Nyma Tang has accumulated over 1 million (!) YouTube subscribers in just three years. For the uninitiated, the beauty vlogger posts videos in which she puts the deepest shades of makeup on the market to the test in a series appropriately named “The Deepest Shade.”
In drawing attention to the importance of inclusivity in shade ranges, the 28-year-old has garnered a cult following of like-minded makeup fanatics—and big-name beauty brands like Maybelline, E.L.F. Cosmetics, and Bobbi Brown have taken notice.
Here, Tang shares what it’s like being a woman of color in the beauty industry, the changes she’s like to see in the market moving forward, and the thoughtful advice she’d give to her younger self if she could go back in time.
CREATE & CULTIVATE: How do you set yourself apart from other beauty bloggers? What makes your personal brand unique?
NYMA TANG: I think I filled a void that a lot of people didn’t know we needed in the beauty industry. I’m not just the average beauty blogger; there’s a bigger message than just what products look good or what products are worth the splurge.
When you hit a bump or hurdle in your career, how do you #FindNewRoads + switch gears to find success?
I think the #1 thing I’ve learned is that businesses have ups and downs, and you just have to keep pushing. There are always going to be downs but you have to keep going. You’ll eventually reach up and out of that down situation and you’ll figure out how to move forward.
You’ve partnered with brands like CVS, E.L.F. Cosmetics, Bobbi Brown, how do you choose who to partner with? What advice would you give to someone exploring partnerships?
The biggest advice I’d give is to make sure you partner with brands you believe in and make sure those brands also believe in what you stand for. Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t devalue yourself because a brand wants to work with you; there’s a reason they want to work with you.
What changes do you hope to see in the beauty industry in the future?
I would love to see a fully inclusive beauty industry where products are available for everybody of every skin tone. Inclusivity is no longer a hot topic or a pressing topic because it just is!
What do you wish your younger self knew when you were first starting out in the beauty industry?
I wish I knew that you don’t have to settle for what people think you deserve.
What is your best social media advice?
Perfection does not exist.
Where do you find the most inspiration? What drives your passion?
I honestly find the most inspiration in my followers and those that let me know how I’ve helped their self-esteem grow, how they feel about themselves, and how they now navigate life with this level of confidence that they didn’t have before.
You’ve taken YouTube and Instagram by storm with your makeup tutorials and fashion inspiration. What’s next for you?
Well, that’s a big question! Let’s see, what is next for me? I think, obviously, being in a place to create products, brands (multiple), and really just taking over. Just being me and taking over!
What is it like to be a woman of color in the beauty industry? What change do you see coming and what more needs to be done?
To be a woman of color in the beauty industry feels like I’m on the outside looking in and I’m trying to change the inside to match what the beauty industry wants it to look like on the outside. Companies will launch 40 shades and think their brand is fully inclusive—but it isn’t. You have to consider bronzers, concealers, highlighters, etc. I want the beauty industry to not only grow in product inclusivity but also marketing inclusivity. I hope to see more people of color in marketing and advertising that’s geared towards black beauty.
How do you define beauty? What makes you feel beautiful?
Beauty is obviously more than just skin-deep. No matter how amazing a person looks, if they don’t think they look beautiful inside, they’re not going to feel it. I feel that’s really what it comes down to. Beauty is a sense of calm and content within yourself. But what makes me feel beautiful? My brows! LOL. And knowing that I am taking care of myself from the inside out.
Photographer: Jenna Peffley