which included making product recommendations and providing tips for her followers. This eventually led to partnerships and sponsorships with curly hair brands. She’s now worked with a number of companies like CoverGirl, CoverGirl, and JCPenney. Illianna skillfully uses her influence to tell the world that not only does Afro-Latinidad exist, but it has much to contribute to the beauty industry.
Jackie Aina, @jackieaina
Born to an African American mother and a Nigerian father, Aina uses her social platforms to advocate for people of color in the cosmetic industry. Best known for her addictive YouTube tutorials, the professional makeup artist turned social media star has a passion for content that teaches, inspires, and gives confidence to women of color. Aina has the 411 on everything from which CC creams actually work on darker complexions to practical ways to fake eyebrow microblading. Whether she’s revealing a coveted collaboration with Savage X Fenty Beauty or being uber transparent and admitting to the makeup products she actually regrets buying, Aina has amassed an impressive following over the years because of her unquestionable knowledge and refreshing candor.