We’re in a time where bloggers, YouTube stars and Instagram influencers are running social media, and some of them we’re definitely not mad at! Jackie Aina is a favorite of many due to her brutal honesty and the colorism issues she openly discusses on her reviews.
Photo: Jackie Aina
Aina, a U.S. Army veteran, began her YouTube channel 10 years ago and has gained over 2.7 million subscribers and 1.1 million followers on Instagram. Her following is definitely earned seeing as she’s continuously honest with her followers, even if it’s at a cost to her.
“I felt like brands wanted me to fit mainstream standards — but I am clearly not the standard — so I am gonna talk about things that affect me and the way that I look. If that comes at the expense of pissing off a few people, I'm not worried about it,” shared Aina with Refinery29.
Photo: Jackie Aina
The unapologetic beauty guru remains the gatekeeper for ensuring that brands are put under the spotlight when they’re forgetting to cater to people of color. Her review for Tarte’s Shape Tape Foundation went viral when she called out the brand for their limited range of shades, none of which fit her complexion. Aina has consistently reminded us that we, too, are worthy of getting high-end beauty products that are made for us.
Aina has dealt with many brands cutting ties with her, negative user comments and very difficult conversations that many people aren’t willing to have. Her honesty when reviewing the Shape Tape Foundation was taken seriously by the founder, Jerrod Blandino, who then hired her to create shades that were suited for people with darker complexions.
According to Refinery 29, Blandino stated, “That type of criticism doesn't come from a place of having an agenda. I knew she could do the Born This Way launch better than I could. She worked her ass off, did the research, and developed these shades with the full authority of my team.”
It comes as no surprise then that Aina was named Refinery29’s "Beauty Innovator," and we can’t wait to see how much further she takes her career.
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