Jackie Aina

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Professional makeup artist and Youtube glam guru Jackie Aina creates content specifically for women of color. She launched her YouTube channel in 2009 to fill the void that she saw in the beauty industry and to do her part to shift existing, narrow standards of beauty. From product reviews to contouring tricks, the Nigerian-American Aina’s tutorials are the total package—witty, entertaining and informative and easy to follow. This year she won the NAACP’s first-ever YouTuber of the Year award and spoke at the YouTube Brandcast event on the importance of representing women of color in beauty. But beyond teaching and entertainment she’s using her voice and talent to promote inclusion, like working with Too Faced Cosmetics to further develop their Born This Way foundation line with deeper and darker shades.

She’s also not afraid of a little confrontation in the name of advocacy. She’s taken Kylie Cosmetics to task for allegedly excluding darker-skinned bloggers from her product sample mailings, and accused Huda Cosmetics of pandering to women of color solely to grab their share of the profit. “I'm tired of being ignored. I have dark skin. I'm going to talk about it sometimes. If you don't like it, watch someone else," she said according to Elle. "When we celebrate each other's differences and acknowledge them instead of pretending they're not there, we actually get more accomplished."

Sometimes caught in the social media race for followers, Aina has had to clarify her purpose a time or two. Although she’s got more than two million subscribers, she is clear that it’s not about numbers, it’s about the impact on the community. “I feel like we should uplift black creators in other ways like engaging with their content more frequently instead of subtly and constantly reminding them of how far behind they are, as if they can help that,” she tells Teen Vogue. "You can honestly be poppin with 50K subscribers."

Style + BeautyTeneille Craig