Yahoo Lifestyle’s Diversity in Beauty Awards (the DIBs) highlight and celebrate personalities, brands, and products that embody inclusiveness and innovation. See the 2018 winners list here. We enlisted six experts who have championed diversity in their careers and cover all bases of the beauty industry to vote on the best in makeup, skin care, hair care, and more. Here, we put a spotlight on DIBs judge and beauty vlogger Ellarie.
If you ever fall into a rabbit hole of YouTube beauty tutorials, chances are you have watched one starring Ellarie. With over 100 videos, more than 460,000 subscribers, and 1.3 million followers on Instagram, it’s hard not to get a glimpse of all the magical makeup moments and knowledge she shares. Yahoo Lifestyle tapped Ellarie as a judge for this year’s Diversity in Beauty Awards, as she is one of the most celebrated influencers in the beauty world.
Ellarie has collaborated with big-name beauty brands from CoverGirl to Benefit Cosmetics; most recently she launched a lipstick line with ColourPop. She always keeps her audience yearning for more, and many of her fans, especially women of color, trust her authority when it comes to showing diverse ranges of products.
The entrepreneur tells Yahoo Lifestyle that when she started putting makeup looks online, the goal was to get clients for her work as a makeup artist. She explains, “I did different makeup looks every day after work in order to create a portfolio; I wasn’t focused on followers and had no clue about YouTube.”
But after finding that she “didn’t like being a makeup artist and just loved doing makeup on myself,” Ellarie says, she discovered a whole new career that she didn’t even know existed.
She adds: “I realize now that what I do actually helps and inspires people of all shades and ages — from my makeup tutorials to my struggle getting started. The journey to get where I’m at and where I’m going was so worth it!”
While Ellarie has put in the work to build a name for herself, she has noticed challenges within the industry that should be addressed, specifically with the range of color cosmetics for all skin tones.
“For the longest time, I was only able to wear a specific brand and a specific foundation because it was difficult for me to find color ranges that suited my skin tone well,” she says. “I never understood why brands would narrow their range, because to me that meant they would be narrowing their consumers and profits.”
The lack of diverse and inclusive representation in the beauty space is another area where Ellarie believes the beauty industry has made progress but still needs to improve.
In a December 2017 interview with Cosmopolitan magazine, Ellarie explained, “It’s just very minimal as far as how we’re represented. You’ll scroll pages and pages [on Instagram] of people that are lighter-complected. And you’ll see maybe one. It can be discouraging, but I feel like if I let it discourage me earlier on I probably wouldn’t have even done this.”
She continued, “Our categories are a little bit more competitive because brands don’t tend to work with all of us. I just feel like a brand will choose one and then have that one person speak for the whole shade range. It’s frustrating at times, especially because there’s a lot of brown girls, women of color, who have different undertones, different skin types, different everything.”
Ellarie feels blessed for all the opportunities she’s had thus far, but she’s made it clear that she doesn’t want to feel like the “token” black girl in the beauty industry. “I would like to see more people like me represented,” she told Cosmo.
Thankfully, brands are starting to open their eyes to the wide pool of beauty influencers, and as Ellarie notes, to “make it their goal to be inclusive not only with their products, but with their marketing campaigns, social media pages and ambassadors.” Having someone as savvy and talented as this beauty vlogger among those leading the pack in a beautiful way will certainly bring about change.
Keep scrolling to check out Ellarie’s black girl magic in all its glory.
Additional reporting by Milly Almodovar.
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