Learn from Smart Women

Learn from bSmart Members

Lipstick swatches, Sephora hauls, smoky eye tutorials, monthly favorites.  If your heart skipped a beat just now, raise those mascara wands high in the air; you’re a beauty addict like me.  While I strongly believe that no woman needs makeup to feel beautiful, I feel incredibly empowered and self-assured when I go through my makeup routine.  There are still few things that make me feel more confident than a bold red lip.  The following six ladies have taught me much of what I know about makeup and skincare; however I encourage you to watch their videos not simply for their beauty content, but for the messages, advice, and encouragement these ladies provide their followers to pursue their passions and cultivate a diverse community of empowered women. 


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1) Kathleen Fuentes

Not only is she gorgeous and her makeup is always on point, Kathleen is also one of the most down-to-earth YouTubers out there.  She genuinely wants to make her viewers and subscribers happy, and takes their opinions and video requests to heart.  Watching her videos is like talking to a friend (in fact she has videos called ‘Kat Chats’ where she does just that), has honest chats about her anxiety issues, and addresses questions about marrying young and uploading sponsored videos.  

As YouTubers become more famous and influential in the beauty sphere, sometimes their videos lose a bit of their authenticity and acquire a more ‘manufactured’ quality.  But I don’t experience that with Kathleen, even though her channel has reached 1.5 million subscribers and continues to grow.  Out of all of the beauty bloggers I follow, Kathleen strikes the best balance between featuring drugstore and high-end products.  Like many of her viewers, myself included, she’d rather not drop $60 on a highlighting palette.  She frequents Forever21 for new clothing because it’s inexpensive.  She’s introduced me to affordable beauty brands I had never heard of, like Colourpop and Makeup Geek.  In other words, she’s relatable.  Though she’s only 23, Kathleen’s wisdom extends well beyond her age and she exemplifies the strong, driven, and realistic woman we all strive to be.

// Other social media links //
YouTube: KathleenLights
Instagram: Kathleenlights
Twitter: Kathleenlights1
Snapchat: Kathizzle11

2) Rachel Cooper

If I could only use one word to describe Rachel, I’d go with ‘sunny.’  Rachel exudes a seemingly endless supply of energy, so whenever I watch her videos it’s as if I’m absorbing her enthusiasm and bubbly spirit.  Rachel is extremely passionate about connecting with her audience and using the feedback from her viewers to be a bold content producer.  Since starting her YouTube channel, this Canadian gal has also become a wife and a mother, and she does a wonderful job of balancing her work and her home life while also drawing a line between the two when necessary.  But at the end of the day, Rachel is happiest sharing all of her biggest moments with her followers.  Rachel might as well be the big sister I’ve never had, and maybe yours too.  Who else besides an older sister would give you advice specifically dealing with being lazy?  Rachel gets what it’s like to be a woman balancing it all and defies any outdated assumptions that a woman can’t prioritize a career and family

// Other social media links //
YouTube: RachhLoves 
Instagram: rachhloves
Twitter: RachhLoves
Snapchat: rachh.loves
Pinterest: rachhloves
Vlog/Mommy & Baby Channel: @RachhLovesLife

3) Jen Chae

Meet Jen: a cute, petite, Korean girl born and raised in Kansas.  I’ve been watching Jen’s videos for the longest out of everyone.  Despite a youth where she was bullied for being Asian and petite (she’s only 4’11!), Jen always maintains a cheerful disposition throughout her videos.  Cultivating her creative side through theatre, music, design, and ultimately makeup/beauty, she slowly started to feel comfortable in her own skin and realized she wanted to help other girls achieve the same level of confidence, with or without makeup.

‘Real beauty comes from humility. It’s not just about looking physically better but really loving yourself at all stages of your beauty process from the sick, no-makeup days to the super glammed up nights where every lash is perfectly in place. Appreciating who you are gives you the confidence to play with makeup under the right mindset.’ - Jen Chae, Teen Vogue interview

Being Asian American myself, I really value Jen’s product recommendations and tutorials because they sometimes cater towards Asian features, like monolids and eye shape.  But no matter your ethnicity, body size or age, Jen has a little wisdom and positivity for everyone.

// Other social media links //
YouTube: From Head to Toe
Instagram: frmheadtotoe
Twitter: frmheadtotoe
Snapchat: frmheadtotoe

4) Jenn Im

Jenn Im embodies the type of young woman I want to be.  Her effortless, cool-girl fashion style, carefree west coast spirit (seen here) and impressive 1.5 million YouTube following are something to be envied, and while Jenn’s channel is primarily dedicated to fashion, she dabbles a lot in beauty as well.  Jenn continues to rack up some impressive partnerships, including Target, Birchbox, Thea by Thara, and Refinery29.   She also recently launched her own app, which aims to create a community where her followers can share tips and inspiration relating to beauty, fashion, food, and lifestyle.  Jenn inspires her viewers to keep learning, let their creative juices flow, and make their lives both beautiful and meaningful. 

// Other social media links //
YouTube: ClothesEncounter
Instagram: imjennim
Twitter: imjennim
Snapchat:  jennimsnaps

5) Estée Lalonde

Five years ago, Estée Lalonde made a big leap from her native Canada to go live with her boyfriend in the U.K. (whom she had never met in person!).  While struggling to acclimate to her new life in London, she became infatuated with the world of beauty and YouTube.  Since then, Estée has amassed over one million subscribers, and continues to seek out new ways to engage with her followers.  While she’s still passionate about filming beauty videos, Estée wants to expand her channel into a more holistic representation of who she is and share different facets of her personality, interests, and life that go far beyond beauty hauls and tutorials.  Far from someone who’s content with staying stagnant, Estée shows no signs of slowing down, and I for one can’t wait to see what other creative projects she has in store!

// Other social media links //
Instagram: Estee_Lalonde
Twitter: EsteeLalonde
Snapchat: Essie_Button
Vlog Channel: @essiebuttonvlogs

6) Ingrid Nilsen

Ingrid Nilsen is in many ways a jack-of-all-trades.  Her main YouTube channel covers beauty, hair, skincare, food recipes, DIY projects, and more, captured within fun, charming, and illuminating videos.  There’s never a dull moment with Ingrid and I especially love Ingrid’s ‘Sense of Self’ video series where she explores the dwellings of fellow YouTubers like the aforementioned Estée and aims to capture an intimate snapshot of their lives via five items that they choose to exemplify sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste.

‘Loving your job can be both a blessing and a curse. You’ll experience euphoric highs and conflicted, difficult lows…personally, I have three goals: to live authentically, to help others and to cultivate loving relationships. When I put those elements into something I’m creating, it’s fulfilling and meaningful. That, to me, is the ultimate definition of good content.’ - Ingrid Nilsen, The New Potato interview

Back in June of this year, Ingrid made quite a splash in the YouTube world with her 'coming out' video, which has since garnered 12.8 million views.  I think the above quote intersects quite gracefully with her brave decision to reveal her true self in such a public manner.  I really admire Ingrid’s willingness to be completely candid about herself, because she has such a beautiful mind and so many lovely thoughts to share.  As Ingrid puts it, plain and simply, ‘we all deserve our best chance.’

// Other social media links //
YouTube: Ingrid Nilsen
Instagram: ingridnilsen
Twitter: ingridnilsen
Snapchat: ingrid.nilsen
Vlog Channel: @TheGridMonster

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