In bleak times, the TikTok influencer is facing the world armed with affirmations, mantras and self-love
The Dazed Beauty Community is our ever-expanding encyclopaedia of creatives and emerging talent from across the world who are redefining the way we think about beauty. From supermodels to digital artists to make-up prodigies transforming themselves in their bedrooms, these are the beauty influencers of tomorrow who embody everything Dazed Beauty is about. Discover them here.
In a world of barbies, be a doll – and if you’re going to be a doll, be one as effortlessly poised as 23-year-old TikTok muse Devin Halbal AKA Hal Baddie. In an ocean of overly edited content, it is rare to find someone who is unapologetically themselves, but that’s exactly what Halbal is. Popular for her authenticity and positivity, her content is full of uplifting advice, words of encouragement and mantras that encourage self-love, all of which she films with her now-signature selfie stick.
Offering an alternative picture of what a beauty figure can be, Halbal rejects the capitalist scheme of insecurity – if the industry can make you feel bad about yourself, it can make you buy things – and preaches self-love and security in one’s identity, minus the products. “My beauty secret is to do whatever makes you feel happy,” she says. “When you’re doing things that make you feel happy or inspired, you just have this special kind of glow to you.”
Originally from the Bronx, Halbal began documenting her travels around the world after being inspired by her best friend Bilal. Since then she has gained over 330,000 followers – including Bella Hadid and Pink Pantheress – thanks to her commitment to following her own unique path through life, to showcasing the beauty of everything she sees, and, of course, to her Met Gala Behaviour. “My followers just get me, my voice, and my ideas,” she says. “I think this is why my videos do so well; I have created a community of people who support me and love me and what I have to say.”
“Today I feel beautiful. Today I am great. Today I will slay” – Devin Halbal
Posting videos of her travels, she has also shared footage of getting her beard shaved and of herself crying. However, Halbal has been helping people see their potential long before her viral fame: as a writer, she has penned pieces about identity and surviving hate crimes, and also co-facilitated a support group at her college’s LGBTQ+ centre for fellow trans people.
As Halbal continues to carve out the space she deserves, her online popularity indicates that just maybe there is a shift happening in the industry – perhaps we’re finally saying goodbye to the traditional influencer and opening the doors for people with more of a sense of purpose.
Here, Miss Hal Baddie discusses her perspective on beauty, affirmations and the future of beauty.
Your page is a place of positivity and affirmations. How has having a positive outlook helped you through tough times?
Devin Halbal: Having positive affirmations has really helped me feel beautiful and powerful. Self-esteem is a journey and is always fluctuating for me. So whenever I am not having the best day, saying my affirmations aloud puts these beautiful thoughts out into the universe and calms me down. I am a true believer in speaking this into existence and for me my morning mantras are another form of manifestation. Today I feel beautiful. Today I am great. Today I will slay.
How did you start on social media?
Devin Halbal: My best friend, Bilal Morsi, really inspired me to take my talents and creativity seriously. TikTok seemed like a great platform for me. I started on social media by posting one video each day for one month, then two, then three. And it just kind of grew naturally. I post whatever is on my mind – I don’t really follow any popular TikTok trends. So my followers usually just get me, my voice, and my ideas. And I think this is why my videos do so well – I have created a community of people who support me and love me and what I have to say. My words are filled with love. And I hope that love is felt through the screen.
What’s your advice for people wanting to build confidence and be their authentic selves online and in real life?
Devin Halbal: Writing for me has become a way that I am able to understand myself and my feelings. And I think in order for anyone to express themselves authentically, they need to be comfortable taking out the time to understand themselves. Once you are able to reflect and acknowledge your thoughts, you can then channel your energy to create and express – whether that be a poem, painting, film, etc. Another tip that I have for expressing yourself authentically is just having really loving and supportive friends. My friends make me feel so safe and their love makes me feel comfortable enough to share myself and my ideas with them and the world.
I’ve noticed you’re often on the go, whether it’s en route or travelling – what are your best-kept beauty secrets when you’re on the go? What must you pack with you?
Devin Halbal: My beauty secret is to do whatever makes you feel happy. When you’re doing things that make you feel happy or inspired, you just have this special kind of glow to you. People feel that glow and that inner light when you are happy. I don’t really carry much with me. I rarely wear make-up or products on my face. I never style my hair other than just letting my curls.
What’s your favourite smell?
Devin Halbal: I love the smell of fresh flowers.
Around the age of 12, you’d wear your mum’s shoes when you were home alone – I’m curious if you ever experimented with makeup at that time?
Devin Halbal: I never really played around with make-up when I was younger because it never stuck out to me in the same way that clothing did. I remember I would go with my mom to the hair salon when she would get trims and I would sit in the waiting room and just stare at all of the fashion magazines. I did not know the name of any of the designers or anything, but I was just inspired by the beautiful images that were in front of me. I thought maybe one day I could be beautiful too (which is my way of acknowledging that I saw myself as a woman at that young age).
When do you feel most beautiful?
Devin Halbal: I feel most beautiful when I am alone on the beach – away from the world, relaxing, with my summer tan, listening to music with my beautiful curls flying in the wind.
Who are your beauty icons?
Devin Halbal: I would say my friends: Bilal, Shade, Salsabila. Their inner beauty inspires me more than anything.
What is the future of beauty?
Devin Halbal: The future of beauty is a world where everyone can truly express themselves and wear whatever they want, regardless of who they are. The future of beauty is not about trends or what is popular on TikTok, but rather clothing that speaks to an individual. The future of beauty is inclusive!