Tween feminist needs some girling tips
January 17, 2019 6:31 PM   Subscribe

Two middle-aged lesbian moms have a kickass tween ladyhuman. We're old-school Queer-Nation-y hairy-legged birkenstockers, and she's... experimenting. With Girling. Totally appropriate. Totally not our scene. We're down with the self-expression but we can't help her. Can anyone point us to Youtube channels that teach the nuts and bolts of makeup and hair without the toxic femininity, or channels that help tween girls think critically about all that gender crap while still using makeup, hair stuff, and clothes as play/costumery?
posted by pomegranate to Society & Culture (12 answers total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
My two go-tos, who are pros and aside from not making any major attempts at body positivity are also not especially body-critical: Wayne Goss (he does the makeup on himself, which is pretty quietly subversive) and Lisa Eldridge. Classic techniques, popular looks, for the most part reasonable affordable skincare advice.

A lot more trendy, high-color/glam looks (including high-color hair and long hair styles and fashion) plus fat positivity: Cora Diane.

Another channel that is fabulous and queer-friendly: John Maclean.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:17 PM on January 17, 2019 [10 favorites]

+1 sephora staff
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:47 PM on January 17, 2019

+1 queer femme vote for Lisa Eldridge! She uses a variety of products at various price points, and while most all makeup/skincare promotes consumerism, there aren’t any gratuitous “haul” videos or similar nonsense.
posted by Juniper Toast at 9:12 PM on January 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

I don't know how young your tween is or how you feel about nsfw language, but Morgan Hanbury is damn funny, puts together great glam looks, and isn't super-choosy with product (ie you won't be fielding requests for $90 Dior lipstick, more like "I dunno, the guy at sephora talked me into this it was like 5 bucks"). But yeah, give it a watch first because she swears like a sailor.
posted by sexyrobot at 10:10 PM on January 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Rookie Mag's Learning the Face-ics series was made with this in mind. Not nearly as professional as the other suggestions (and it's on Vimeo instead of YouTube, and Rookie is no longer updating, etc) but it seems like it would be pretty relatable for her age group. Their beauty articles really emphasize the fun/experimental side of makeup as well.
posted by mcfighty at 11:04 PM on January 17, 2019 [3 favorites]

thataylaa is a makeup YouTuber who is down-to-earth, talented, and mounts a huge charity campaign every year for Project Beautyshare. She’s relatable and funny.
Kaily Baute only works with cruelty free products.
Most YouTube makeup videos are product reviews as opposed to core tutorials. The Makeup Chair is focuses on technique and she’s so friendly and fun.
posted by missmary6 at 5:59 AM on January 18, 2019

MAC is vocal about being super progressive and intersectional. Our Chicago store regularly has folks of many gender expressions working the floor. Their looks can be pretty theatrical, but it doesn’t have to be that way in the hands of the right staff member. Or, who knows? Maybe she would like to see what she looks like made up like a drag queen. My partner and I are also queer, and if our baby girl wants to experiment with makeup when she’s older, I’m definitely taking her to MAC.
posted by lieber hair at 6:26 AM on January 18, 2019

Ijeoma Oluo is an amazing writer and also has A+ eye makeup skills. Here are a few YouTube videos she has done.
posted by jillithd at 6:42 AM on January 18, 2019 [4 favorites]

I am going to second (third?) Wayne Goss and Lisa Eldridge, but you might want to check into John Maclean before you let your tween watch him. He comes off as a charming weirdo but is not pro-female, and has some troubling tweets regarding skin tone.

Kimberly Clark is an amazing drag queen who is pro-women and encourages critical thinking and conscious consumption. She started the anti-haul trend on YouTube, and I would be thrilled if my hypothetical tween watched her.

Safiya Nygaard is more beauty-world-adjacent, she doesn't do tutorials, but she is a treat to watch. I never got bad or racist vibes, and she has a whole bunch of videos where she unapologetically tests out period-related junk. There is also fluff like melting every Sephora lipstick together.

The Youtube makeup world has a crapton of gurus who use their platform irresponsibly. Some are very famous and will have a huge following in her peer group (like Jeffree Star, who is entertaining to watch until you find out he has compared black women to gorillas more than once.)
posted by Syllables at 6:48 AM on January 18, 2019 [3 favorites]

Not a YouTube channel, but if she isn't reading Teen Vogue yet, that would be an awesome place to get a wide range of inputs.
posted by matildaben at 11:23 AM on January 18, 2019 [3 favorites]

Seconding thataylaa. Also, Hannah Louise Poston, Ingrid Nilsen, Allie Glines, Stephanie Nicole and Ashley from MakeupTia.

Back in the day, I learned everything that I needed to know about makeup and hair from Meghan Rienks. She doesn't do makeup videos anymore, but her podcast is LGBT+ positive and her old videos are a safe place to start.
posted by all about eevee at 1:43 PM on January 18, 2019

Honestly I see a lot more troubling gender stuff on non-makeup channels. For instance I never hear the idea that someone should not be seen without makeup on makeup channels, but I've heard it on channels for comedy, gaming, etc.

If I had a tween watching a lot of makeup stuff on YouTube, I'd want to be more careful to talk to them about the conspicuous consumption. Even the makeup gurus I think are doing cool, subversive stuff still make it look really fun and really normal to have an absolutely huge selection of often-expensive products at their fingertips. Even knowing they often get it for free and that they can write the rest off, the sheer waste of it gives me hives. AND at the same time, I don't even wear makeup and sometimes I'm like maybe I should buy that $75 eyeshadow palette! Looks fun! So if this pushing-40 brain has trouble with it, I'd imagine it's harder for a tween to sort it out, (even though tweens these days seem way smarter than we were).
posted by lampoil at 6:59 AM on January 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

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