It is a big f*cking deal to be a black beauty influencer. In a world where European standards of beauty are deemed the norm and makeup brands still overwhelmingly cater to those with pale skin, we need them more than ever. We may look to black beauty influencers for the scoop on the latest products and watch their breakdowns on buzzy trends, but for women of color, the online beauty space is so much more than just hair and makeup. It’s a place for other black women, who are often unrepresented, to finally see themselves represented in a beautiful way.
Don’t believe me? Just ask Jade Kendle of LipsticknCurls. Kendle managed to build a full-time career from sharing her love for beauty on social media. At nearly half a million followers across all social platforms, she reaches a huge amount of rabid fans and has a piece of content for just about every one of your hair and makeup needs. Need a review on the latest curly-hair gel? Kendle’s got it. Need inspo for a holiday beauty look? She’s got that, too.
In addition to her vault of hair tutorials – like this DIY box braids demo with over half a million views – Kendle also gives followers a look into her personal life with a series of “Get Ready With Me” videos, travel vlogs, and pep talks about social media, confidence, navigating life, and building a beauty career.
But after my talk with Kendle over the phone, another fact was made very clear: throughout her seven years creating content in the social media space, her online presence has served as a platform for women of color who don’t always have a voice – and she uses it wisely! Kendle has managed to create a fun, supportive network for other brands, talent, and influencers to help grow their social media following. She’s been able to do so while remaining celebratory and inclusive of all women, but most importantly black women who are often isolated by media and beauty brands.
Ahead, you’ll find the most inspiring tidbits from my conversation with Kendle. We touched on everything from being black women in a white-washed beauty landscape to dealing with living in racial limbo and breaking into an often cutthroat industry. And of course I got the tea on how she keeps those gorgeous curls poppin’.