Wendy Asumadu shares her favourite artists pushing beauty ideals with their work
When make-up artist Wendy Asumadu first started out in the beauty industry she quickly became aware of how few experimental make-up looks she was seeing on skin like hers. “I remember searching ‘avant garde make-up’ online and there was not a black person in sight,” she says. Motivated by this shortage, she set out to make a change and has been creating kaleidoscopic, vibrant make-up looks on herself and others ever since.
“I want people like me to have the same opportunities I am being blessed with. I know this ‘mission’ I’m on is going to take some time but I’m ready for the challenge to change things, one step at a time,” she says. Now, as part of her mission, Asumadu has created a new platform to shine visibility on her fellow Black make-up artists who are making space for themselves in the still very white world of beauty influencers.
For Pride month, she has curated an incredible list of black LGBTQ+ content creators pushing beauty ideals with their art. “These artists are so creative, innovative and a true reflection of what it means to love yourself and your identity,” she says. “There is no reason why you should not be following and supporting their artistry.”
Aesthetic: Undefined as he uses his visuals to express his fluidity freely.
“I cannot believe I’ve only just come across their work. The quality and the conceptual aspect of their art is fabulous.”
Aesthetic: Kaleidoscopic and constantly evolving.
“Khai’s instagram profile says: ‘I sing, I rap, I make-up’ and they are killing it!”
Aesthetic: Afrofuturism meets 70s glam.
“The GOAT. Her values have always been prominent in her work as she continues to elevate black beauty. Elle gave her the beauty award for ‘Beauty Advocate’ for her consultancy work, pushing brands to create products that work on darker skin tones.”
Aesthetic: Gothic vampire meets feminine fairy who likes to party on the weekend.
“A versatile artist who likes a bit of everything and is heavily attracted to the ugly, raw, unconventional and nasty part of art. I discovered Jacinda and couldn’t get over how cool their brows were - now I can’t get enough of her lip tutorials.”
Aesthetic: Colour focused-glam with an adventurous, editorial flavour.
“His online visibility helps to normalize and encourage men/male-identifying people wearing make-up – especially Black and POC boys that are worried about doing so with facial hair! Editorial with a touch of glam, Michael can produce any creative look whether its on himself or his clients.”
Aesthetic: Etherealness, placing a sense of delicacy and light to their looks to make them appear out of this world.
“Based in Manchester, Myla is really putting her stamp in the UK editorial scene with her bold editorial looks. Myla always aims to use art to make others feel equally confident and brighten their days.”
@KINGKIAHH (He/him/bad bitch)
Aesthetic: Soft Glam is the BEST GLAM.
“Their face is beat to perfection and those brows... UNMATCHED.”
Aesthetic: Glam but, heavy focused on skin with a splash of editorial.
“‘Where my Varbies at?’ If you’re looking for personality, glam and a dash of editorial, Tavaris is where it’s at! VariJStylez better known as “Vari” also known as a beauty therapist because watching him get glam is smoothing/calming.”
Aesthetic: Grunge, androgynous and a bit moody; add a splash of culture.
“I don’t see enough black goth pages and I was delighted when I found Adanna. A page filled with fine art, make-up, and authenticity.”
Aesthetic: Editorial and minimal – every look is an absolute delight.
“Their platform showcases the diversities of beauty within the community and not societal norms or traditions.”
Aesthetic: Colourful, edgy, high glamour or even dreamy.
“The 24-year-old represents Black men in make-up and speaks on the lack of inclusion in the beauty industry. Kareem’s page is editorial and experimental that exudes so much passion.”
Aesthetic: Very high concept, ultra glam to avant-garde, high fashion to character make-up styles.
“Naomi’s page is so dreamy and artistic. I feel like I’m entering into her world.”
@THEGLAMGOTH (She/her/force of nature)
Aesthetic: Victorian glamour goth with minimal and refined rocker chic vibes.
“I mean it’s all in the name and she’s also CEO and founder of a brand called @glamgothbeauty creating dark and glamorous products for all so go invest in a black brand! It’s a safe space for the alternative and queer.”