Last year the beauty industry and the world of YouTube had one of the most pioneering and exciting joint adventures. No, not another YouTuber releasing a lipgloss and nail polish range but a multi-million dollar beauty brand taking on a young male YouTuber as their poster boy. 17 year old James Charles was announced as the face of CoverGirl and the world sat up and took notice.
The New York based teen has an audience of hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers, including Zendaya who regrammed one of his photos and helped him gain even more publicity. When CoverGirl took him on as their first Coverboy, it was seen as a triumph for both Team Internet and the male beauty community.
Used to seeing famous female influencers on billboards, in magazines and working with huge brands, it was a pretty big deal for a brand to take a chance on a young teen male when their audience is (massively) female.
But it’s paid off. The news of James’ appointment as the face of the brand was celebrated all over the globe and we couldn’t have been happier.
So when, in January 2017, two more of the biggest beauty brands in the world made a decision to front their campaigns with male beauty vloggers, we felt like something huge had been achieved.
Male beauty vloggers have been on YouTube since, well, YouTube began. Patrick Starrr, Jeffree Star and Wayne Goss are just a few of the names who have gained millions upon millions of subscribers for their incredible talent when it comes to makeup. More and more we are seeing people standing for their right to be comfortable in their own skin so to see men fronting campaigns which have been female led for, essentially, all of time is such a positive step.
Maybelline recently took YouTube star Manny MUA and made him the ambassador for their brand new mascara campaign. And what makes it even more special is that Manny isn’t the typical fair skinned model seen on so many beauty commercials, breaking the mould and opening up conversation about diversity in the beauty industry even more. And let’s be real, Manny is one of the most talented beauty creators on YouTube- so why not celebrate talent, beauty and influence all in one?
And it’s not just America sitting up and realising men and makeup don’t mean you’re alienating a female audience. The latest celebration for Team Internet comes from Rimmel. The drugstore makeup brand, who have worked with everyone from Kate Moss to Cara Delevigne and Rita Ora, have recently appointed rising YouTube star Lewys Ball to front their Live The London Look campaign.
Lewys, who we’ve long been fans of, has over 150,000 followers to date and last year signed to Gleam- the same agency who manage Zoe Sugg, Alfie Deyes and Louise Pentland.
So, what does this all mean? As well as using our favourite male beauty stars and changing what it means to be “masculine”, it’s also an even bigger win for our favourite YouTube stars. It’s clearly a time when big companies are looking beyond numbers and, once again, looking to authenticity and a sense of realness- exactly what YouTube was founded on.
So, who will be next? In 2017 we’re predicting huge things for both Drew Ashlyn and Joseph Harwood. If you’ve got any favourite male beauty gurus, let us know.