Though June is coming to a close, it's important to remember that Pride is more than a month. Shopping LBGTQ+ founded brands, supporting queer creators, and championing important causes is a year-round mission and deserves more than just a month of attention. In that spirit, we're spotlighting some of the artists and creators on Instagram who are pushing the beauty industry forward.
Ahead, meet six beauty influencers who are starting trends and creating space for diverse voices in the industry. They're leveraging their considerable platforms to champion inclusivity and self-expression. As feeds have become the new beauty portfolio, these creators celebrate art, queerness, and LGBTQ+ voices online. Read on for their thoughts on inclusivity, each artist's inspiration, and, of course, all ways to follow them during Pride and beyond.
Jack Gorman (@jack.gorman)
On Inclusivity In The Beauty Industry: “It’s important that we, as a society, continue to push the beauty standard to be all-encompassing for everyone. It may be long overdue, but it is really encouraging to see inclusivity on a wide scale.
"To make this space more inclusive, we need to be continuous in support of queer POC artists. For far too long, their impact on this industry has gone unnoticed and uncredited; that's why it is always so imperative that we uplift and promote those artists.”
Autumn Angelize (@looksbyotto)
Beauty Inspiration: Architecture, nature, artwork (in all forms), color theory, and the drag community.
Favorite LGBTQ+ Owned Beauty Brand: Slayfire Cosmetics
On Using Instagram To Uplift The Community: “I use my platform as a way to show creative Black LGBTQ+ youth that they are always valid and that their art matters. I do that by showcasing not only my work but other amazing artists.
"Hashtags—like #EditorialBLK—are a great way to find LGBTQ+ creators as well as brands. My tag #OttonianBabe is a great way for me to see looks and recreations to highlight on my page as well. My platform is always a safe place for everyone, including myself. It's a big family, and we’re all accepted there.”
Ivan Lam (@ivanbaaaaah)
Beauty Inspiration: Video game characters, animations, nature, international trends, mood.
On A Solution For Inclusivity: “There’s so much in the word beauty. It’s subjective; it's ever-changing; it’s influenced by history, colonialism, culture. I think beauty can be inclusive! And it should be.
"Seeing yourself in another is incredibly empowering. Instead of having people feel bad about themselves or fear-mongering, I would rather see brands uplift and support their consumers! I love when a brand supports a cause or actively educates its consumers. We have a long way to go, but compared to 10 years ago, I think we have made a lot of progress.”
Mina Elise (@minaelise)
Beauty Inspiration: Generations of women in her family, her Black and Brown roots, musicians, and bold personalities.
Favorite LGBTQ+ Owned Brand: Age Into Beauty
On Building Beauty Inclusion With The LGBTQ+ Community: “One thing I’ve loved about being Queer is that we seem to have our own beautiful network, a web per se (but not just “The L Word” kind). The kind of web made from collaboration, inspiration, and motivation. Whether led by another or guided by a gut feeling, I think we always find a way to each other.
"I’m a Queer Afro-Latina who’s very new to the industry, and I take serious pride in working with people that feel like family—people I don’t have to explain my identity to. I don’t have to change the way I talk, keep to myself, be more ‘palatable.’
"Every time I make magic with a team that’s Queer +/ BIPOC, it feels like the entire industry shifts a little notch, and that’s what inclusion is all about. I’m so thankful for the way the media has allowed me to access fellow LGBTQ+ artists out there.”
Ruby Fox (@rubyfoxnyc)
Beauty Inspiration: 2000s imagery, Femme Fatales, and cyberpunk aesthetic.
Favorite LGBTQ+ Owned Brand: Dragun Beauty
On Pushing Beauty Brands To Pivot Into Inclusivity: “As a drag Queen, without thought, we are always pushing the boundaries of gender and expression. That’s just what drag is. That artistic push into the unknown does force brands to keep an open book on who and what to cater towards.
"Beauty to me, in the simplest of forms, means self-care. Everyone should be afforded it. I believe with how lucrative the industry is, it’s forced it to be inclusive—if not brands will fall behind.”
Ryan Burke (@ryburk)
Beauty Inspiration: Mood, color schemes, textures, architecture, and of course, fashion references.
On Creating Diversity In Beauty: “I work with any model that gives the energy needed to make a dynamic photo. Every skin color, age, body size, and gender has been in my chair, and I have a great time working with everyone. Inclusivity is a dream for an artist that loves variety, and there is such a range of beauty in the world.
"It’s wonderful that many brands have made inclusivity a focus in product development and advertising. There is a real consumer appeal to the authenticity in a variety of beauty, so it helps push things further. It’s been really exciting to see makeup and beauty trends go from conservative to limitless.”