YouTube stars who are completely unrecognizable without makeup


In a world where you can put a
filter on your Instagram photo that instantly smooths your skin or add a
Snapchat filter that gives you a different eye color and a flower crown, it can
sometimes be difficult to feel beautiful by social media’s standards. Even when
people claim #nomakeup, sometimes we look to see if the truth is being told, or
if there’s a subtle lip gloss or false eyelash going on in their photo. 
But on YouTube, many vloggers
are daring to go totally bare — and show the makeup remover to prove it. The
transformations can be astonishing, ranging from the small change in a person’s
look to seeming like you’re looking at a completely different human being.
These YouTube stars below prove that they’ve got true beauty — with or without
foundation on.

With more than 66 million
views on one tutorial alone, I guess you could say that Michelle Phan has a
mega fan base. And it’s clear to see why: she’s beautiful, she’s an
entrepreneur (she launched her very own makeup line, EM cosmetics), and she’s
crazy good at makeup tutorials. 
So when the YouTube starlet
shows her face entirely bare in many of her videos, she’s almost unrecognizable.
Gone is the winged eyeliner and impressive pout — she’s bare-faced, but still
totally gorgeous, a true natural beauty. It’s refreshing to see her so
confident with herself, whether that’s getting glammed up complete with fake
contact lenses or showing her makeup-free bedtime skin care routine.
In an honest interview with
Teen Vogue, Phan explained what makeup meant to her when she was growing up,
and how that perspective really changed as she got older. “When I was in
my early teens, makeup was my way of feeling more beautiful. I wore eyeliner
because I wanted my eyes to look bigger,” she said. “Then going into
my 20s, my perspective changed. I saw makeup in a different way. Makeup was a
form of self-expression. It was my form of art. My face was a canvas. It was my
way of exploring the different facets of my personality. I could be a dark goth
girl, or I could be this bubbly princess. That was my form of

Known online as
IISuperwomanII, Lilly Singh is a Canadian YouTube personality combining beauty,
brains, and hilarity. Her social media accounts also don’t disappoint: she’s
gorgeous, confident, and is constantly trying to empower women. In a YouTube
video Singh made in 2015, she proved just how strong of a role model she
is by explaining a realization she made when she went make-up free on a busy
“Something happened today
that really made me think. Today… I had two meetings, so before the meetings I
had no time to get ready like I usually would, and I found myself texting the
people I was having a meeting with… saying, ‘Hey, just a heads up, I look like
a mess, sorry, don’t judge me!’… I didn’t have any makeup on my face and I have
dark circles under my eyes, and I have a whole bunch of acne…” she
She continued, sharing the
realization she had soon after. “Did I really just apologize for not
wearing makeup? … Since when do I have to apologize for looking like myself? …
I love makeup, and I love the way it makes me feel… [but] I try my best to be a
really nice person and really kind to people… and that’s what makes me pretty,
not the makeup on my face.” The next time you see Singh makeup-free, you
can bet that you won’t catch her feeling sorry about it!

Beauty expert and British
YouTube queen Tanya Burr has the kind of face that you can clearly see is
drop-dead gorgeous, with or without makeup. And, with her own cosmetics line,
she’s got the smarts to prove that she’s not just a pretty face. She’s also got
the selfies to prove that, too.
Along with her sultry pout is
a big heart that tries to give back at every chance, being recognized as an
ambassador for the ONE Campaign, which helps to raise public awareness in
an effort to fight poverty and disease in impoverished countries like Africa.
But that’s not all: she even went totally “BearFaced” for BBC
Children in Need, where Burr and a handful of other inspirational women took
off their makeup for a photo shoot to help encourage others to do the same to raise
funds for the campaign. 
“This is the easiest
shoot I’ve ever done before because I haven’t had to get ready,” Burr
joked in a behind-the-scenes video of the ad. “And if it raises any money,
even one penny, then you’ve done something amazing.” I think she’s pretty
amazing for showing off that gorgeous make-up free face!

You can’t think of YouTube
beauty vloggers without thinking of the incredibly talented Jeffree Star. With
a man who can crush the beauty game more than the average woman (myself
included), it’s clear that Star represents just how far we’ve come when it
comes to our beauty standards for women and men. Seeing Star show the world how
to create a vampy look, complete with whatever wig he so chooses for the
tutorial is truly eye-opening — especially when you see him before he starts
the makeup routine. If he was on the street, you’d never even recognize him!
But it is nice to see a man be
such an incredible beauty expert, and to show anyone and everyone what the
power of makeup can do. In an interview with Racked, Star talked about how
having a man in the center of the beauty vlog atmosphere has helped other men
to finally feel more self-assured and even cut down on bullying. 
“There are a lot of guys
who are finally having confidence. When I was 18 wearing makeup everyone was
like, ‘What the hell?’ Now it’s a lot more acceptable. I think in the last ten
years we’ve come a long way, so it’s cool that more people can be creative and
be themselves and not feel like I’m going to get my a** beat.” Rocking a
#nomakeup selfie or glammed up looking like Jessica Rabbit, Star is an
inspiration to all.

Zoella has an effervescent
kind of beauty that makes you want to become best friends with her. She’s super
open about her imperfections, too — especially when she’s not wearing any
makeup. In one of her makeup tutorials, she admits that she often does her
tutorials when she feels like she’s having a “good skin day.” On a
bad skin day, she considered not doing the video she had planned. 
“Then I had a little sit
down with myself and I thought, ‘No, I am going to film the video,'” she
said, adding that because so many other people have similar skin issues, it
could offer new insight into the tutorial. “I am going to do it
because this is what I would do to cover-up my skin today,” she said.
It’s beyond humbling to see a YouTube star with millions of subscribers to show
just how “normal” she truly is.
In a video interview
for Glamour UK, a pint-sized fan asked Zoella why she first started her
YouTube channel. Zoella answered, “I was watching a lot of other people do
YouTube and I was gaining a lot of really useful tips from other people. I felt
very passionate about makeup and beauty, and, because I was too shy to make YouTube,
I started blogging, and then once I felt comfortable blogging I thought that
maybe I could do a video…from there, I absolutely loved it and just carried
on.” Zoella’s got a face (makeup or not) that’s just too beautiful to be
hidden behind a blog.

Jackie Aina is trying to shake
up the beauty world by redefining what it means to be beautiful. Growing up
Nigerian-American, she told Refinery29 that she felt the pressure to constantly
defend herself and her standards of beauty. Now that she’s a famous YouTube
vlogger, she’s able to encourage women of every shape, size, and ethnicity to
make themselves up — or dress themselves down — as much as they’d like.
In the same video interview
with Refinery29, Aina said, “I want to be celebrated for being different.
I don’t want to be like everybody else,” as she took off all of her makeup
on video. She also discussed how African American women face a different
standard, saying, “There’s a lot of pressure for African American women to
just be natural and be holistic, or, you hate yourself. That’s kind of
frustrating because I don’t think it should be that black and
She also raved about the power
of playing around with hair and makeup. “I love wearing wigs, I love
wearing extensions, I love wearing braids, and I love wearing my natural hair
too. One of the biggest things that I fight for, especially on my channel, is
we’re not one model of people,” she said. “Everybody looks different
and some of us like to celebrate ourselves artistically…. It doesn’t
necessarily mean you don’t like the way you look naturally.” Makeup free
or not, Aina’s makeup (and her personal beliefs) score a 10 out of 10 in my

You know you’ve officially
“made it” when your YouTube tutorial stars a Kardashian as your
model. That’s exactly how big Jaclyn Hill is, with over 4 million subscribers
to her beauty YouTube channel. If you scroll through her videos, you’ll also
see that Hill is a knockout — whether it’s with her 5-minute face or a lengthy
contour how-to, it’s not hard to see how she’s gained so many fans. 
But when she takes her makeup
off, her look will shock you, because she’s still beyond stunning. In a picture
she posted on Twitter she wrote, “Cleaning & organizing today!
Feels so good to be fresh faced and focus on myself & my home!”
She’s come from pretty humble
beginnings, too. In an interview with Women’s Wear Daily, she explained how she
got into makeup in the first place, sharing she “went from fashion to
video and photography and fell in love with that, and then I went from video
and photography to makeup.” She added, “I had a little shoe box under
my bed that was filled with products I would accumulate from my mom and my
sister — their hand-me-down products.” Proof that she’s just an ordinary
girl at heart, stealing makeup from family members like most teenage girls do!

For avid fans of RuPaul’s Drag
Race, you’ll know that Miss Fame is not only known for competing in this
binge-worthy reality TV show, but for also being a YouTube star. Miss Fame has
been turning heads ever since she stepped out on the scene and has never shied
away from playing around with gender identity. That’s why it’s so unbelievable
to see her transform from a “before” to an “after” looking
absolutely unrecognizable after the transformation is complete using only
In an interview with Allure,
Miss Fame explained why she was inspired to start doing drag. “I had
always played with gender and that allowed me to explore my identity through
beauty and makeup…. This opened the door to discover my duality: the man that
people saw and the woman that I created.” 
Miss Fame went on to express
just how powerful makeup is to her. “Makeup is a form of embellishment and
celebration of self,” she said. “Makeup is giving me a
purpose to inspire people and that is so much more interesting and worthwhile
than just being perceived as beautiful.” The two looks of Miss Fame before
and after makeup are equally beautiful if you ask me!

When her first YouTube makeup
tutorial got a measly eight views, Nikkie behind NikkieTutorials was determined
to get that number to rise. Now that same video has over a million views, so I
think we can safely assume that Nikkie has officially made it. Her
feminine-yet-edgy look compels viewers to go out of their comfort zone. And
surprisingly, Nikkie frequently goes out of her own comfort zone by wearing no
makeup on her face. She looks like a much less grown-up version of herself, but
still looks absolutely lovely.
In one of her most popular
videos, she shows half of her face completely done up with makeup, looking
absolutely fierce, and the other half totally bare, posting this video after
many people who met her in person without makeup challenged that she was
actually the girl in all the makeup tutorials. 
“I just want people to
know that makeup is fun and there are no rules to makeup,” she said,
adding, “That’s why I love the power of makeup.” In an interview with
Teen Vogue, she said her mission would be “[t]o make viewers feel good
about themselves,” adding, “If they learn some tips and
tricks on beauty along the way, and have a laugh while doing all of that, then
I have done my job.”

Ingrid Nilsen, aka Miss
Glamorazzi, has a way of looking effortlessly flawless in nearly all of her
YouTube videos, which is probably why she’s got upwards of 4 million
subscribers checking in daily to see what she’s putting up on her channel. But
there have also been a few videos where she’s gone completely sans-makeup and,
while she definitely looks much, much different, she still evokes some serious
natural beauty.
In a YouTube video from 2011,
she faces the camera and tells the audience that she’s wearing not one drop of
makeup — and there’s a reason. “I guess the reason why… is just to
remind you guys that I’m human and I am not perfect. I have imperfections,
insecurities, just like everyone else, but I don’t let them rule my life…. I’m
just in my natural state, and I’m okay with that,” she said, acknowledging
it’s been a long journey. “I’m completely fine with going out of the house
with no makeup and my hair really messy because just I’ve realized that there
are so many more important things in life than what I look like.” 
She went on to encourage her
followers to wear makeup because it’s something that they love, not something
that they feel they need. Makeup or not, Nilsen sends a powerful and promising
message to everyone, proving that makeup-free is just as gorgeous as a full
face of blush, mascara, and lipstick.

Jenna Mourey, known to most of
her fans as Jenna Marbles, is a hilarious YouTube vlogger who’s known for being
silly in front of the cameras alongside her adorable pups, Kermit and Peach.
While she’s mainly known for her videos revolving around being funny, there’s
no denying the fact that she’s also incredibly beautiful. Even though there are
many videos on her channel of her looking perfectly done up, she has no problem
poking fun at herself about the way she used to do her makeup.
In one of her videos, she
tells the audience, “I know what you’re thinking. ‘Jenna! Your face is
terrifying!’ I’m sorry. You’re just going to have to get past it for a minute,
okay? So I’ve seen a couple of these videos in the beauty community… I am
seriously, like, down this rabbit hole and I can’t get out… I want to join on
the fun, I want to be part of your beautiful people club!” 
It’s so refreshing to see a
vlogger who is fresh-faced joking about the sometimes overwhelming world of
beauty on the internet. So many of Marbles’ videos poke fun at herself when it
comes to makeup, too, like her famous “Drunk Makeup” tutorial that’s
garnered over 22 million views. I can definitely get on board with a girl who’s
got comedy and an imperfect cat-eye.
Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.