You probably wouldn’t guess from the way I usually have accidental dots of mascara on my eyelid and the way my face is always a teeny tiny bit darker than my neck because foundation that’s pale enough for me doesn’t exist as far as I know, but I care a lot about makeup. I care enough about makeup to come to terms with the fact that being good at it is hard, and I’m terrible. Being terrible, I need help to achieve competence. Here, like with so many other dilemmas in my life, the internet has saved me. We all know that YouTube has its infinite niches, and one of my personal favorites is the YouTube beauty community. Thousands of people have videos, or even channels, dedicated to reviewing beauty products, giving instructions on how to apply beauty products, testing beauty products, recommending beauty products, sharing newly purchased beauty products, and more. Gone are the days of gazing wide-eyed down the drugstore beauty aisle and picking random products based off of packaging or claims or an individual recommendation; this community provides a source for research. It’s basically heaven for my aesthetic and my bank account.
I didn’t always have this enthusiasm. Like many other people who were once preteen girls, I passionately condemned makeup because girls were supposed to wear makeup, and I wasn’t supposed to be a typical girl. Transcending from that toxic view into my current one has been triumphant, even the rough transition years where my makeup collection consisted only of brandless fruit-scented lip glosses and eyeliner from Hot Topic sharpened down to a nub.
But I think this journey is what helped me appreciate the community so much more. The space is not entirely inhabited by women; people who do not identify as female are active members of it. However, women do tend to dominate it. At its heart, this community is about women supporting, helping, loving other women. Few things in life make me feel warm and fuzzy inside like that does. It’s a safe space from the men who make creepy comments and don’t care about makeup at all yet think their opinions on “how much is too much” matter. The existence of the YouTube beauty community in itself debunks the myth that doing makeup is inherently an attempt to please and attract male attention, and I think that’s pretty cool. It’s a truly beautiful and under-appreciated corner of the internet, and along with that I learn a lot from it. Maybe one day I’ll build up enough confidence to be able to keep my cool in Sephora for more than five minutes. If you have any interest in makeup and haven’t discovered this gem of the internet yet, I can’t recommend it enough.