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As we continue to celebrate our trans siblings this month, I want to show some love to those who have changed the beauty industry, one brushstroke at a time. You think Kylie Jenner learned how to overdraw those lips on her own?  Hell no!  Kim Kardashian, too, has learned a thing or fifty from these under-acknowledged beauty queens.  You can’t open a beauty magazine without seeing a technique perfected by a trans woman many years prior. So, let’s go beyond the household names of Laverne Cox, Isis King, Carmen Carrera, and Caitlyn Jenner.

[RELATED POST: 4 Black Trans Women Defying Odds]

1. Princess Joules/Julie Van Vu, has created an amazing body of work which includes makeup tutorials, as well as the chronicles of her sexual reassignment surgery and attitudes that she finds herself up against daily.  She not only provides excellent tutorials on beauty, she goes much deeper and shows a different level of vulnerability that it is rare to see among YouTube celebs.

2. Gigi Gorgeous went from a YouTube celeb to a spokeswoman for TooFaced Cosmetics last December. At 1.4 million followers, she continues to influence makeup enthusiasts of every gender. As a member of TooFaced’s Lipstick Mafia, she continues to increase visibility of trans folks through her work.  She has also taught the Jenner-Kardashian clan a thing or two about makeup!


3. Stef Sanjati is another YouTube celeb that recently came out this year.  She still focuses on makeup and gaming, but like Princess Joules, she has also created a forum in which fans can ask questions and discuss their own gender dysphoria. “I’ve come to understand that I am transgender. I’ve come to understand that I’m uncomfortable with my maleness, not my masculinity,” she told her 65,000 subscribers, “I will not tell you I feel like a boy trapped in a girl body. This is my girl body. When it has breasts on it, it will still be my girl body. It’s not going to be a different body. I’m not switching bodies. I’m not trapped. I am more free than I have ever been in my life.”

4. Maki Gingoyon is a Filipino transgender beauty queen. She is a non-op trans woman, meaning that she has opted to not augment her body with surgical procedures. She owns and operates a transgender dating site for trans women and their admirers in the Philipines.

5. Jazzy Baptiste Hailing from Trinidad, this amazing makeup artist has relocated to the southern US. They are agender and have the best looks that continue to inspire me. Between the gorgeous, sharp contour that they do on their hair line to the color pop on the eyes, they make MAGIC out of any face, especially their own. What they don’t have in splashy layout for the blog, they definitely make up for in content. Can you tell I’m a little biased? Follow on IG!

Gorgeous Jazzy Baptiste


6. Brooklyn Beauty is another YouTuber who talks about beauty, but she is also very open about her experiences as a transgender woman. She’s gorgeous and totally reminds me of Scarlet Johansson. She pokes fun at the experience of transition and will make you laugh. That same humor is a powerful tool that allows her message hit home a bit deeper.


[RELATED POST: Trans Women are Women, Too]

When looking to update your look, go outside the realm of cisgender beauties.  Check to see what these stylish, gorgeous folks are doing and saying. The beauty industry has been stealing ideas from trans and queer folks for decades – may as well go straight to the source and give them credit.  Kim K may have been the one to make the contoured face famous, but trans gals have been doing it forever.


Laurel Dickman is an intersectional feminist, plus size model, stylist, and fat activist that can also be found via her blogs, Exile In Dietville and 2 Broke Bitches. She grew up in the south between Florida and North Carolina, migrating to the Portland, OR in 2005. All three places inform her perspective of the world around her a great deal. While in Portland, she worked with the Alley 33 Annual Fashion Show, PudgePDX, PDX Fatshion, Plumplandia, and numerous other projects over the near decade that she was there. In August of 2014, she moved to the Bay area with her partner, David and trusty kitty, Dorian Gray. She continues her body positive and intersectional feminism through various forms of activism, fashion, photography projects, and writing from her home in the East Bay. She can be reached at laurel@wyvmag.com and encourages readers to reach out to her to collaborate!

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